Intel Core i9-15900K/Core Ultra 9 285K Allegedly 8% Slower than AMD’s Ryzen 9 9950X

The Cinebench scores of Intel’s Arrow Lake-S flagship have leaked out, and I have to say, they’re underwhelming at best. Before we begin, remember that these are from late engineering samples so the final retail model will be slightly faster. The numbers have been neatly compiled by 포시포시 below, to give us an idea of how the different flagships stack up. These include the Core i9-13900K, the alleged Core i9-15900K/Core Ultra 9 285K, Ryzen 9 7950X, and the 9950X.

The above numbers place the Arrow Lake-S sample ahead of the Core i9-13900K and the 14900K but behind the Ryzen 9 9950X. The Granite Ridge flagship seemingly leads the Core Ultra 9 285K by 8-9% in the multi-core benchmark. Considering that hyperthreading is gone, this somewhat makes sense. It’s also worth noting that the Intel Core Ultra 9 285K is 11% faster than the 14900K in the same benchmark despite lacking hyperthreading.

Cinebench has traditionally been one of AMD’s strengths, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the retail variant ends up being ~10% slower than the Ryzen 9 9950X. Jaykihn states that the Core Ultra 9 285K (ES2) is 3% faster than the corresponding Raptor Lake part in single-threaded and 15% faster in multi-threaded workloads (performance, not IPC).

The 3% ST figure spells doom for Intel’s processors in gaming and other lightly threaded workloads. If the Core Ultra 9 fails to catch up to the Ryzen 9 9950X with a 15% multi-threaded performance uplift, what hope does it have in the single-threaded department with that paltry 3% gain? This performance comparison was made with both SKUs configured with a 250W PL2 power limit.

The Lion Cove “P-core” will offer a 14% IPC uplift over Redwood Cove (Meteor Lake) on the upcoming Lunar Lake mobile processors. Its Arrow Lake-S desktop implementation will surely be close to ~20% (IPC) faster than whatever the above core was compared to. It’s important to remember that the Redwood Cove core powering Meteor Lake was a node shrink with minimal architectural changes, so it is essentially a comparison to Raptor Cove/Golden Cove.

Intel Skylake vs Sunny Cove vs Golden Cove vs Raptor Cove vs Redwood Cove vs Lion Cove: Core Architecture Summary

Front-endSkylakeSunny CoveGolden Cove/Raptor CoveRedwood CoveLion Cove
I-Cache32 KB32 KB32 KB64 KB64 KB
Branch Target Buffer128/4K256/5K128/6K/12K??
Instruction Fetch B/w16 Bytes16 Bytes32 Bytes32 Bytes128 Bytes
Instruction Queue50505050??
Micro-op Cache15362304409640965.25K
Micro-op Cache B/w668812
Micro-op Queue Width128140144192192


Back-endSkylakeSunny CoveGolden Cove/Raptor CoveRedwood CoveLion Cove
Reorder Buffer224352512512576
Branch Order Buffer6496128128?
Retire B/w458812
Int Reg/FP Reg180/168280/224280/332280/332?
EU Scheduler58809797?
Load Scheduler39 (shared)237070?
Store Scheduler39 (shared)23 + 34 SD3838?
Execution Ports445510
Store Data Ports12222
Load AGU22333
Store AGU12223
Load Queue72128192192?
Store Queue5672114114?
Load B/w64 Bytes128 Bytes96 Bytes128 Bytes128 Bytes
Store B/w32 Bytes64 Bytes64 Bytes64 Bytes64 Bytes?
L1D Cache32 KB48 KB48 KB48 KB48 KB/192 KB
L2 Cache256 KB1280 KB1280 KB2 MB2.5 MB/3 MB
L2 TLB153620482048??

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Areej Syed

Processors, PC gaming, and the past. I have written about computer hardware for over seven years with over 5000 published articles. I started during engineering college and haven't stopped since. On the side, I play RPGs like Baldur's Gate, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Divinity, and Fallout. Contact: areejs12@hardwaretimes.com.
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