Therefore, the loss of the iGPU isn’t really a loss at all. Or is it? Well, it turns out that the iGPU does have some benefits in specific scenarios. A feature that was made available starting with the introduction of Intel’s Z68 Express chipset a very long time ago was one where you could theoretically use the onboard GPU when not gaming and save power. Also, the iGPU is capable of a feature called “Intel QuickSync.” This is a feature that can be used to transcode video very quickly. Lastly, it can be used to connect additional displays to the system or potentially use the onboard video instead of a discrete GPU for power savings.
Although, in a pure gaming build, QuickSync may not make a difference to you. As it turns out, there are some upsides to ditching the iGPU. It does use some power by simply being in the CPU die and being enabled. In fact, on your motherboard, one or more phases of the motherboard’s power are devoted to this in most cases. The iGPU generates heat and as we saw with the otherwise useless Core i7 7740X, the lack of an integrated GPU can theoretically mean higher clock speeds.
If your gaming or using specific applications, this is a huge potential win. While this varies somewhat, typically I’ve found “KF” series CPU’s cheaper than their iGPU enabled counterparts. In some cases, the difference can be as much as $50, which can bring the “KF” CPU into a better price/performance ratio which can potentially change the Intel vs. AMD equation into Intel’s favor or at least achieve some kind of parity between them.
Ultimately, this CPU is the same Coffee Lake (Skylake refresh) as the standard Core i9 9900KF. However, because it has some potential to overclock higher, it may be of interest to some users who would prefer to stick with Intel for one reason or another.