Intel Core i3-9350KF Review

Entry-level desktop processor released in 2019 with 4 cores and 4 threads. With base clock at 4GHz, max speed at 4.6GHz, and a 91W power rating. Core i3-9350KF is based on the Coffee Lake Refresh 14nm family and part of the Core i3 series.
Price 44%
Speed 86%
Productivity 63%
Gaming 91%
Category Desktop
Target entry-level
Socket Compatibility LGA1151
Integrated Graphics None
Cooler Included No
Overclock Potential 1 %
Year 2019 Model
Price 173 USD
Number of Cores 4 Cores
Number of Threads 4 Threads
Core Frequency 4 GHz
Boost Frequency 4.6 GHz
Max Stable Overclock 4.6 GHz
Power Consumption 91 W
Manufacturing Process 14 nm
L3 Cache 8 MB
Maximum Supported Memory 64 GB
Price-Value Score 44 %
Speed Score 86 %
Productivity Score 63 %
Gaming Score 91 %
Max 1080p Bottleneck 24 %
Max 1440p Bottleneck 12 %
Max 4K Bottleneck 6 %
Overall Score 45/100

The Core i3-9350KF is one of Intel's entry-level Desktop processors. It was released in 2019 with 4 cores and 4 threads. With base clock at 4GHz, max speed at 4.6GHz, and a 91W power rating. The Core i3-9350KF is based on the Coffee Lake Refresh 14nm family and is part of the Core i3 series.

Core i3-9350KF is also the successor of Intel's last gen Core i3-8350K processor that was based on the Coffee Lake and 14nm process and was released in 2017.

In our mind, the best processors are the ones that deliver outstanding performance at a reasonable price point. And, the Core i3-9350KF absolutely nails this concept.

That something is the Core i3-9350KF. Intel cranks the TDP dial up to 91W on this 4-core 4-thread chip, making it the high-performance counterpart to the 62W Core i3-9320, which is basically the same 14nm chip built with the Coffee Lake Refresh microarchitecture, but with a lower TDP rating. That chip came away from our first look at the Coffee Lake Refresh series with an Editor's Choice award, going toe-to-toe with AMD's Ryzen 5 3400G, so it's fair to say we have high hopes for the higher-performance model. Intel still hasn't sampled the chip to the press, so we bought one at retail to put it under the microscope.

As the higher-priced version of the Core i3-9320, the Core i3-9350KF has higher base and Boost frequencies of 4 and 4.6 GHz, respectively. That's an increase in base frequency and a bump to boost clocks, but the real advantage should lay in the higher Package Power Tracking (PPT) envelope, which is a measurement of the maximum amount of power delivered to the socket. The Core i3-9320's PPT tops out at 62W, while the motherboard can pump up to 142W to the Core i3-9350KF at peak performance. That opens up much more aggressive boost behavior, on both single and multiple cores, that could widen the performance gap beyond what we see on the spec sheet.

The Intel Core i3-9350KF was rolled out on May 2019 for $173, which puts it in the same general price range as the last-generation Core i3-8350K. This means that at least we're not seeing any considerable price jumps from generation to generation.

So which should you buy? Let's get that out of the way. Before this comparison review we updated our Best CPU feature and we said you should go with the Ryzen 5 3400G as it comes with a better stock cooler, can be overclocked, and the AM4 platform offers a significantly better upgrade path.

Moving beyond games, it’s an easy win for the Ryzen 5 3400G. The Ryzen 5 upgrade path on A320, B350, B450, X370, X470, X570 motherboards, all support upcoming Zen+ processors. So if you buy a nice A320, B350, B450, X370, X470, X570 board now with the Ryzen 5 3400G, you’ll be able to slap a Coffee Lake Refresh processor on there later in the year, or whenever you deem it necessary.

Today we’ll be taking a closer look at the Intel Core i3-9350KF 4-core desktop processor that was released in May 2019. Intel offers the Core i3-9350KF without integrated graphics. It runs $173 shipped and is ideal for those that plan on using it a system with a dedicated graphics card.

Our look today at the Intel Core i3-9350KF showed that it is a very capable processor. A 4-core processor sounds like it would be really under-powered these days, but we were pleasantly surprised with a snappy and very capable system. Having just 4 cores had this processor coming in at the back of the pack for heavily threaded workloads, but it performed better than some of its more expensive siblings in lightly threaded workloads where it shined thanks to its high base clocks.

The Intel Core i3-9350KF seems to be a decent performing chip that is readily available for $173 at your favorite retailer. The main competition for this processor is the Ryzen 5 3400G 4-Core unlocked desktop processor with Radeon Vega 11 graphics ($160 shipped).

Bottom Line, the Intel Core i3-9350KF does not get much media attention since it is entry-level 9 Gen Core Coffee Lake Refresh processor, but it is a very capable processor that still delivers a good computing experience for entry-level users.

If extended overclocking and boost frequencies are trivial matters to you, Intel also offers the Core i3-9320 at $122.44. It’s still outfitted with 4-cores and 4-threads, but clocks in at a slower 3.7GHz and maxes out at only 4.4GHz.

Now the biggest question is can Intel’s Core i3 processor play games? The answer is simply yes as it got a respectable gaming score of 91% in our benchmarks.

That said, to squeeze out all the potential of this surprisingly potent entry-level chip, you’ll want (and need) to splurge on an enthusiast-grade Z270, Z370, Z390 motherboard.

Fresh from a successful roll-out of mainstream Core i3 CPUs, Intel's attack on AMD now extends down into the entry-level with its Core i3-9350KF processors, which the company is making available as of May 2019.

Which GPU to Pick for Intel Core i3-9350KF

Below is a comparison of all graphics cards average FPS performance (using an average of 80+ games at ultra quality settings), combined with the Intel Core i3-9350KF.

GPU Price Cost/Frame Avg 1080p Avg 1440p Avg 4K
NVIDIA TITAN RTX 24GB $2,499 $17.4 143.4 FPS
126.5 FPS
81.2 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB $1,299 $9.3 139.6 FPS
123.2 FPS
79 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER 8GB $699 $5.5 126.7 FPS
110.7 FPS
70.6 FPS
NVIDIA TITAN V 12GB $2,999 $24.7 121.4 FPS
107.2 FPS
70.1 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 8GB $699 $5.8 119.7 FPS
103.5 FPS
65.5 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB $759 $6.8 112.2 FPS
98.8 FPS
63 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER 8GB $499 $4.5 111.6 FPS
95.3 FPS
60.7 FPS
NVIDIA TITAN Xp 12GB $1,199 $10.9 110 FPS
95.3 FPS
62.1 FPS
AMD Radeon VII 16GB $699 $6.4 110 FPS
94.6 FPS
59.3 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT 8GB $399 $3.7 107.2 FPS
92.1 FPS
57.7 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 8GB $499 $4.7 105.7 FPS
89.1 FPS
57.4 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER 8GB $400 $4 100.1 FPS
82.9 FPS
52.5 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 5700 8GB $349 $3.6 98.2 FPS
84.5 FPS
52.8 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB $499 $5.2 95.3 FPS
80.8 FPS
50.7 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB $350 $3.7 94.2 FPS
76.3 FPS
47.4 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT 6GB $279 $3 92.6 FPS
79 FPS
49.3 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 295X2 4GB $1,499 $16.8 89.3 FPS
74.6 FPS
49.8 FPS
AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 8GB $499 $5.6 89.1 FPS
76.7 FPS
47.8 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti 8GB $409 $4.6 88.3 FPS
74.8 FPS
46.8 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X 12GB $999 $11.6 85.9 FPS
71.9 FPS
45 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB $279 $3.3 84 FPS
71.2 FPS
44.5 FPS
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 8GB $399 $4.8 83.5 FPS
71.7 FPS
44.8 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB $399 $4.9 81.3 FPS
68.2 FPS
42.4 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER 6GB $229 $2.9 79.2 FPS
67.2 FPS
42.1 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB $649 $8.7 74.7 FPS
63 FPS
39.4 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 6GB $220 $2.9 74.6 FPS
63.2 FPS
39.5 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 590 8GB $279 $3.9 70.8 FPS
58.2 FPS
35.6 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 FURY X 4GB $649 $9.6 67.9 FPS
59.8 FPS
38.4 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER 4GB $160 $2.5 64.9 FPS
54.9 FPS
34.3 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB 8GB $199 $3.1 64.3 FPS
52.9 FPS
32.3 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 4GB $549 $8.6 64.1 FPS
53.4 FPS
33.6 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB $229 $3.7 62.7 FPS
51.5 FPS
31.3 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 Nano 4GB $649 $10.5 61.7 FPS
53.5 FPS
34.2 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN BLACK 6GB $999 $16.7 59.9 FPS
49.5 FPS
32.5 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 FURY 4GB $549 $9.4 58.4 FPS
50.4 FPS
31.8 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB 6GB $254 $4.4 58.2 FPS
48.2 FPS
30.2 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB 4GB $169 $2.9 57.7 FPS
47.5 FPS
28.9 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 390X 8GB $429 $7.6 56.2 FPS
48.3 FPS
30.6 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB 3GB $170 $3.1 55.2 FPS
45.9 FPS
28.7 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 4GB $329 $6.1 54.3 FPS
44.6 FPS
29 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB $400 $7.6 52.8 FPS
45 FPS
28.8 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 390 8GB $329 $6.3 52.4 FPS
44.1 FPS
26.3 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 570 4GB $169 $3.3 51.8 FPS
43.5 FPS
26.6 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB $149 $3 49.5 FPS
41.6 FPS
25.9 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 470 4GB $179 $3.9 46.2 FPS
39 FPS
24.3 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 380X 4GB $229 $5.9 38.8 FPS
32.5 FPS
20.7 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 285 2GB $249 $7.1 34.9 FPS
29.2 FPS
17.5 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 380 2GB $199 $5.8 34.6 FPS
28.9 FPS
17.5 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB $169 $5 34.1 FPS
28.6 FPS
17.9 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 280 3GB $279 $8.3 33.8 FPS
28.6 FPS
16.8 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 2GB $199 $6 33.4 FPS
27.8 FPS
17.1 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 3GB $169 $5.8 29 FPS
24.2 FPS
14.8 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 560 4GB $99 $3.7 26.9 FPS
22.1 FPS
13.6 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 2GB $159 $6 26.3 FPS
21.6 FPS
13.8 FPS
AMD Radeon R7 370 2GB $149 $5.8 25.8 FPS
20.3 FPS
13.1 FPS
AMD Radeon R7 265 2GB $149 $5.8 25.7 FPS
19.7 FPS
12.6 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 460 4GB $140 $5.9 23.7 FPS
19.6 FPS
12.1 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB $149 $6.5 22.9 FPS
16.8 FPS
10.9 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 550 2GB $79 $4.2 18.7 FPS
15.5 FPS
9.5 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 2GB $79 $4.4 17.9 FPS
14.8 FPS
8.8 FPS

Related Discussions

som1btrthnu February 17, 2020

Need Help on New PC build


I'm currently doing some research on building a PC, here's an example build I came up with; PCPartPicker Part List

Type Item Price CPU AMD Ryzen 5 3600 3.6 GHz 6-Core Processor $189.99 @ Amazon CPU Cooler AMD Wraith Max 55.78 CFM CPU Cooler $37.32 @ Amazon Motherboard *MSI B450M PRO-VDH MAX Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard $79.98 @ Amazon Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory $72.98 @ Amazon Storage Seagate Barracuda Compute 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $49.99 @ Amazon Video Card Sapphire Radeon RX 590 8 GB NITRO+ SE Video Card $245.99 @ Amazon Power Supply Thermaltake Smart 600 W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply $54.99 @ Amazon Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts Total $731.24 *Lowest price parts chosen from parametric criteria Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-01-23 00:17 EST-0500 .

Case is up in the air right now and I already have the Rx 590 and the psu.

I am between these processors; Ryzen 5 3600, Ryzen 5 2600, i3 9100F, i3 9350KF, and the i5 9400F.

I do not want to jump over about $220 for the processor and about $130-140 on the motherboard. Also, I currently have a Fx 8350 with a wraith cooler and was wondering if that cooler is compatible with either of the Ryzen cores mentioned above.

Switchen March 24, 2020

Note that the processor already comes with a pretty decent stock cooler. Definitely make sure you get a solid state.

hlymonade February 23, 2020

Don’t buy that cooler buy a hyper 212 eco instead it’s much better also buy this gpu instead it’s cheaper and faster also buy gskill ram to save like $10

bubblesort33 March 06, 2020






Performance is like the price. 9400f is good if you can get it for like $120, but you usually can't.

The 2600 is good, but you can get a 1600AF for $85 Which is a Ryzen 2600 pretty much in almost every way.

Pretty much the best value CPU you can get. I wouldn't even spend $120 on the motherboard. 99$ MSI B450-A PRO MAX ATX AM4 Motherboard , or MSI B450 Gaming Plus MAX is good enough for even a $500 Ryzen 12 core 3900x.

I would go with AMD because all the ones mentioned have at least 12 threads, vs Intel's 4 or 6.

CuseKaze February 05, 2020

3600 + the cheapest b450 mobo. Like $65. No point in getting more than that. Also as mentioned, just use the stock cooler.

bubblesort33 February 29, 2020

If you genuinely don't care about RGB connectors, or having lots of USB ports in the back (still has 6), and you're fine with only having 2 fan headers + 1 CPU fan header than this is the best value and best performance you can get for under $245. Just don't expect to be upgrading CPU on this board. (Ignore PCpartpicker red warning, comes updated)

PCPartPicker Part List

Type Item Price CPU AMD Ryzen 5 3600 3.6 GHz 6-Core Processor $189.99 @ Amazon Motherboard ASRock A320M-HDV R4.0 Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard $54.99 @ Amazon Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts Total $244.98 Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-01-23 00:26 EST-0500
officialkevinthecube May 13, 2020

Need help choosing GPU

So I have an i3 9350kf and I’m wondering what GPU I can get without having much of a bottleneck. Any suggestions?

Master_Psyper87 April 15, 2020

What’s your budget? Get the best you can afford, if you have a bottleneck, it’s as far as you’d get on your budget. The bottle neck won’t render your system useless. Unless your budget is $2000 something is gonna fall short somewhere. If you go low with the gpu, your next cpu will bottle neck from the gpu, continuing a vicious cycle. If you’re just playing Minecraft, Say so, that way we don’t recommend a 2080 super lol.

officialkevinthecube May 13, 2020

Mostly games that everybody plays these days. (except fortnite)

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Critics Reviews

Core i3-9350KF Overclocking Overclocking was a rather straightforward affair with the 3950KF: We set CPU core voltage to 1.34V and dialed in a 5.1 GHz overclock, which is a 100MHz improvement over ...
The stock Ryzen 5 3600X is very competitive, however, with the Core i3-9350KF. Stockfish, an open-source chess engine, is designed to extract the utmost performance from many-core chips by scaling ...
Boasting four cores and four threads, the Core i3-9350KF processor from Intel has a 4 GHz base clock speed and a 4.6 GHz maximum boost speed. Compatible with LGA 1151 motherboard sockets, the i3-9350KF is unlocked, making it ideal for overclocking.
While the Core i3-8350K came with value for money in its favour, that same value looks set to harm the Core i3-9350KF we have here. The former costs £135, while this new CPU has launched at £180 ...
The likes of the Ryzen 5 2600X and Ryzen 7 2700 retail for similar prices to the Core i3-9350KF, and in content creation they simply lay waste to the Intel CPU. The latter was a third quicker than ...
Intel Core i3-9350KF Specs and Price. The Core i3-9350KF recommended retail price is around $175, although it’s currently selling for around $220 due to it still being rolled out to retailers. The “F” at the end of this CPUs name represents the lack of integrated graphics.
Intel i3 9350KF - Performance – Cores 4, Threads 4, Processor Base Frequency 2.80 GHz, Max Turbo Frequency 4.60 GHz, Cache 8 MB, Bus Speed, 8 GT/s DMI3, TDP 91 W.

Related Comments

finlayj123 November 04, 2019
Why wont my computer boot? Please Help!
Hey, so recently I've run into some trouble with my computer, its a new-ish build only around a year or so at most old. Could really use some help/advice.
Here are its specs:

Mobo: Asus Strix z270
GPU: GTX 970 (recently replaced under warranty for a new card)
CPU: Intel Core i5 6600K (Now using an Intel Core i3 9350KF)
Cooler: CorsairH100i V2
RAM: corsair Vengance LPX DDR4 2400mhz
SSD: Intel 480GB (not sure how old this is but it seems to still be working from my testing)
PSU: Thermaltake 875W (by far the oldest component)

Essentially, when the PSU is on, the GPU and Mobo lights come on as per usual, however when I press the power button to boot the PC I hear the PSU fan begin to spin up, however after maybe ~20 seconds it then spins down again, and stops; the cooler light doesn't come on, nor do any other fans or lights.
Having tested the CPU in a different motherboard, The same thing would happen. EXCEPT, when I removed the GPU from the system, upon power up, the cooler light would turn on, and as would the case fans and cooler fans, but still no visible evidence of booting on screen. (This also happens with the original mobo too)
The same thing happens when using the new CPU. PSU fan spins for a bit, but nothing else, and then if you take out the GPU everything works, but no visible boot.
I've also tried with a different PSU and had the same results, and am feeling $275 lighter (for the new cpu) and very confused.

TLDR: PC wont boot; PSU just makes some noise for a lil. If I take out the GPU and boot it, all the fans and lights will turn on and keep running but PC doesn't give a signal to screen.

Thanks so much for your help.
Calvin7 February 19, 2013
i3 9350KF is not a supported CPU in the Asus Strix z270. You need a Intel 300 Series chipset not a 200 Series (Z270) for that CPU.