Intel 10th-Gen Comet Lake Desktop CPUs Announced – 10 Cores, 5.3 GHz For The Win?

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After announcing their 10th-gen Comet Lake mobile processors earlier this year, Intel is back with a proper reveal for the desktop CPUs. There are some interesting changes made to the lineup this year, with the introduction of 10-cores in the Core-i9 lineup being one of them.

Following on the heels of many rumors & leaks leading up the release, here’s a look at all the processors:

ModelCores/ThreadsTDPBase ClockSingle Core Boost/All-Core BoostPrice
i9-10900K10/201253.7 GHz5.3 Ghz/4.9 GHz$488
i9-1090010/2065W2.8 Ghz5.2 Ghz/4.6 GHz$439
i7-10700K8/16125W3.8 Ghz5.1 GHz/4.7 GHz$374
i7-107008/1665W2.9 Ghz4.8 GHz/4.6 GHz$323
i5-10600K6/12125W4.1 GHz4.8 GHz/4.5 GHz$262
i5-106006/1265W3.3 Ghz4.8 GHz/4.4 GHz$213
i5-105006/1265W3.1 Ghz4.5 GHz/4.2 GHz$192
i5-104006/1265W2.9 Ghz4.3 GHz/4.0 GHz$182
i3-103204/865W3.8 Ghz4.6 GHz/4.4 GHz$154
i3-103004/865W3.7 Ghz4.4 GHz/4.2 GHz$143
i3-101004/865W3.6 Ghz4.3 GHz/4.1 GHz$122
Intel 10th-Gen Comet Lake Desktop CPUs

As you can see, Intel has upgraded the Core i9 processors to now exclusively house 10 core/20 thread setup. The overall lineup this year is quite easy to understand, following a more Ryzen-like approach after the confusing mess that was with the laptop refresh. Following the Core i9, we’ve got octa-core i7s, followed by Core i5 with 6 cores.

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The overall setup is quite different from what we got last year in the coffee lake refresh. At a glance, one of the biggest advancements here is the breaking of the 5 GHz barrier. The Core i9 lineup, along with the i7-10700K can now boost upwards of 5.1 GHz. That’s quite impressive, and one of the reasons why Intel can still claim them to the ‘fastest gaming processors’. We recently saw a leak where the Core i9-10900K beat the Ryzen 9 3950X, where that single-core boost must’ve come in handy.

Intel-10th-Gen-Family
Intel-10th-Gen-Family

There are also some nifty new additions that make the comet lake lineup stand out more from the previous generations. For example, with advancements in DirectX 12, the iGPU present in the Intel CPUs can boost gameplay performance by working in tandem with the discrete GPU.

“Intel is committed to enabling the future of powerful desktop gaming by continuously pushing the performance boundary to deliver an amazing PC gaming experience. The 10th Gen Intel Core S-series for desktops, and the Intel Core i9-10900K processor, the world’s fastest gaming processor, reinforces our commitment to the gaming and enthusiast communities,” said Brandt Guttridge, Intel senior director of the Desktop Products Group.

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The new CPUs also come with Intel Turbo Boost Max 3, along with the following updates:

  • Intel Thermal Velocity Boost: Gamers and creators get an opportunistic and automatic boost across single-core and multicore workloads, with up to 5.3 GHz.
  • Intel Hyperthreading Technology: Now across 10th Gen Intel Core i9 to i3 processors.
  • Enhanced Core & Memory Overclocking: Gain ultimate control when overclocking your processor and key system components with features enabled by new unlocked and overclockable 10th Gen Intel Core processors.
  • Intel Ethernet Connection I225: Now available on the 10th Gen platform, 2.5G Intel Ethernet Connector I225 delivers greater than two times the network speeds of 1GB Ethernet on existing cabling.
  • Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201: Now integrated into 10th Gen Intel Core desktop processors, Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) delivers responsive gameplay, nearly three times faster downloads and more reliable connections. Delivers best-in-class connectivity with the freedom and flexibility to game or create anywhere throughout the home or office.
  • Intel-i9-10900K Desktop CPU
  • Intel-i9-10900K

However, amidst all the nice news, there are some caveats. With Comet Lake desktop, Intel has also changed its socket configuration, so you’ll need new chipsets (motherboards) to house them in. That’s where the new Z490 chipsets come in, and you can read more about that in ASUS’ Z490 lineup announcement. That’s a little disappointing, considering how AMD has continued to support its chipsets like the B450 for over 3 generations now, going beyond their initial promise. It all comes down to how Intel designs their CPUs, with Comet Lake being another increment of the 14nm process.

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It remains to be seen how Intel will go up against AMD’s Ryzen offerings, especially with Zen 3 fast approaching its announcement. Intel suggests that the Comet Lake CPUs offer anywhere from 10-30% FPS gains in popular titles like PUBG and Monster Hunter: World. They also suggest that productivity will see a nice boost, claiming the new processors showed a gain of 18% performance in Adobe Premiere Pro, in 4K video editing.

This is not all though, as Intel does have strong plans regarding their upcoming Tiger Lake CPUs, so we’ll have to watch out for that next year.

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Rahul Majumdar
I've been writing here for quite a while. Tech, Gaming, Film, you name it. Lead Editor here at TechQuila. Occupational hazards include excessive gaming & movie-binging sessions. Most active on Twitter!

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