Today we get the full range of its Intel’s 10th Generation processors for desktops. These chips, which fall under the banner of ‘Comet Lake’, will now go up to 10 cores and offer turbo speeds up to 5.3 GHz. Comet Lake is the fifth iteration of Intel’s very profitable Skylake microarchitecture, built on Intel’s 14++nm process, at a time when the competition is on 7nm with sixteen cores. The crux, according to Intel, is that it will offer the best gaming experience in this market.

Users wanting the 10-core 5.3 GHz will need to purchase the new top Core i9-10900K processor, which has a unit price of $488, and keep it under 70 ºC to enable Intel’s new Thermal Velocity Boost. Not only that, despite the 125 W TDP listed on the box, Intel states that the turbo power recommendation is 250 W – the motherboard manufacturers we’ve spoken to have prepared for 320-350 W from their own testing, in order to maintain that top turbo for as long as possible.

The range of 32 (!) new processors from Intel will vary from two core Celeron parts at 35 W all the way up to ten-core Core i9 hardware rated for 125 W, with per-unit pricing from $42 to $488. The standard rated TDP is 65 W, with the overclocked models at 125 W, the low-power T models at 35 W, and Pentium/Celeron at 58 W. All of the Core i3, i5, i7, and i9 processors will have HyperThreading, making the product stack a lot easier to understand. Certain models will also have F variants without integrated graphics, which will have a slightly lower per-unit cost.

Intel 10th Gen Comet Lake
Core i9 and Core i7
AnandTech Cores Base
Freq
TB2
1C
TB2
nT
TB3
1C
TVB
1C
TVB
nT
TDP IGP Price
Core i9
i9-10900K 10C/20T 3.7 5.1 4.8 5.2 5.3 4.9 125 630 $488
i9-10900KF 10C/20T 3.7 5.1 4.8 5.2 5.3 4.9 125 - $472
i9-10900 10C/20T 2.8 5.0 4.5 5.1 5.2 4.6 65 630 $439
i9-10900F 10C/20T 2.8 5.0 4.5 5.1 5.2 4.6 65 - $422
i9-10900T 10C/20T 1.9 4.5 3.7 4.6 - - 35 630 $439
Core i7
i7-10700K 8C/16T 3.8 5.0 4.7 5.1 - - 125 630 $374
i7-10700KF 8C/16T 3.8 5.0 4.7 5.1 - - 125 - $349
i7-10700 8C/16T 2.9 4.7 4.6 4.8 - - 65 630 $323
i7-10700F 8C/16T 2.9 4.7 4.6 4.8 - - 65 - $298
i7-10700T 8C/16T 2.0 4.4 3.7 4.5 - - 35 630 $325

Users looking for 8 cores and up will be in the $300 bracket. All of these processors support dual channel DDR4-2933, while others lower in the stack only support DDR4-2666 officially. Intel has increased the amount of features on the chips with respect to how turbo performs. As a rough guide here:

  • Base Frequency: The guaranteed frequency when not at thermal limits
  • Turbo: A frequency noted when below turbo power limits and turbo power time
  • All-Core Turbo: The frequency the processor should run when all cores are loaded during the specified turbo time and limits
  • Turbo Boost 2.0: The frequency every core can reach when run with a full load in isolation during turbo time
  • Turbo Boost Max 3.0: The frequency a favored core can reach when run with a full load in isolation during turbo time
  • Thermal Velocity Boost: The frequency a favored core can reach when run with a full load in isolation and is below the specified temperature (70ºC for CML-S) during turbo time
  • Intel TVB All-Core: The frequency the processor should run when all cores are loaded during the specified turbo time and limits and is below the specified temperature (70ºC for CML-S) during turbo time

In this case, Intel’s Thermal Velocity Boost (TVB) limits for the i9-10900K are 5.3 GHz single core, 4.9 GHz all-core, and after the turbo budget is used, the CPU will operate somewhere above the base clock of 3.7 GHz. If the processor is above 70ºC, then TVB is disabled, and users will get 5.2 GHz on two favored cores (or 5.1 GHz for other cores), leading to 4.8 GHz all-core, until the turbo budget is used and then back to somewhere above the base clock of 3.7 GHz.

白色妖精泷泽萝拉With all these qualifiers, it gets very complicated to understand exactly what frequency you might get from a processor. In order to get every last MHz out of the silicon, these additional qualifiers mean that users will have to pay more attention to the thermal demands of the system, airflow, but also the motherboard.

白色妖精泷泽萝拉As explained in many of our other articles, motherboard manufacturers have the option to disregard Intel’s turbo limit recommendations. With an appropriately built motherboard, a manufacturer might enforce an all-core 5.3 GHz scenario, regardless of the temperature, for an unlimited time – if the user can cool it sufficiently. This is why we mentioned the 320-350 W turbo power early on in the article, because some of the motherboard manufacturers we’ve talked to have said they will try to do this. Choosing a motherboard just got more complex if a user wants the best out of their new Comet Lake processor.

白色妖精泷泽萝拉Beyond that, it’s worth pointing out the low power processors, such as the Core i9-10900T. This processor has a TDP of 35 W, and a base frequency of 1.9 GHz, but can turbo all cores up to 3.7 GHz. Here’s a reminder that the power consumed while in turbo mode can go above the TDP, into the turbo power state, which can be 250 W to 350 W. I’ve asked Intel for a sample of the processor, as this is going to be a key question for the chips that have the strikingly low TDP.

It’s worth noting that only the Core i9 parts have Intel Thermal Velocity Boost. The Core i7 hardware and below only have Turbo Max 3.0 ‘favored core’ arrangements. We’ve clarified with Intel that the favored core drivers have been a part of Windows 10 since 1609, and have been mainlined into the Linux kernel since January 2017.

白色妖精泷泽萝拉With the F processors, the ones without integrated graphics, the price saving seems to be lower for Core i9 than for any other of Intel’s segments. The cost difference per-unit between the 10900K and 10900KF is only $16, whereas the 10700 and 10700F is $25.

Intel 10th Gen Comet Lake
Core i5 and Core i3
AnandTech Cores Base
Freq
TB2
1C
TB2
nT
TB3
1C
TVB
1C
TVB
nT
TDP IGP Price
Core i5
i5-10600K 6/12 4.1 4.8 4.5 - - - 125 630 $262
i5-10600KF 6/12 4.1 4.8 4.5 - - - 125 - $237
i5-10600 6/12 3.3 4.8 4.4 - - - 65 630 $213
i5-10600T 6/12 2.4 4.0 3.7 - - - 35 630 $213
i5-10500 6/12 3.1 4.5 4.2 - - - 65 630 $192
i5-10500T 6/12 2.3 3.8 3.5 - - - 35 630 $192
i5-10400 6/12 2.9 4.3 4.0 - - - 65 630 $182
i5-10400F 6/12 2.9 4.3 4.0 - - - 65 - $157
i5-10400T 6/12 2.0 3.6 3.2 - - - 35 630 $182
Core i3
i3-10320 4/8 3.8 4.6 4.4 - - - 65 630 $154
i3-10300 4/8 3.7 4.4 4.2 - - - 65 630 $143
i3-10300T 4/8 3.0 3.9 3.6 - - - 35 630 $143
i3-10100 4/8 3.6 4.3 4.1 - - - 65 630 $122
i3-10100T 4/8 3.0 3.8 3.5 - - - 35 630 $122

白色妖精泷泽萝拉None of the Core i5 or Core i3 processors have the favored core support, with only Turbo Boost 2.0. We’re also reduced down to DDR4-2666, as Intel applies more segmentation to its product lines. Most of these processors have integrated graphics, perhaps suggesting that the markets for these processors might not always have access to a discrete graphics card.

Intel’s cheapest quad-core, the i3-10100, will be on sale for $122. This is still a way away from AMD’s cheapest quadcore, the 3200G, which retails for $99. With AMD also announcing the Ryzen 3 3100 at $99 with Zen 2 cores inside, up to 3.9 GHz, it’s going to be an interesting battle to see if Intel can justify the $23+ cost differential here.

Intel 10th Gen Comet Lake
Pentium Gold and Celeron
AnandTech Cores Base
Freq
TB2
1C
TB2
nT
TB3
1C
TVB
1C
TVB
nT
TDP IGP Price
Pentium Gold
G6600 2/4 4.2 - - - - - 58 630 $86
G6500 2/4 4.1 - - - - - 58 630 $75
G6500T 2/4 3.5 - - - - - 35 630 $75
G6400 2/4 4.0 - - - - - 58 610 $64
G6400T 2/4 3.4 - - - - - 35 610 $64
Celeron
G5920 2/2 3.5 - - - - - 58 610 $52
G5900 2/2 3.4 - - - - - 58 610 $42
G5900T 2/2 3.2 - - - - - 35 610 $42

Previously the names of Intel’s most powerful hardware, the Pentium and Celeron lines bring up the rear. The Pentiums and Celerons are all dual core parts, with the Celerons lacking hyperthreading. It will be interesting to see the retail pricing structure of these, as recently Intel’s low-end hardware has been quite expensive, with the company spending more of its manufacturing time fulfilling demand for higher core count hardware. This has left the traditional Pentium/Celeron market on low supply, driving up costs.

Box Designs

白色妖精泷泽萝拉Intel has again chanced the box designs for this generation. Previously the Core i9-9900K/KS came in a hexagonal presentation box – this time around we get a window into the processor.

There will be minor variations for the unlocked versions, and the F processors will have ‘Discrete Graphics Required’ on the front of the box as well.

Socket, Silicon, Security, Overclocking, Motherboards
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  • ViRGE - Thursday, April 30, 2020 - link

    So if LGA1200 is the same size as LGA115x, does that mean that Intel has made the pins smaller? Or is the 1200 in the socket name a fib? Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, April 30, 2020 - link

    At least part of it was by adding pins to previously empty parts of the socket; it might be all of it, but I didn't count the size of full rows/columns to see if they changed. There's a side by side image at the bottom of this page (LGA1200 on the left). You can see more pins on the top outside areas; not enough for the full total but the hole in the center might be a row smaller; which would give plenty of room for the extras.

    Reply
  • ViRGE - Friday, May 1, 2020 - link

    Ah, that explains it. Thanks! Reply
  • rrinker - Friday, May 1, 2020 - link

    Since PCI lanes and stuff all remain the same, I'm willing to bet those extra pins are all power and ground, to support the TVB. Reply
  • NikosD - Friday, May 1, 2020 - link

    This is the end of the first era of "Ryzen Effect".

    On January 2017 Intel said to the world that the best desktop processor was Core i7 - 7700K a 4C/8T CPU at 350$

    On March 2017 AMD with Zen architecture and Ryzen implementation destroyed 6 years of Core iX pattern with its multi-core, multi-threaded approach.

    A lot of people thought that Intel could react with a "secret weapon" as we were all thinking that a lot of processing power was left on the table from Intel during all those years 2011 - 2017.

    Comet Lake-S even using 14nm (++...+) is essentially a Skylake architecture of 2015 and it's the end of this particular road for Intel.

    A 10C/20T Intel CPU of ~500$ in 2020 versus a 10C/20T Intel CPU of 1700$ in 2017 is the maximum gain for the user after AMD's Ryzen arrival.

    Now the gap closes in all desktop sections Core i3 vs Ryzen 3, Core i5 vs Ryzen 5, Core i7/i9 vs Ryzen 7/9 besides the top 16C/32T

    But from now on Intel has no other moves, regarding 14nm and Skylake architecture.

    Comet Lake-S is the "all in", last card of Intel.

    Next step is either delivering a real new 10nm architecture for the desktop or having the fate of AMD's rough years 2010 - 2017.

    We' ll see...
    Reply
  • quorm - Friday, May 1, 2020 - link

    We've been through this before with Pentium 4. The market is different now because OEM sales of machines to individuals are a smaller part of the market due to the increase in data centers, but there's no reason to think Intel will behave any differently.

    They're going to cut all the deals they can and try to maintain their market share. Some of these deals will be of questionable legality. But, there's basically no antitrust enforcement these days.
    Reply
  • NikosD - Friday, May 1, 2020 - link

    Intel is already bribing OEMs to ignore Ryzen 4000 in the large laptop segment - it's bigger than desktop actually and exclusively based on OEMs.

    They even have a large amount of money for bribing which they call "marketing budget" which was skyrocketed to a few billion dollars.
    Reply
  • sonny73n - Sunday, May 3, 2020 - link

    You’re right about Intel bribing OEMs. Last time I went to Best Buy to check out the Dell Ryzen 5 (1st gen) laptop that I was going to purchase. There it was - the newly released Dell Ryzen 5 laptop next to also newly released Intel Core i5 on the display table, but the i5 was in a new chassis which had much slimmer bezels while the Ryzen 5 in a year old chassis with fat bezels. I couldn’t believe the way Dell blatantly exposed their relationship with Intel. Only idiots wouldn’t be able to tell that Intel had bribed Dell. I looked around and found that the only other OEM that had Ryzen in some of their laptops was Lenovo. All other brands like HP, Acer... had only Intel’s.

    Intel, yeah I’m talking to you. I don’t need proof that you’ve been bribing OEMs. What I had seen was enough. Maybe this corrupted government protects you but I had made a promise to myself that I’ll never buy your products again.
    Reply
  • sonny73n - Sunday, May 3, 2020 - link

    Hey Intel, not just me won’t be buying your products ever again but also my family members, my relatives and my friends too. And I’ll make sure of that. Reply
  • NikosD - Sunday, May 3, 2020 - link

    m.youtube.com/watch?v=H92AgYH3LQI Reply

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