Intel Unveils Comet Lake Desktop CPUs: Up to 5.3GHz, 10C/20T, and Some Unanswered Questions

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The existence and imminent launch of Comet Lake, Intel’s initially 10th Technology mainstream desktop CPU relatives, has been an open up key for many months. But Intel has stayed peaceful about the specs and abilities of the relatives even as rumors mounted. Now the organization is at last talking about the CPUs it will launch afterwards in Could. There are some fantastic factors for Intel fanatics to be psyched, but we have unquestionably bought thoughts heading into the launch.

Let’s hit the substantial details initially: As predicted, the Comet Lake S 10th Technology Main desktop CPU relatives hauls out all the stops in an work to push frequencies and main counts a tiny bigger. The new Main i9-10900K is a 10C/20T CPU with a improve clock of up to 5.3GHz. That’s a 1.06x maximize in leading-line clock above the 9900K combined with a 1.25x main count enhancement. That’s not an unreasonable level of enhancement above the Main i9-9900K presented that both are 14nm CPUs.


Hitting these bigger frequencies, nevertheless, has needed Intel to tweak a range of dials and levers. The organization is now lapping its have die to minimize the total of insulative substance in-concerning the transistors on their own and the TIM. At the exact same time, Intel has enhanced the total of copper in its IHS to boost its thermal conductivity.


Die-lapping has been talked about in overclocking circles as a strategy of enhancing thermals and maybe overclocks with the 9900K, but observing Intel formally adopt it in this article illustrates how tricky it is for even Intel to keep pushing CPU clocks bigger. The rationale for the slightly thicker IHS is to keep z-top identical to allow for for cooler re-use. The bigger proportion of copper in the IHS additional than offsets its enhanced thickness.

Other new characteristics of the 10th Gen relatives include things like the potential to set a voltage/frequency curve in utilities like XTU, the use of Hyper-Threading throughout all Intel Main CPUs (i3/i5/i7/i9), official assistance for DDR4-2933, built-in Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) assistance, new 2.5G Intel ethernet controllers primarily based on Foxville, and some program optimizations in game titles like Whole War: 3 Kingdoms and Remnant: From the Ashes.

What Intel Has not Explained

There are many matters Intel hasn’t clarified and didn’t reply thoughts about through the conference simply call. No new facts about the Z490 chipset or the standing of its PCIe 4. assistance had been presented, even even though various motherboard OEMs are claiming assistance for that conventional is baked into forthcoming boards. There have been rumors of a flaw in the 2.5G Ethernet controller that haven’t been clarified.

The further pins included to LGA1200 are reportedly for electricity circuitry and we know the board TDP has bumped to 125W, but that range seems quite meaningless in light of what we know about electricity intake on fashionable substantial-conclude Intel CPUs. Unless of course you particularly application them to attract no additional than their rated TDPs, substantial-conclude chips like the 9900K attract considerably additional than 95W while boosting under load. Sustained electricity attract is also a lot bigger. Neither AMD nor Intel sticks to TDP as a measure of actual electricity intake, but the rumors regarding the 10900K have implied it could attract as a lot as 250-280W.

Dismiss the “Up to’s” in the base clock column in the image above. Intel has informed ExtremeTech that these frequencies are meant to be stated as static clocks. “Up to” only applies to the improve clock frequency. Total, these new CPU configurations are an enhancement above what Intel has experienced in-current market with 9th Gen.

The Main i9-9900K is an 8C/16T with a 3.6GHz base clock and 5GHz all-main improve, with an official cost of $500. The Main i7-10700K is an 8C/16T CPU with a 3.8GHz base clock and a 5.1GHz improve clock, with the exact same 4.7GHz all-main improve as the 9900K. Rate? $375.

I’m not heading to speculate on how the 10700K will review in opposition to CPUs like the 3700X or 3900X until we have silicon in-hand, but the 10700K is a lot better-positioned in opposition to AMD than its predecessor was. It is not distinct how a lot functionality will boost from the 9900K to the 10700K, but the 10700K really should offer you at the very least 100 % of the Main i9’s functionality for 75 % its cost.

The cost cuts and functionality changes carry on down the stack, to fantastic all round influence. The base-conclude Main i3, the Main i3-10100, is a 4C/8T CPU with a 3.6GHz base clock and 4.3GHz turbo for $122. The equivalent 9th Gen CPU, the Main i3-9100, is a 4C/4T CPU at 3.6GHz/4.2GHz. The addition of HT really should translate to a 1.15x – 1.2x enhancement throughout the board.

Comet Lake and LGA1200 will unquestionably supply some improvements above 9th Gen, but we want to see accurately how these chips and platforms review just before we say additional. 1 detail we are confident of — any individual arranging to enjoy at the leading of the Comet Lake stack will want a substantial-conclude CPU cooler to make specific they squeeze every single very last bit of functionality out of the chip.

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