Tom’s Hardware has obtained official performance figures for the Intel Core i9-10900K 10 Core CPU. The Core i9-10900K will be the flagship chip of Intel’s 10th Generation Comet Lake family, which is expected to arrive in the coming months but will use the same 14nm architecture that has been in use since Skylake.
Intel’s Core i9-10900K 10 Core CPU Benchmarks Have Been Leaked – The Same Single-Core Performance As The Core i9-9900K, But Up To 30% Faster In Multi-Threading Workloads
We just got to see the entire 10th Generation Comet Lake lineup, complete with detailed specs, last week. There are 11 confirmed SKUs for the initial launch, but the Core i9-10900K CPU would be the flagship of Intel’s sixth 14nm family.
Intel Core i9-10900K – 10 Cores, Single-Core Up to 5.3 GHz, All-Core Up to 4.9 GHz
The flagship member of the 10th Generation Desktop CPU family will be the Intel Core i9-10900K. Intel has a few tricks up its sleeves to outperform the Core i9-9900KS. The i9-10900K has 10 cores, 20 threads, a total cache of 20 MB, and a TDP of 125W. The chip operates at a 3.7 GHz base frequency and 5.1 GHz boost frequency. However, thanks to Intel’s Turbo Boost Max 3.0 technology, the chip can boost to 5.2 GHz on a single core and 4.9 GHz on all cores. Among the features of this particular chip are:
- Up to 4.8 GHz All-Core Turbo
- Up to 5.3 / 4.9 GHz Thermal Velocity Boost Singe / All-core Turbo
- Up to 5.2 GHz Intel Turbo Boost Max 3.0
- Up to 10C and 20T
- Up to DDR4-2933 MHz dual-channel
- Enhanced Core & Memory Overclocking
- Active Core Group Tuning
The interesting part is that the chip would also get a Thermal Velocity Boost, just like the current flagship parts. CPUs that support this algorithm, such as the Core i9-10900K, would have boost frequencies of 5.3 GHz (single-core) and 4.9 GHz (dual-core). However, as the name implies, only high-end cooling solutions will be able to fully utilize the Thermal Velocity Boost feature. Expect short bursts of velocity until the threshold is reached unless you have a high-end AIO liquid cooler or a closed-loop setup. It will be interesting to learn about the full range of features available through this function, as well as what kind of cooling the Core i9-10900K requires in general.
Benchmarks for the Intel Core i9-10900K 10 Core CPU
In terms of benchmarking, the Intel Core i9-10900K was pitted against the Core i9-9900K, which has 8 cores and 16 threads. Because these are internal performance projections rather than public slides, Intel also listed the PL2 power states for each chip, which shows the maximum TDP when all cores are at turbo frequency. The Core i9-9900K is available in 95W and 210W (PL2) configurations, while the i9-10900K is available in 125W and 250W (PL2) configurations. These figures put AMD’s 7nm Ryzen chips head and shoulders above the competition, and that doesn’t even take into account AMD’s chip’s stunning performance in ECO mode.
The chip’s performance was measured in both single-core and multi-core scenarios using benchmarks such as SYSMark, SPEC, XPRT, and Cinebench R15. Surprisingly, Intel continues to use benchmarks that they do not consider to be “real-world” performance metrics. The chip is approximately 3% faster than the Core i9-9900K in single-thread workloads, owing to its higher 5.3 GHz core clock compared to 5.0 GHz on the Core i9-9900K. The chip is up to 30% faster in multi-threaded workloads, which is also because it has two more cores (25% more) than the Core i9-9900K.
Both processors were tested with the security patches up to November loaded on the Windows 10 test setup. With little to no single-threaded performance boosts and only multi-threaded boosts expected from the Core i9-10900K at the expense of even higher power draw, AMD appears to be able to simply offer a price cut on their existing Ryzen 3000 series parts when 10th Gen Core i9 parts arrive and call it a day.
AMD may not even consider a price cut because their Ryzen 3000 is competitive enough to compete with Intel’s 10th Gen parts unless Intel brings the Core i9 down to $350-$400 US, which seems unlikely but they have the financial horsepower to do so to remain competitive in the desktop segment. Intel’s 10th Generation lineup may include multi-threading on all parts as well as faster clock speeds, but it will require more power and beefier cooling. With Zen 3 expected next year and AMD eating up market share across the board, Intel needs to rethink its CPU strategy, and we hope that it can meet its process roadmap goals on time if they truly want to hit AMD back.