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


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The existence and coming near near commence of Comet Lake, Intel’s first 10th Abilities mainstream desktop CPU family, has been an open secret for several months. Nonetheless Intel has stayed peaceable about the specs and capabilities of the family even as rumors mounted. Now the company is within the destroy talking about the CPUs this could perchance also commence later in Would possibly. There are some lawful causes for Intel enthusiasts to be mad, but we’ve indubitably bought questions heading into the commence.

Let’s hit the high gains first: As anticipated, the Comet Lake S 10th Abilities Core desktop CPU family hauls out your total stops with a notion to push frequencies and core counts a dinky elevated. The modern Core i9-10900K is a 10C/20T CPU with a boost clock of up to 5.3GHz. That’s a 1.06x increase in top-line clock over the 9900K mixed with a 1.25x core count improvement. That’s no longer an unreasonable stage of improvement over the Core i9-9900K provided that both are 14nm CPUs.


Hitting these elevated frequencies, nonetheless, has required Intel to tweak a assortment of dials and levers. The corporate is now lapping its find die to decrease the quantity of insulative cloth in-between the transistors themselves and the TIM. On the identical time, Intel has elevated the quantity of copper in its IHS to beef up its thermal conductivity.


Die-lapping has been talked about in overclocking circles as a manner of bettering thermals and possibly overclocks with the 9900K, but seeing Intel officially adopt it right here illustrates how subtle it’s for even Intel to retain pushing CPU clocks elevated. The explanation for the marginally thicker IHS is to retain z-top a lot like enable for cooler re-employ. The elevated share of copper within the IHS extra than offsets its elevated thickness.

Varied modern aspects of the 10th Gen family consist of the flexibility to role a voltage/frequency curve in utilities cherish XTU, the employ of Hyper-Threading across all Intel Core CPUs (i3/i5/i7/i9), formal reinforce for DDR4-2933, built-in Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) reinforce, modern 2.5G Intel ethernet controllers basically basically based on Foxville, and a few tool optimizations in games cherish Total Battle: Three Kingdoms and Remnant: From the Ashes.

What Intel Hasn’t Acknowledged

There are several subject matters Intel hasn’t clarified and didn’t reply questions about throughout the convention name. No modern particulars about the Z490 chipset or the reputation of its PCIe 4.0 reinforce got, despite the indisputable truth that a few motherboard OEMs are claiming reinforce for that real is baked into upcoming boards. There had been rumors of a flaw within the two.5G Ethernet controller that haven’t been clarified.

The further pins added to LGA1200 are reportedly for energy circuitry and we know the board TDP has bumped to 125W, but that number appears to be like rather meaningless in light of what we know about energy consumption on neatly-liked high-terminate Intel CPUs. Except you particularly program them to design no extra than their rated TDPs, high-terminate chips cherish the 9900K design method over 95W whereas boosting under load. Sustained energy design is additionally mighty elevated. Neither AMD nor Intel sticks to TDP as a measure of actual energy consumption, however the rumors touching on the 10900K own implied it would possibly possibly design as mighty as 250-280W.

Ignore the “Up to’s” within the wrong clock column within the image above. Intel has told ExtremeTech that these frequencies are supposed to be listed as static clocks. “Up to” handiest applies to the boost clock frequency. Total, these modern CPU configurations are an improvement over what Intel has had in-market with Ninth Gen.

The Core i9-9900K is an 8C/16T with a 3.6GHz wrong clock and 5GHz all-core boost, with an ample label of $500. The Core i7-10700K is an 8C/16T CPU with a 3.8GHz wrong clock and a 5.1GHz boost clock, with the identical 4.7GHz all-core boost as the 9900K. Note? $375.

I’m no longer going to make investments on how the 10700K will evaluate against CPUs cherish the 3700X or 3900X till we own now got silicon in-hand, however the 10700K is a lot larger-positioned against AMD than its predecessor became. It isn’t particular how mighty efficiency will beef up from the 9900K to the 10700K, however the 10700K would possibly also restful offer in spite of every part 100 percent of the Core i9’s efficiency for 75 percent its label.

The associated fee cuts and efficiency changes proceed down the stack, to lawful total terminate. The backside-terminate Core i3, the Core i3-10100, is a 4C/8T CPU with a 3.6GHz wrong clock and 4.3GHz turbo for $122. The the same Ninth Gen CPU, the Core i3-9100, is a 4C/4T CPU at 3.6GHz/4.2GHz. The addition of HT would possibly also restful translate to a 1.15x – 1.2x improvement across the board.

Comet Lake and LGA1200 will indubitably bring some enhancements over Ninth Gen, but we want to ogle precisely how these chips and platforms evaluate sooner than we issue extra. One ingredient we are optimistic of — any individual planning to play on the tip of the Comet Lake stack will desire a high-terminate CPU cooler to make certain that they squeeze every final little bit of efficiency out of the chip.

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