10th Gen: Intel Core i9 10900K & Core i5 10600K CPU Review (Page 1)

10th Gen: Intel Core i9 10900K & Core i5 10600K CPU Review

Today we get to show you what Intel's new 10th Gen Core i9 10900K and Core i5 10600K processors can do. Come join us for the ride.

| May 20, 2020 at 8:00 am CDT
Rating: 95%Manufacturer: IntelModel: BX8070110900K

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing


Intel's new 10th generation desktop CPUs are here. Codenamed Comet Lake is the latest offering replacing the 9000 series comet lake refresh of CPUs. However, the fact that these new series is 10th gen does not mean that it is the much-anticipated 10nm based CPU options. Ice Lake is still only lightly deployed on some mobile parts but not on desktop. Intel has really squeezed the 14nm node for all its worth it seems, like clock speed increases and scaling core counts are starting to reach the edge of what can fit on the package and still be adequately cooled.

The CPUs we have in hand today is the new top-end Core i9 10900K and the Core i5 10600K. This should give us a good view of the new comet lake stack of options from both the top and middle of the stack options.


10th Gen: Intel Core i9 10900K & Core i5 10600K CPU Review 64 | TweakTown.com
10th Gen: Intel Core i9 10900K & Core i5 10600K CPU Review 65 | TweakTown.com

First up, we will be looking at the 10900K, which is the halo product or the top dog of the comet lake desktop chips. The 10900K comes equipped with ten cores, and HT enabled for up to twenty threads. This CPU generation also signifies the official increase to the stated TDP, up to 125W.

The 10900K also supports the new Turbo boost 3.0, which we are familiar with from X299, and it makes a debut here. Another feature set is TVB or thermal velocity boost, which uses the available thermal and power headroom to allow the CPUs best-judged cores to reach up to 5.3GHz for short bursts. The default intel defined spec for the turbo boosting of the 10900K is PL1 of 125W; the PL2 is 250W with a tau of 56 seconds. This means that the 10900K can breach the standard 125W rating for a 2x boost to 250W for up to 56 seconds.

This information may be useful in the upcoming motherboard reviews as we will be assessing their performance and if they follow the standard intel guidance on the PL1 and PL2 settings along with TAU duration. Memory on the 10900K moves up to 2933MHz, which is nice, but we all know that it is an arbitrary number since the IMC on the much older 8700K could easily surpass that speed quite easily.

The CPU does not come with a boxed thermal solution, much like many of the intel CPUs for the past few generations. Also worth noting is that the PCIe lanes from the Comet Lake-based CPUs are still Gen 3, even though the accompanying Z490 boards are largely touted with PCIe gen 4 capabilities and noted for future CPUs. This means that the next-gen rumored Rocket Lake chips will likely have PCIe 4, although they are rumored to still be on the 14nm node.

10th Gen: Intel Core i9 10900K & Core i5 10600K CPU Review 62 | TweakTown.com
10th Gen: Intel Core i9 10900K & Core i5 10600K CPU Review 63 | TweakTown.com

Next up is the Core i5 10600K, which is a six-core, twelve thread part. The same 125W TDP is in place, but the Turbo boost 3.0 and TVB are absent here. The 10600K has a max boost of 4.8Ghz, with a base of 4.1GHz. The memory speed is kept at 2666MHz, once again arbitrary, but I do find it curious why Intel would not have upgraded the supported memory speed across the stack.

The PL1 is 125W, and PL2 is 182W with a tau of 56 seconds once again. The PCIe is gen 3, as you would expect.


The Intel stated pricing from their documents is $488 for the 10900K and $262 for the 10600K. However, this is for 1K unit pricing, so the pricing we are tentatively using is based on a bit of extrapolation of data we have collected over subsequent launches in the past.

The 10900K will likely fall to a market price of $529, while the 10600K should be around $269. This may adjust as we observed on the 9900K launch, where it had a similar 1K price, but Amazon at launch time, adjusted the pricing to $529.

Next up, we will look at the Intel marketing slides and then follow through some performance testing to show what these new CPU offerings have to offer compared to previous-gen and Ryzen offerings.

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* Prices last scanned on 7/10/2020 at 11:50 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.


Shannon started his PC journey around the age of six in 1989. Now till present day, he has established himself in the overclocking world, spending many years pushing the limits of hardware on LN2. Shannon has worked with design and R&D on various components, including PC systems and chassis, to optimize the layout and performance for enthusiasts.

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