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Intel 10th Gen Comet Lake-S Desktop CPUs Officially Launch on 27th May – Core i9-10900K, Core i7-10700K, Core i5-10600K To Lead The Pack

Intel's 10th Generation Comet Lake-S Desktop CPUs will be announced at the end of this month but our sources have pointed out to the exact date when you will be able to purchase the new CPUs off store shelves.

Intel's 10th Gen Desktop CPUs Codenamed Comet Lake-S Available on 27th May, A Month After Announcement

According to the information I have received, it looks like Intel's Comet Lake-S desktop processors will be hitting retail channels almost a month after their announcement on 30th April. The info is part of the latest NDA which has two segments, the press embargo, and the launch embargo. The press embargo finishes on 30th April at 13:00 GMT and we will see press releases for the 10th Gen lineup along with product announcements based on the 400-series chipsets, mainly Z490. But you will have to wait a whole month before getting hands on the new hardware.

Alleged Intel Core i5-12600K Alder Lake CPU Benchmark Shows 50% Higher Multi-Threaded Performance Versus AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

The actual retail launch and product shipments would commence from 27th May at 13:00 GMT. It's the same time when you will also get to read reviews on the new launches. With the launch set for the end of May which essentially lands close to mid-2020, the question arises that how long of a shelve life would Comet Lake-S CPUs as recent rumors have suggested its immediate successor, the 11th Gen Rocket Lake-S family is expected to launch later this year. This would mean that we are looking at less than 6 months before which Comet Lake-S CPUs would be replaced by a lineup that is better than it.

Intel 10th Gen Core Comet Lake Desktop CPU Family:

CPU NameCores / ThreadsBase ClockSingle-Core Boost ClockTurbo Boost Max 3.0 (Single-Core)All Core Boost ClockCacheTDPPrice
Intel Core i9-10900K10/203.7 GHz5.1 GHz
5.3 GHz (Velocity)
5.2 GHz4.8 GHz
4.9 GHz (Velocity)
20 MB125W$488 US
Intel Core i9-10900KF10/203.7 GHz5.1 GHz
5.3 GHz (Velocity)
5.2 GHz4.8 GHz
4.9 GHz (Velocity)
20 MB125W$472 US
Intel Core i9-10850K10/203.6 GHz5.2 GHzN/A4.8 GHz20 MB125W~$450 US
Intel Core i9-1090010/202.8 GHz5.0 GHz
5.2 GHz (Velocity)
5.1 GHz4.5 GHz
4.6 GHz (Velocity)
20 MB65W$439 US
Intel Core i9-10900F10/202.8 GHz5.0 GHz
5.2 GHz (Velocity)
5.1 GHz4.5 GHz
4.6 GHz (Velocity)
20 MB65W$422 US
Intel Core i9-10900T10/201.9 GHz4.5 GHz4.6 GHz3.7 GHz20 MB35W$439 US
Intel Core i7-10700K8/163.8 GHz5.0 GHz5.1 GHz4.7 GHz16 MB125W$374 US
Intel Core i7-10700KF8/163.8 GHz5.0 GHz5.1 GHz4.7 GHz16 MB125W$349 US
Intel Core i7-107008/162.9 GHz4.7 GHz4.8 GHz4.6 GHz16 MB65W$323 US
Intel Core i7-10700F8/162.9 GHz4.7 GHz4.8 GHz4.6 GHz16 MB65W$298 US
Intel Core i7-10700T8/162.0 GHz4.4 GHz4.5 GHz3.7 GHz16 MB35W$325 US
Intel Core i5-10600K6/124.1 GHz4.8 GHzN/A4.5 GHz12 MB125W$262 US
Intel Core i5-10600KF6/124.1 GHz4.8 GHzN/A4.5 GHz12 MB125W$237 US
Intel Core i5-106006/123.3 GHz4.8 GHzN/A4.5 GHz12 MB65W$213 US
Intel Core i5-10600T6/122.4 GHz4.0 GHzN/A3.7 GHz12 MB35W$213 US
Intel Core i5-105006/123.1 GHz4.5 GHzN/A4.2 GHz12 MB65W$192 US
Intel Core i5-10500T6/122.3 GHz3.8 GHzN/A3.5 GHz12 MB35W$192 US
Intel Core i5-104006/122.9 GHz4.3 GHzN/A4.0 GHz12 MB65W$182 US
Intel Core i5-10400F6/122.9 GHz4.3 GHzN/A4.0 GHz12 MB65W$157 US
Intel Core i5-10400T6/122.0 GHz3.6 GHzN/A3.2 GHz12 MB35W$182 US
Intel Core i3-103204/83.8 GHz4.6 GHzN/A4.4 GHz8 MB65W$154 US
Intel Core i3-103004/83.7 GHz4.4 GHzN/A4.2 GHz8 MB65W$143 US
Intel Core i3-10300T4/83.0 GHz3.9 GHzN/A3.6 GHz8 MB35W$143 US
Intel Core i3-101004/83.6 GHz4.3 GHzN/A4.1 GHz8 MB65W$122 US
Intel Core i3-10100T4/83.0 GHz3.8 GHzN/A3.5 GHz8 MB35W$122 US
Intel Pentium G66002/44.2 GHzN/AN/AN/A4 MB58W$86 US
Intel Pentium G65002/44.1 GHzN/AN/AN/A4 MB58W$75 US
Intel Pentium G64002/43.8 GHzN/AN/AN/A4 MB58W$64 US
Intel Pentium G6400T2/43.4 GHzN/AN/AN/A4 MB58W$64 US
Intel Celeron G59252/23.6 GHzN/AN/AN/A4 MB58W~$60 US
Intel Celeron G59202/23.5 GHzN/AN/AN/A2 MB58W$52 US
Intel Celeron G59052/23.5 GHzN/AN/AN/A4 MB58W~$50 US
Intel Celeron G59002/23.2 GHzN/AN/AN/A2 MB58W$42 US
Intel Celeron G5905T2/23.3 GHzN/AN/AN/A4 MB35W~$40 US
Intel Celeron G5900T2/23.2 GHzN/AN/AN/A2 MB35W$42 US

Intel 10th Gen Comet Lake-S Unlocked 125W Desktop CPU Family

The Intel Comet Lake-S or the 10th Generation Core Family is expected to be the last CPU lineup to reuse the 14nm Skylake architecture. The Skylake architecture has been with us since 2015 and Intel has yet to replace it for desktop consumers. The architecture has seen several optimizations and key refinements that have led to an increase from 4 cores and 8 threads to 10 cores and 20 threads. The same 14nm process has also been improved to the point that the flagship CPU speeds have seen a massive jump from 4.20 GHz boosts to 5.20 GHz boosts.

There are three SKUs in the unlocked lineup which is one less than what we were told. There's the flagship Core i9-10900K which is followed by the Core i7-10700K and the Core i5-10600K. The Core i3 variant is missing but it's such a crucial SKU that would be targetting a very competitive market and it would be a bad decision for Intel to not launch an unlocked quad-core part in the budget tier segment.

Intel Comet Lake Desktop Platform Overview

Intel Core i9-10900K - 10 Cores, Up To 5.3 GHz Single-Core, 4.9 GHz All-Core

Intel Achieves Power-On For Next-Gen Meteor Lake CPU Compute Tile, Delivers Outstanding Performance According To CEO

The Intel Core i9-10900K will be the flagship part of the 10th Generation Desktop CPU family. Intel has a few tricks up their sleeves to offer even better performance than the Core i9-9900KS. The i9-10900K features 10 cores, 20 threads a total cache of 20 MB and a 125W TDP. The chip has a base frequency of 3.7 GHz and a boost frequency of 5.1 GHz. However, using Intel's Turbo Boost Max 3.0 technology, the chip can boost up to 5.2 GHz on a single-core and what's even better is the 4.9 GHz all-core boost. Some of the features of this particular chip include:

  • Up to 4.8 GHz All-Core Turbo
  • Up to 5.3 / 4.0 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

Intel Comet Lake-S Desktop CPUs will be fabricated on the 14nm process node.

Here's the interesting part, the chip would also get Thermal Velocity Boost, similar to the current flagship parts. CPUs that support this algorithm, like the Core i9-10900K, would feature even faster boost frequencies of 5.3 GHz (single-core) and 4.9 GHz (all-core). However, as the name suggests, only top-tier cooling solutions would be able to allow full utilization of the Thermal Velocity Boost feature. So unless you rock a high-end AIO liquid cooler or a closed-loop setup, don't expect a sustained velocity boost but rather short bursts until the threshold is hit. It will be interesting to know the full extent of the features that this function has to offer and what kind of cooling would the Core i9-10900K requires in general. A few benchmarks of the Core i9-10900K versus the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X CPU can be found here.

Intel Core i7-10700K - 8 Cores, Up To 5.1 GHz Single-Core, 4.7 GHz All-Core

The Intel Core i7-10700K would be featuring 8 cores and 16 threads. The chip would house 16 MB of total cache and a TDP of 125W. The chip would feature a base clock of 3.8 GHz, a boost clock of 5.0 GHz (single-core) and 5.1 GHz (single-core) with Turbo Boost Max 3.0. The chip will be 100 MHz faster in single-core but slower across all-cores by 100 MHz than the Core i9-9900K which retails for over $500 US. Since this is an i7 part, expect pricing to fall around $350-$400 US.

Intel Core i5-10600K - 6 Cores, Up To 4.8 GHz Single-Core, 4.5 GHz All-Core

The Intel Core i7-10600K would be featuring 6 cores and 12 threads. The chip would house 12 MB of total cache and a TDP of 125W. The chip would feature a base clock of 4.1 GHz, a boost clock of 4.8 GHz (single-core) and 4.5 GHz (all-core). The chip would be faster than the 8th Gen flagship, the Core i7-8700K, featuring a higher base and boost clock across a single and all-cores. The Core i5 should be retailing in the $220-$270 US segment which is a decent price for a fast 6 core and multi-threaded chip.

400-Series Platform and LGA 1200 Socket Support

The Comet Lake-S family would also move to a new socket known as LGA 1200. While the LGA 1200 socket has the same dimensions as the LGA 1151 socket (37.5mm x 37.5mm), the socket keying has shifted to the left side and Comet Lake is no longer electrically or mechanically compatible with Coffee Lake motherboards. Some details of the new LGA 1200 package and socket for Comet Lake:

  • Comet Lake will transition to a higher pin-count package
  • Comet Lake LGA will not have backward compatibility with legacy platforms
  • No changes to ILM dimensions or thermal solution retention
  • Comet Lake LGA improves power delivery and support for future incremental I/O features
  • Pin 1 orientation remains the same, but socket keying has shifted left

Intel Z490 Motherboards and 10th Gen Comet Lake-S CPU Family_1

Blueprints of the LGA 1200 socket (H5) have also been leaked by Momomo_Us, showing the design of the new socket itself and comparing it to the existing LGA 1151 socket (H4).

  • intel-lga-1200-cpu-socket
  • intel-lga-1151-cpu-socket

The pin and socket specific changes between the H5 LGA 1200 and the H4 LGA 1151 socket are detailed in the blueprints posted above. (Image Credits: Momomo_US)

The good thing is that your existing coolers would still be compatible with the LGA 1200 socket so that's one hardware change you shouldn't be worrying about. The Comet Lake-S family will retain support for DDR4-2666 memory UDIMM and support up to 32 GB capacity DIMMs per channel.

Intel plans to have several chipsets deployed in the 400-series family. There would obviously be Z490 which will target the 'K' unlocked SKUs I mentioned above, but aside from that, we are looking at the W480 (Entry Workstation), Q470 (Corporate with Intel vPro), and H410 (Value) chipsets. These would target more corporate and entry tier users. Also interesting to note is that H410 is not pin-compatible with W480 and Q470 chipsets, which reveals a very cut down design for the entry-level chip.

Following are some of the main platform features of the 10th Generation Comet Lake-S family:

  • Up To 10 processor cores for enhanced performance
  • Up To 30 PCH-H High-Speed I/O lanes for port flexibility
  • Up To 40 PCIe 3.0 Lanes (16 CPU, up to 24 PCH)
  • Media & Display features for premium 4K content support
  • Integrated + Discrete Intel Wireless-AC (Wi-Fi/BT CNVi) Support
  • Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) Support
  • Enhanced Core and memory overclock
  • Integrated USB 3.2 Gen 2x1 (10 Gb/s) support
  • Intel Rapid Storage Technology (Intel RST)
  • Programmable (Open FW SDK) Quad-Core Audio DSP
  • C10 & S0ix Support for Modern Standby

Intel 400-Series Chipset Family:

Chipset NameIntel Z490Intel W480Intel Q470Intel H410
Total HSIO Lanes46 Lanes (16 CPU + 30 PCH)46 Lanes (16 CPU+ 30 PCH)46 Lanes (16 CPU+ 30 PCH)30 Lanes (16 CPU+ 14 PCH)
Total PCIe 3.0 Lanes (CPU + PCH)Up To 40 (16 CPU + Up To 40 (16 CPU + Up To 40 (16 CPU + 22(16 CPU + 6 PCIe 2.0)
Chipset PCIe 3.0 LanesUp To 24Up To 24Up To 246 (PCIe 2.0 Only)
SATA 3.0 PortsUp To 8Up To 8Up To 64
Maximum USB 3.2 Ports Gen 2 (10 Gb/s) / Gen 1 (5 Gb/s)8/108/106/100/4
Tota USB Ports (Maximum USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gb/s))14 (10)14 (10)14 (10)10 (4)
Intel RST Technology For PCIe 3.0 storage ports3 PCH3 PCH3 PCH0
eSPI2 Chip Select2 Chip Select2 Chip Select1 Chip Select
Overclocking SupportYesN/AN/AN/A
Processor PCIe Express 3.0 Lanes Configuration1x16 or 2x8 or 1x8 + 2x41x16 or 2x8 or 1x8 + 2x41x16 or 2x8 or 1x8 + 2x41x16
Display Support (Ports / Pipes)3/33/33/33/2
DMI 3.0 Lanes4444 (DMI 2.0 Only)
System Memory Channels / DPC2/2 (DDR4-2666)2/2 (DDR4-2666)2/2 (DDR4-2666)2/1 (DDR4-2666)

In terms of chipset features, W480 would be the most feature-rich of the three chipsets that are mentioned here. Z490 would be the most appealing for the enthusiast and gaming audience, but let's take a look at the mainstream chipsets. The W480 chipset would offer a  total of 46 high-speed IO lanes and a total of 40 PCIe Gen 3.0 lanes. The CPUs would retain 16 lanes with the chipset offering up to 24 PCIe 3.0 lanes.

There would be support for up to 8 SATA III ports, 8 USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports or 10 USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, 14 USB 3.2 Gen ports, and Intel RST. Neither of the three chipsets would feature overclock support since that is restricted to the Z490 chipset but we will get more information on overclocking later on from Intel themselves. There's a massive list of Z490 motherboards that we can expect with the 10th Gen family, most of which have already been leaked at

Intel Z490 'LGA 1200' Motherboards

Motherboard VendorASUSGigabyteMSIASRockSupermicro/NZXT/ECS
Z490 UD AC
Z490 UD
Z490 D
Z490M DS3H
Z490-A PRO
Z490 Taichi
Z490 PG Velocita
Z490 Phantom Gaming 6
Z490 Phantom Gaming 4 / 2.5G
Z490 Phantom Gaming 4 / Ac
Z490 Phantom Gaming 4
Z490 Phantom Gaming 4SR
Z490 Phantom Gaming-ITX / TB3
Z490 Steel Legend
Z490 Extreme4
Z490 Pro4
Z490M Pro4
-ITX Z490M / ac
Supermicro C9Z490-PGW

Intel Mainstream Desktop CPU Generations Comparison:

Intel CPU FamilyProcessor ProcessProcessors Cores/Threads (Max)TDPsPlatform ChipsetPlatformMemory SupportPCIe SupportLaunch
Sandy Bridge (2nd Gen)32nm4/835-95W6-SeriesLGA 1155DDR3PCIe Gen 2.02011
Ivy Bridge (3rd Gen)22nm4/835-77W7-SeriesLGA 1155DDR3PCIe Gen 3.02012
Haswell (4th Gen)22nm4/835-84W8-SeriesLGA 1150DDR3PCIe Gen 3.02013-2014
Broadwell (5th Gen)14nm4/865-65W9-SeriesLGA 1150DDR3PCIe Gen 3.02015
Skylake (6th Gen)14nm4/835-91W100-SeriesLGA 1151DDR4PCIe Gen 3.02015
Kaby Lake (7th Gen)14nm4/835-91W200-SeriesLGA 1151DDR4PCIe Gen 3.02017
Coffee Lake (8th Gen)14nm6/1235-95W300-SeriesLGA 1151DDR4PCIe Gen 3.02017
Coffee Lake (9th Gen)14nm8/1635-95W300-SeriesLGA 1151DDR4PCIe Gen 3.02018
Comet Lake (10th Gen)14nm10/2035-125W400-SeriesLGA 1200DDR4PCIe Gen 3.02020
Rocket Lake (11th Gen)14nm8/1635-125W500-SeriesLGA 1200DDR4PCIe Gen 4.02021
Alder Lake (12th Gen)Intel 716/2435-125W600 SeriesLGA 1700DDR5PCIe Gen 5.02021
Raptor Lake (13th Gen)Intel 724/3235-125W700-SeriesLGA 1700DDR5PCIe Gen 5.02022
Meteor Lake (14th Gen)Intel 4TBA35-125W800 Series?LGA 1700DDR5PCIe Gen 5.0?2023
Arrow Lake (15th Gen)Intel 4?40/48TBA900-Series?TBADDR5PCIe Gen 5.0?2024
Lunar Lake (16th Gen)Intel 3?TBATBA1000-Series?TBADDR5PCIe Gen 5.0?2025
Nova Lake (17th Gen)Intel 3?TBATBA2000-Series?TBADDR5?PCIe Gen 6.0?2026

Intel is definitely taking its time to release the 10th Gen Comet Lake-S desktop CPU family but things could get a little too hard for Intel as not only 3rd Gen Ryzen CPUs are getting insane deals over at major retail outlets, but AMD reaffirmed that Zen 3 based Ryzen 4000 desktop processors would be arriving by the end of 2020. This gives Intel just two-quarters worth of head-room before AMD comes in full guns blazing with its brand new architecture based CPU family, but it looks like Intel themselves want Comet Lake-S to be a generic refresh before Rocket Lake arrives later this year which is expected to be a much more impressive desktop outing from Intel in many years.

Which 2020 Desktop CPU lineup are you looking forward to the most?

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Alder Lake CPUs: Everything we know about Intel’s upcoming 12th-gen hybrid chips

Intel Alder Lake looks like the paradigm shift the company has needed for the past several generations. Despite suffering numerous delays and setbacks, Intel is finally moving past its 14nm process and introducing the desktop crowd to a hybrid architecture, which has mainly shown up on mobile chips.

The processors are set to launch later in 2021, so they should be arriving soon. And after the disappointing launch of the 11th-generation Rocket Lake processors, Intel has a lot to prove. Still, there are a lot of reasons to get excited about Alder Lake. In addition to the smaller node and unique architecture, Intel is bolstering Alder Lake with features like Thread Director, which could optimize processor tasks like never before.

To get you up to speed, here’s all of the news and rumors about Alder Lake, its release date, how it will perform, new Z690 motherboards, and everything in between.

Pricing and availability

Intel announces the Xeon 5100 Microprocessor for servers.

Intel announced that its 12th-gen Alder Lake is slated to debut in late 2021, but has yet to provide a specific release date. Given advancements in Alder Lake — which we’ll dig into a bit later — we expected the platform to launch alongside Windows 11. However, Windows 11 is set for an October 5 launch, and we still don’t have word on Alder Lake.

We expect to hear more at the Intel Innovation event, which starts on October 27. The company says that will offer updates to some upcoming products. Given that we know Alder Lake is coming in 2021 and its deep integration with Windows 11, that seems like the right date. However, Intel hasn’t confirmed anything, so we’re not sure yet.

Although Intel hasn’t confirmed anything, MSI may have. The company sent out a form for a free upgrade kit for its Coreliquid CPU coolers, and the form is set to go live on November 4. Usman Pirzada, senior editor at Wccftech, said that pre-orders will go live on October 27, a week before the street date of November 4.

We’ve heard rumors ranging from October 5 to November 19, so a release date of November 4 is possible. Right now, we’re not sure. Regardless, it seems as if Intel is gearing up to talk about Alder Lake at its upcoming event, so we’ll hopefully know more soon.

Intel hasn’t confirmed pricing yet, but Amazon may have leaked them. Listings went up on several European Amazon sites showcasing some very high prices. Converting the prices at the current market rate, the Core i9-12900K could cost as much as $1,000 in the U.S. Each listing had a different price, though, even with the same currency. Regional pricing changes apply.

Another leak suggests much lower prices, though. A Redditor was able to secure two Intel Core i9-12900Ks weeks ahead of the rumored launch date, and they said they only paid $610 for each chip. That’s $60 more than the Core i9-11900K, but still $190 less than AMD’s Ryzen 9 5950X.

Intel Core i9-12900K box.

We have some details about the boxes, too. Leaked images show that the boxes are largely unchanged from 11th-gen chips. However, the flagship Core i9-12900K looks to come encased in a golden wafer replica. It isn’t a real wafer, of course, but it’s a nice extra to have if it’s real.

Architecture design

Alder Lake uses a hybrid architecture that brings together two types of processing cores. The first is a performant core that mirrors what you’d typically find in a new processor generation, and the second is an efficient core that’s used to handle background tasks and beef up applications that like a lot of cores.

Intel is designing both cores on Intel 7, which is the new name for the Enhanced 10nm SuperFin process node. Golden Cove cores are the big ones, and they handle the bulk of work you’d do on a computer. Gracemont cores are the little ones, and they’re useful for handling background tasks or conserving battery life when a performant core isn’t needed.

Golden Cove cores are focused on high-frequency, single-threaded performance. Utilizing Intel’s new Matrix engine, the company says that the cores should have higher frequencies across applications. The Matrix engine is a coprocessor that handles matrix multiplication, which can speed up A.I. workloads, in particular.

Intel Alder Lake performance core design.

These cores also feature a new power management controller that offers the processor finer control over frequency given a certain power budget. Intel revealed these details to press and analysts at Architecture Day 2021, but we’ll need to wait for further testing to see these architectural improvements in action.

Gracemont cores handle the other side of the performance spectrum. Intel says they’re all about multi-threaded performance, juggling several lightweight tasks across multiple cores. Although we don’t have a ton of information on Gracemont cores right now, Intel says they can perform about 40% above old Skylake cores at the same wattage.

Bringing the two core designs together is a series of high-bandwidth interconnects. The Compute Fabric ties the two cores together with up to 1,000GBps of bandwidth, the I/O Fabric delivers up to 64GBps of bandwidth between inputs and the memory subsystem, and the Memory Fabric offers up to 204GBps of bandwidth between the memory and the rest of the processor.

We haven’t tested Alder Lake, but we have a decent idea of its improvements based on various leaks. A leaked Intel slide, for example, showed Alder Lake’s architectural change delivering up to 20% single-thread performance improvement, thanks to the Golden Cove cores and the Enhanced 10nm SuperFin design, and up to 2x multi-threaded performance gain with Gracemont cores.

Other changes to Alder Lake include support for PCIe Gen 5 and PCIe Gen 4 as well as DDR5 and DDR4 memory. In terms of memory, though Alder Lake will support both generations of DDR system memory, it will be up to the board manufacturer to decide which standard to support. Users won’t be able to mix DDR4 and DDR5 modules on the same board. Thunderbolt 4 and Wi-Fi 6E Gig+ will also be supported on Alder Lake.

We don’t have official specs from Intel yet. However, the company says Alder Lake chips can supports up to 16 cores and 24 threads, confirming earlier rumors. Eight of those are Golden Cove with support for hyperthreading, while the other eight are Gracemont cores without support for hyperthreading.

In addition, all Alder Lake products will come with onboard Xe LP graphics, which are available currently in Tiger Lake processors. It’s also important to note that Alder Lake is a scalable architecture. Desktop chips have been the focus so far, but Intel says it can shrink the architecture down to laptops and embedded solutions, as well.

Most chips should come with the hybrid architecture. However, a recent game development guide for Alder Lake revealed that some chips — such as the rumored Core i5-124000 — will only feature performant cores.


Render of Intel Alder Lake chip.

Compared to current Rocket Lake processors, early rumors suggest that we can see a 20% IPC uplift with Alder Lake, thanks to the new Golden Cove cores. And given that Rocket Lake already delivered a 19% IPC boost over the prior-generation Comet Lake design, this should help Intel deliver consistent gains to those looking to upgrade.

Intel has talked up the 10nm process, its heterogeneous architecture, and support for faster memory that will help drive these gains, but there’s still a lot of unknowns about Alder Lake at this time. The company has not released any details about clock speeds, and we don’t know how clock speeds on the different types of cores will affect the CPU’s overall performance across a number of tasks, including productivity, video performance, and gaming.

Initially, there were initial speculations that the 12th-gen Alder Lake platform may not be as tuned for gaming, given the chipset’s use of mixed core architectures, compared to 11th-gen Rocket Lake. However, a more recent Dota 2 benchmark taken from an early engineering sample of Alder Lake proves that this isn’t the case, and despite early speculations, the platform seems well adapted for gaming. Alder Lake scored an impressive peak of 549 frames per second on the game when paired with Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card, with an average frame rate of 120 fps.

That was followed up by our first real look at what gaming performance might be like. The leaked gaming tests show the system compared directly against a Ryzen 9 5950X in Forza Horizon 4 at 1080p. The Alder Lake system produced 193 fps versus the 189 fps on the AMD system. The same leak also showed the system hitting 252 fps in Rainbow Six Siege and 112 fps in Shadow of the Tomb Raider — both in 1080p.

We’ve also seen Alder Lake show up in the Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation database. Although the test results are all over the place, they suggest up to a 38% improvement in frame rate over AMD’s Ryzen 9 5950X. The tests were run at 1440p, however, so we expect much less of a difference at 4K.

Results for Ashes of the Singularity.

Outside of gaming, we’ve seen numerous leaked productivity benchmarks for Alder Lake. In Geekbench, the Core i7-12700 outperformed the rival Ryzen 7 5800X by about 14% in the multi-core test. The flagship Core i9-12900K only beat the Ryzen 9 5950X by 3.8% in the multi-core test but showcased a massive 8.1% improvement in the single-core score.

Leaked Cinebench results are favorable, too. A leaked result showed the Core i9-12900K earning the highest single-core score out of any consumer CPU in the benchmark. Compared to the Ryzen 9 5950X, which falls just short of the top slot, the Core i9-12900K shows a 21% improvement according to the benchmark.

That lines up with the 20% IPC uplift with Alder Lake. Intel’s current Core i9-11900K holds the top slot in Cinebench single-core performance, and there’s about a 20% increase between Alder Lake and last-gen in the leaked benchmark. Unfortunately, this result doesn’t show the multiplier ratio, so we don’t know if the test was run with an overclocked processor.

It’s not all sunshine and roses for Alder Lake, though. We’ve also seen a Geekbench result with a far lower single-core speed, bringing into question Intel’s hybrid model with Alder Lake. Single-core performance is going to make a big difference in gaming, so this is a critical score to pay attention to.

In addition, a result for the Core i9-12900K showed up in the PugetBench for After Effects database, showing it underperforming compared to the Ryzen 9 5950X. It’s important to note that After Effects stresses the GPU much more than the CPU, which could explain the lower score.

The most recent leaked benchmarks we have come from CPU-Z, where the Core i7-12700K bested AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X by a massive 45%. This is the clearest showcase of Alder Lake’s power yet, lining up with what Intel has been promising for over a year.

Another leaker also posted CPU-Z benchmarks for the Core i5-12400. This processor is rumored to only come with Golden Cove P-cores, but it still managed a 40% lead over the Ryzen 7 2700X in the single-core test. In Cinebench R20, the Core i5-12400 beat out every Ryzen 5000 chip in the single-core test while managing a decent lead over the Ryzen 5 5600X — which has the same number of cores — in the multi-core test.

Intel hasn’t released any first-party benchmarks yet, and as always, we recommend waiting until third-party benchmarks to draw any performance conclusions. The leaked benchmarks suggest that Alder Lake will take the fight back to AMD. This is uncharted territory for Intel, though, so it’s important to wait for further testing.

New socket and Z690 motherboards

Biostar Z170GT7

With Alder Lake, Intel will be moving on to a new socket design. Alder Lake uses the new LGA1700, which will support DDR5 and DDR4 memory along with PCIe Gen 5. Several Asus boards supporting the LGA 1700 socket and Intel Z690 chipset were shown in HWiNFO, according to Wccftech. In terms of RAM, you won’t be able to mix DDR4 and DDR5 modules on the same board.

With LGA 1700, Wccftech reported that Intel will be switching to a rectangular socket size, so upgraders to Alder Lake-S will need a new board. Additionally, new coolers will be required for socket compatibility, and LGA 1700 may mark the beginning of Intel’s transition to a platform-agnostic design, though this hasn’t been confirmed. If accurate, Intel will be following the lead of smaller rival AMD, and the design could be welcome news for future upgraders as multiple chip generations could reuse the same board and socket.

It seems some existing coolers will work with LGA1700, provided you use a bracket. Noctua, for example, said it would offer owners of its coolers a free LGA1700 bracket starting in mid-October for supported coolers.

Thread Director and Windows 11

Alder Lake will be able to leverage Windows 11 in a way a processor never has before. Thread Director is a new hardware-level feature on Alder Lake processors that helps the operating system — Windows 11, in particular — know how to assign tasks to different cores.

As mentioned, Alder Lake is a hybrid architecture that uses performant and efficient cores. Normally, an OS chooses which tasks go where through a combination of calculations (such as if the task is in the foreground or background) and guessing. The result is inefficient thread scheduling, which is a big deal for a hybrid CPU.

Intel Thread Director scheduling examples.

Enter Thread Director. With this feature, Intel is able to offer Windows 11 full visibility into what kind of workload the task is handling. That removes the guesswork from the equation, helping the operating system better assign tasks to appropriate cores.

Thread Director hits on two fronts. Although Alder Lake doesn’t have the first hybrid CPU architecture, most previous versions have focused on battery life and efficiency. Thread Director allows the processor to reach a peak performance state when tasks call for it while conserving battery life when the machine doesn’t have a large workload.

“We didn’t want to sacrifice,” Intel client architect Rajshree Chabukswar told Digital Trends. “It’s really about keeping [performance and battery life] in mind.”

This looks like the largest improvement in Alder Lake, as it should speed up any workflow that has multiple sets of instructions running at the same time. We still need to wait to test Alder Lake before drawing conclusions, but Thread Director is one of the largest features for the upcoming platform.

Right now, Windows 11 will see the biggest improvement, but Intel tells us that Windows 10 will see some improvements, too. Down the line, Intel says it hopes to work with more partners to bring Thread Director support to other operating systems. Based on leaked benchmarks, Alder Lake could offer up to an 8.2% improvement in single-threaded workloads on Windows 11.

Alder Lake-P mobile processors

Someone drawing on the Samsung Galaxy Book.

Alder Lake is a platform for Intel. The company is using the same name and architecture across its desktop and mobile releases, breaking from the launch cadence it has established. We don’t know much about Alder Lake-P right now, but a few leaks have offered glimpses at the upcoming range.

Both come from a rumored revision to the Samsung Galaxy Book. This machine will reportedly come with either a 12-core or 14-core Alder Lake-P chip. Both come with eight E-cores, but the 12-core model comes with four P-cores while the 14-core one comes with six.

Keeping with the theme of simplifying naming schemes, Intel is set to use Alder Lake-P as the name for all of its mobile chips. Previous generations featured revisions with higher power limits, but Alder Lake-P chips will reportedly operate anywhere from 12W to 45W. You’ll likely find these everywhere from budget notebooks to high-end gaming machines.

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Intel Comet Lake release date, news and features


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Although Intel Comet Lake already made its way into the best Ultrabooks in late 2019 with its mobile processors, this series of 10th-generation processors isn’t done. In 2020, it’s bringing the fight to AMD Ryzen 4000, with its more powerful chips making their way to gaming laptops and workstations.

There are also the Comet Lake-S processors for desktops. Officially launched earlier this year, with the Intel Core i9-10900K and the surprisingly robust for the price i5-10600K leading the charge, these are now powering the latest PCs, with Asus and MSI being the first ones to unveil Intel Comet Lake-S Z490 motherboards.

If that 10th-generation label is a bit confusing, you’re not alone. Keeping track of Intel’s releases is already confusing enough – looking at you, Cannon Lake – and this has really taken things to a new level. That’s because it was designed alongside – and released around the same time as – Intel’s Ice Lake processors for laptops. And, the two make up Intel’s 10th-generation Core lineup. 

There is, however, one major difference between the two: the manufacturing process. Ice Lake is the first 10nm processor lineup Intel has put out in the mainstream, as part of Project Athena, while Comet Lake is another iteration of the 14nm Skylake architecture.

There’s a mouthful of information out there about Intel Comet Lake so we thought we’d help you make sense of it all. We’ve broken Intel Comet Lake range down for you, covering everything from rumors and speculations about future additions to the lineup to all the official news from Intel. Keep this page bookmarked, as we'll update it with any new information that comes our way.

The Verdict Is In

Intel Core i9-10900K | 3 stars | Good single-core performance, Good thermal performance | High power consumption, No PCIe 4.0, Falls behind in multi-threaded workloads

Intel Core i5-10600K | 4 stars | Excellent multi-core performance, Improved single-core performance, Affordable | No PCIe 4.0, Higher power consumption

 Cut to the chase 

  • What is it? Intel’s 10th-generation mobile platform 
  • When is it out? Both mobile and desktop processors are out now
  • What will it cost? Depends on the laptop 

Intel Comet Lake release date 

Intel pushed out its 10th-generation Comet Lake processors for laptops back in August, with the actual laptops filtering out over the following months. On top of those, Intel has announced early April the full lineup of Comet Lake-H processors, which will be the high-performance chips that will be found in gaming laptops this year. That means we will be seeing those chips out in the wild in the next few months.

As for the Comet Lake-S desktop chips, Intel launched them on April 30, and they’re now available for purchase. It won’t be long until we’ll see them inside many PCs soon. In fact, the latest Alienware Aurora, R11, already has the i9-10900KF chip inside.

Intel Comet Lake price 

Now that the Comet Lake processors for laptops are out, the price tag for each chip is also finally available. We’ve listed them out for you below so you can decide whether or not to upgrade. These are Intel’s recommended price for every Comet Lake chip: 

  • Intel Core i7-10710U – $443 (about £340, AU$635)
  • Intel Core i7-10510U – $409 (about £315, AU$585)
  • Intel Core i5-10210U – $297 (about £230, AU$425)
  • Intel Core i3-10110U – $281 (about £215, AU$405)

With laptop pricing, though, it’s important to keep in mind that these aren’t prices that consumers will ever see. Instead, it’s a suggested price that Intel gives to its distributors, which can charge above or below this price to laptop manufacturers. These prices will generally be worked into the overall price of the laptop, but these numbers can still give a decent idea of which segment of the laptop market each chip falls into. 

As far as Intel Comet Lake-S processors, these are Intel’s recommended prices for each:

  • Intel Core i9-10900K – $488 (about £395/A$765)
  • Intel Core i9-10900KF – $472 (about £380/A$740)
  • Intel Core i9-10900 – $439 (about £355/A$690)
  • Intel Core i9-10900F – $422 (about £340/A$660)
  • Intel Core i7-10700K – $374 (about £302/A$585)
  • Intel Core i7-10700KF – $349 (about £280/A$545)
  • Intel Core i7-10700 – $323 (about £260/A$505)
  • Intel Core i7-10700F – $298 (about £240/A$465)
  • Intel Core i5-10600K – $262 (about £215/A$410)
  • Intel Core i5-10600KF – $237 (about £190/A$370)
  • Intel Core i5-10600 – $213 (about £170/A$335)
  • Intel Core i5-10500 – $192 (about £155/A$300)
  • Intel Core i5-10400 – $182 (about £150/A$285)
  • Intel Core i5-10400F – $157 (about £130/A$245)
  • Intel Core i3-10320 – $154 (about £125/A$240)
  • Intel Core i3-10300 – $143 (about £115/A$225)
  • Intel Core i3-10100 – $122 (about £98/A$190)

These are about on par with Coffee Lake Refresh prices below, with some differences here and there that are pretty negligible.

  • Intel Core i9-9900K – $488 (£519, AU$899)
  • Intel Core i7-9700K – $374 (£409, AU$659)
  • Intel Core i7-9700 – $323 (about £250, AU$450)
  • Intel Core i5-9600 – $192 (about £150, AU$260)
  • Intel Core i5-9400 – $182 (£194, about AU$250)
  • Intel Core i5-9400F – $182 (£188, about AU$250)
  • Intel Core i3-9350K – $173 (about £130, AU$240)
  • Intel Core i3-9350KF – $173 (£194, about AU$230)
  • Intel Core i3-9320 – $154 (about £118, AU$215)
  • Intel Core i3-9300 – $143 (about £110, AU$199)
  • Intel Core i3-9100 – $122 (about £90, AU$170)
  • Intel Core i3-9100F – $122 (about £90, AU$170)

Intel Comet Lake specs 

Comet Lake is yet another iteration of Intel’s 14nm manufacturing process. This means that there isn’t much improvement in the way of power efficiency, and thermals will probably start to ramp up. We haven't got a chance to test each of these processors yet, but we expect the difference over 8th-generation Whiskey Lake chips to be pretty minor – aside from the Intel Core i7-10710U, of course, which boasts is a 6-core (12-thread) processor with a boost of up to 4.7GHz.

We've got all the specs of the Intel Comet Lake Mobile chips here:

  • Intel Core i7-10710U – 6-cores, 12-threads | 12MB Cache | 1.1GHz base / 4.7GHz boost
  • Intel Core i7-10510U – 4-cores, 8-threads | 8MB Cache | 1.8GHz base / 4.9GHz boost
  • Intel Core i5-10210U – 4-cores, 8-threads | 6MB Cache | 1.6GHz base / 4.2GHz boost
  • Intel Core i3-10110U – 2-cores, 4-threads | 4MB Cache | 2.1GHz base / 4.1GHz boost

These may look very similar to Whiskey Lake, but with some higher clock speeds. The biggest differences here, though, are the inclusion of Wi-Fi 6 compatibility and Thunderbolt 3 on the die. 

As far as Comet Lake-S desktop processors go, there’s a noticeable increase in cores, threads and turbo speeds that’s reflected across the new Comet Lake-S lineup. What's perhaps most notable is the Core i7-10700K, which still has that massive 125W TDP, but offers 8 cores and 16 threads with a 5.1GHz turbo. That’s a higher spec than the 9900K

Here are the Comet Lake-S processors specs, with a noticeable increase in TDP across the board – even the Intel Core i5-10600K has a 125W TDP – which means increased heat:

  • Core i9-10900K: 10 Cores, 20 threads | 3.7GHz base, 5.3GHz boost | 125W TDP
  • Core i9-10900: 10 cores, 20 threads | 2.8GHz base, 5.1GHz boost | 65W TDP
  • Core i7-10700K: 8 cores, 16 threads | 3.8GHz base, 5.1GHz boost | 125W TDP
  • Core i7-10700: 8 cores, 16 threads | 2.9GHz base, 4.8GHz boost | 65W TDP
  • Core i5-10600K: 6 cores, 12 threads | 4.1GHz base, 4.8GHz boost | 125W TDP
  • Core i5-10600: 6 cores, 12 threads | 3.3GHz base, 4.8GHz boost | 65W TDP
  • Core i5-10500: 6 cores, 12 threads | 3.1GHz base, 4.5GHz boost | 65W TDP
  • Core i5-10400: 6 cores, 12 threads | 2.9GHz base, 4.3GHz boost | 65W TDP
  • Core i3-10320: 4 cores, 8 threads | 3.8GHz base, 4.6GHz boost | 65W TDP
  • Core i3-10300: 4 cores, 8 threads | 3.7GHz base, 4.4GHz boost | 65W TDP
  • Core i3-10100: 4 cores, 8 threads | 3.6GHz base, 4.3GHz boost | 65W TDP

We’ve had a chance to test both the Intel Core i9-10900K and the Intel Core i5-10600K. A benchmark leak hinted that the Intel Core i9-10900K will deliver an almost 30% leap in performance. Unfortunately, while it does come with two extra cores over 2018's Core i9-9900K, along with boost clocks that reach 5.3GHz across one or two cores, it actually loses ground to the 9900K in terms of raw gaming performance.

It’s the Intel Core i5-10600K that actually proved to be an impressive contender, especially next to AMD’s affordable offerings. It delivers excellent multi-core performance and an improved single-core performance, making it a great value for mid-range consumers, especially those looking to do more than just gaming. 

Not that this came as a surprise. We’ve already gotten a preview of how these might compare to AMD Ryzen 3000, which shows that Intel will have to offer some competitive prices for its Comet Lake-S chips to keep up with AMD. Leaked benchmarks for the i7-10700K, i5-10600K and i5-10600KF show off their single-core performance, unsurprisingly outmatching their respective AMD rivals.

Images Credit: TechRadar

It’s Actually GOOD? Intel Alder Lake Pricing!

Comet Lake (microprocessor)

Intel processor microarchitecture

"Comet Lake" redirects here. For the lake, see Comet Lake (Ohio).

LaunchedAugust 21, 2019; 2 years ago (August 21, 2019) (official launch date, retail availability is later)[1]
Product code80701
Max. CPUclock rate5.3 GHz
L1 cache64 KB[a] per core
L2 cache256 KB per core
L3 cacheUp to 20 MB, shared
Min. feature size14 nmFinFET process
  • MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4, SSE4.1, SSE4.2
  • AVX, AVX2, FMA3
  • VT-x, VT-d
  • Mobile: BGA 1528, BGA 1440
    Desktop: LGA 1200
Brand name(s)
    • Xeon W
    • Core i9
    • Core i7
    • Core i5
    • Core i3
    • Pentium
    • Celeron
PredecessorMobile: Amber Lake

Mobile: Whiskey Lake (3rd optimization)

Desktop: Coffee Lake
SuccessorSame generation

Next generation

Comet Lake is Intel's codename for its 10th generation Coremicroprocessors. They are manufactured using Intel's third 14 nmSkylake process refinement, succeeding the Whiskey Lake U-series mobile processor and Coffee Lake desktop processor families. Intel announced low-power mobile Comet Lake-U CPUs on August 21, 2019,[2] H-series mobile CPUs on April 2, 2020,[3] desktop Comet Lake-S CPUs April 30, 2020,[4] and Xeon W-1200 series workstation CPUs on May 13, 2020.[5] Comet Lake processors and Ice Lake10 nm processors are together branded as the Intel "10th Generation Core" family.[6] Intel officially launched Comet Lake-Refresh CPUs on the same day as 11th Gen Core Rocket Lake launch.[7] The low-power mobile Comet Lake-U Core and Celeron 5205U CPUs were discontinued on July 7, 2021.[8]

Generational changes[edit]

All Comet Lake CPUs feature an updated Platform Controller Hub with CNVio2 controller with Wi-Fi 6 and external AX201 CRF module support.[9]

Comet Lake-S compared to Coffee Lake-S Refresh

  • Up to ten CPU cores
  • Hyperthreading on all models, except for Celeron
  • Single core turbo boost up to 5.3 GHz (300 MHz higher); all-core turbo boost up to 4.9 GHz; Thermal Velocity Boost for Core i9;[10]Turbo Boost Max 3.0 support for Core i7, i9
  • DDR4-2933 memory support for Core i7 and i9; DDR4-2666 for Core i3, Core i5, Pentium Gold, Celeron
  • 400-series chipset based on the LGA 1200 socket

Comet Lake-H compared to Coffee Lake-H Refresh

  • Higher turbo frequencies by up to 300 Mhz
  • DDR4-2933 memory support
  • Thermal Velocity Boost for Core i7 and i9

Comet Lake-U compared to Whiskey Lake-U

  • Up to six CPU cores
  • Higher turbo frequencies by up to 300 MHz
  • DDR4-2666 and LPDDR3-2133 memory support

One notable architectural change of Comet Lake from its predecessors is removal of TSX instruction set extensions.[11][12][13][14]

Entry-level CPUs like the i3 series no longer support ECC memory.[15]

List of 10th generation Comet Lake processors[edit]

Desktop processors[edit]

The i9-10900K and 10900KF support Thermal Velocity Boost up to 5.3 GHz. The i9-10900, i9-10900F and i9-10850K support Thermal Velocity Boost up to 5.2 GHz.

Workstation processors[edit]

Comet Lake-W CPUs require W480 chipset.

Xeon W-1290 and W-1290P support Thermal Velocity Boost up to 5.2 GHz and 5.3 GHz respectively.

Model Cores


CPU clock rate (GHz) GPU Smart









Base All core

Turbo 2.0

Turbo Boost

Max 3.0

Xeon W 1290P10 (20) 3.7 4.8 5.2 UHD P63020 125 DDR4-2933


up to 128 GB

with ECC

12903.2 4.6 5.1 80 $494
1290T1.9 3.8 4.7 35
1270P8 (16) 3.8 4.7 5.1 16 125 $428
12703.4 5.0 80 $362
1250P6 (12) 4.1 4.5 N/A 12 125 $311
12503.3 4.4 80 $255

Mobile processors[edit]

H-series (High power)[edit]

Core i5 CPUs lack Thermal Velocity Boost.

U-series (Medium power)[edit]

The following SKUs additionally support Intel vPro and LPDDR4-2933 memory: i5-10310U, i7-10610U, i7-10810U.

Pentium and Celeron CPUs lack AVX2 support.

List of 10th generation Comet Lake Refresh processors[edit]

Desktop processors[edit]

On March 16, 2021, Intel announced the refreshed models of Comet Lake Core i3 and Pentium Gold processors. These processors have the same characteristics as their original parts, albeit with a 100MHz higher frequency and the last digit changing from zero to five.[16]

Model Cores


CPU clock rate (GHz) GPUSmart


TDP Memory
Base All-Core



Boost 2.0

Model Max.


Down Base
Core i5 105056 (12) 3.2 4.3 4.6 UHD


1.2 12 N/A 65 DDR4-2666


up to 128 GB

Core i3103254 (8) 3.9 4.5 4.7 1.15 8 N/A 65 $154
103053.8 4.3 4.5 $143
10305T3.0 3.7 4.0 1.10 25 35
101053.7 4.2 4.4 6 N/A 65 $122
10105FN/A $97
10105T3.0 3.6 3.9 UHD


1.10 25 35 $122


G66052 (4) 4.3 N/A 4 N/A 58 $86
G65054.2 $75
G6505T3.6 1.05 25 35
G64054.1 UHD


N/A 58 $64
G6405T3.3 25 35


  1. ^ abTransistorized memory, such as RAM, ROM, flash and cache sizes as well as file sizes are specified using binary meanings for K (10241), M (10242), G (10243), etc.



Date release gen intel 10

Intel Comet Lake - all the gaming CPU specs, pricing, release date, and performance info

The new Intel Comet Lake chips, the next-generation of desktop gaming CPUs and its 10th Gen Core, will soon be here. Though I will admit it's tough not to see the official reveal as a bit of an anti-climax. Such is the way of the tech world that despite the fact the embargo for all the official Comet Lake processor info has only just passed, we've known all about these new CPUs and their specs for a real long time now. 

The headline-grabbing chip was always going to be Intel's first mainstream 10-core desktop processor, the Core i9 10900K, but it's what's happening throughout the rest of the CPU stack that's arguably more interesting. And you can probably thank AMD for that, though no-one at Intel would ever admit the prevalence of HyperThreading (HT) is anything other than something the company's done out of the goodness of its collective heart.

Whatever the motivation, having HyperThreading—the effective doubling of processing threads from a single CPU core—enabled throughout the range means that Intel has a far more compelling offering at every price point. With the previous 9th Gen chips only the Core i9 processors included HT, while the Core i7, i5, and i3 CPUs had to make do with just the core-counts the gods gave them. 

Now even the lowly quad-core Core i3 chips get the HT technology, and while it can't quite match the performance of a dedicated eight-core CPU, having eight processing threads will allow the new Comet Lake budget silicon to rival a top-end Core i7 from the 7th Gen lineup. Which is lucky as with the Ryzen 3 3300X, AMD is releasing its own cheap chips with the same specs…

At a glance...

Intel Comet Lake 10th Gen release date
While Intel has finally given us the official unveiling of its new desktop processor lineup we still don't know when you'll actually be able to get your hands on the new 10th Gen silicon. Given the late April reveal we're expecting the K-series chips to actually hit the shelves sometime in May, but as yet that's all we've got.

Intel Comet Lake 10th Gen specs
The top-end Core i9 processor comes with 10 cores and 20 threads, with a peak clock speed of 5.3GHz, but that peak is dependent on time and thermals. The Core i7 lineup will all come with eight cores and 16 threads, Core i5 chips are rocking six cores and 12 threads, while the Core i3 CPUs get four cores and eight threads. Intel is also releasing six F-series chips without integrated graphics and with a lower sticker price.

Intel Comet Lake 10th Gen performance
The world's fastest gaming processor. That's what Intel is calling the Core i9 10900K, comparing it with its own i9 9900KS and AMD's Ryzen 9 3950X. Given that it's been spotted running at 5.4GHz across all ten cores it sounds like Intel might be right, though when you let it draw up to 250W maintaining that peak frequency gets a lot easier.

Intel Comet Lake 10th Gen price
The pricing for Comet Lake has largely remained the same as the previous Intel generation on a tier-for-tier basis. That means the top Comet Lake chip is the same price as the top Coffee Lake at $488, and the cheapest Core i3 is $122, but as the specs have changed you're getting a lot more for your money this generation.

Release date

The next-gen Intel processors are almost here, and with the official reveal happening at the end of April it stands to reason that the actual on sale 10th Gen release date would be sometime in May. Though there is still some speculation as to whether that might be a pre-order timescale with a June actual launch.

There has long been speculation that this generation of chips would release around April - May this year, after a relatively long time in the wilderness. The motherboard vendors were reportedly ready to roll with their new 400-series boards around the end of last year/beginning of this, but Intel was seemingly still working on getting the power requirements of its 14nm 10-core offering down.

We still don't know what the release cadence is going to be for the different processors as there are a large number of chips listed in the 10th Gen range. It seems as though the K-series CPUs will come first, but how long the Core i3 and F-series processors will be held back, we still don't know. There has also been no clear data as to what's going to happen regarding the different chipsets.

There will be the Z490 boards at the top, which will come along with the May release, but when the cheaper, less feature-rich H470, B460, and H410 boards will come is arrive is still up for debate.

CPU specs

The new generation of Intel desktop gaming processors isn't just about the higher core-count at the top and HyperThreading throughout the stack—though those are indeed the headline-grabbing features—there is a lot more to Comet Lake than meets the eye. Some good, some… well, we're a little more dubious about.

But yes, again we're getting more cores. They're still 14nm cores, with an undetermined number of + marks behind the Intel process node. At their heart we're still talking about the same essential core architecture Intel introduced with its 14nm Skylake, but it does at least show how effective that 14nm design was when Intel can still just about keep releasing processors based on it some five years later. And still be competitive.

That competitiveness is at the core (pun fully intended) of what Comet Lake brings to the gaming processor table. To keep up with the Lisa Sus Intel has had to keep raising its core-count game in order to remain competitive with the AMD Ryzen revolution. The fact that hitting 10 cores has been a bit of a power struggle for the top Comet Lake shows where the 14nm design is creaking against the 7nm chiplet design of the latest Zen 2 processors and their 16-core top spec.

Intel Comet Lake CPU specs

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Intel has also had to drop HyperThreading into every tier of its 10th Gen processor range, making its Core i3 offerings incredibly tempting gaming chips, and giving it a chance to stand toe-to-toe with Ryzen on every front.

But Intel has also upped the standard operating frequency of its memory, dropping in support for up to DDR4-2933 RAM. Obviously you'll still be able to run overclocked kits above that point, but with memory support starting there performance should be impressive.

Turbo Boost Max 3.0 has been added into the mix too, something that previously was only available to the high-end Core X-series CPUs. It's only dropping into Comet Lake's Core i9 and i7 range, but it allows the chip to offer up its best two cores for boosting to the top frequency. There is always some variation in silicon, so the best-performing cores in one chip will be completely different to the best-performing cores of another, and Turbo Boost Max 3.0 gives you the ability to turn that to your advantage.

There are also some physical differences to the chips themselves. The actual height of the processor package isn't changing—Intel needs to keep within manufacturing specifications for coolers, after all—but it is using a thinner die. Coupled with a soldered thermal interface material (STIM) and a thicker integrated heat spreader atop it, you should see improved performance in terms of the 10th Gen temps.

What hasn't been made clear, however, is which chips will get the thin die/STIM combo. Will it just be implemented with the K-series CPUs, or just the Core i9 processors, for example?

What's notable by its absence, when we're talking about competitiveness at least, is the lack of PCIe 4.0 support from either the 10th Gen chips or their Z490 chipset compadres. AMD dropped that into its latest Ryzen releases, and will filter down into its mainstream B550 boards come June. It doesn't make any tangible to graphics card performance just yet—PCIe 3.0 has more than enough potential bandwidth for today's GPUs—but it does mean you lose access to Gen4-compatible SSDs.

You do get some extra networking chops with Comet Lake's new platform, however. The new 2.5Gb ethernet connection has reportedly had some earlier, now-fixed, reliability issues, but is still capable of delivering some seriously speedy physical connections. The new 10th Gen platform, like its mobile namesake, also brings us WiFi 6 support to aid wireless connections that could be indistinguishable from standard wired installs.

The new 10th Gen chips do swallow up a whole lot of power, however. With the last generation only the limited edition i9 9900KS topped a 95W TDP, being rated at 127W. But with Comet Lake there are six different CPUs—the K-series Core i9, i7, and i5 CPUs—that rate at 125W.

And that's just the raw TDP numbers, the actual power draw of those chips is liable to much higher. We've seen leaked performance figures showing the i9 10900K drawing some 224W to maintain its peak clock speed, and that's nigh-on confirmed by Intel's own performance numbers...

There is also a new socket to enjoy/endure. The LGA 1200 socket at the heart of the 400-series motherboards is where the new 10th Gen chips will live and, according to Gigabyte at least, where the future 11th Gen Intel processors will also find a home.


The world's fastest gaming processor. This is the tagline across much of the world; in other locales you're either looking at 'Elite Real World Performance' or 'Intel's Fastest Gaming Processor' where it's not allowed to use the 'world's fastest' claim for the Core i9 10900K. But according to Intel's own numbers—take that however you will—the 10900K performs better in the majority of its 25+ game benchmarks than either the Core i9 9900KS or the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X.

Some leaked Cinebench R15 overclocking numbers have shown the top-end Comet Lake chip actually running at a solid 5.4GHz across all ten cores. That's no joke, and will smash gaming and productivity tests too. MSI itself has confirmed that the 10900K is a beast of an overclocker too, suggesting that in its own binning tests it's seen more than a quarter of its Core i9 CPUs offering serious OC headroom.

But it needs a whole lot of juice to be able to get there. In Intel's own system configuration charts you can see that the 10900K runs with PL2 rating of 250W. That means for its short duration Turbo sessions it can draw up to 250W from the wall, which is effectively twice its rated TDP. The length of time it can do that is set to 56 seconds, and that means the 10900K is running at peak turbo frequencies (potentially 5.3GHz thanks to Turbo Boost Max 3.0) for almost a minute, and sucking down a huge amount of power while it does so.

With Intel putting a lot of store in why frequency matters—it has to as it's not going to win the core-count debate—the fact it's allowing its 10th Gen processors to draw so much power under Turbo conditions means that you should see some serious gaming performance. And it will likely mean the top Comet Lake chips will happily outperform the Ryzen competitors. Game engines are still heavily weighted towards higher frequencies on a few cores, and with Comet Lake's CPUs able to offer up each chip's best-performing individual cores, and able to hold them to boost for a hella long time, such processors should fly in modern games.

All of this has to be offered with the caveat that we're still only able to take Intel's word for it. Our review units are on the way from Oregon, so we'll be able to see just how much the 10900K is going to add onto my electricity bills when they arrive. Oh, and how they stack up against AMD's finest gaming CPUs too.

Intel is also introducing what it's calling some 'new overclocking knobs' with its latest generation of CPUs. There's greater granularity to the overclocking you can do with the new chips, and with HyperThreading up and down the stack, the unlocked 10th Gen chips now allow for per-core disabling of the feature.

Turning off HT can improve potential overclocking performance, but does mean you have to compromise on a hit to multithreading power. With this new pre-core feature, however, you don't have to dial it back across the board. Basically, it should allow overclockers to have the best of both worlds; higher clock speeds and serious multi-threaded performance.

In a move that will be incredibly familiar to anyone who's tried overclocking an Nvidia GPU in the last few years, Intel is introducing voltage/frequency curve controls to its overclocking app, the Extreme Tuning Utility (XTU). In the new version of the software you will be able to adjust how the processor voltage changes as the CPU multiplier is increased. It also looks as though there is a scan function in there which, if it works like Nvidia's V/F scanner, will tune performance to the individual silicon inside your machine, rather than to a more generalised spec.

There is also some more PCIe tuning available, though I doubt that will be enough to close the gap between the PCIe 3.0 connection in the Z490 chipset and the PCIe 4.0 spec of AMD's latest and upcoming Ryzen platforms.


Intel's pricing team seems to have taken the day off when it comes to figuring out what the tray price should be for its new Comet Lake 10th Gen CPUs. It has essentially just left the pricing where it was for the last generation of desktop processors; the top chip costs $488 and the bottom Core i3 $122.

But that doesn't take into account the fact that the specs are wildly different, which means you're getting more Intel CPU for the same price. Largely that's down to the introduction of HT across the board, but also at the top it means Intel isn't charging any more for its 10-core i9 10900K than it was for its eight-core i9 9900K.

The pricing also means there's genuine competition in the middle order, a place where AMD's Ryzen processors have held sway for a long time now. The bottom six-core, 12-thread Ryzen 3000 CPU is the 3600 at $199 with a boost clock speed of 4.2GHz. The six-core, 12-thread Core i5 9400F, however, will boost up to 4.3GHz with a price tag of just $157.

When it comes to the Core i3 range too, you're getting a $122 quad-core, eight-thread CPU which might be able to deliver a similar level of gaming performance as the $350 Core i7 7700K of the Kaby Lake 7th Gen range. At least there AMD has a $120 Ryzen 3 3300X on its way which definitely does nail the 7700K in games.

As a wise man once said, the entry-level and mid-tier gaming chips are where Intel is surprisingly strong this generation.

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.

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