Intel 10th Gen Comet Lake-S Desktop CPUs & Z490 Platform Official – First 10 Core, 20 Thread Core i9-10900K Flagship Chip With Up To 5.30 GHz Clocks For $488 US

Apr 30, 2020
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Intel has finally unveiled its 10th Generation Desktop CPU family, codenamed Comet Lake-S. The new family of processors will feature support on the latest Z490 motherboards featuring the new LGA 1200 socket and a range of enhanced I/O functionality. The CPU lineup itself brings forth the fastest clocked high-core count chips from Intel released to date such as the flagship 10 Core, Core i9-10900K.

Intel Unveils Its 10th Gen Desktop CPUs & Z490 Platform Codenamed Comet Lake-S - Up To 10 Cores, 20 Threads Core i9 CPUs With 5.30 GHz Clock Speeds

Just like every year, Intel has brought a new chipset for motherboard makers to implement in their next-generation designs. The Z490, the flagship of the 400-series, has a lot going on, and to start off, only 10th Generation & Future Generation CPUs will be compatible with the chipset due to the introduction of an entirely new socket known as LGA 1200.

Intel Comet Lake Core i9-10900K, Core i7-10700K, Core i5-10600K CPU Review Ft. ASRock Z490 Taichi, ASUS ROG Maximus XII HERO & Gigabyte Z490 Vision G

In April 2020, Intel announces new desktop processors as part of the 10th Gen Intel Core processor family. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

No LGA 1151 CPUs will run on the Z490 motherboards and in a way, it streamlines most of the BIOS issues that are a resultant downside of an older generation motherboard requiring frequent updates to maintain proper support for new processors. We have seen this on the AM4 side where older motherboards had to be issued several BIOS releases before they offered proper support for new Ryzen processors.

So while this day-0 support for 10th Gen CPUs is awesome, it does mean that consumers who are planning to upgrade to a 10th Gen CPU will require a new Z490 motherboard. For that, there are several boards that are being released today from ASUS, ASRock, Gigabyte, MSI, and also smaller Intel partners such as SuperO, EVGA, Biostar, and Colorful. We have roundups ready for the listed lineups in the links below and more information dropping in later today!

Before we talk more about the Z490 platform itself, let's take a look at the Intel 10th Generation Desktop CPU lineup.

The 10th Generation Desktop CPUs, The Last Revision of Skylake With The Highest Number of Cores/Clocks To Date

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 5.30 GHz boosts.

There are a total of 32 SKUs planned for Intel's 10th Gen Desktop family which include six unlocked SKUs. 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 10th Gen Comet Lake Desktop CPUs Now Available For Pre-Order – Core i9-10900K Starting at $529.99 US

Intel Core i9-10900K - 10 Cores, Up To 5.3 GHz Single-Core, 4.9 GHz All-Core at $488 US

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

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 at $374 US

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 at $262 US

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.

A photo released on April 30, 2020, shows a die from a 10th Gen Intel Core processor. (Source: Intel Corporation)

Intel 10th Gen vs AMD Ryzen 3000 Desktop CPU Prices:

Intel CPUCores / ThreadsClocks (Max)Price (MSRP)Prices (Newegg)Clocks (Max)Cores / ThreadsAMD CPU
N/AN/AN/AN/A$737.99 US4.7 GHz (105W)16/32AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
Intel Core i9-10900K10/205.3 GHz (125W)$488 US (K)
$472 US (KF)
$489.99 US4.6 GHz (105W)12/24AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
Intel Core i7-10700K8/165.1 GHz (125W)$374 US (K)
$349 US (KF)
$344.99 US4.5 GHz (105W)8/16AMD Ryzen 7 3800X
Intel Core i7-107008/164.8 GHz (65W)$323 US
$298 US (F)
$298.99 US4.4 GHz (65W)8/16AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
Intel Core i5-10600K6/124.8 GHz (125W)$262 US (K)
$237 US (KF)
$204.99 US4.4 GHz (95W)6/12AMD Ryzen 5 3600X
Intel Core i5-105006/124.5 GHz (65W)$192 US$189.99 US4.2 GHz (65W)6/12AMD Ryzen 5 3600
Intel Core i5-104006/124.3 GHz (65W)$182 US
$157 US (F)
$179.99 US4.1 GHz (65W)6/6AMD Ryzen 5 3500X
Intel Core i3-103004/84.4 GHz (65W)$143 US$119.99 US4.3 GHz (65W)4/8AMD Ryzen 3 3300X
Intel Core i3-101004/84.3 GHz (65W)$122 US$99.99 US3.9 GHz (65W)4/8AMD Ryzen 3 3100

10th Gen Comet Lake-S 65W/35W Desktop CPU Family

The rest of the lineup is made up of the 65W SKUs which come in Core i9, Core i7, Core i5, and Core i3 flavors. Having a 65W Core i9-10900 with 10 cores and 20 threads which still boosts up to 4.5GHz across all cores and 4.6 GHz if you include the Thermal Velocity boost is pretty good plus 5.2 GHz on a single-core doesn't sound that bad at all, considering this is a 65W chip (at its base frequency).

The Intel Core i3 lineup is also worth pointing out as it is made up of 3 SKUs which seem to be part of the initial launch family. The Core i3-10320 would be leading with 4 cores, 8 threads at 65W. 8MB of cache, clocks of up to 4.6 GHz with a single-core, and 4.4 GHz on all-cores sound decent enough for what is supposed to be a budget chip retailing under $150US. The full list of SKUs along with their specs can be seen in the table below.

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 i9-1090010/202.8 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 G59202/23.5 GHzN/AN/AN/A2 MB58W$52 US
Intel Celeron G59002/23.2 GHzN/AN/AN/A2 MB58W$42 US
Intel Celeron G5900T2/23.2 GHzN/AN/AN/A2 MB58W$42 US

Intel Performance Disclosure Slides

Based on the benchmarks that we have seen leaked over the last couple of months, we can post some of our early impressions in the form of Pros and Cons for Intel's 10th Generation Desktop CPUs versus AMD's Ryzen 3000 CPUs.

Intel's 10th Gen Core Desktop CPU Pros:

  • Higher single-threaded performance
  • Higher Clock Speeds
  • Better Overclocking Capabilities
  • Solid Memory Support
  • Potentially Run Cooler Than AMD CPUs

AMD's 3rd Gen Ryzen Desktop CPU Pros:

  • Higher multi-threaded performance
  • More cores/threads/cache
  • 7nm architecture (new features)
  • Impressive value out of the box
  • Single-threaded performance right on par with Intel
  • Much lower power consumption

Intel Z490 Express Chipset - The Top 400-Series PCH

The introduction of Z490 marks the end of the Z390 and Z370 series. While those chipsets featured inter-compatibility with 8th and 9th Generation CPUs, the Z490 chipset only supports the 10th Gen lineup for now. The new chipset adds in a range of features that expand upon from the Z390 PCH and can also handle increased I/O. So it isn't just a new chipset follow up for a new line of CPUs but its actually slightly more, something that I'd personally call an evolution of the Z490 platform in all the best ways possible.

Intel Z490 Platform Features:

The 10th gen desktop platform has a range of new features that mainly include:

  • Support for LGA 1200 Intel Core / Pentium Gold / Celeron Processors
  • First Intel Core i9 Desktop Processor With 10 Cores / 20 Threads
  • First Intel Core i9 Desktop Processor With Up To 5.30 GHz Clocks (TVB)
  • TDP Support Up To 125W
  • DDR4-2933 Support For Core i9 & Core i7 Desktop Processors
  • Support For Intel Wireless (CNVi)
  • 10 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports
  • 6 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports
  • IRST 17 for PCIe storage RAID on CPU & PCH Support
  • Hardware-Level PCIe Gen 4 Integration from various board vendors
  • Up To 6 SATA III ports
  • Optane Memory Ready
  • Thunderbolt 3.0

Intel Desktop Platform Chipset Comparison

Chipset NameCoffee Lake S (KBL-R) PCH / Z370 PlatformCoffee Lake S (CNL-H) PCH / 300 Series (Z390/H370, B360, Q370, H310)Comet Lake-S (CML-S) PCH / 400 Series (Z490)
Process Node22nm14nm14nm
Processor8C, 6C, 4C (6 Consumer SKUs at Launch)
Enhanced IA and Memory Overclocking
Gen 9 Intel Graphics GT2 (Up To 24 EUs)
Consumer Only
8C, 6C, 4C, 2C (Full corporate/consumer SKU stack at launch)
Enhanced IA and Memory Overclocking
Gen 9 Intel Graphics GT2 (Up To 24 EUs)
Corporate/vPro & Consumer
10C, 8C, 6C, 4C, 2C (Full corporate/consumer SKU stack at launch)
Enhanced IA and Memory Overclocking
Gen 9 Intel Graphics GT2 (Up To 24 EUs)
Corporate/vPro & Consumer
MemoryUp To DDR4-2666 (Native)Up To DDR4-2666 (Native)Up To DDR4-2933(Native)
Media, Display & AudioDP 1.2 & HDMI 1.4
HDCP 2.2 (HDMI 2.0a w/LSPCON)
HEVC & VP9 10-bit Enc/Dec, HDR, Rec.2020, DX12
Integrated Dual-Core Audio DSP
DP 1.2 & HDMI 1.4
HDCP 2.2 (HDMI 2.0a w/LSPCON)
HEVC & VP9 10-bit Enc/Dec, HDR, Rec.2020, DX12
Integrated Dual-Core Audio DSP
SoundWire Digital Audio Interface
DP 1.2 & HDMI 1.4
HDCP 2.2 (HDMI 2.0a w/LSPCON)
HEVC & VP9 10-bit Enc/Dec, HDR, Rec.2020, DX12
Integrated Dual-Core Audio DSP
SoundWire Digital Audio Interface
I/O & ConnectivityIntegrated USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
Thunderbolt 3.0 (Alpine Ridge)
Integrated USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
Integrated Intel Wireless-AC (Wi-Fi / BT CNVi)
Integrated SDXC 3.0 Controller
Thunderbolt 3.0 (Titan Ridge) w/ DP 1.4
Integrated USB 3.2 Gen 2
Integrated Intel Wireless-AC (Wi-Fi / BT CNVi)
Integrated SDXC 3.0 Controller
Thunderbolt 3.0 (Titan Ridge) w/ DP 1.4
StorageNext Gen Intel Optane memory
PCIe 3.0, SATA 3.0
Next Gen Intel Optane memory
PCIe 3.0, SATA 3.0
Next-Gen Intel Optane memory
PCIe 3.0, SATA 3.0
SecurityIntel SGX 1.0Intel SGX 1.0Intel SGX 1.0
Power ManagementC8 SupportC10 & S0ix Support for Modern StandbyC10 & S0ix Support for Modern Standby
Launch201720182019

Meet The LGA 1200 Socket - 10th Generation Support & Onwards

As mentioned earlier, LGA 1151's reign is finally over and the LGA 1200 socket is here now. The new socket definitely adds more pins to the socket but the dimensions and most of the physical looks of the socket remain unchanged. The new LGA 1200 socket does offer more pin connections to the CPU, allowing for more communication channels with the board itself and accommodate electrical pin configurations that are required to support 10th Gen CPUs.

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. So this is some bad news for those who may try to put an LGA 1151 CPU on the LGA 1200 socket for science! 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

Cooler Compatibility With LGA 1200 Socket

Keeping the same dimensions has some advantages in the form of cooler compatibility. All users who are running the LGA 1151 socket or even LGA 1150 boards can use the same cooler on the Z490 boards without any hassle. The socket has the same dimensions and no changes are made aside from the ones I just mentioned above which don't affect cooler compatibility. The socket assembly and mounting remain the same.

Intel does offer a separate boxed cooler but it will be a much better choice to get an AIB cooling solution since those offer better cooling performance. It is recommended for the unlocked SKUs that users run them on a high-end air cooler or liquid cooling solution. Custom loop cooling will deliver even better results.

Intel's 10th Generation Desktop CPUs seem to be very competitively priced against AMD's Ryzen 3000 offerings. The higher core clocks coupled with faster clock speeds should help with a gain in overall performance. The 10th Generation CPUs along with the Z490 motherboards should go up on pre-order on the 5th of May with retail availability on the 20th of May. That is the same day you can expect reviews for the processors and motherboards. We currently have 4 Z490 motherboards for testing with the Core i9-10900K & Core i7-10700K CPUs.

Which Intel 10th Gen Desktop CPUs are you interested in the most?

Products mentioned in this post

Intel Core i9-10900K
Intel Core i9-10900K
USD 1799.99
Ryzen 9 3900X
Ryzen 9 3900X
USD 415

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