Intel Core i9-10900K 10 Core Flagship CPU Runs Very Hot & Consumes 235W Power at 4.8 GHz – Over 90C Temps With a 240mm AIO Cooler

Intel's Core i9-10900K CPU is looking to be one of this year's hottest (literally) and most power-hungry desktop chip to hit retail shelves. As we get close to launch which is due next week, new thermal and power tests have been posted by Weibo user, Wolfstame (via 9550pro), that show what users should expect from Intel's largest monolithic die based processor for the mainstream segment.

Intel's Core i9-10900K 10 Core CPU Is Hot & Power Hungry - Up To 235W Power Consumption & 90C Temps At 4.8 GHz

I've already discussed how the14nm process has become the main barrier for Intel in keeping up with AMD's outstanding efficiency that we've seen over the last couple of years with its 12nm and 7nm Ryzen CPUs. An old but refined node sure helps Intel a lot in maintaining clock speed lead over its competitors but relying on the same architecture for several years has started to show its cracks. It's good knowing that Intel would at least shift to a new architecture for desktop CPUs later this year with Rocket Lake but that too will still be based on a 14nm process node with its next-gen Cove architecture ported over.

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Wolfstame already gave us a glimpse of Intel's 10 core mainstream desktop parts with his Core i9-10900F tests. The chip which is a 65W part and features much lower clock speeds than the Core i9-10900K consumed 224 Watts of power at full load and temperatures were reported at a peak of 92 Degrees (Celcius) with the average temperature hovering around 69C.

Intel Core i9-10900K 125W/10 Core CPU Power/Thermal Benchmarks (Image Credits: Wolfstame):

Intel Core i9-10900F 65W/10 Core CPU Power/Thermal Benchmarks (Image Credits: Wolfstame):

Now, we get to see how the Intel Core i9-10900K itself performs when tested on a similar test setup configuration. Using a 240mm AIO radiator, the Core i9-10900K consumed 235 Watts at full load in the AIDA64 FPU stress test. The chip also ran at a peak temperature of 93C and an average temp of 87C. That's an 18C difference between the Core i9-10900F and the Core i9-10900K. The unlocked CPU does run at higher clock speeds and hence runs hotter and consumes more power at full load.

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The CPU was running at 4.8 GHz which is the peak all-core boost frequency without Intel's Thermal Velocity Boost. For Thermal Velocity Boost to function, the CPU needs to sit at under 70C which isn't going to happen with a 240mm AIO liquid cooler. It looks like anyone using a Core i9-10900K would have to get hands-on a higher-end cooling setup, say a 360mm AIO, or a custom-loop solution to get the Core i9-10900K running at its highest rated clock speeds. If you can't, then a lower tier chip would be your best bet. This also seems to indicate that overclocking would require a lot of tuning and cooling.


The Core i9-10900K/KF series are using the best dies as reported by MSI. The Core i9-10900K/KF hits 250W when all cores are pushed to 5.2 GHz (1.3V+). 5.1 and 5.0 GHz is more doable with the power numbers sitting between 220-230W but with much lower voltages of 1.22-1.25V, resulting in lower temperatures too.

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.

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

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.

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