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Intel Core i9-10900K 10 Core CPU Is Only Slightly Faster Than AMD’s Ryzen 9 3900X While Consuming Irresponsible Amounts Of Power!

Feb 5, 2020
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Intel's Core i9-10900K releases in a few months and we got new benchmarks for the chip to share courtesy of TUM_APISAK. The latest benchmark covers the performance of Intel's upcoming Deca-core chip in 3DMark Firestrike and Time Spy benchmarks and compares it against the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, which seems to be the main competitor for the 10900K as both CPUs would aim for a $500 US price tag.

Intel Core i9-10900K 10 Core CPU Is Definitely Faster Than The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 12 Core CPU But Only By A Slight Bit At The Cost of Much Higher Power Consumption

Featured in the Comet Lake-S mainstream desktop family, the 10th Generation Core i9-10900K is the flagship CPU for 2020. It's still based on the same Skylake architecture that we have received in countless revisions such as Kaby Lake, Coffee Lake, and Coffee Lake-Refresh. The process is also the same 14nm but a more refined version allowing for a slight clock speed bump and addition of more cores.

Intel Comet Lake-S Core i9-10900K & Core i7-10700K CPUs Land on Silicon Lottery, Pre-Binned 10 Core With 5.1 GHz All-Core OC For $949 US, 8 Core For $559 US

Intel Core i9-10900K 10 Core CPU Specifications

Coming to the specifications, the Core 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 / 4.9 GHz Thermal Velocity Boost Single / 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

The benchmarks show that the Intel Core i9-10900K manages to score 28462 points in the 3DMark Firestrike benchmark which is around 5% faster than the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X which scores around 27,000 points. In 3DMark Time Spy, the Core i9-10900K scores 13142 points which is around 4.00% faster than the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X which scores around 12,6000 points. There are some things to consider here so let's start.

The Intel Core i9-10900K has a much faster boost clock across all cores, rated at 4.9 GHz while the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X has an all-core boost of 4.1 GHz with a limited sample size hitting close to 4.2 GHz. The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X does offer 2 more cores and 4 more threads but the lower clocks put it at slightly slower than the Core i9-10900K. Intel's 4.9 GHz all-core boost is also rated as the newer Thermal Velocity Boost frequency which would be only possible if you're running it with the best cooling solutions. Despite the huge clock lead over AMD, Intel's Core i9-10900K is only able to out-perform the Ryzen 9 3900X by up to 5% which isn't even AMD's top chip in its mainstream family.

Intel Core i9-10900K CPU Overclocked To 7.7 GHz Across All 10 Cores, Z490 Platform Hits 6.6 GHz DDR4 Memory Frequency Setting New World Record

Core i9-10900K vs AMD Ryzen 9 3900X in 3DMark Benchmarks: (Image CC: _Rogame #1 & #2):

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

This shows just how much of a leap AMD has made in terms of IPC compared to Intel. The other thing is the power consumption and thermals. We have already seen in previous reports that the Intel Core i9-10900K is going to end up consuming as much power as the Ryzen Threadripper 3970X while offering 5% better performance than a Ryzen 9 3900X.

With all cores loaded up, the Intel Core i9-10900K would break the 300W power barrier which also shows the massive efficiency lead that Intel has lost to AMD over the years by producing their desktop parts on an aging 14nm process node while AMD has moved to 7nm and would soon be offering a more refined 7nm+ node on its newer Zen 3 core-based processors.

Several motherboard manufacturers revealed that the ten-core break the 300-watt mark at maximum load. Not surprisingly, the 9900KS already exceeded the 250-watt mark in scenarios of this kind. via Computebase

This also doesn't bode well for Intel in the thermal department with Intel Core i9-9900K already hitting past 90C when overclocked and resulting much higher temperatures than the competing AMD Ryzen 3000 processors. With a higher core count and higher clock speed, you'd need a very beefy cooling setup and power supply to run the Core i9-10900K at optimal levels.

If that's not enough, AMD's ECO mode has also shown to be a very useful feature with their 16 core and 32 core chips performing very well even with toned down power limits. It shows just how much of an immense efficiency leap the new 7nm Zen 2 cores have been for AMD, offering desktop-class performance on mobile platforms with Ryzen 4000 'Renoir' processors. It is possible that Intel could do a silent launch of their 10th Gen desktop parts since they are aware they cannot compete with AMD's offerings or the next ones which are due for later this year.

AMD may not even consider offering a price cut as their Ryzen 3000 are competitive enough to compete against Intel's 10th Gen parts unless Intel brings Core i9 down to $350-$400 US which seems unlikely, but then again, they have the financial horsepower to do so to remain competitive in the desktop segment. Intel's 10th Gen lineup may offer multi-threading on all parts along with higher clock speeds, but they would require more power and beefier cooling.

With Zen 3 expected this year and AMD eating up market share in all segments, Intel really needs to rethink their CPU strategy and we hope that they can hit their process roadmap goals on time if they really want to hit AMD back. Intel's 10th Gen Comet Lake-S desktop family and the respective Z490 motherboards are slated for launch in April 2020.

Products mentioned in this post

Intel Core i9-9900K
Intel Core i9-9900K
USD 479.95
Ryzen 9 3900X
Ryzen 9 3900X
USD 413
Ryzen Threadripper 3970X
Ryzen Threadripper 3970X
USD 1899.99

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