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Intel Core i9-10900K 10 Core CPU Benchmarks Shows It’s More or Less A Core i9-9900K With Up To 30% Better Multi-Threading Performance

Jan 1, 2020
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Official performance numbers for the Intel Core i9-10900K 10 Core CPU have leaked out by Tom's Hardware. Intel's Core i9-10900K will be the flagship chip of the 10th Gen Comet Lake family that is expected to land in the coming months but will be featuring the same 14nm architecture that has long been running since Skylake.

Intel's Core i9-10900K 10 Core CPU Benchmarks Leaked - Same Single-Core Performance As The Core i9-9900K, But Up To 30% Faster in Multi-Threading Workloads

Just last week, we got to see the full 10th Gen Comet Lake lineup along with their detailed specs. In total, there are 11 SKUs confirmed for initial launch but the Core i9-10900K CPU would be the flag carrier of Intel's sixth 14nm family.

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

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 / 4.9 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.

Intel Core i9-10900K 10 Core CPU Benchmarks

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Coming to the benchmarks, the Intel Core i9-10900K was compared against the Core i9-9900K that has 8 cores and 16 threads. Since these are not public slides but internal performance projections, Intel also listed down the PL2 power states for each chip, which shows the maximum TDP when all cores are hitting the turbo frequency. The Core i9-9900K is a 95W and 210W (PL2) chip while the i9-10900K is a 125W and 250W (PL2) chip. These figures put AMD's 7nm Ryzen chips a league ahead & we aren't even factoring in the stunning performance AMD's chip boasts with ECO mode applied.

Performance for the chip was measured in both single-core and multi-core scenarios with the list of benchmarks including SYSMark, SPEC, XPRT, and Cinebench R15. Surprisingly, Intel still internally uses benchmarks which they don't consider as 'Real-World' performance metrics. In single-thread workloads, the chip is around 3% faster than the Core i9-9900K, which is due to its higher 5.3 GHz core clock compared to 5.0 GHz on the Core i9-9900K. In multi-threaded workloads, the chip is up to 30% faster which is also due to the fact that there are 2 extra cores (25% more) than the Core i9-9900K.

Both processors were tested with the security patches up to November loaded on to the test setup of Windows 10. With little to no single-threaded performance increase and only multi-threaded up-lifts expected from the Core i9-10900K at the cost of even higher power draw, it looks like AMD can just offer a price cut on their existing Ryzen 3000 series parts when 10th Gen Core i9 parts arrive & call it a day.

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 next 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.

Who do you think is going to win the CPU wars of 2020?
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