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Intel Core i9-10900K CPU Flagship Review Leaks Out

May 18
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An early review of Intel's upcoming Core i9-10900k flagship has leaked out from Teclab @Bilibili (via Videocardz). The review pits the Core i9-10900k against AMD's 3rd Generation Ryzen 9 3900X and Ryzen 9 3950X flagships. The sample tested by Teclab appears to be a retail sample and has a base clock of 3.7 GHz. While the Core i9 10900K has similar performance in gaming tests, it is outclassed by AMD's 3900 and 3950X in pretty much all other benchmarks.

Intel Core i9 10900K Compute Performance: Outclassed by AMD offerings

Our friendly canine reviewer used the Z490 and X570 motherboard series for the Intel and AMD respectively. Although we do not know the exact motherboard model (likely to not get the AIB in trouble since it is almost certain that they got the CPU sample from them) for the Z490, we do know that the X570 motherboard in question is the MEG X570 GODLIKE. DDR4 RAM clocked at 4000 MHz (G.Skill Trident Z) was used but the timings on the AMD variant were slightly different. All CPUs were cooled by a 360mm AIO and paired with a powerful HOF RTX 2080 Ti graphics card to make the games as CPU bound as possible.

A summary and translation courtesy of Videocardz:

  • i9 10900K power consumption and temperature are high again, 360 integrated water cooling is the minimum heat dissipation standard
  • Rely on CPU rendering + transcoding applications, or choose Ryzen 9 is stronger
  • Playing games and daily operations Application, the new i9 at 5GHz + clock speed is indeed faster
  • The overclocking performance comparison test of the three processors has been completed, and it will be launched in the near future
  • Finally, correct the memory parameters in the configuration list, AMD X570 part, the frequency is DDR4 -3600 The timing is 18-22-22-42 1T FCLK = 1800

Let's start with the Cinebench scores first. Before we delve in, however, keep in mind that this is the retail version of the CPU and likely representative of the final product. What can change are BIOS and CPU Microcode updates along with drivers although that should be within noise.

The Intel Core i9 10900K scores 2671 points in Cinebench R15 and 6315 points in Cinebench R20. On the other hand, AMD's Ryzen 9 3900X scores 3109 and 7009 points while the 3950X scores a massive 4126 and 9406 points for the R15 and R20 respectively. It's official: Intel is now very much the underdog as far as CPU performance goes. Intel's 14nm process is showing its age and 10nm can't come soon enough for the company.

Intel 10900K Gaming Performance: Tested aggregate ~3.3% faster than AMD 3950X, 4.1% faster than AMD 3900X

Let look at some synthetics as well. A synthetic is usually closer in representation to overall gaming performance than raw compute performance. It also accounts for optimizations (or lack thereof), something theoretical peak benchmarks like Cinebench may not take account of. Gaming performance has always been the saving grace of Intel's 14nm CPUs and it looks like this is still true unless the sample of games and synthetics here (24 data points in total across 3 CPUs) turns out to not be indicative of the larger average for some reason (unlikely).

In gaming synthetics, the Core i9 10900K just barely manages to beat out AMD's R9 3900X but gets outclassed by the 3950X once again. Interestingly however, while the graphics score show high variation there is actually very little variation in the CPU scores - meaning there is not much difference between the AMD 3950X and Intel 10900k in terms of compute available for gaming. Not as much as the difference in pure compute at least.

As far as real-world gaming benchmarks go however, the Intel 10900k manages to retain a marginal lead in gaming performance. We calculated all the relative performance numbers of all three CPUs and created a mean aggregate. The Intel Core i9 10900k was 3.3% faster than the AMD 3950X on average and 4.1% faster than the 3900X.

Tomb Raider 9 Intel Core i9 10900k Review
GTA 5 Intel Core i9 10900K Review
Metro Exodus Intel Core i9 10900k Review
Far Cry 5 Intel Core i9 10900k Review
Borderlands 3 Intel Core i9 10900k Review
Assassins Creed Odyssey

All of this, however, comes at a huge power draw. The Intel Core i9 10900K consumes 338W of power at peak compared to 263W and 306W for the 3900X and 3950X respectively.

Power Consumption

Products mentioned in this post

RTX 2080
RTX 2080
USD 818
RTX 2080 Ti
RTX 2080 Ti
USD 1759
Ryzen 9 3900X
Ryzen 9 3900X
USD 415

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