Intel Core i9-10900K and i5-10600K CPU Review: The Core Wars Continue

One thing for certain, this “Core War” between AMD and Intel has been good for us, the consumer. After the launch of ZEN 2 with 12 and 16 core CPUs on their mainstream platform, Intel is firing back with the Core i9-10900K. The flagship CPU is a 10-core, 20-thread CPU with a maximum boost speed of 5.3 GHz that Intel claims will deliver the best gaming experience in the desktop market. The best part of this is that the CPU pricing is steadily improving. This time around you can get 10 cores and 20 threads for the same suggested retail price of the 8-core, 16-thread 9900K released a year ago, less than $500.

Today we are pitting AMD against Intel and we’ll see who comes out a winner in our testing suite. The showdown will include the i9-10900K and the i5 10600K from Intel up against the Ryzen 3900X, and the 3700X in an effort to align core count and pricing.

Specifications and Features

Intel’s latest line of desktop processors includes several changes on paper which should make the power user and overclocker smile. The new CPU lineup brings up to 10 cores and 20 threads using higher frequencies, integrated hardware security updates, as well as using soldered TIM (STIM) which should yield better thermal conductivity. Intel has also updated the integrated wireless connectivity with Wi-Fi 6 AX201. The updated WiFi uses 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands with a maximum speed of 2.4 Gbps and also includes Bluetooth 5.1.

The Comet Lake CPU line up is very extensive, including desktop and mobile CPUs running from Core i3 to i9 as well as Pentium Gold and Celeron versions. Today we’ll be dealing with the Core i9-10900K 10-core, 20-thread and the Core i5 10600K 6-core, 12-thread CPUs specifically. Both of the CPUs have unlocked multipliers and a 125 W TDP making them ideal for enthusiasts. Just add cooling and a motherboard to support them. Intel recommends 250 W for optimal turbo power operation making cooling very important for maximum speed.

Both the 10900K and 10600K have 2 MB of L3 cache per core adding up to 20 MB for the i9 and 12 MB of L3 cache for the i5 series. Memory support remains the same for i5 and i3 CPUs at 2666 MHz but the Core i9 and i7 series now have base memory support of up to 2933 MHz with all CPUs supporting 128 GB of memory in a dual-channel configuration.

Unlike AMD, Intel is still on PCI Express 3.0 with 16 lanes from the CPU and up to 24 lanes from the PCH for up to 40 lanes in total.

Pricing for the 10900K is $488-$499 which is the same as the launch price for the 9900K. This time around you’re essentially getting two more cores for free this time around. The eight-core i7 -10700K, on the other hand, is about $100 less than it was a year ago and the 6-core i5-10600K pricing remains unchanged at $262. Looking at today’s competition, the 12-core Ryzen 3900X lists today for $432, the 8-core Ryzen 3700X retails for $294, and the 3600X comes in at $210. This is a lot lower than their MSRP on launch as these products have been in the market for some time and have recently gone on sale, seemingly as a response to this launch.

Intel 10th Gen K Series CPUs
CPUPrice Cores/ ThreadsFreq.TDPL3
Cache
DRAM
DDR4
iGPU
Core i9-10900K$48810 / 203.7 / 5.3125W20 MB2933UHD 630
Core i7-10700K$3748 / 163.8 / 5.1125W16 MB2933UHD 630
Core i5-10600K$2626 / 124.1 / 4.8125W12 MB2666UHD 630

The new chips make a slight change in how Turbo works with the 10900K now able to boost a single core up to 5.3 GHz. Intel has added another Turbo Boost category called Thermal Velocity Boost (TVB). TVB is only available on the Core i9 series CPUs and adds an extra layer in the Turbo tiers that is dependent on temperature. The TVB speeds can only be reached if the core temperature of the CPU remains at or below 70°C, we’ll see how well this works with our EVGA 240 mm CLC which is middle of the road as far as cooling is concerned.

Intel Core 9 Series Turbo Boost (Non-AVX)
BaseSingle-CoreSingle-Core TVBAll-CoreAll-Core TVB
i9-10900K3.7 GHz5.1 GHz5.3 GHz4.8 GHz4.9 GHz
i5-10600K4.1 GHz4.8 GHzN/A4.5 GHzN/A

The Comet Lake processors are still built on the dated, yet effective, 14++ nm process node which is the fifth iteration of Intel’s Skylake microarchitecture. The 14nm process has been around since 2014, introduced with 5th generation Broadwell-based CPUs, refined in 2016 with 7th generation Kaby Lake (14nm+), and then with 8th generation Coffee Lake S/U/H and Whiskey Lake-U CPUs debuting in 2017. It’s a bit long in the tooth, but overall it is keeping Intel in the game while they develop new chips on a smaller process.

With new CPUs comes a new line of motherboards from the board partners based on the latest Z490 chipset. The Z490 chipset-based motherboards have native USB 3.2 Gen2 (10 Gbps) ports and integrated Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201. They are all still PCIe Gen 3 based with up to 24 communication lanes depending on the CPU installed. That said, some motherboards support PCIe 4.0, though none have been confirmed as the CPUs to support these are not available yet.

As usual, a new Intel CPU requires a new motherboard which also carries with it a new socket configuration. The LGA1200 socket is made for 10th-gen Comet Lake CPUs and there is no cross-compatibility between existing z390 and the new z490 platforms. Although the socket has changed, the holes surrounding the socket for cooling have not changed. Existing coolers that work with LGA115x, will work here as well.

Meet the i9-10900K and i5-10600K

Before things get started, below are images of the 10900K and 10600K in CPU-Z at its stock settings with XMP enabled.

Here’s a slideshow of the sample packaging which differs from retail, some close-ups of the CPUs top and bottom plus a comparison of the 1151 socket 9900K and the 1200 socket 10900K pad orientation. You’ll also notice that the notches that along the CPU in the socket are at the opposite end of the CPU when compared to socket 1151 CPUs.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Test Setup and Results

Here we take a slightly different approach to CPU testing with ours based on a lot of Hwbot.org benchmarks since that is what we are known for, overclocking and benchmarking. We use real-world testing as well with Cinebench, x265, POV-Ray, and 7Zip in order to give readers a good idea of the general performance of the product tested.

Test System Components
MotherboardASUS ROG Maximus XII Extreme
CPUIntel i9 10900K and Intel i5 10600K (stock)
CPU CoolerEVGA CLC 240
Memory2×8 GB G.Skill Trident Z 3200 MHz CL15-15-15-35
SSDToshiba OCZ TR200 480 GB (OS + Applications)
Power SupplyEVGA 750 W G3
Video CardRadeon RX 5700 XT

Thanks go out to EVGA for providing the CLC 240 CPU Cooler and 750 W G3 Power Supply to cool and power the system, G.Skill for the Trident Z DRAM, and Toshiba OCZ for the 480 GB TR200 SSD storage running the OS, benchmarks, and games. With our partners helping out, we are able to build matching test systems to mitigate many differences found between using different hardware. This allows for multiple reviewers in different locations to use the same test system and compare results without additional variables.

We would also like to thank Intel/ASUS for supplying the ROG Maximus XII Extreme a Z490 chipset-based motherboard which we used for all the testing of the i9-10900K and the i5-10600K. This is one beautiful-looking motherboard in a sleek, shiny black design with some serious weight to it. It comes equipped with a 16-phase power stage design well equipped to handle the demands of the 10-core i9-10900K.

ROG Maximus XII Extreme

We are also including a list of z490 motherboards here from various partners breaking down what we know at this point.

Z490 Motherboard Product Stack  by Partner
ModelSizeAmazon/Newegg
ASRock Z490 AQUAE-ATXNA / $1,099.99
ASRock Z490 TaichiATX$439.99 / $369.99
ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming VelocitaATXNA / $259.99
ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming-ITX TB3mITXNA / $279.99
ASRock Z490 Extreme 4ATXNA / $194.99
ASRock Z490 Steel LegendATX$219.99 / $184.99
ASRock Z490 Pro4ATX$199.99 / $169.99
ASRock Z490M-ITX ACmITX$159.99 / $159.99
ASRock Z490M Pro4mATX$179.99$149.99
ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming 4ATXNA / $149.99
ASUS ROG Maximus XII ExtremeE-ATX$750.00 / $749.99
ASUS ROG Maximus XII FormulaATX$500.00 / $499.99
ASUS ROG Maximus XII ApexATX$420.00 / $399.99
ASUS ROG Maximus XII HeroATX$399.99 / $399.99
ASUS ProArt Z490-Creator 10GATX$299.99 / $299.99
ASUS ROG Strix Z490-E GamingATX$299.99 / $299.99
ASUS ROG Strix Z490-F GamingATXNA / $269.99
ASUS ROG Strix Z490-A GamingATX$249.99 / $249.99
ASUS ROG Strix Z490-H GamingATX$219.99 / $219.99
ASUS ROG Strix Z490-G Gaming WiFimATX$239.99 / $239.99
ASUS ROG Strix Z490-G GamingmATXNA / NA
ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I GamingmITX$299.99 / $299.99
ASUS Prime Z490-AATX$229.99 / $229.99
ASUS Prime Z490-PATX$159.99 / $159.99
ASUS Prime Z490M-PlusmATX$149.99 / $149.99
ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-PlusATX$179.99 / NA
ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-Plus WiFiATX$199.99 / $199.99
Biostar Z490GTA EvoATXNA / NA
Biostar Z490GTAATXNA / NA
Biostar Z490GTNmATXNA / NA
EVGA Z490 DarkE-ATXNA / NA
EVGA Z490 FTWATXNA / NA
Gigabyte Z490 AORUS Xtreme WaterforceE-ATXNA / $1299.99
Gigabyte Z490 AORUS XremeE-ATX$799.99 / $799.99
Gigabyte Z490 AORUS MasterATX$389.99 / $389.99
Gigabyte Z490 AORUS UltraATX$299.99 / $299.99
Gigabyte Z490 AORUS Pro AXATX$269.99 / $269.99
Gigabyte Z490-I AORUS UltramITX$269.99 / $269.99
Gigabyte Z490 AORUS Elite ACATX$219.99 / $219.99
Gigabyte Z490 AORUS EliteATX$199.99 / $199.99
Gigabyte Z490 Vision D (Designaire)ATX$299.99 / $299.99
Gigabyte Z490 Vision G (Gaming SLI)ATX$199.99 / $199.99
Gigabyte Z490 Gaming XATX$179.99 / NA
Gigabyte Z490M Gaming XmATX$159.99 / $159.99
Gigabyte Z490 UD ACATXNA / $169.99
Gigabyte Z490 UDATX$149.99 / NA
MSI MEG Z490 GodlikeATX$749.99 / $749.99
MSI MEG Z490 AceATX$399.99 / $399.99
MSI MEG Z490 UnifyATX$319.99 / $299.99
MSI MEG Z490M Unify mITXNA / NA
MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFiATX$269.99 / $269.99
MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Edge WiFiATX$199.99 / $199.99
MSI MPG Z490 Gaming PlusATX$169.99 / $169.99
MSI MAG Z490 TomahawkATX$189.99 / $189.99
MSI Z490-A ProATX$159.99 / $159.99
Supermicro C9Z490-PGATXNA / NA
Supermicro C9Z490-PGWATXNA / NA

i9-10900K and i5-10600K Performance Testing

CPU Tests

  • AIDA64 Engineer CPU, FPU, and Memory Tests
  • Cinebench R11.5 and R15
  • HWBot x265 1080p Benchmark
  • POVRay
  • SuperPi 1M/32M
  • WPrime 32M/1024M
  • 7Zip

All CPU tests were run at their default settings unless otherwise noted.

Gaming Tests

We have updated our gaming tests and dropped down to four games for CPU reviews. In many cases, even at 1080p, the difference between CPUs isn’t that much and the titles we use covers both CPU heavy titles like AOTSE and Far Cry 5 as well as GPU bound titles like SOTR and F1 2018. All game tests were run at 1920×1080 with all CPUs at default settings unless otherwise noted. Please see our testing procedures for details on in-game settings.

  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider – DX12, “Highest” preset
  • Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation – DX12, Crazy preset, GPU focused
  • F1 2018 – Very High defaults, TAA, and x16 AF, Australia track, show FPS counter
  • Far Cry 5 – Ultra defaults
  • UL 3DMark Fire Strike (Extreme) – Default settings

AIDA64 CPU, FPU, and Memory Tests

Included below are a couple of shots of the AIDA64 cache and memory benchmark results for both the i9-10900K and i5- 10600K. As you can see, the number of cores has some impact on memory bandwidth with the Ryzen 3900X taking the lead. In the latency test, Intel is the winner hands down when compared to the AMD ZEN2-based CPUs.

Intel i9-10900K
Intel i5-10600K

 

AIDA64 Cache and Memory Benchmark
CPUReadWriteCopyLatency
Intel i9-10900K47431461384299747.7
Ryzen 9 3900X49035474035026572.7
Intel i9-9900K47792469914339442.1
Ryzen 7 3700X46665255514444072.4
Intel i5-10600K46915466944068647.3

In the AIDA64 CPU tests, we are able to see what the higher core count and clock speeds bring to the table. The Intel i9-10900K and the Ryzen 3900X trade blows taking two tests each. It wasn’t surprising seeing the 9900k win the PhotoWorx test as that test doesn’t rely on core count. The i5-10600K puts up a good fight against the 3700X leveraging its speed over the Ryzen’s extra cores.

AIDA64 CPU Tests
CPUQueenPhotoWorxZlibAESSHA3
Intel i9-10900K133729216351076.2558874745
Ryzen 9 3900X1245532390911991067073546
Intel i9-9900K10102024851837428373688
Ryzen 7 3700X 9938920956844.5745982463
Intel i5-10600K7557124761596.6307682611

Moving on to the AIDA64 FPU tests, both of the Ryzen CPUs took over here putting the extra four threads to good use completely negating Intel’s speed advantage. That said, for having 20% more threads, only in the SinJulia test did we see close to a 20% increase in performance.

AIDA64 FPU Tests
CPUFP64-RTJuliaMandelSinJulia
Intel i9-10900K116911021655366614789
Ryzen9 3900X121531154106116420707
Intel i9-9900K8841786104011011347
Ryzen 7 3700X8444794104190514485
Intel i5-10600K665157391301498740

Real World Tests

Moving on to the real-world testing, the Ryzen CPUs made a clean sweep across these five benchmarks. All of these benchmarks are multi-threaded and play into AMD’s strong suit. This really demonstrates the advantage of having two additional cores when processing parallel workloads such as video encoding, rendering, and compression.

Cinebench R20/R15, POVRay, x265 (HWBot), 7Zip – Raw Data
CPUR20R15POVRayx2657Zip
Intel i9-10900K62742619554872.20988888
Ryzen 9 3900X69523073609781.1108758
Intel i9-9900K44672023388864.8472185
Ryzen 7 3700X48422112431764.4480416
Intel i5-10600K36151489315248.2657076

Pi and Prime-Based Tests

Next up are the Pi and Prime number based tests. In this set of testing, the 10900K sits on top of the heap due to its faster clock speeds. All that is, except for WPrime 1024 where over the longer time frame the 3900X managed to squeak ahead likely due to SMT which is more efficient than Intel’s Hyper-Threading in many scenarios. Both the i9-10900K and i5-10600K do exceptionally well in the SuperPi benchmark, this has always been a weak spot for Ryzen and during a single-threaded benchmark, the speed of the Intel CPUs takes the crown.

SuperPi and wPrime Benchmarks – Raw Data
CPUSuperPi 1MSuperPi 32MwPrime 32MwPrime 1024M
Intel i9-10900K7.314410.7762.29757.9
Ryzen 9 3900X9.094516.0842.32850.363
Intel i9-9900K7.514412.3872.5876.168
Ryzen 7 3700X9.422529.0832.74671.941
Intel i5-10600K7.708425.0053.614104.652

Gaming Results

For gaming, we are using Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation in DX12. The game leans pretty heavily on the CPU for all it has to do in the game, while Shadow of the Tomb Raider and F1 2018 use a fair amount of CPU, but are more typically GPU bound titles. As we can see from the graph below, there was little difference in either title at 1080p. Far Cry 3, on the other hand, really demonstrates the speed advantage of the 10900K which leads the pack by a significant margin.

Next up we have 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme, which is a DX11-based test that UL says the graphics are rendered with detail and complexity far beyond other DX11 benchmarks and games using 1920×1080 resolution. As you can see below, the overall and graphics scores were fairly close to one another but the physics results really show a spread.  This test is strictly CPU dependent with thread count the largest factor. Even with the extra cores, the Ryzen 3900X was edged out by the i9-10900K’s speed advantage.

Power Consumption and Temperatures

Intel uses a set of variables called Power levels: PL1, PL2, and PL3. PL1 is the cooling limit (TDP) in this case 125 W for the i9-10900K, PL2 is sustained power delivery (Turbo), and PL3 is the power delivery limit. PL2 is the maximum sustainable power the CPU can handle until thermal issues occur. Intel has set the value of PL2 to 250 W though board manufacturers can set their own.

What this means is the CPU will run at PL2 as long as the thermal envelope still has headroom. If the load is too heavy, the CPU speed will drop its frequency to keep the power usage within the PL1 level. You’ll notice two sets of results for power and temperatures below. The first one adheres to Intel’s specifications and the second allows the motherboard to bypass these limits and run the CPU at the all-core turbo speed regardless of power usage or temperature.

Power Usage Under Intel Specifications
Power Usage Without TDP Limitations

Running the i9-10900K under Intel’s guidelines we see moderate power usage and temperatures but behind the scenes, the CPU is running slower. In this case, during the AIDA64 stress test, the i9-10900K ran at 4.6 GHz. Bump that up to a more stressful load, the FPU test in AIDA64, and the speed drops again, this time to 4.2 GHz. Lastly, 3.8 GHz while running Prime95 small FFTs.

When using ASUS’ Multi-core Enhancement (MCE) the CPU runs consistently at 4.9 GHz throughout all the stress tests and this causes the power usage and temperatures to skyrocket. As we can see by the Prime95 small FFT results, the i9-10900K sucks down 372 W of power (at the wall) and reaches 94°C with the 240 mm EVGA CLC we use. If you want to get the most out of this CPU, you are going to have to bring the cooling.

The i5-10600K, on the other hand, managed to stay within its power envelope and ran at 4.5 GHz which is its all-core boost speed throughout all of our stress tests. The second set of data is using the i5-10600K at an all-core overclock of 5.0 GHz as you can see it was still manageable with a maximum temperature of 91°C and pulling a massive 294 W from the wall a full 90 W more than the 3900X 12-core AMD CPU at stock.

Temperature Under Intel Specifications
Temperature Without TDP Limitations

Overclocking the i9-10900K and i5-10600K

Overclocking and stability always seem to be a contentious subject in the enthusiast forums. Many people feel that serious stability testing isn’t always necessary and tests such as Prime95 small FFTs are labeled a “heat virus” and totally unnecessary for gaming. While this type of stability may not be necessary for some people it’s my preferred test when overclocking a system that will run for years without corrupting my Windows installation. We’ll discuss this more in our 10th Gen Overclocking guide which is coming soon.

Both the i9-10900K and i5-10600K would run relatively stable and passed over 20 minutes of Prime95 small FFT with an all-core overclock of 5.0 GHz using 1.37 V. Overclocking with the 240 mm EVGA CLC cooler did limit us somewhat and temperatures were reaching the mid 90’s which is a good place to call it a day with the Tjmax for these CPUs still set to 100°C.

i5-10600K @ 5.0 GHz

i9-10900K @ 5.0 GHz

i9-10900K @ 5.0 GHz small FFT test

Wanting to push things a bit further we opted for a better cooling solution. We swapped out the EVGA cooler for an EK Predator 360 mm XLC to give us a bit more headroom with the temperature. This gained us another 100 MHz for an OC of 5.1 GHz on all cores with a voltage of 1.42 V. The revised cooling allowed us to run Prime 95 small FFTs for an hour and the temperature climbed just over the 90°C mark.

i9-10900K @ 5.1 GHz using 1.42 V

Pushing the Limits

This time we went for a maximum overclock with a semi-reasonable voltage that would allow us to run some benchmarks. At 5.3 GHz with 1.46 V we were able to complete both Cinebench R20 and R15 as well as Fire Strike Extreme. It did, however, fail to run Intel XTU benchmark and froze the system requiring a reset. As you can see it offered some significant gains over the stock operation bumping our Cinebench R20 score up to 6812 from 6274 at stock. It still wasn’t quite enough to catch the Ryzen 3900X with 6952 running at stock settings.

i9-10900K @ 5.3 GHz

 

Conclusion

The 10900K is an interesting addition to the Intel product line, no doubt in response to AMD and their continuing releases with increasing core counts which now sit at 16-cores and 32-threads for the mainstream enthusiast. This “Core War” has forced Intel’s hand into expanding the mainstream line in order to compete with AMD’s similar (by thread count) offerings on their mainstream lineup now bringing 10-core processors from the more expensive HEDT line. It was only three years ago that anything over four cores from Intel required a leap to the 2011 platform.

Leveraging the most they can from the 14 nm++ microarchitecture we see much higher clock speeds, boosting to 5.3 GHz on a single core as long as the conditions are favorable. We see an increase in the all-core boost which will now run up to 4.9 GHz with TVB (thermal velocity boost), again under Intel specs, this requires certain conditions which we covered earlier. To get the most from the i9-10900K you won’t be running with Intel’s limits or you’ll be losing performance to remain within the 125 W TDP. Enabling motherboard features such as MCE from ASUS (or selecting F3 in the BIOS upon a reset/first boot – in the case of Asus boards) will open up the limits and let the CPU run at 4.9 GHz consistently but the trade-off here is the heat and power consumption.

Looking at the i9-10900K from a performance per dollar position it starts to become a tough sell. Listing for $529.99 at Newegg currently plus the need for a premium cooling solution soon puts the cost of this CPU well over $600. Comparing that to the Ryzen 9 3900X which can be found for $410.00 on Amazon and Newegg which comes with its own cooling solution yields a $200 difference. That, and the 3900X tends to outperform the 10900K in multi-threaded workloads. We do have to admit that Intel has come up with a great gaming/lightly threaded CPU here with the 5.3 GHz boost since, in general, the faster CPU typically outperforms in gaming but for most titles the differences are negligible.

Moving down the product stack to the 6c/12t 10600K we find a much better value in a gaming CPU for those who don’t need all the cores and threads of the 10900K. For those that do need a few more cores and threads but need to stay within a budget, the Ryzen 7 3700X is only a few dollars more has 8c/16t and also comes with its own cooler. Even here, AMD holds the price to performance and value segment in most cases.

In the end, the Comet Lake refresh CPUs stick it to AMD clock speed wise and single-threaded performance with some very impressive boost speeds reaching up to 5.3 GHz. Multi-threaded tests show the AMD CPUs taking a lead due to the additional cores and its slightly better SMT efficiency. Still, in most tests, these are the fastest CPUs Intel has put out to date. Whether or not the price is worth it for the gains is up to the buyer, but Intel put out solid-performing CPUs with more cores and threads than they have ever used in the mainstream platform.

Click to find out what this means

Shawn Jennings – Johan45

 

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  1. Ho hum. Ridiculous power and temperatures, so much for that thin die helping thermals. I'll wait for DDR5 before considering upgrading. Not playing musical sockets with Intel any more.
    GoD_tattoo
    Interesting read. I've been out of the loop for some years now. Seems like AMD is doing great and really pushing Intel again.

    In many ways, AMD has pushed past Intel already. The possible exception might still be in he gaming sector.
    More 14nm+++++++++++++++++ bullsh!t.They have been on the same damn technology for like 4 iterations now. They should be on 7nm now. I am losing confidence that Intel actually knows how to make processors anymore.
    hey, I have an idea. Let's take a 9700k and just call it a 10600k and there we go, new processor line!
    Voodoo Rufus
    Ho hum. Ridiculous power and temperatures, so much for that thin die helping thermals. I'll wait for DDR5 before considering upgrading. Not playing musical sockets with Intel any more.

    In my tests, 10900K is about the same as 9900K so I don't get some comments on the web. 9900K was so great and 10900K is so bad? It's about the same +2 cores and better binning so the same clock at more cores and lower voltage = +/- the same wattage.
    I'm able to set 5.1GHz using Noctua D15 in AIDA64 CPU+FPU (AVX2) with temps ~97°C (Tj is 100°C but doesn't throttle up to ~115°C). At stock settings and mixed load it boosts up to 5.3GHz without issues and keeps around 70-80°C during mixed load tests.
    The 10900K performs well but the same as with AMD chips, we can't really count on OC. I guess we have to get used to that.
    I guess that all were expecting something better. It's not a bad series but pretty much the most boring Intel premiere in years, including chipsets.
    The negative comments are because it is a 9900k with 2 more cores and better binning. If nvidia's soon released 3080ti was a 2080ti with a small bump in mhz and vram that would also be poorly received. AMD set the bar with 15+% ipc/7nm and intel keeps wandering under it. Im glad AMD is back in the game, but intel's leadership went on a walkabout several years ago and havent been heard from since.
    opt33
    The negative comments are because it is a 9900k with 2 more cores and better binning. If nvidia's soon released 3080ti was a 2080ti with a small bump in mhz and vram that would also be poorly received. AMD set the bar with 15+% ipc/7nm and intel keeps wandering under it. Im glad AMD is back in the game, but intel's leadership went on a walkabout several years ago and havent been heard from since.

    Your statement makes it seem like 9900k performance with 2 additional cores isn't impressive. They still hold the gaming crown which is all some people care about. I almost find it more impressive in some regards what Intel can squeeze out of their 14nm+++++++++++++
    I am also glad AMD is back in the game or else we wouldn't have gotten those 2 extra cores.
    I would reserve impressive for a 10 core with +10-15% ipc improvement. 10900k is intels best gaming/prod combination cpu at a welcome price decrease and yet also a boring rebrand that epitomizes intel's stagnation.
    And agreed without AMD, intel would still be offering 14nm 8 core with over $1000 price tag and likely would not have ported 10nm architectural improvement into upcoming rocket lake 14nm. Hopefully 4000 ryzen takes intels only remaining crown, 1080 gaming, and intel's only way back is via ipc improvements and node shrink. A role reversal where intel stagnates, instead of AMD, is not going to drive progress or competitive pricing.
    Can you check the IMC of the i9-10900k for me? I my have gotten a bad retail i9-9900kf or just not setting it right. I can get my i9-9900kf's IMC to 4.9GHz but the memory will not run tighter/faster than 4133 CL 14-14-14-28. I have switched out the CPU for my i7-8700k and have hit 4000 CL 12-11-11-28/220 1t with it. It will not go above 4.9GHz without freezing the comp :-(
    Is my IMC on the i9-9900kf average? BAD? Is the 10900k's IMC better?
    Thank You :-)
    MaddMutt
    Can you check the IMC of the i9-10900k for me? I my have gotten a bad retail i9-9900kf or just not setting it right. I can get my i9-9900kf's IMC to 4.9GHz but the memory will not run tighter/faster than 4133 CL 14-14-14-28. I have switched out the CPU for my i7-8700k and have hit 4000 CL 12-11-11-28/220 1t with it. It will not go above 4.9GHz without freezing the comp :-(
    Is my IMC on the i9-9900kf average? BAD? Is the 10900k's IMC better?
    Thank You :-)

    I did a bit of testing and had 4900 cache running fine. Didn't go any higher as I'm short on time ATM but I might be able to squeeze something in
    They are supposed to be better. We've seen some records broken recently with that CPU, no?
    It will vary by board and kit of course... but, it seems to be a bit improved. I haven't had time to push on mine either (cache or memory/IMC).
    Here's something quick, no time to dial in CL12 but I would suggest using RAM without lights changed to my FlareX and got down to CL13 before it started being difficult and ran out of time but 5100 on the cache was as easy as setting it and some voltage.
    I went up to DDR4-4700 on a pretty bad Team Group Xtreem kit but it's still worse than what I could do on all X570 motherboards that I had. For example, max clock on 2x32GB HyperX is 4200 using X570 ASRock/Gigabyte and 4000 on ASRock Z490 PG Velocita. Max using 2x16GB Crucial kit is 4400 on X570, 4133 on Z490; max on 2x8GB Samsung is about the same on both.
    I've noticed that on Z390 motherboards, SA voltage was already marked as red/unsafe at ~1.4V and at auto wasn't passing ~1.35V. On Z490 at auto, my motherboards set it at 1.5V+ when I want to run at DDR4-4600+. I only wonder how high is really max safe voltage as on Z390 1.6V+ was marked as "can instantly kill the CPU" ... I went up to 1.8V and it's still fine, maybe matter of luck :)
    I think I will post some memory tests in a couple of days.
    What is really annoying is how mobo manufacturers bumped prices on higher/OC series motherboards. I was thinking about ASUS Apex but it will cost ~40% more than the last one I purchased. The same ROG Extreme is already listed for 30-40% more. Each manufacturer has $1K mobos on Z490 chipset. It's not even X series and there are not so significant differences between them to ask up to 300% more compared to lower but still gaming/OC series.
    Anyway, I won't buy any Z490 mobo and will base on samples, only not expecting these top series mobos so my results can be a bit lower.
    ASRock Z490 PG ITX is on the way to me. Maybe it will OC memory better than the PG Velocita.
    Nice review, but, to second Woomack, with the current trend, you should rename the website (un)overclockers.com.
    It seems that except for extreme OC, the current gen chips don't offer much for us anymore...
    :-/
    CPUs are not overclocking, graphics cards are not overclocking, memory is overclocking but there is no point :p ... but really overclockers still can find something to tweak but each year it's getting worse.