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Intel Core i9-10900K (10900KF) CPU

MSRP 488 USDNEX score 73%

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Product Overview

Intel Core i9-10900K is a high-end desktop PC microprocessor in Intel's 10th-gen Core, Comet Lake family. A K-series processor, it is unlocked and therefore one of the few Intel CPUs that can be overclocked.
The flagship of the Comet Lake lineup, the Core i9-10900K comes with 10 cores and 20 threads and a single-core maximum frequency of 5.3GHz via Intel Thermal Velocity Boost. It sports the same Intel UHD Graphics 630 integrated GPU found in earlier Coffee Lake processors.
The i9-10900K can also run at a TDP-down frequency of 3.3GHz. When configured, it runs at 95W TDP rather than the default 125W, trading some performance for higher efficiency.
Alongside the i9-10900K, Intel also markets the Core i9-10900KF. The "F" designation means the i9-10900KF does not come with the integrated graphics. Intel debuted this concept in 2019 in order to salvage chips with defective GPUs that are otherwise perfect. As a result, the i9-10900KF shares with the i9-10900K all specifications except for the difference in integrated graphics. For desktop users with discrete graphics installed, the F-series chip may be an interesting option, thanks to its lower MSRP.
As a third refinement based on the 14nm Skylake process, the Comet Lake desktop processors offer an increase in core count, clock speed, and cache capacity over its predecessor. All Comet Lake Core processors feature hyperthreading, allowing two threads to run on every core.

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Ratings

What we found**

Pros
  • Top-notch performance for a 10th Generation Core CPU
  • Great value for money
  • Solid CPU performance for the price
Cons
  • Nothing in particular

What external reviewers found***

NEX score: 73% (not directly comparable across industries)
Pros
  • Excellent multi-threaded performance
  • Good value for money
  • Excellent 1080p and 1440p performance
Cons
  • Lackluster graphics performance
  • No multi-core support
  • No PCIe 4.0 support
  • Price-per-core could be better
  • More expensive than AMD's Ryzen 9 3900X
  • No overclocking feature
Read More

Price Comparison (incl. referral links)*

Specifications

Variants:
i9-10900K

Connectivity

CPU Socket
FCLGA1200
PCI Express
16 lanes of 3.0 (1x16, 2x8, or 1x8 + 2x4)

Construction

Form Factor
Desktop microprocessor
Lithography
14 nm
Platform
Comet Lake

Dimensions

Size | Depth
37.5 mm
Size | Width
37.5 mm

Function

i9-10900KGraphics
Intel UHD Graphics 630, base 350MHz, boost 1.2GHz, max memory 64GB
Operating Temperature
Max 100°C T Junction
Processor | Cores
10 cores
Processor | Threads
20 threads
i9-10900KResolution
Max Resolution 4K DCI (4096 x 2304@60Hz via DP / 4096 x 2304@30Hz via HDMI)
Security
Intel AES New Instructions, Secure Key, Intel OS Guard, Intel Trusted Execution, Intel Boot Guard
Supported Technologies
Intel Optane Memory, Intel Thermal Velocity Boost, Intel Turbo Boost Max 3.0, Intel vPro, Intel Hyper-Threading Technology, Intel Virtualization Technology, Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology
Thermal Solution
PCG 2015D

Performance

Cache
20 MB Intel Smart Cache
Frequency
3.7 GHz Base | 3.5 GHz TDP-down | 5.3 GHz single core / 4.8 GHz all cores Turbo
Memory | Capacity
Supports up to 128GB
Memory | Type
DDR4 2933MHz, max 2 channels, max 45.8 GB/s bandwidth
Power Consumption
125 W TDP / 95 W TDP TDP-down

Production

Debut
2020 Q2

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3rd-Party Review Videos

External Reviews

pcmag[1]

Sentiment Score 72%
Reviewers from pcmag have found the following***:
The Intel Core i9-10900K brings, pardon the cliche, evolutionary, not revolutionary, change. The main differences from the previous generation, beyond the new platform and socket, are the two extra cores in this top-end chip. AMD's Ryzens offer a great value for content creators at almost every point in the configuration ladder.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Top-end performance for single-threaded tasks, lightly threaded tasks, and hardcore gaming
  • Great value for the money
Cons
  • No overclocking feature
  • Price-per-core could be better

pcworld[2]

Sentiment Score 80%
Reviewers from pcworld have found the following***:
Maxon's Cinebench R20 is a 3D modelling test built on the company's Cinema4D engine. The Ryzen 9 3900X's 12 cores prevail over the the Core i9-10900K's 10. Our next test uses Cinegy's Cinescore to assess CPU and GPU performance.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Fast CPU and GPU performance
  • Compact, lightweight design
  • Good value for money
Cons
  • Lackluster graphics performance

techradar[3]

Sentiment Score 60%
Reviewers from techradar have found the following***:
The Intel Core i9-10900K doesn't do enough to justify its existence in the current desktop PC market. The processor fares a bit better in single-threaded work, but with just about a 5% single-core increase over the 9900K, it's not enough to hold off AMD. While the $488 (about £400, AU$750) price tag is high enough, the fact that users will have to jump into a whole new motherboard to support the latest technology means it's kind of a dead end.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Strong single-core performance
  • Solid multi-threaded performance
Cons
  • No PCIe 4.0 support
  • No multi-core support

tomshardware[4]

Sentiment Score 78%
Reviewers from tomshardware have found the following***:
Intel has brought support for its Turbo Boost Max 3.0 technology from the high end desktop to its mainstream platforms. Thermal Velocity Boost (TVB) is yet another layer to Intel's boost mechanism, but according to Intel, it only engages if the processor remains below 70C. You'll need a greater-than-280mm AIO cooler or a custom loop to unlock the best of the 10900K.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Competitive performance
  • Improved Turbo Boost Max 3.0
  • Competitively priced
Cons
  • More expensive than AMD's Ryzen 9 3900X

trustedreviews[5]

Sentiment Score 74%
Reviewers from trustedreviews have found the following***:
The Intel Core i9-10900K is very quick when it comes to single-threaded tasks and mainstream work applications. Its results in Cinebench, Geekbench and PC Mark 10 prove that it's better than its key AMD rival here. It’s hardly a slouch in games, with a strong result where CPU power is prized and AMD-beating pace in around half the tests. While Comet Lake has a place in the modern computing landscape, it will not open a lead against its cheaper rivals.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Excellent 1080p and 1440p performance
  • Excellent multi-threaded performance
  • Good value for money
Cons
  • Lags behind AMD’s Ryzen 9 3900X

User Reviews

References

1. ^ Intel Core i9-10900K Review. [pcmag]. https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/intel-core-i9-10900k. 2020-05-20. Retrieved 2021-03-22.
2. ^ Intel 10th Gen Review: The Core i9-10900K is indeed the world's fastest gaming CPU. [pcworld]. https://www.pcworld.com/article/3543993/intel-10th-gen-review-core-i9-10900k.html. 2020-05-20. Retrieved 2021-03-22.
3. ^ Intel Core i9-10900K review. [techradar]. https://www.techradar.com/reviews/intel-core-i9-10900k. 2021-01-28. Retrieved 2021-03-22.
4. ^ Intel Core i9-10900K Review: Ten Cores, 5.3 GHz, and Excessive Power Draw. [tomshardware]. https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-core-i9-10900k-cpu-review. 2020-05-20. Retrieved 2021-03-22.
5. ^ Intel Core i9-10900K Review. [trustedreviews]. https://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/intel-core-i9-10900k. Retrieved 2021-03-22.

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