The clock frequency is everything in gaming. That is at least Intel’s argument with the announcement of its new 10th gen Intel Core processors, belonging to the Comet Lake-S family and which joins previous models of the U and H families. If you want to use them, yes, you will need a new motherboard.
Among the new processors, the Intel Core i9-10900K stands out, the new jewel in the crown with 10 cores, 20 threads of execution and that can reach 5.3 GHz in two of its cores. There are 16 other desktop CPUs in this family in an arsenal that goes further with the T series and has a clear objective: to stand up to those AMD Ryzen 3000 that has made things very difficult for the firm in recent times.
Do you want processors? Take processors
At Intel they have not wanted to go around with little girls and have presented no less than 17 different variants of these processors that start from the 4 cores but can reach 10 in the powerful Core i9-10900.
Some of the processors, such as the cited i9-10900, have up to four variants . Two of them without the integrated GPU (the “F” models) and the other two unlocked for overclocking. The same goes for the Core i7-10700, while the Core i5-10600 have three variants.
In all Comet Lake-S processors with integrated GPU, this is always the same: the Intel UHD Graphics 630 that we had already seen in the previous generation and that offers decent features. Still, it seems that Intel is giving prominence here and hopes that precisely these micros are always accompanied by a dedicated graphic.
Although of course the most striking models are the Core i9-10900, it is important to also take a look at the bottom of the table with some Core i3-10100 and Core i3-10300 that are nominated as AMD competitors in that range of entry that increasingly makes more sense for gamers with tighter budgets.
There is other good news across the range: Hyperthreading technology is available on all CPUs in the family , we will have up to 40 PCIe tracks for connecting peripherals (graphics, storage units), and we also have DDR4 module support of up to 2933 MHz and a new chipset, the so-called Intel 400 Series that incorporates Thunderbolt 3 support, 2.5G Ethernet connectivity and Wi-Fi 6.
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If you are a gamer, at Intel they have it clear: the bet is for the clock frequency
Those responsible for Intel wanted to influence a section in which its processors have always tried to stand out. The clock frequency is now reaching new maximums, and these microprocessors reach 5.3 GHz thanks to the new Intel Thermal Velocity Boost technology , which adds to other technologies and that makes us have a total of up to five limits for the frequency of clock that these CPUs reach.
As can be seen in the table, this technology is not available for all models: only the Core i9-10900 boast it , and it is with it that it is possible to reach 5.3 GHz in two of the 10 cores of this processor. What cores? That is precisely what this technology chooses, which evaluates the two that perform best over time to put them to work “harder” when that option is activated.
In the rest of the processors they make use of the Turbo Boost technology and, in the eight-core Core i7-10700, the Turbo Boost Max that also allows tightening those nuts a little more . In these models it is possible to reach up to 5.1 GHz in part of their cores. If we want turbo mode in all cores, yes, that maximum frequency is 4.7 GHz at best.
These microprocessors also allow new overclocking options , with tools that will enable or disable Hyperthreading to each core separately or have advanced control over the voltage and clock frequency curves. To protect these processors, Intel uses a new thermal insulation scheme and a thinner die that improves that thermal behavior.
Comet Lake T lowers TDP to fit small-format PCs
Accompanying these ambitious processors, Intel had other surprises in store in two different areas. For entry-level PCs we have the new Pentium and Celeron (the latter, dual-core and without Hyperthreading) with a TDP of 58 W and with clearly more modest features for general-purpose equipment and not so much for gaming.
Along with them are the Comet Lake of the T series , which like their predecessors of the previous generation are mainly intended for small format equipment (SFF). In this type of chassis, the cooling management is more complex and there is less room for maneuver, so the performance drops a little in the area of the clock frequencies to avoid problems.
Still we can see how in that series we have a promising Intel Core i9-10900T that can reach 4.6 GHz despite a reduced TDP of 35W, which postulates it as an interesting option for those who want maximum performance in that type of Equipements.
Be careful: you will need a new motherboard
These new processors take advantage of the aforementioned new Intel 400 Chipset and a new socket. From the traditional LGA 1151 we move on to the new LGA 1200, which is an evolved version of the previous one with two clear objectives.
The first is to improve power delivery. The second, predictably pave the way for the Tiger Lake processors that will finally make the leap to 10 nanometers and are expected to make use of this socket.
Intel introduced two different variants of the chipset. On the one hand there is the Intel H470 Chipset, and on the other the most ambitious Intel H490 Chipset . They are practically identical in everything, but the latter offers more versatility when using the PCIe 3.0 tracks, with which we can “play” with more combinations, using configurations such as 1×16, 2×8 and (1×8 + 2×4) tracks depending on the design of the motherboard and the features that the user needs.
In these chipsets we have, for example, the aforementioned support for 2.5G Ethernet connections (with transfer speeds that become 2.5 times higher than the Gigabit Ethernet standard, also supported), support for Optane units, Wi-Fi 6 or optional Intel Rapid Storage with RAID technology.
Prices will probably cover a wide range, but this could pose a problem for users, who will have to add to the investment of the processor that of the motherboard . Still the advantages provided by these chipsets are interesting and that guarantee of allowing future updates is a good argument for potential buyers.
Pricing and Availability of New Intel Processors
The new 10th generation Intel Core from the Comet Lake-S family will be available from May . Prices vary by model, and are indicated in dollars (for lots of 1,000 units) in the tables that we have included throughout the article.