Thursday, April 30th 2020

Intel 10th Generation Comet Lake Desktop Processors and 400-Series Chipsets Announced, Here's what's New

Intel today launched its 10th generation Core desktop processor family and its companion Intel 400-series chipsets. Based on the 14 nm++ silicon fabrication process and built in the new LGA1200 package, the processors are based on the "Comet Lake" microarchitecture. The core design of "Comet Lake" and its IPC are identical to those of "Skylake," however Intel brought significant enhancements to the processor's clock-speed boosting algorithm, increased core- or thread counts across the board, and introduced new features that could interest enthusiasts and overclockers. The uncore component remains largely unchanged from the previous-generation, with support for DDR4 memory and PCI-Express gen 3.0. Use of these processors requires a new socket LGA1200 motherboard, they won't work on older LGA1151 motherboards. You can install any LGA115x-compatible cooler on LGA1200, provided it meets the thermal requirements of the processor you're using.

At the heart of the 10th generation Core processor family is a new 10-core monolithic processor die, which retains the same basic structure as the previous-generation 8-core "Coffee Lake Refresh" die, and 4-core "Skylake." The cores are arranged in two rows, sandwiched by the processor's uncore and iGPU blocks. A ring-bus interconnect binds the various components. The cache hierarchy is unchanged from previous generations as well, with 32 KB each of L1I and L1D caches; 256 KB of dedicated L2 cache per core, and 20 MB of shared L3 cache. The iGPU is the same Gen 9.5 based UHD 630 graphics. As we mentioned earlier, much of Intel's innovation for the 10th generation is with the processor's microcode (boosting algorithms).
Intel Core i9-10900K 10th Gen Intel Core Desktop Comet Lake Lineup 10th Gen Intel Core Desktop Comet Lake Lineup 10th Gen Intel Core Desktop Comet Lake Lineup

The 10-core die with all its cores enabled is the backbone of the new 10th generation Core i9 series, including the flagship part, the Core i9-10900K, a 10-core/20-thread processor with maximum clock speeds running as high as 5.30 GHz, which Intel claims is the "fastest processor for gaming." All Core i9 SKUs in the series are 10-core/20-thread. The Core i9-10900K is unlocked and features an iGPU. The i9-10900KF is unlocked, but lacks an integrated graphics (it is physically present in the silicon, but disabled). The i9-10900 has an iGPU, but isn't unlocked. The i9-10900F both lacks an iGPU and is multiplier-locked. These chips are priced between $422 and $488 (1,000-unit tray quantities).
Comet Lake Performance in Games and Creating Optimized for Total War Three Kingdoms Optimized to win Remnant from the Ashes Gaming Partners about Intel 10th Gen
The 10th generation Core i7 series, sold at price points under $400, consists of 8-core/16-thread parts with 16 MB of shared L3 cache - the same amount of muscle as the 9th generation Core i9 series. Leading this line is the Core i7-10700K, clocked up to 5.10 GHz. Among the SKUs are the i7-10700K, the i7-10700KF, i7-10700, and i7-10700F.

The 10th generation Core i5 series sees the most bolstering, in our opinion. The popular middle-of-the-market chips are now 6-core/12-thread, with 12 MB of shared L3 cache, across the board (same amount as the 8th generation Core i7 series). Leading the pack is the Core i5-10600K, followed by the i5-10600KF, and i5-10600, i5-10500, i5-10400, and the i5-10400F. These SKUs cover the broadest range of price-points starting at just $157 for the i5-10400F, going up to $262 for the unlocked i5-10600K.

The 10th generation Core i3 series also sees a hefty bit of hardware enhancement. These are 4-core/8-thread parts, with up to 8 MB of shared L3 cache (same as the 7th generation Core i7 series). The i3-10300 and i3-10320 feature 8 MB of L3 cache, while the entry-level i3-10100 features 6 MB of it. The i3-10100 is priced at $122, the i3-10300 at $143, and the i3-10320 at $154. There is no unlocked part in the Core i3 series.

At the bottom of the pile are Pentium Gold socket LGA1200 G6000-series 2-core/4-thread processors with 4 MB of L3 cache, and Celeron G5900 series 2-core/2-thread parts with 3 MB L3 cache.

Intel sticking with 14 nm comes with heavy costs on the energy-efficiency front. All unlocked K-SKUs in the series come with an unprecedented 125 W TDP rating (older generations of Intel LGA115x processors almost never had a TDP rating higher than 95 W). Almost all socket LGA1200 motherboards we've seen so far, barring the Mini-ITX designs, feature at least an 8+4 pin EPS (CPU power) input configuration. The higher-end boards even have dual 8-pin EPS setups akin to HEDT motherboards.
10th Gen Intel Core Desktop Comet Lake Lineup

What's Really New

As we explained earlier, the core IPC of the 10th generation "Comet Lake" microarchitecture is unchanged from the previous generation, much of Intel's innovation is focused on getting the most out of their existing core design. The following is a list of what's really new:
  • HyperThreading across the board: Intel extended HyperThreading to be available across most of their product line. HT was originally reserved for only top-tier parts, but can now be found on the Core i9, Core i7, Core i5, Core i3, and Pentium Gold parts. SMT is a proven way to dial up multi-threaded application performance by leveraging idle hardware resources in a CPU core, and brings about tangible multi-threaded performance uplifts.
  • Up to Three Different Boosting Algorithms: Intel has up to three different clock speed boosting algorithms deployed on various SKUs in the series:
    • Turbo Boost 2.0: This is the most basic boosting technology, available across all 10th gen Core i9, Core i7, Core i5, and Core i3 SKUs
    • Turbo Boost MAX 3.0: Carried over from the Core X HEDT processor family, Turbo Boost Max 3.0 is now available on 10th Gen Core i9 and Core i7 SKUs, enabling higher notches of clock speed than Turbo Boost 2.0, and it also adds "Favored Cores". This makes the operating system aware the two physically-best cores, which can sustain higher boost frequencies better than the rest of the CPU. The goal is to have the OS scheduler prioritize running workloads on these cores, so they can run faster. Windows 10 has had Favored Core awareness since 1609, and Linux x64 kernels since January 2018 have supported it.
    • Thermal Velocity Boost: Carried over from its 9th and 10th generation Core mobile processors, Thermal Velocity Boost is available to 10th generation Core i9 SKUs. The feature enables clock boost speeds even higher than Turbo Boost MAX 3.0, in short bursts, provided your processor's cooling solution is able to consistently keep temperatures below a threshold, and provided a few power targets are met. We confirmed with Intel that for the 10th gen desktop chips, this threshold is set at 70 °C (for the mobile parts it is 65 °C).
  • New Core and Memory overclocking features, including:
    • The ability to enable or disable HyperThreading for individual cores. Until now, you could disable or enable HTT only globally. This comes as a boon for gamers who want to set a few of their cores without HTT, and a few with HTT for streaming applications
    • Enhanced, finer grained voltage/frequency curve controls. Intel is launching a major update to XTU alongside these processors, which lets you set the voltage at individual frequencies, for much finer control of overclocking parameters. This technique was pioneered by GPU vendors and helps reduce power in situations when the CPU is not running at highest frequency. Traditionally you could either program a voltage offset that shifts the whole V-F curve in one direction, or program an override voltage that runs the CPU at the same voltage all the time, wasting tons of energy in the process. Now you may change the shape of the curve, too: undervolt when idle or lightly loaded, but higher voltage when loaded, to reach higher overclocking? It's possible now.
    • The ability to overclock the PCI-Express 3.0 x16 graphics bus (PEG), and DMI chipset-bus. We're not entirely sure how this is accomplished. Both are PCIe-based interfaces, which can only tolerate a few MHz clock variance for high-bandwidth devices such as GPUs. We asked Intel how this works, and they confirmed that "DMI and PCIe are linked. By overclocking one, you are overclocking the other".
  • Physical, packaging improvements: Intel made some improvements to the processor package with an aim of improving heat transfer between the die and the cooling solution. Without changing the Z-height of the package, Intel found a way to thicken the copper IHS, by thinning the silicon die (from 800 µm down to 500 µm; and the fiberglass substrate. Soldered TIM (STIM) sits between the die and the IHS. This should improve heat transfer significantly, as silicon is a thermal insulator, whereas the copper IHS is highly conductive.
  • Native support for DDR4-2933 and higher memory clocks across the board: up to DDR4-4000 for two dual-rank modules, over DDR4-4800 for two single-rank modules, and beyond DDR4-5000 for one single-rank module.
Intel Comet Lake Overclocking Enhancements Intel Comet Lake Thinner die, improved IHS Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 New Comet Lake Desktop Processor Features

The Intel Z490 Chipset

Intel is launching its latest top-tier desktop chipset, the Z490. The Intel 400-series chipset family includes other models, including the B460, and H410, although we're not sure if the latter two will be available at launch. The Z490 leads the pack with maxed out connectivity.

We asked Intel and they confirmed that Z490 is built on a 14 nm production process. It connects to the LGA1200 processor over a conventional DMI 3.0 chipset bus (32 Gbps per direction). Connectivity is an impressive 24 PCI-Express 3.0 downstream lanes, which combined with the 16 PEG lanes from the processor add up to 40 lanes on this platform. Motherboard designers utilize this PCIe lane budget to deploy up to three M.2 NVMe slots, and several high-bandwidth devices such as additional USB 3.2 host controllers, Thunderbolt 3 controllers, 10 GbE networking, etc.

The Z490 integrates a 6-port SATA 6 Gbps AHCI/RAID controller, a 4-port USB 3.2 gen 2 controller with Gen 2 x2 (20 Gbps) capability, up to 12 USB 3.2 gen 1 (5 Gbps) ports, a HD Audio bus with Intel Smart Sound (low-power audio encoding/decoding) capability, which lets you issue voice commands to your PC even in standby mode; and one integrated MAC for either an i225-V "Foxville" 2.5 GbE or cheaper i219-V "Jacksonville" 1 GbE controller. The chipset also comes with preparation for Intel AX201 WLAN card over CNVi interface (802.11ax Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 5).

Availability

Although announced today, the 10th generation Core desktop processors and compatible LGA1200 motherboards should reach markets around the world starting May-June—the K SKUs will reach the market first.

The Complete Slide Deck

New 10th gen Intel Core S-Series Processor Launch Intel 10th Gen, worlds fastest gaming processor Best Overclocking Experience Comet Lake Why Frequency Matters Intel Comet Lake Overclocking Enhancements Intel Comet Lake Thinner die, improved IHS Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 Intel Core i9-10900K Comet Lake Performance in Games and Creating Optimized for Total War Three Kingdoms Optimized to win Remnant from the Ashes Gaming Partners about Intel 10th Gen Gaming Partners about Intel 10th Gen New Comet Lake Desktop Processor Features 10th Gen Intel Core Desktop Comet Lake Lineup 10th Gen Intel Core Desktop Comet Lake Lineup 10th Gen Intel Core Desktop Comet Lake Lineup 10th Gen Intel Core Desktop Comet Lake Lineup
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203 Comments on Intel 10th Generation Comet Lake Desktop Processors and 400-Series Chipsets Announced, Here's what's New

#26
Dave65
bug
And I don't see a useful post.

+1 for laughing at your own joke. That's never out of place ;)
You're right, not useful at all, but I do love laughing at my own jokes:)
Posted on Reply
#27
trparky
Frequency matters? It only matters to Intel because they've not been able to deliver actual better performance, that actual better performance being IPC (Instructions Per Clock). That's all Intel has been able to push lately, there hasn't been any real improvements to the architecture in nearly five years. I'm afraid that we're reliving the days of the Pentium 4 Prescott.

I do have to wonder, is Intel going to have a 240mm radiator and closed loop liquid cooling kit as part of the package when buying a retail chip? Because that's the only way I see being able to cool these chips.
Darmok N Jalad
These are going to be some hefty motherboards.
Oh yeah, the VRMs on these boards are going to have to be pretty beefy.
btarunr
Y'all thought the 40 mm fan on AMD X570 motherboards was a putoff? Wait till you see any half-decent Z490 board:
Oh God. These are going to cost a grunch to buy.
Posted on Reply
#28
bug
trparky
Oh God. These are going to cost a grunch to buy.
They're going to be expensive on account of 2.5Gbps Ethernet and WiFi6 alone. I really, really don't see how these go with an i3.
Posted on Reply
#29
Xex360
Very disappointing pricing, plus you have to get a new board for the generation of CPUs.
Posted on Reply
#30
TheLostSwede
bug
They're going to be expensive on account of 2.5Gbps Ethernet and WiFi6 alone. I really, really don't see how these go with an i3.
2.5Gbps Ethernet is about $1 more than 1Gbps Ethernet.
Posted on Reply
#31
bug
TheLostSwede
2.5Gbps Ethernet is about $1 more than 1Gbps Ethernet.
See? Moar expensive o_O
Posted on Reply
#33
InhaleOblivion
Appreciate the heads up. Pricing is better than I expected(Thanks AMD), though not much of an upgrade from last gen. Looking forward to the TPU review of the i9 and i5.
Posted on Reply
#34
Tom.699
Soldered TIM (STIM) sits between the die and the IHS. This should improve heat transfer significantly, as silicon is a thermal insulator, whereas the copper IHS is highly conductive.
Silicon is not a thermal insulator. Its thermal conductivity is better then solder, more than 100 K/mW at 50C while solder is around 60 depending on kind.
Improvement is because solder replaced much worse thermal interface material.
Posted on Reply
#35
Turmania
I think both CPU prices and especially board prices are too high. Perhaps it has something to do with the ongoing crisis especially for the boards I do not know.
Posted on Reply
#36
MrAMD
Eh, not a bad refresh really. Rocket Lake is the big boi coming though. Likely this year even. Kaby lake all over again?
Posted on Reply
#37
ppn
i7-10700F (16M cache, 8 Cores, 16 Threads, 2.90 GHz) (4.6 GHz ALL core Boost) $298 Recommended Customer Price Tray Units
AMD RYZEN 7 3700X 8-Core 3.6 GHz (4.4 GHz Max Boost) $298 Newegg

What is not to like.

Yeah motherboards, but if you go for cheaper like MSI Z490A Pro. and stick to this system for 6 years, the price is irrelevant as it spreads over 6 years, and then you sell it at 1/4 price or something.
Posted on Reply
#38
ERazer
ARF
Wait for reviews and see overall performance. 4.3 GHz Core i3-10100 has to be faster than 3.9 GHz Ryzen 3 3100.
5.3 GHz vs 4.6 GHz. Why can't AMD clock higher?
thanks to AMD you would still be suckling on dual core i3 skylakes, ohh yeah still skylake
Posted on Reply
#39
R0H1T
ERazer
thanks to AMD you would still be suckling on dual core i3 skylakes, ohh yeah still skylake
Hey Intel was peddling "core i7" ULV chips as 2c/4t up to as late as 2018(?) till KBL-R showed up, if you thought desktop was bad mobile was :nutkick:
Posted on Reply
#40
Darmok N Jalad
I can see AMD moving in and doing a small price drop across the board. As it is now, a 3900X is in the $400 range.
Posted on Reply
#41
Turmania
Darmok N Jalad
I can see AMD moving in and doing a small price drop across the board. As it is now, a 3900X is in the $400 range.
With those prices intel put up, i would not be surprised if AMD puts up prices a bit up and they could always excuse the virus situation as a back up.
Posted on Reply
#42
birdie
I'm OK with what Intel has to offer given the fact that the high performance/decent power consumption 10nm node is currenlty out of reach for them but Pentium and Celeron CPUs simply must not exist. Running a system with just two physical cores (even if there's HT) in 2020 is a huge PITA.

They could have released a single CPU for crypto-miners or people who just need any CPU to be able to run their system but having 8 of them? A waste of time and resources. It's not like cheap LGA1200 motherboards will get released any time soon.
Posted on Reply
#43
Octopuss
Skylake is what year again? :rolleyes:
Posted on Reply
#44
BArms
Why the new socket?
Posted on Reply
#45
Dr_b_
Price per core is still more expensive on intel, they do value their parts, but with AMD, you get more of them, intel's top part has only 10 cores at a MSRP(TRAY?!) price of $48.8/core, whereas AMDs more expensive 16 core at actual retail cost is $46.12/core. What is the justification in paying more for fewer cores, that use more power (folks, these parts are going to be nuclear hot and draw significant power), and paying a premium for the privilege of so doing?

Also, there is nothing new here. If you want to keep TVBoost clocks up sustained you will need a river of LN2.

If you dont care about the cost premium, power consumption (strange that you wouldn't, the cost to operate it isnt free for the majority of people), don't need all those cores, don't need PCIe4.0 which is ahead of its time, and want maximum software compatibility, maybe intel is the way to go.

Ill bet my 16 core 3950X will be faster overall, with less power consumption. Can't wait for the reviews to validate that.
Posted on Reply
#46
coozie78
From the article: Almost all socket LGA1200 motherboards we've seen so far, barring the Mini-ITX designs, feature at least an 8+4 pin EPS (CPU power) input configuration. The higher-end boards even have dual 8-pin EPS setups akin to HEDT motherboards.
Looks like a lot of us will also need to stump up for a high end dual EPS PSU as well, if we decide to adopt these new parts.
Posted on Reply
#47
Houd.ini
TheLostSwede
It's actually even less than that.

$2.40
ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/184676/intel-ethernet-controller-i225-v.html
$1.72
ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/82186/intel-ethernet-connection-i219-v.html
How much do you think these 68 cents will translate to in Motherboardish? 20 USD?
Pinktulips7
AMD Fan Boy/Girls start running b4 too Late!!! Where is AMD???


Oh It will destroy whatever you have it install Boy...
Grow up.
BArms
Why the new socket?
Because intel, and power consumption, I guess.
Posted on Reply
#48
birdie
Dr_b_
Price per core is still more expensive on intel, they do value their parts, but with AMD, you get more of them, intel's top part has only 10 cores at a MSRP(TRAY?!) price of $48.8/core, whereas AMDs more expensive 16 core at actual retail cost is $46.12/core. What is the justification in paying more for fewer cores, that use more power (folks, these parts are going to be nuclear hot and draw significant power), and paying a premium for the privilege of so doing?

Also, there is nothing new here. If you want to keep TVBoost clocks up sustained you will need a river of LN2.

If you dont care about the cost premium, power consumption (strange that you wouldn't, the cost to operate it isnt free for the majority of people), don't need all those cores, don't need PCIe4.0 which is ahead of its time, and want maximum software compatibility, maybe intel is the way to go.

Ill bet my 16 core 3950X will be faster overall, with less power consumption. Can't wait for the reviews to validate that.
90% of users out there don't need more than 4 cores, the remaining 8-9% are totally fine with 6 cores and maybe 1-2% of all users actually need 8-core or more parts. Meanwhile everyone on this planet is better off with single threaded performance which Intel still leads in absolutely most use cases. Zen 3 might finally change it (for a while) but it's nowhere to be seen yet and we don't even have any projections or leaks about its performance.

I don't deny that AMD made multicore parts available for the average Joe (which Intel denied us for many years), but the guy still doesn't really utilize them in any capacity.

And yes, this is still Sky Lake, i.e. the 5th iteration of it. The uArch was so great I don't understand why people hate Intel for utilizing it over and over again. It's not like Intel doesn't have anything on their radar, no, Ice Lake has been in retail for more than half a year, Tiger Lake is already in production but it's not known when it will hit the shelves.
Dr_b_
Price per core is still more expensive on intel, they do value their parts, but with AMD, you get more of them, intel's top part has only 10 cores at a MSRP(TRAY?!) price of $48.8/core, whereas AMDs more expensive 16 core at actual retail cost is $46.12/core. What is the justification in paying more for fewer cores, that use more power (folks, these parts are going to be nuclear hot and draw significant power), and paying a premium for the privilege of so doing?

Also, there is nothing new here. If you want to keep TVBoost clocks up sustained you will need a river of LN2.

If you dont care about the cost premium, power consumption (strange that you wouldn't, the cost to operate it isnt free for the majority of people), don't need all those cores, don't need PCIe4.0 which is ahead of its time, and want maximum software compatibility, maybe intel is the way to go.

Ill bet my 16 core 3950X will be faster overall, with less power consumption. Can't wait for the reviews to validate that.
You're paying for absolute best single threaded performance and stable mature platform out of the box. The release of Zen 2 was a lot of pain for the first three months for its early adopters. Intel solutions on the other hand are usually complete and fully functional out of the box and don't need a dozen of BIOS updates to make them work as the vendor intended.

Yes, Comet Lake desktop CPUs will run hot. The people who buy such systems usually know what they are paying for and what they are getting.

Absolute most pro e-athletes run Intel Core i9 9900KS CPUs. Deal with it! No one cares your rig has 64 cores if it gives you 20% less FPS at FHD than the top Intel part. No one.
Posted on Reply
#49
dicktracy
10700KF is the choice for gamers.
Posted on Reply
#50
efikkan
Did anyone catch when the review embargo lifts? Some rumors claimed end of May…
coozie78
From the article: Almost all socket LGA1200 motherboards we've seen so far, barring the Mini-ITX designs, feature at least an 8+4 pin EPS (CPU power) input configuration. The higher-end boards even have dual 8-pin EPS setups akin to HEDT motherboards.
Looks like a lot of us will also need to stump up for a high end dual EPS PSU as well, if we decide to adopt these new parts.
I do wonder if both are required or not?
Regardless, you don't need a "high end" PSU to have two EPS connectors, even a value PSU like Seasonic Focus GX 550W features this. But a 5 year old PSU might not.
But if you're building a new PC in this price range, you shouldn't skimp on the PSU.
Posted on Reply
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