At a price of $260, the Core i5-10600K is a 6-core/12-thread processor Intel designed to rescue its competitiveness in the sub-$300 performance segment. This is a segment where AMD sells tons of Ryzen 5 3600 and 3600X 6-core processors, which are popular with gamers as they do not bottleneck even enthusiast-segment graphics cards and can handle gaming at any resolution. Money saved on the processor is hence invested in a faster graphics card.
The processor tested in this Core i5-10600K review is part of Intel's new "Comet Lake" microarchitecture lineup, which is hopefully the final refinement and implementation of the "Skylake" core design that was introduced many years ago, when AMD sold "Piledriver" FX processors, dubstep was still a thing, and "tick-tock" referred to a rapid processor development cycle at Intel instead of a YouTube-killer app.
Intel's first response to "Zen" was a 6-core stretch of the Skylake die codenamed "Coffee Lake," with two additional cores and more L3 cache. When "Zen+" proved that wasn't sufficient, Intel stretched it to 8-core with "Coffee Lake Refresh." AMD's latest "Zen 2" architecture pushed IPC up by a double-digit percentage and added core-count increases all the way up to 16. Intel still doesn't have their 10 nm node ready for large-scale production of desktop parts, so there's only one last thing Intel could pull: a 10-core stretch, which is "Comet Lake-S".
We tested the Core i9-10900K flagship yesterday. Today, we have a review of the Core i5-10600K, which is Intel's midrange offering at much more affordable pricing. Unlike the 10900K, the 10600K does not feature Turbo Boost 3.0 or Thermal Velocity Boost, but Intel was kind enough to enable HyperThreading, which should give a significant boost over the 6c/6t configurations we've seen for Coffee Lake. Compared to the Core i5-9600K, the clock frequencies have been increased, and L3 cache size is now 12 MB instead of 9 MB. Last but not least, Intel bumped the power limit from 95 W to 125 W.
In this review, we take a close look at the Core i5-10600K, which could end up being Intel's most important desktop processor among DIY gamers and enthusiasts owing to its $260 price. The i5-10600K is clocked at 4.10 GHz nominal and up to 4.80 GHz with Turbo Boost. We present three data points, one tracks the i5-10600K out of the box, with all Intel power limits enabled, the second has those limits lifted, so the CPU can boost more unconstrained, and the third is a quick 4.90 GHz all-core manual OC.
|Price||Cores / |
|Ryzen 7 1700X||$170||8 / 16||3.4 GHz||3.8 GHz||16 MB||95 W||Zen||14 nm||AM4|
|Core i5-10500||$200||6 / 12||3.1 GHz||4.5 GHz||12 MB||65 W||Comet Lake||14 nm||LGA 1200|
|Ryzen 5 3600||$220||6 / 12||3.6 GHz||4.2 GHz||32 MB||65 W||Zen 2||7 nm||AM4|
|Ryzen 7 2700||$170||8 / 16||3.2 GHz||4.1 GHz||16 MB||65 W||Zen||12 nm||AM4|
|Core i5-8400||$180||6 / 6||2.8 GHz||4.0 GHz||9 MB||65 W||Coffee Lake||14 nm||LGA 1151|
|Ryzen 7 2700X||$195||8 / 16||3.7 GHz||4.3 GHz||16 MB||105 W||Zen||12 nm||AM4|
|Core i3-8350K||$195||4 / 4||4.0 GHz||N/A||8 MB||91 W||Coffee Lake||14 nm||LGA 1151|
|Core i5-8600K||$250||6 / 6||3.6 GHz||4.3 GHz||9 MB||95 W||Coffee Lake||14 nm||LGA 1151|
|Core i5-9600K||$200||6 / 6||3.7 GHz||4.6 GHz||9 MB||95 W||Coffee Lake||14 nm||LGA 1151|
|Core i5-10600K||$265||6 / 12||4.1 GHz||4.8 GHz||12 MB||125 W||Comet Lake||14 nm||LGA 1200|
|Ryzen 5 3600X||$250||6 / 12||3.8 GHz||4.4 GHz||32 MB||95 W||Zen 2||7 nm||AM4|
|Ryzen 7 1800X||$250||8 / 16||3.6 GHz||4.0 GHz||16 MB||95 W||Zen||14 nm||AM4|
|Core i7-8700K||$350||6 / 12||3.7 GHz||4.7 GHz||12 MB||95 W||Coffee Lake||14 nm||LGA 1151|
|Core i7-9700K||$380||8 / 8||3.6 GHz||4.9 GHz||12 MB||95 W||Coffee Lake||14 nm||LGA 1151|
|Core i7-10700K||$375||8 / 16||3.8 GHz||5.1 GHz||16 MB||125 W||Comet Lake||14 nm||LGA 1200|
|Ryzen 7 3700X||$295||8 / 16||3.6 GHz||4.4 GHz||32 MB||65 W||Zen 2||7 nm||AM4|
|Ryzen 9 3900X||$430||12 / 24||3.8 GHz||4.6 GHz||64 MB||105 W||Zen 2||7 nm||AM4|
|Core i9-9900K||$530||8 / 16||3.6 GHz||5.0 GHz||16 MB||95 W||Coffee Lake||14 nm||LGA 1151|
|Core i9-10900K||$500||10 / 20||3.7 GHz||5.3 GHz||20 MB||125 W||Comet Lake||14 nm||LGA 1200|