At CES 2020, we heard plenty from Intel with regards to its mobility plans this year. We got to see the Gen 12 Intel Xe graphics running Destiny 2 for the first time. We also got news about the 10th Gen Comet Lake-H mobile CPUs, and Intel’s new 5 GHz-plus notebook processors. Leaks that arrived around the same time also gave us a good idea about where things stood with regards to Tiger Lake’s CPU performance.
However, there was one thing that was conspicuously absent during their CES event: any new information at all about Intel’s mainstream desktop Comet Lake-S lineup, the successor to the 9th-gen Core i series. We’ve seen a lot of leaks over the past few months about Comet Lake-S and have a good idea of where the entire product stack is at. Intel is still limited by the 14nm process. What they’ve gone ahead and done is add two additional cores to the top-end i9 SKU. According to current information, the Core i9-10900K will feature 10 cores and 20 threads, with an all-core boost close to 5 GHz. This would make for a very solid gaming CPU. So why haven’t we heard anything from Intel yet?
ComputerBase indicates that it has to do with issues pertaining to the flagship, the 10-Core i9-10900K. Other Comet Lake S parts work fine on upcoming Z490 boards. However, Intel’s struggling to get the 10900K to perform on spec. Rumors indicate that it could draw in excess of 300W of power. To put that into perspective, AMD’s top-of-the-line (HEDT class) 16 core Ryzen 9 3950X draws under 150W when under full load.
Thanks to the high clocks and high IPC, we expect that the Core i9-10900K will be an excellent gaming CPU. The real question, though, is how well it fares against the Ryzen 4000 series. If AMD makes gains to IPC and clock speeds, Intel’s single-core supremacy might come under threat, giving consumers no reason at all to purchase Team Blue silicon.