Intel Core i9-10900K Overview: Barely Faster than the 9900K in Gaming, Slower than the Ryzen 9 in Everything Else

Today’s the day that Intel’s 10th Gen desktop CPU reviews have finally hit the web. However, as expected there are no surprises here and everything lines up with what we had expected. The Core i9-10900K is barely faster than the 9th Gen Core i9-10900K in gaming, while in multi-threaded content creation workloads, it still fails to beat AMD’s Ryzen 9 3900X. Have a look at GN’s benchmarks:

As already said, the Core i9-10900K just edges past the 9th Gen Core i9-9900K, thereby extending Intel’s lead over AMD in gaming. At the same thing though, it’s important to keep in mind that nearly all the high-end CPUs are within 10-15 FPS of one another, and this is when they’re rendering 150+ FPS across all titles. Basically, Intel’s 5% advantage doesn’t mean much in terms of real-world performance. Ironically, that has been one of the key terms in the company’s marketing slides. Now, moving onto content creation:

Across all five CC tests including Adobe Photoshop, PP, Blender and 7-zip, both the Ryzen 9 3900X as well as the 3950X beat the Intel Core i9-10900K by a notable margin. Photoshop produces an interesting result. The Core i9-9900K is faster than both the 10900K as well as the 3900X. This is most likely an optimization issue wherein the former benefits from the higher amount of L2 cache available per core due to lack of hyperthreading.

Finally, let’s have a look at the power consumption. Unsurprisingly, the Core i9-10900K draws a massive 300W when running at 5.2GHz (1.296v). In comparison, the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X and the 3950X are both far away drawing just 148W and 138W, respectively.


Overall, Intel’s 10th Gen flagship, the Core i9-10900K is impressive but only in marketing slides. While, yes, it is the fastest gaming CPU, it hardly matters as even the Core i5-10600K manages to cross the 150 FPS mark at 1080p in every game tested. The same can be said for the Ryzen 9 3900X and the 3950X. The deltas are just over 5-10% and as explained that’s when all the processors are competing in the triple figure region.


Computer hardware enthusiast, PC gamer, and almost an engineer. Former co-founder of Techquila (2017-2019), a fairly successful tech outlet. Been working on Hardware Times since 2019, an outlet dedicated to computer hardware and its applications.
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