MSI has revealed that almost 30% of Intel’s K series 10th Gen desktop CPUs won’t hit the advertised boost clock, with little to overclocking headroom. While this may upset many customers, this isn’t exactly misleading. To put it plainly, Intel has taken a page from AMD’s marketing book. Similar to the Ryzen 3000 CPUs, the boost clocks of the 10th Gen Comet Lake-S parts have an “up-to” in front of them rather than a definite figure.
The reason behind this is that Intel’s 10th Gen unlocked CPUs will be of three qualities or levels: Level A, Level B and Level C:
- Level A – Best Dies, Extra headroom for overclocking
- Level B – Standard Dies, Run per Intel spec and can provide decent overclocking
- Level C – Below Average Dies, Run below Intel spec and may not provide better overclocking
According to MSI’s own statistics, around 30% of the K series CPUs will be part of the last level, C. These will have little to no overclocking headroom and might not even hit the advertised boost clocks. The Level B or “average quality” chips will be the most widespread with 52% of the Core i5-10600K and 58% of the Core i7-10700K units being a part of it. Only 2% Core i5s and 5% Core i7s will form the Level A batch to hit the spec boost freqeuncies. The Core i9-10900K has more rosy figures. Here, the three levels are more equally distributed and around 27% of all chips should be able to reach the spec boost clock of 5.3GHz.
This is encouraging news for enthusiasts. This means that most of the 10th Gen Core i9 parts on the market will be able to hit the 5.3GHz boost clock. This is most likely because unlike the rest of the lineup, the 10-core i9-10900K is a new die. All the remaining 10th Gen parts are basically a refresh the 9th Gen lineup with hyperthreading enabled across the board and mild frequency upgrades.
As such, you expect new overclocking records in the coming months with the 10900K. I suspect 6GHz might not be out of the question. We’ll see.