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Intel 10th Gen Comet Lake-S Desktop LGA 1200 CPUs Launching in April


A leaked NDA document might have revealed when Intel is planning to launch its 10th Generation Comet Lake-S Desktop CPU family. Based on the 14nm process, the Comet Lake-S CPUs are going to deliver higher core counts and higher clock speeds than any previous generation mainstream chips from Intel.

Intel 10th Gen Comet Lake-S Desktop CPUs Reportedly Launching in April 2020

The leaked NDA was published over at Uniko’s Hardware (via Videocardz) and has a good amount of information in it. The NDA is specific to both, the Desktop and Workstation platforms. The 10th Generation family will include processors targeted at both platforms while featuring support on the LGA 1200 socket motherboards.

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Intel 10th Generation CPUs including the Core i9-10900K, Core i9-10900KF, Core i7-10700K, Core i7-10700KF, Core i5-10600K, Core i5-10600KF, Core i5-10400, and the Core i5-10400F are mentioned, all of which are part of this NDA. Both the K and KF series have been individually detailed by us in a previous article here.

According to the NDA, two dates are mentioned for product introduction. The first date is the 13th of April and the second date is the 26th of June. That's quite a huge gap and the dates could mean a list of few things. Either the launch happens sometime in between the two aforementioned dates or Intel is simply referring to the dates for the two separate lineups, K & KF series. The K & KF series isn't much different than one another with the only difference being a disabled iGPU on the 'F' & 'KF' parts but having limited production capacity could end up being one of the reasons behind the large gap in between the two launches.

As always, no sort of press coverage, advertising, sales or shipments of these processors is to be made prior to the embargo lift but there's already way too much information out there, making this particular NDA quite irrelevant.

Intel 10th Gen Comet Lake-S Unlocked 125W Desktop CPU Family

There are three SKUs in the unlocked lineup which is one less than what we were told. There's the flagship Core i9-10900K which is followed by the Core i7-10700K and the Core i5-10600K. The Core i3 variant is missing but it's such a crucial SKU that would be targetting a very competitive market and it would be a bad decision for Intel to not launch an unlocked quad-core part in the budget tier segment.

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Intel Core i9-10900K - 10 Cores, Up To 5.3 GHz Single-Core, 4.9 GHz All-Core

The Intel Core i9-10900K will be the flagship part of the 10th Generation Desktop CPU family. Intel has a few tricks up their sleeves to offer even better performance than the Core i9-9900KS. The i9-10900K features 10 cores, 20 threads a total cache of 20 MB and a 125W TDP. The chip has a base frequency of 3.7 GHz and a boost frequency of 5.1 GHz. However, using Intel's Turbo Boost Max 3.0 technology, the chip can boost up to 5.2 GHz on a single-core and what's even better is the 4.9 GHz all-core boost. Some of the features of this particular chip include:

  • Up to 4.8 GHz All-Core Turbo
  • Up to 5.3 / 4.0 GHz Thermal Velocity Boost Singe / All-core Turbo
  • Up to 5.2 GHz Intel Turbo Boost Max 3.0
  • Up to 10C and 20T
  • Up to DDR4-2933 MHz dual-channel
  • Enhanced Core & Memory Overclocking
  • Active Core Group Tuning

Here's the interesting part, the chip would also get Thermal Velocity Boost, similar to the current flagship parts. CPUs that support this algorithm, like the Core i9-10900K, would feature even faster boost frequencies of 5.3 GHz (single-core) and 4.9 GHz (all-core). However, as the name suggests, only top-tier cooling solutions would be able to allow full utilization of the Thermal Velocity Boost feature. So unless you rock a high-end AIO liquid cooler or a closed-loop setup, don't expect a sustained velocity boost but rather short bursts until the threshold is hit. It will be interesting to know the full extent of the features that this function has to offer and what kind of cooling would the Core i9-10900K requires in general. A few benchmarks of the Core i9-10900K versus the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X CPU can be found here.

Intel Core i7-10700K - 8 Cores, Up To 5.1 GHz Single-Core, 4.7 GHz All-Core

The Intel Core i7-10700K would be featuring 8 cores and 16 threads. The chip would house 16 MB of total cache and a TDP of 125W. The chip would feature a base clock of 3.8 GHz, a boost clock of 5.0 GHz (single-core) and 5.1 GHz (single-core) with Turbo Boost Max 3.0. The chip will be 100 MHz faster in single-core but slower across all-cores by 100 MHz than the Core i9-9900K which retails for over $500 US. Since this is an i7 part, expect pricing to fall around $350-$400 US.

Intel Core i5-10600K - 6 Cores, Up To 4.8 GHz Single-Core, 4.5 GHz All-Core

The Intel Core i7-10600K would be featuring 6 cores and 12 threads. The chip would house 12 MB of total cache and a TDP of 125W. The chip would feature a base clock of 4.1 GHz, a boost clock of 4.8 GHz (single-core) and 4.5 GHz (all-core). The chip would be faster than the 8th Gen flagship, the Core i7-8700K, featuring a higher base and boost clock across a single and all-cores. The Core i5 should be retailing in the $220-$270 US segment which is a decent price for a fast 6 core and multi-threaded chip.

Intel 10th Gen Comet Lake-S 65W Desktop CPU Family

The rest of the lineup is made up of the 65W SKUs which come in Core i9, Core i7, Core i5, and Core i3 flavors. Having a 65W Core i9-10900 with 10 cores and 20 threads which still boosts up to 4.5GHz across all cores and 4.6 GHz if you include the Thermal Velocity boost is pretty good plus 5.2 GHz on a single-core doesn't sound that bad at all, considering this is a 65W chip (at its base frequency).

The Intel Core i3 lineup is also worth pointing out as it is made up of 3 SKUs which seem to be part of the initial launch family. The Core i3-10320 would be leading with 4 cores, 8 threads at 65W. 8MB of cache, clocks of up to 4.6 GHz in single and 4.4 GHz on all-cores sound decent enough for what is supposed to be a budget chip retailing under $200 US. The full list of SKUs along with their specs can be seen in the table below.

Intel 10th Gen Core Comet Lake Desktop CPU Family:

CPU NameCores / ThreadsBase ClockSingle-Core Boost ClockTurbo Boost Max 3.0 (Single-Core)All Core Boost ClockCacheTDPPrice
Intel Core i9-10900K10/203.7 GHz5.1 GHz
5.3 GHz (Velocity)
5.2 GHz4.8 GHz
4.9 GHz (Velocity)
20 MB125WTBD
Intel Core i9-10900KF10/203.7 GHz5.1 GHz
5.3 GHz (Velocity)
5.2 GHz4.8 GHz
4.9 GHz (Velocity)
20 MB125WTBD
Intel Core i9-1090010/202.8 GHz5.0 GHz
5.2 GHz (Velocity)
5.1 GHz4.5 GHz
4.6 GHz (Velocity)
20 MB65WTBD
Intel Core i9-10900F10/202.8 GHz5.0 GHz
5.2 GHz (Velocity)
5.1 GHz4.5 GHz
4.6 GHz (Velocity)
20 MB65W
Intel Core i9-10900T10/202.0 GHz4.5 GHzTBDTBD20 MB35WTBD
Intel Core i7-10700K8/163.8 GHz5.0 GHz5.1 GHz4.7 GHz16 MB125WTBD
Intel Core i7-10700KF8/163.8 GHz5.0 GHz5.1 GHz4.7 GHz16 MB125W
Intel Core i7-107008/162.9 GHz4.7 GHz4.6 GHz4.8 GHz16 MB65WTBD
Intel Core i7-10700F8/162.9 GHz4.7 GHz4.6 GHz4.8 GHz16 MB65W
Intel Core i7-10700T8/162.0 GHz4.4 GHzTBDTBD16 MB35WTBD
Intel Core i5-10600K6/124.1 GHz4.8 GHzN/A4.5 GHz12 MB125WTBD
Intel Core i5-10600KF6/124.1 GHz4.8 GHzN/A4.5 GHz12 MB125W
Intel Core i5-106006/123.3 GHz4.8 GHzN/A4.4 GHz12 MB65WTBD
Intel Core i5-10600T6/122.4 GHz4.0 GHzN/ATBD12 MB35WTBD
Intel Core i5-105006/123.1 GHz4.5 GHzN/A4.2 GHz12 MB65WTBD
Intel Core i5-10500T6/122.3 GHz3.7 GHzN/ATBD12 MB35WTBD
Intel Core i5-104006/122.9 GHz4.3 GHzN/A4.0 GHz12 MB65WTBD
Intel Core i5-10400F6/122.9 GHz4.3 GHzN/A4.0 GHz12 MB65W
Intel Core i3-10350K4/8TBDTBDN/ATBD8 MB125WTBD
Intel Core i3-103204/83.8 GHz4.6 GHzN/A4.4 GHz8 MB65WTBD
Intel Core i3-103004/83.7 GHz4.4 GHzN/A4.2 GHz8 MB65WTBD
Intel Core i3-101004/83.6 GHz4.3 GHzN/A4.1 GHz8 MB65WTBD
Intel Core i3-10100T4/82.3 GHz3.6 GHzN/ATBD8 MB35WTBD
Intel Pentium G64002/43.8 GHz3.8 GHzN/ATBD4 MB65WTBD
Intel Pentium G6400T2/43.2 GHz3.2 GHzN/ATBD4 MB35WTBD
Intel Celeron G59002/23.2 GHz3.2 GHz
N/ATBD2 MB65WTBD
Intel Celeron G5900T2/23.0 GHz3.0 GHzN/ATBD2 MB35WTBD

Intel 400-Series Platform and LGA 1200 Socket Support

It is now confirmed that Intel is indeed moving to a new socket with their 400-series boards that will be introduced next year too. While the LGA 1200 socket has the same dimensions as the LGA 1151 socket (37.5mm x 37.5mm), the socket keying has shifted to the left side and Comet Lake is no longer electrically or mechanically compatible with Coffee Lake motherboards. Some details of the new LGA 1200 package and socket for Comet Lake:

  • Comet Lake will transition to a higher pin-count package
  • Comet Lake LGA will not have backward compatibility with legacy platforms
  • No changes to ILM dimensions or thermal solution retention
  • Comet Lake LGA improves power delivery and support for future incremental I/O features
  • Pin 1 orientation remains the same, but socket keying has shifted left

Blueprints of the LGA 1200 socket (H5) have also been leaked by Momomo_Us, showing the design of the new socket itself and comparing it to the existing LGA 1151 socket (H4).

The pin and socket specific changes between the H5 LGA 1200 and the H4 LGA 1151 socket are detailed in the blueprints posted above. (Image Credits: Momomo_US)

The good thing is that your existing coolers would still be compatible with the LGA 1200 socket so that's one hardware change you shouldn't be worrying about. The Comet Lake-S family will retain support for DDR4-2666 memory UDIMM and support up to 32 GB capacity DIMMs per channel.

Intel plans to have several chipsets deployed in the 400-series family. There would obviously be Z490 which will target the 'K' unlocked SKUs I mentioned above, but aside from that, we are looking at the W480 (Entry Workstation), Q470 (Corporate with Intel vPro), and H410 (Value) chipsets. These would target more corporate and entry tier users. Also interesting to note is that H410 is not pin-compatible with W480 and Q470 chipsets, which reveals a very cut down design for the entry-level chip.

Following are some of the main platform features of the 10th Generation Comet Lake-S family:

  • Up To 10 processor cores for enhanced performance
  • Up To 30 PCH-H High-Speed I/O lanes for port flexibility
  • Up To 40 PCIe 3.0 Lanes (16 CPU, up to 24 PCH)
  • Media & Display features for premium 4K content support
  • Integrated + Discrete Intel Wireless-AC (Wi-Fi/BT CNVi) Support
  • Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) Support
  • Enhanced Core and memory overclock
  • Integrated USB 3.2 Gen 2x1 (10 Gb/s) support
  • Intel Rapid Storage Technology (Intel RST)
  • Programmable (Open FW SDK) Quad-Core Audio DSP
  • C10 & S0ix Support for Modern Standby

Intel 400-Series Chipset Family:

Chipset NameIntel Z490Intel W480Intel Q470Intel H410
Total HSIO Lanes46 Lanes (16 CPU + 30 PCH)46 Lanes (16 CPU+ 30 PCH)46 Lanes (16 CPU+ 30 PCH)30 Lanes (16 CPU+ 14 PCH)
Total PCIe 3.0 Lanes (CPU + PCH)Up To 40 (16 CPU + Up To 40 (16 CPU + Up To 40 (16 CPU + 22(16 CPU + 6 PCIe 2.0)
Chipset PCIe 3.0 LanesUp To 24Up To 24Up To 246 (PCIe 2.0 Only)
SATA 3.0 PortsUp To 8Up To 8Up To 64
Maximum USB 3.2 Ports Gen 2 (10 Gb/s) / Gen 1 (5 Gb/s)8/108/106/100/4
Tota USB Ports (Maximum USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gb/s))14 (10)14 (10)14 (10)10 (4)
Intel RST Technology For PCIe 3.0 storage ports3 PCH3 PCH3 PCH0
eSPI2 Chip Select2 Chip Select2 Chip Select1 Chip Select
Overclocking SupportYesN/AN/AN/A
Processor PCIe Express 3.0 Lanes Configuration1x16 or 2x8 or 1x8 + 2x41x16 or 2x8 or 1x8 + 2x41x16 or 2x8 or 1x8 + 2x41x16
Display Support (Ports / Pipes)3/33/33/33/2
DMI 3.0 Lanes4444 (DMI 2.0 Only)
System Memory Channels / DPC2/2 (DDR4-2666)2/2 (DDR4-2666)2/2 (DDR4-2666)2/1 (DDR4-2666)

In terms of chipset features, W480 would be the most feature-rich of the three chipsets that are mentioned here. Z490 would be the most appealing for the enthusiast and gaming audience, but let's take a look at the mainstream chipsets. The W480 chipset would offer a  total of 46 high-speed IO lanes and a total of 40 PCIe Gen 3.0 lanes. The CPUs would retain 16 lanes with the chipset offering up to 24 PCIe 3.0 lanes.

There would be support for up to 8 SATA III ports, 8 USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports or 10 USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, 14 USB 3.2 Gen ports, and Intel RST. Neither of the three chipsets would feature overclock support since that is restricted to the Z490 chipset but we will get more information on overclocking later on from Intel themselves.

Intel Desktop CPU Generations Comparison:

Intel CPU FamilyProcessor ProcessProcessors Cores (Max)TDPsPlatform ChipsetPlatformMemory SupportPCIe SupportLaunch
Sandy Bridge32nm4/835-95W6-SeriesLGA 1155DDR3PCIe Gen 2.02011
Ivy Bridge22nm4/835-77W7-SeriesLGA 1155DDR3PCIe Gen 3.02012
Haswell22nm4/835-84W8-SeriesLGA 1150DDR3PCIe Gen 3.02013-2014
Broadwell14nm4/865-65W9-SeriesLGA 1150DDR3PCIe Gen 3.02015
Skylake14nm4/835-91W100-SeriesLGA 1151DDR4/DDR3LPCIe Gen 3.02015
Kaby Lake14nm4/835-91W200-SeriesLGA 1151DDR4/DDR3LPCIe Gen 3.02017
Coffee Lake14nm6/1235-95W300-SeriesLGA 1151DDR4PCIe Gen 3.02017
Coffee Lake14nm8/1635-95W300-SeriesLGA 1151DDR4PCIe Gen 3.02018
Comet Lake14nm10/2035-125W400-SeriesLGA 1200DDR4PCIe Gen 3.02020
Rocket Lake14nm10/20TBA500-Series?LGA 1200?DDR4?PCIe Gen 4.0?2021
Alder Lake10nm?16/32?TBATBALGA 1700?DDR5?PCIe Gen 4.0?2022?
Meteor LakeTBATBATBATBATBADDR5?PCIe Gen 4.0?2023?

Intel is definitely taking its time to release the 10th Gen Comet Lake-S desktop CPU family but things could get a little too hard for Intel as not only 3rd Gen Ryzen CPUs are getting insane deals over at major retail outlets but AMD reaffirmed that Zen 3 based Ryzen 4000 desktop processors would be arriving by the end of 2020. This gives Intel just two-quarters worth of head-room before AMD comes in full guns blazing with its brand new architecture based CPU family & while Intel has a new architecture planned out, it won't see the light of day till mid or even late 2021.

Which 10th Gen Comet Lake desktop CPUs are you looking forward to the most?

Products mentioned in this post

Ryzen 9 3900X

Ryzen 9 3900X
USD 418.95

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