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Intel 10th-gen Comet Lake H review: The best Core i7 in a laptop you can buy


Intel’s 10th-gen Comet Lake H is easily the best Core i7 available today in a gaming laptop. In fact, we’d be bold enough to say that 10th-gen Core i7 Comet Lake H is easily the best Core i7 we’ve ever seen in a gaming laptop. 

With the 8-core, 16-thread Core i7-10875H, Intel’s finally giving gamers and power users the cores they want in a Core i7. Previously, Intel sequestered 8-core chips behind that First-Class curtain accessible only to Core i9 buyers. With Core i7-10875H, such luxury is trickling down to Economy Plus users.

Intel isn’t doing this out of the goodness of its heart, though. A little 7nm chip called Ryzen 4000 is looming over every single result here, having sent shock waves through the laptop world when it made its debut last month

Our Comet Lake H news story by Mark Hachman provides more detail, and we’ve lifted out the most important part in this chart listing the specs of the new lineup. The Core i5 doesn’t change much other than clock speed increases. The same goes for the two mid-range Core i7 chips, which get modest boost clocks.

intel comet lake-h skus Intel

For launch day, we didn’t have access to the top-of the line Core i9-10980HK. Maybe that’s for the better, as the Core i7-10875H is likely the sweet spot of the lineup.

How we tested

Testing a mobile CPU is not at all like testing a desktop CPU. In a desktop, the reviewer can control what GPU, what SSD, what RAM, and what cooling is used, and test apples to apples or darn close to it.

Every laptop, on the other hand, is a custom-built platform. The closest anyone can get to apples-to-apples testing is on that rare occasion when the vendor offers two different CPUs in the same rig. For instance, we compared Intel vs. AMD CPUs in Acer’s Predator Helios 500, the sibling laptops being nearly identical otherwise.

When you test a laptop CPU, what little you can control are comparable size and weight. Larger and heavier laptops can typically offer more space for cooling and power. It’s not fair to compare it to a thin-and-light laptop, which will face more challenges with ventilation and likely throttle performance to keep things cooler. 

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