Intel 10th Gen CPU Overview
5 June 2020
INTEL 10th GENERATION CPU SHOWCASE: BETTER THAN EVER!
Intel’s latest 10th Generation Core CPUs for the desktop have landed at Mwave! At every price point they offer more cores and better performance compared to previous generations. If you’re a gamer in particular, 10th generation processors are class-leading, so if you’re looking to build your dream gaming rig, look no further! Even if you’re not a gamer though, the new processors offer excellent multithreading performance across the range, with the ultimate 10-core/20-thread Core i9 10900K offering performance that was once restricted to the more expensive Core-X series. Intel’s i3, i5, i7 and i9 processors all boast more cores that are faster than ever. There’s a model to suit your budget and use case.
The new desktop processors fit in the LGA 1200 socket and this means you’ll need a motherboard with a new 400 series chipset. Z490 motherboards pack in the latest in connectivity and networking technologies as well as overclocking support for the tweakers among you. You can read more about Z490 Motherboards in our overview article. There’s also a ton of budget options to choose from, with H410, B460 and H470 motherboards from all the major manufacturers. If you’re looking for a basic machine with an i3 or a gaming powerhouse with an i9 CPU, there’s a motherboard to suit you.
In addition to the desktop 10th Generation CPUs, the HEDT Core-X models are perfectly suited to tasks that require mega threaded performance, with up to 18 core models available. The range-topping Core i9-10980XE Extreme Edition packs in 18 cores for maximum performance in all kinds of encoding, rendering or calculation tasks that require a large number of cores. There are also 10, 12, and 14 core 10th Gen Core-X models, all of which are supported by X299 chipset motherboards.
Additionally, many laptop class devices are equipped with 10th Generation CPUs, all the way from the entry-level to the high end. The low power 10th Gen laptop processors in particular offer amazing performance while sipping power, leading to a cooler running and quieter laptop with long battery life.
WHICH 10TH GENERATION CPU IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
Intel’s CPUs are divided into separate ranges according to their relative performance. With 10th Gen LGA 1200 processors, at the low end you have Celerons and Pentiums, then Core i3 (four cores), Core i5 (six cores), Core i7 (eight cores) and the chart-topping Core i9 with its ten cores. Additionally, the Core i3 models typically feature the lowest clock speeds, progressing up to Core i9 CPUs with the highest clock speeds, though there are exceptions depending on the TDP class. You may have noticed that most Intel processors carry one or more suffixes which denote a key feature. Let’s take the 8-core/16 thread Core i7-10700 range as an example in the following table.
|Multiplier Unlocked||K||Core i7-10700K|
|Multiplier Locked||no suffix||Core i7-10700|
|Low Power Multiplier Unlocked||T||Core i7-10700T|
|No integrated Graphics||F||Core i7-10700F|
Additionally, laptop processors have other suffixes including H for high performance, U for ultra-low power and Y for the even lower power usage. You’d usually find H series processors in powerful laptops including gaming models. U series CPUs can be found in Ultrabook class laptops or 2-in-1’s. Y class CPUs are typically found in budget laptops or machines with highly portable form factors. Intel has a good explainer on its website. Though it has yet to fully update this page at the time of writing with the full range of 10th Generation processors, most of the suffixes that apply to previous generation also apply to 10th Gen models.
INTRODUCING THE CORE i9 10900 SERIES. THE ULTIMATE GAMING PROCESSORS
If you’re a serious gamer, you need a fast processor to match, and the Core i9-10900K is the fastest of them all. You’ll enjoy the absolute best frame rates possible, with minimal bottlenecks for high-performance graphics cards. Users with high refresh rate monitors will especially appreciate a 10900K in their system. If you need 120, 240 or more frames per second, then the Thermal Velocity Boost technology of the 10900K - up to 5.3 GHz - will allow you to game at a level that no other processor can match. As it’s a K CPU, you can overclock it for even more performance provided you have the cooling to match.
With 10 cores on hand, content creators will love the i9 too, by accelerating your workflows with excellent multithreaded performance. Of course you don’t have to go for the K model. If you want something a bit more power thrifty and don’t wish to spend money on expensive cooling, then the non-K models offer a great level of performance, power consumption and lower temperatures.
THE CORE i7 10700 SERIES. MORE CORES AND HIGHER CLOCK SPEEDS THAN EVER
If you had your eye on a 9th Generation i9 processor, you can now get similar, but better performance from a 10th generation i7. That means more performance at a lower price. Like all the other 10th generation processors, high clock speeds and low latency characteristics make i7 processors perfectly suited to gaming. While with 8 cores, you won’t be wanting for extra multitasking or multithreading performance when you need it.
CORE i5 PROCESSORS ARE PERFECT FOR BUDGET CONSCIOUS GAMERS
As games tend not to need a high number of cores, an i5 processor is an excellent choice for the more budget-conscious gamer. You still get excellent gaming performance while saving money that you can put towards a better graphics card or other system components. With a lower number of cores, Core i5 CPUs also use less power, negating the need to spend a lot of money on powerful cooling.
The 10600K is the lowest tier ‘K’ overclocking capable CPU, making it a bit of hidden gem if you’re looking for additional free performance. If you’re looking for true value though, consider the i5-10500 and i5-10400. These affordable options offer terrific multithreading and gaming performance combined with attractive prices – particularly the i5-10400. They also include a heatsink/fan, adding further value. 10th Gen Intel Core i5 CPUs offer performance that beats flagship processors from just a few years ago. If you pair one with an affordable B460 or H470 motherboard, you’ll have an affordable system that packs in loads of performance without breaking the bank.
ELEVATING BUDGET PERFORMANCE WITH CORE i3 PROCESSORS
The i3-10100 and 10300 are quad-core CPUs but now feature 8 threads for performance up to double what 9th Gen i3’s could offer. In fact, it matches the core and thread count from a 7th Generation Intel Core i7! Multitasking is a breeze. Whether it’s a capable work machine you’re after, or dabbling in a bit of content creation or photo editing, an i3 is an affordable step up even from a high-end PC from a few years ago. You can even pair an i3 with a high-end graphics card for excellent gaming performance if you wish. They’re a perfect match for a B460 or even H410 motherboard if you really want bang for buck.
|CPU||Cores/Threads||Base Clock||Max Boost Clock||Unlocked?|
|Core i9-10900K||10 Cores
|3.7 GHz||5.3 GHz||Yes|
|Core i9-10900||10 Cores
|2.8 GHz||5.2 GHz||No|
|Core i7-10700K||8 Cores
|3.8 GHz||5.1 GHz||Yes|
|Core i7-10700||8 Cores
|2.9 GHz||4.8 GHz||No|
|Core i5-10600K||6 Cores
|4.1 GHz||4.8 GHz||Yes|
|Core i5-10400||6 Cores
|2.9 GHz||4.3 GHz||No|
|Core i3-10300||4 Cores
|3.7 GHz||4.4 GHz||No|
|Core i3-10100||4 Cores
|3.6 GHz||4.3 GHz||No|
PERFORMANCE AND BATTERY LIFE GO HAND IN HAND WITH INTEL 10TH GENERATION MOBILE PROCESSORS
Intel’s 10th Generation CPUs can be found in all manner of laptop designs. Continual refinements mean performance is better than ever, all while keeping battery usage minimised. If you’re looking for a desktop replacement or an all-day work or study ultra-portable notebook, there’s a 10th generation mobile processor to suit. Can you believe that you can get a processor that matches desktop performance in a mobile form factor? That’s what the Core i9-10980HK can do, with 8 cores, and it can clock as high as 5.3 GHz! Only the best desktops can match that, and none within that kind of power budget.
Intel Core i7 mobile processors can be found with 6 or 8 cores. Who said laptops are weak? Not anymore. Even the Core i5 processors offer quad cores. As mentioned above, the H class processors maximise performance, while the low power U series and ultra-low power Y series can be found in device such as ultrabooks. They offer more threads and higher boost clocks than ever before, delivering performance when you need it. Model numbers with a ‘G’ (such as the Intel Core i7-1065G7) offer significantly improved integrated graphics performance vs previous generation CPUs.
THERE’S A 10TH GENERATION PROCESSOR TO SUIT YOUR NEEDS AND BUDGET
Whether you’re looking for mega multitasking, parallel processing or gaming performance, all the way down to a simple word processing machine or an ultra-power thrifty workplace laptop, there’s a 10th Generation Intel processor to suit you. You’re always welcome to discuss your needs with our experts at Mwave. We’ll be able to tailor a solution to suit your needs and budget.
Shop Intel 10th Gen CPUs at Mwave.