Intel announced their 10th Gen Comet Lake Core processors, together with the Intel 400 series chipset, towards the end of April. So aside from the new CPUs, motherboard manufacturers also announced their Z490 motherboards. In this article let us compare Intel’s 10th Gen CPUs with its predecessors the 9th Gen and 8th Gen CPUs. Specifically, let’s compare the specifications of the Core i9, Core i7, Core i5 and Core i3 of each generation and see how big (or small) the improvement is from one generation to another. If ever you are planning to upgrade to a latest 10th Gen CPU and new Z490 motherboard, check out this article first and find out if it is a worthy upgrade for you.
UPDATE: Added Intel Core i9-10850K
Intel 10th vs 9th vs 8th Gen CPUs Specs Comparison – Comet Lake vs Coffee Lake (Refresh)
First, let’s also discuss some of the new features that the 10th gen has to offer. What exactly the 10th gen Intel CPUs have that its predecessors don’t. This is just a specifications comparison since at this time benchmarks and reviews for the 10th gen CPUs are not out yet. It is expected that we will see reviews starting May
So basically, the three generations are based on the same 14nm fabrication processor; just with “refinements” on each generation. Intel wasn’t able to use 10nm or 7nm, unlike AMD who is already using 7nm on their 3rd Gen Ryzen CPUs and Navi GPUs. The 10th Gen Intel CPUs are basically based on 14nm+++, while the 9th gen is 14nm++ and 8th gen is 14nm+.
What’s really new on the 10th Gen CPU is Intel included HyperThreading on all the CPUs, from Core i9 down to Core i3. Not all processors on the previous generation enjoyed HyperThreading. This is perhaps to combat’s AMD’s shear number of cores and threads. In terms of number of cores and threads, AMD has the advantage. But despite having lesser number of cores and threads, Intel has the advantage when it comes to clock speeds.
Speaking of clock speeds, the 10th Gen CPUs also feature Turbo Boost 2.0, Turbo Boost Max 3.0 and Thermal Velocity Boost. Unfortunately, the Thermal Velocity Boost is only available on the 10th Gen Core i9 CPUs. Intel also introduced a new core and memory overclocking features. But we will have to see later how well these 10th gen CPUs overclock compared to their predecessors.
One thing to note though is that the new 10th Gen CPUs will only work with the new 400 series motherboards, or Z490 motherboards with socket LGA 1200. Despite having the size dimensions, the new socket has a greater number of pins compared to the previous generations. It is reported that these Z490 motherboards will be able to support the next generation Intel CPUs, or 11th gen CPUs. The 9th Gen and 8th Gen CPUs are basically backwards compatible and will work on a Z390 or Z370 motherboard.
Integrated graphics is still a feature, but Intel is still using the same Intel UHD 630 graphics. All CPUs have Intel UHD Graphics 630 iGPU except for the CPUs with an “F” on their model name.
Below is a table comparing the specifications of the 10th Gen vs 9th Gen vs 8th Gen CPUs from Intel:
|Processor||Cores||Threads||Base Freq||Max Turbo||All Core Turb||Cache||Memory Support||TDP||Price|
|i9-10900K||10||20||3.7 GHz||5.3 GHz||4.8 GHz||20MB||DDR4-2933||125W||$488|
|i9-10900KF||10||20||3.7 GHz||5.3 GHz||4.8 GHz||20MB||DDR4-2933||125W||$472|
|i9-10850K||10||20||3.6 GHz||5.2 GHz||4.7 GHz||DDR4-2933||125W||$453|
|i9-10900||10||20||2.8 GHz||5.2 GHz||4.5 GHz||20MB||DDR4-2933||65W||$439|
|i9-10900F||10||20||2.8 GHz||5.2 GHz||4.5 GHz||20MB||DDR4-2933||65W||$422|
|i9-9900KS||8||16||4.0 GHz||5.0 GHz||5.0 GHz||16MB||DDR4-2666||127W||$524|
|i9-9900K||8||16||3.6 GHz||5.0 GHz||4.7 GHz||16MB||DDR4-2666||95W||$499|
|i9-9900KF||8||16||3.6 GHz||5.0 GHz||4.7 GHz||16MB||DDR4-2666||95W||$474|
|i9-9900||8||16||3.1 GHz||5.0 GHz||4.7 GHz||16MB||DDR4-2666||65W||$449|
|i7-10700K||8||16||3.8 GHz||5.1 GHz||4.7 GHz||16MB||DDR4-2933||125W||$374|
|i7-10700KF||8||16||3.8 GHz||5.1 GHz||4.7 GHz||16MB||DDR4-2933||125W||$349|
|i7-10700||8||16||2.9 GHz||4.8 GHz||4.6 GHz||16MB||DDR4-2933||65W||$323|
|i7-10700F||8||16||2.9 GHz||4.8 GHz||4.6 GHz||16MB||DDR4-2933||65W||$298|
|i7-9700K||8||8||3.6 GHz||4.9 GHz||4.6 GHz||12MB||DDR4-2666||95W||$385|
|i7-9700KF||8||8||3.6 GHz||4.9 GHz||4.6 GHz||12MB||DDR4-2666||95W||$360|
|i7-9700||8||8||3.0 GHz||4.7 GHz||4.6 GHz||12MB||DDR4-2666||65W||$335|
|i7-9700F||8||8||3.0 GHz||4.7 GHz||4.6 GHz||12MB||DDR4-2666||65W||$310|
|i7-8086K||6||12||4 GHz||5.0 GHz||4.3 GHz||12MB||DDR4-2666||95W||$425|
|i7-8700K||6||12||3.7 GHz||4.7 GHz||4.3 GHz||12MB||DDR4-2666||95W||$370|
|i7-8700||6||12||3.2 GHz||4.6 GHz||4.3 GHz||12MB||DDR4-2666||95W||$312|
|i5-10600K||6||12||4.1 GHz||4.8 GHz||4.5 GHz||12MB||DDR4-2666||125W||$262|
|i5-10600KF||6||12||4.1 GHz||4.8 GHz||4.5 GHz||12MB||DDR4-2666||125W||$237|
|i5-10600||6||12||3.3 GHz||4.8 GHz||4.4 GHz||12MB||DDR4-2666||65W||$213|
|i5-10500||6||12||3.1 GHz||4.5 GHz||4.2 GHz||12MB||DDR4-2666||65W||$192|
|i5-10400||6||12||2.9 GHz||4.3 GHz||4.0 GHz||12MB||DDR4-2666||65W||$182|
|i5-10400F||6||12||2.9 GHz||4.3 GHz||4.0 GHz||12MB||DDR4-2666||65W||$157|
|i5-9600K||6||6||3.7 GHz||4.6 GHz||4.3 GHz||9MB||DDR4-2666||95W||$263|
|i5-9600KF||6||6||3.7 GHz||4.6 GHz||4.3 GHz||9MB||DDR4-2666||95W||$238|
|i5-9600||6||6||3.1 GHz||4.6 GHz||9MB||DDR4-2666||65W||$224|
|i5-9500||6||6||3.0 GHz||4.4 GHz||9MB||DDR4-2666||65W||$202|
|i5-9500F||6||6||3.0 GHz||4.4 GHz||9MB||DDR4-2666||65W||$177|
|i5-9400||6||6||2.9 GHz||4.1 GHz||9MB||DDR4-2666||65W||$182|
|i5-9400F||6||6||2.9 GHz||4.1 GHz||9MB||DDR4-2666||65W||$157|
|i5-8600K||6||6||3.6 GHz||4.3 GHz||4.1 GHz||9MB||DDR4-2666||95W||$258|
|i5-8600||6||6||3.1 GHz||4.3 GHz||9MB||DDR4-2666||65W||$224|
|i5-8500||6||6||3.0 GHz||4.1 GHz||9MB||DDR4-2666||65W||$202|
|i5-8400||6||6||2.8 GHz||4.0 GH||9MB||DDR4-2666||65W||$187|
|i3-10320||4||8||3.8 GHz||4.6 GHz||4.4 GHz||8MB||DDR4-2666||65W||$154|
|i3-10300||4||8||3.7 GHz||4.4 GHz||4.2 GHz||8MB||DDR4-2666||65W||$143|
|i3-10100||4||8||3.6 GHz||4.3 GHz||4.1 GHz||8MB||DDR4-2666||65W||$122|
|i3-9350K||4||4||4 GHz||4.6 GHz||8MB||DDR4-2400||91W||$184|
|i3-9350KF||4||4||4 GHz||4.6 GHz||8MB||DDR4-2400||91W||$159|
|i3-9320||4||4||3.7 GHz||4.4 GHz||8MB||DDR4-2400||62W||$162|
|i3-9300||4||4||3.7 GHz||4.3 GHz||8MB||DDR4-2400||62W||$152|
|i3-9100||4||4||3.6 GHz||4.2 GHz||8MB||DDR4-2400||65W||$122|
|i3-9100F||4||4||3.6 GHz||4.2 GHz||8MB||DDR4-2400||65W||$97|
Note: Prices are the recommended retail price from Intel. Actual retail price may vary. For latest pricing and availability, check them below (#ad):
- Intel Core i9-10900k available at Amazon.com here and Newegg.com here
- Intel Core i9-10850K available at Amazon.com here and Newegg.com here
- Intel Core i7-10700K available at Amazon.com here and Newegg.com here
- Intel Core i5-10600K available at Amazon.com here and Newegg.com here
Also check out an update article with Intel’s latest Rocket lake CPU -> Intel 11th Gen vs 10th Gen CPU – Which One To Get?
Intel Core i9-10900K vs i9-9900K vs i7-8700K
I’m not going to compare each processor; the data is basically on the table above and you can sort it according to the header. But let’s compare the flagship of each generation as an example.
The Intel Core i9-10900K features 10 cores and 20 threads and with a maximum turbo boost of 5.3GHz. Its all-core turbo speed is only 4.8GHz, but if these CPUs overclock well like their predecessors, I bet you can manually overclock the i9-10900K to run at 5GHz+ on all cores.
On the other hand, the Core i9-9900K features 8 core and 16 threads. That’s basically two less cores from the 10th Gen. It has a maximum turbo boost of 5.0GHz with an all core turbo of 4.7GHz. But again, you can easily overclock the i9-9900K to run at 5GHz(+) on all cores. The recommended price of the i9-9900K is $499, making the i9-10900K look a bit better at $488. However, I’m positive that it may be difficult to get an i9-10900K at $488, since prices are usually inflated with new release.
Lastly, the 8th Gen desktop CPUs doesn’t have an i9 part. So, the flagship is an i7-8700K with 6 cores and 12 threads. It has a maximum turbo boost of 4.7GHz, with an all-core clock speed of 4.3GHz. But this CPU can be manually overclocked to run at 5GHz on all cores. This is also the current CPU that I am using for my game benchmarks.
Coming from an 8th gen CPU, upgrading to the latest 10th gen would be reasonable depending on the type of workload. However, I don’t think it is worth it to upgrade to 10th gen if you are already on a 9th gen platform; not unless you’re on i3 or i5 and you plan to get an i9.
Another thing to note is that the 10th gen and Z400 series doesn’t support PCIe 4.0; it is still on PCIe 3.0. If you need this feature, AMD got you covered with the X570 motherboards; otherwise you’ll have to wait and see if the 11th gen Intel CPUs will natively support PCIe 4.0.
Are you planning to upgrade or build a new system based on the 10th Gen and Z490 platform? What are your thoughts on these new CPUs? Let us know below.