Intel's Comet Lake Refresh CPUs Tested

(Image credit: Intel)

Intel is about to launch its enthusiast-grade Rocket Lake processors in the coming days, bringing its latest microarchitecture to the desktop. But Rocket Lake will only be used for its high-end and performance-mainstream Core i9, i7, and i5 families. For its Core i3 lineup, the company will offer refreshed Comet Lake products with a speed bump.

The Comet Lake Refresh lineup is not really big: it contains six Core i3 quad-core models for desktops and one Core i3 dual-core SKU for ultra-thin notebooks. The family's key models are the Core i3-10105, the Core i3-10305, and the Core i3-10325. There are also the Core i3-10305T, Core i3-10105F, and Core i3-10105T.

The main difference between the Core i3 'Comet Lake Refresh' and the original Core i3 'Comet Lake' is a 100 MHz speed bump for the base and max turbo frequencies. For example, the Core i3-10325 runs at 3.90 GHz – 4.70 GHz, just 100 MHz higher than the Core i3-10320. Since Intel has been manufacturing quad-core Comet Lakes for about a year now, process technology improvements allowed the company to introduce a speed bump without affecting the yields.

Back in February, the Core i3-10105F made it to the retail in Malaysia, but while the new chips are listed on Intel's website, they are not available just yet. Interestingly, a Chinese blogger has managed to obtain Intel Confidential samples of the Core i3-10105 and Core i3-10325 and even reviewed them. 

Since we are talking about CPUs that are only 100 MHz faster than their predecessors, it is not surprising that they barely demonstrate a performance bump in synthetic benchmarks. For example, the new Core i3-10325 is 1.4% ~ 2.5% faster than its predecessor in Cinebench R23 and it is 1.3% faster in 3DMark Time Spy Extreme. In other tests, the newbie's advantage over its ancestor is even less noticeable. 

The publication of the review shows that Intel has supplied its partners with samples of the new chips to test them for compatibility with their platforms. We still do not know when the Comet Lake Refresh CPUs are set to be available, but probably in the coming weeks or months.

Anton Shilov
Contributing Writer

Anton Shilov is a contributing writer at Tom’s Hardware. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.