Comet Lake (opens in new tab) desktop CPUs (opens in new tab) have been selling ilegally in China (opens in new tab) since February. A couple of days ago, a user on the Chinese Sohu (opens in new tab) news portal apparently managed to buy not one, but four Comet Lake-S processors and put them through various benchmarks.
The Intel Core i5-10400, i5-10500, i5-10600K and i7-10700 are the stars of today's Comet Lake show. The tester said the i5-10500 and i5-10600K are engineering samples (ES) , while the i5-10500 and i7-10700 are qualification samples (QS). The clock speeds (opens in new tab) for the latter should be very close to what we can expect from the retail samples.
The i5-10400, i5-10500, i5-10600K are six-core (opens in new tab), 12-thread (opens in new tab) processors with 12MB of L3 cache (opens in new tab). The i5-10400 and i5-10500, which are 65W parts, reportedly feature a 4 GHz all-core boost clock, while the unlocked i5-10600K is expected to be rated for 125W and has a 4.1 GHz all-core boost.
The i7-10700 will reportedly come with eight cores, 16 threads and 16MB of L3 cache. This model seemingly operates within the 65W envelope and has a 4.6 GHz all-core boost.
Intel 10th Gen Comet Lake-S Specifications
|Processor||Cores / Threads||Single-Core Boost Clock (GHz)||All-Core Boost Clock (GHz)||L3 Cache (MB)||TDP (w)|
|AMD Ryzen 7 3700X||8 / 16||4.4||?||32||64|
|Intel Core i7-10700*||8 / 16||4.7||4.6||16||65|
|AMD Ryzen 5 3600X||6 / 12||4.4||?||32||95|
|Intel Core i5-10600K*||6 / 12||4.3||4.1||12||125|
|Intel Core i5-10500*||6 / 12||4.2||4.0||12||65|
|Intel Core i5-10400*||6 / 12||4.3||4.0||12||65|
*Specifications are unconfirmed.
As we've known for a long time, Comet Lake-S processors will live on the new LGA1200 socket (opens in new tab). The photographs on Sohu (opens in new tab) show that the Comet Lake's socket alignment notches are on the bottom of the processor instead of on the top, like they are on Coffee Lake chips. Intel likely revised the design to prevent users from trying to plug a Comet Lake part into a non-LGA1200 socket.
The Sohu user noted that the PCB for the engineering samples are a bit thinner than the retail chip. The qualification samples, on the other hand, share the same thickness as the retail PCB.
The close-up shots of the Comet Lake processors' backside show a redesign in the capacitor (opens in new tab) layout as well. Oddly enough, the capacitors on the qualification samples are divided into two groups, while the capacitors on the engineering samples are clustered together.
Intel 10th Gen Comet Lake-S Benchmarks
Normally, it's useless to get your hands on an unreleased processor, especially one that requires a new CPU socket (opens in new tab). However, the Sohu user reportedly sourced a Dell B460 motherboard (opens in new tab). As you would expect from an OEM motherboard, the power delivery subsystem is pretty weak, so the tester slapped a heatsink (opens in new tab) and fan over the area to prevent overheating.
The B460 motherboard only allows RAM (opens in new tab) speeds up to 2,666 MHz, which was the speed used. The tester also played with the BIOS settings (opens in new tab) a bit to unlock the power limit so the processor's frequency wouldn't scale down when it exceeded the TDP. Finally, the test system is based on Windows 10 (opens in new tab) with the November 2019 update (Version 1909).
Being unreleased hardware, games didn't run properly with the Comet Lake chips. The Sohu user suspected that it was a problem with the motherboard.
|Processor||Cinebench R15||Cinebench R20||CPU-Z||3DMark Time Spy (CPU Score)||3DMark Fire Strike Extreme||Master Lu Benchmark|
|AMD Ryzen 7 3700X||2,116 / 207||4,788 / 502||5,588 / 536||9,075||23,102||170,135|
|Intel Core i9-9900K||2021 / 218||4,937 / 513||5,416 / 574||11,232||23,661||178,971|
|Intel Core i7-10700||1,974 / 207||4,828 / 493||5,625 / 568||9,129||23,353||171,861|
|AMD Ryzen 5 3600X||1,652 / 206||3,718 / 504||4,249 / 531||7,456||20,552||150,774|
|Intel Core i7-9700K||1,439 / 193||3,505 / 454||4,244 / 550||8,332||18.859||129,666|
|Intel Core i7-8700K||1,398 / 195||3,400 / 472||3,886 / 536||7,096||17,013||108,777|
|Intel Core i5-10600K||1,368 / 188||3,268 / 444||3,769 / 506||6,211||17,786||112,341|
|Intel Core i5-10400||1,319 / 183||3,203 / 429||3,678 / 501||6,291||17,337||109,255|
|Intel Core i5-10500||1,199 / 173||2,956 / 397||3,363 / 463||5,571||15,889||95,641|
|Intel Core i5-9600K||1,022 / 187||2,566 / 471||2,886 / 525||6,118||13,809||96,858|
According to the results from the review (opens in new tab), the i7-10700 is slightly faster than the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X (opens in new tab), another 65W chip. But the difference is less than 2%, so it might not even be perceptible in a real-word scenario. The Ryzen 7 3700X did outperform the i7-10700 in the Cinebench R15 benchmark.
The i5-10400, i5-10500, i5-10600K were nowhere close to catching the AMD Ryzen 5 3600X (opens in new tab). To be fair, the Ryzen 5 3600X is a 95W processor, while the i5-10400 and i5-10500 are 65W parts. Nevertheless, the two Core i5 chips might not pose a threat to the 65W AMD Ryzen 5 3600 (opens in new tab) either, since its performance is very close to the X variant.
|Processor||Cinebench R15||Cinebench R20||CPU-Z||Master Lu Benchmark|
|AMD Ryzen 9 3900X||727 / 189||1,784 / 461||1,954.2 / 494||60,758|
|Intel Core i7-10700||675 / 177||1,656 / 421||1,908.2 / 484.4||56,331|
|Intel Core i7-8700K||657 / 173||1,624 / 416||1,804.9 / 483||58,399|
|Intel Core i9-9900K||657 / 172||1,636 / 419||1,831.1 / 483.4||60,482|
AMD's dominance doesn't only come from offering more cores, but the Zen 2 microarchitecture and 7nm process node play an essential part in the equation as well. To level the playing field, the Sohu user locked the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X (opens in new tab), i7-10700, i9-9900K (opens in new tab) and i7-8700K (opens in new tab) to a four-core, four-thread configuration at 4 GHz.
The charts (opens in new tab) show the Ryzen 9 3900X crushing three generations of Intel processors. In Intel's defense, Comet Lake seemingly performs better than Coffee Lake at the same core count and frequency. The improvement, as small as it may be, is there, based on these results.
A report (opens in new tab) last week suggested that Comet Lake-S will finally see a reveal on April 30, meaning we might not see the products in shelves until late May or early June.