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Intel Core i9-10900K Stress Tested: Comet Lake Flagship Hits 93°C

Intel Core i9-10900K

(Image credit: Intel)

A Chinese Weibo user has pushed a flagship Intel Comet Lake-S CPU to its limits. The tester cooked an Intel COre i9-10900K for a little over 47 minutes with its  power draw and maximum temperatures hitting 235W and 93 degrees Celsius (199.4 degrees Fahrenheit), respectively.

The i9-10900K features a 10-core, 20-thread design with a 3.7 GHz base clock and a 5.3 GHz Thermal Velocity Boost (TVB) clock. Intel sells the i9-10900K as a 125W CPU. However, the deca-core processor has configurable TDP (cTDP) of 95W that essentially drops the base clock to 3.3 GHz. The PL1 (power level 1) is only one side of the coin, and the side that Intel openly markets.

On the flip side, the i9-10900K has a PL2 (power level 2) of 250W, which is the maximum power draw when turbo is engaged. Even at 235W, the i9-10900K is operating within Intel's specifications; but if there were any doubts on whether the chip can pull as much power, the Weibo user may have just laid them to rest.

(Image credit: WolStame/Weibo)

When you have a processor pulling over 200W of power, the amount of generated heat is going to be off the charts. The tester ran the i9-10900K inside Lenovo's latest Savior Blade 9000K, which is a pre-built machine exclusive to the Chinese market. A Legion-branded 240mm AIO liquid cooler was responsible for keeping the i9-10900K's temperatures in check.

For the duration of the stress testing, HWiNFO64 registered average and maximum temperatures of 87 degrees (188.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and 93 degrees Celsius, respectively. The reviewer mentioned that the room temperature was 24 degrees, however, he didn't specify if it was Fahrenheit or Celsius. We suspect it's the latter since China uses the metric system. The poor Legion cooler was able to maintain the i9-10900K at 4.8 GHz, which is the chip's all-core boost clock. However, you can probably imagine the level of noise coming out of the PC case.

The biggest drawback with operating temperatures this high is that you won't get to enjoy the i9-10900K's full potential. The i9-10900K leverages Intel's Thermal Velocity Boost and can hit 4.9 GHz on all cores, as long as the operating temperature is below 70 degrees Celsius (158 degrees Fahrenheit). Once you cross that threshold, you're losing 100 MHz of performance on every core. 

If cooling was an important factor before, it's even more crucial with Intel's Comet Lake-S processors.