All test results marked with "PBO" reflect configurations tested with AMD's auto-overclocking Precision Boost Overdrive feature. For overclocking, we tuned our memory to DDR4-3600 for both Intel and AMD platforms.
This set of tests focuses narrowly on the Core i7-10700K's price band, but we have comparisons to the Core i5-10600K and other modern processors in gaming and application work on the final page of the review.
VRMark and 3DMark on Intel Core i7-10700K
Synthetic gaming benchmarks often aren't generally indicative of real-world performance, but the 3DMark DX11 and DX12 tests are interesting because they measure the amount of raw computational horsepower exposed to the game engine. For now, most of today's game engines don't scale as linearly with additional compute resources, but these tests help us gauge how games could exploit processing resources as the engines become more sophisticated.
The $387 (MSRP, current street prices higher) Core i7-10700K falls into the bottom portion of the Fire Strike test results, grappling with the $300 Ryzen 7 3700X. Surprisingly, the ever-so-slightly-faster $329 Ryzen 7 3800X trails both of those contenders by roughly 500 points. Meanwhile, the 10700K's sixteen threads respond more readily in the Time Spy benchmark as it distances itself from the Ryzen 7 models, and overclocking expands the lead. However, the Ryzen 9 3900X steps in with a lead in both tests, even beating the overclocked 10700K. That's important to keep in mind, as recent deep price cuts find the 3990X hovering at the ~$410 price point.
VRMark's test values per-core performance (a mixture of frequency and IPC), and it obviously prefers physical cores and lots of L3 cache. The Core i7-10700K's high clock speeds pay dividends in this benchmark, and we see what will become a familiar trend: The Core i7-10700K is faster than the Core i9-9900K that retails for $488 (MSRP, current street prices higher). Given the Core i7-10700K's similar eight-core 16-thread design and much lower pricing, it's clear Intel has moved quite a bit forward on the value front as a response to the Ryzen 3000 series processors.
Civilization VI AI and Stockfish on Intel Core i7-10700K
Stockfish, an open-source chess engine, is designed to extract the utmost performance from many-core chips by scaling well up to 512 cores. It isn't surprising to see the Ryzen 9 3950X take the lead, but its 16 cores and 32 threads set the benchmark for the highest-end of the mainstream X570 platform, and also the highest pricing at $740. The Core i7-10700K lands near the bottom of the chart but beats the Core i9-9900K at stock settings. Overclocking gives the 10700K the lead. The Ryzen 9 3900X is also impressive in this test, especially in light of its new lower pricing at retail.
Civilization VI's AI engine values per-core performance, which benefits Intel's higher clock rates. Chips without hyper-threading usually fare the best in this title, but the 10700K's 5.1 GHz boost clock propels it above the 9700K's 4.9 GHz. The Core i7-10700K lands behind the 9900K running at 5.0 GHz despite its dual-core 5.1 GHz boost at stock settings. The disparity likely comes as a result of the time taken to transition to the boost clock and the efficacy of Turbo Boost Max 3.0 thread scheduling, which can vary based on its ability to identify and schedule threads to the fastest cores. Overclocking rights that slight disparity, though, as the 10700K takes second to the 10900K.
Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation on Intel Core i7-10700K
Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation loves cores and threads, but clock rates also play a role. Intel's addition of threading to the Core i7 series pays off as the 10700K edges past the 9700K and 9900K at stock settings, but this title still plays exceedingly well with the Zen 2 architecture, granting the stock Ryzen models an across-the-board lead. That changes when we kick up the voltage on the 10700k, which, after overclocking, trails only the 10900K.
Dawn of War III on Intel Core i7-10700K
The Warhammer 40,000 benchmark responds well to threading, but it's clear that clock speed and IPC also matter. The stock Ryzen processors fall down the charts in this title, though the Ryzen 3 3700X carves out a win against the 9900K. The 10700K beats the Ryzen competition at stock settings and takes the overall lead after tuning.
Far Cry 5 on Intel Core i7-10700K
Far Cry 5 tends to run well on Intel architectures, which is a tendency we see as the Intel processors all beat the Ryzen competition. The 10700K carves out a substantial lead over the the 9700K again and marks a nice step forward over the 9900K. The 10900K is impressive in this title in both stock and overclocked settings, though it only leads the overclocked 10700K by a slim margin.
Final Fantasy XV on Intel Core i7-10700K
We run this test with the standard quality preset to sidestep the impact of a bug that causes the game engine to render off-screen objects with the higher-resolution setting. We're clearly approaching a graphics limitation with these core-heavy chips, but this title obviously prefers to run on physical cores, lending the 9700K the overall win. The overclocked Ryzen 9 3900X also puts up a tough fight as it outpaces all of the stock Intel processors except the 9700K.
Grand Theft Auto V on Intel Core i7-10700K
The overclocked 10700K essentially ties the 10900K in this benchmark. It's clear that enthusiasts who aren't afraid to overclock and are primarily focused on gaming can save some money by going with the 10700K if they're after that last bit of performance advantage. After overclocking, the deltas between the 10900K and the 10700K aren't worth the premium for the i9 model. Instead, spend that money on a better cooler or graphics card.
Hitman 2 on Intel Core i7-10700K
The Core i7-9700K remains impressive as it edges out the 10700K at both stock and overclocked settings. Meanwhile, the Ryzen processors populate the bottom of the chart in the company of the stock 9900K.
Project Cars 2 on Intel Core i7-10700K
Although Project CARS 2 is purportedly optimized for threading, clock rates obviously affect this title's frame rates. The 10700K beats out the overclocked 9900K here, which is an impressive achievement.
World of Tanks enCore on Intel Core i7-10700K
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