Update 10/21/2019 5:00pm PT: A new benchmark submission of what appears to be a Core i5 has surfaced, likely confirming that the new Comet Lake i5's will also feature Hyper-Threading. We've updated the text below.
A SiSoftware benchmark submission, spotted by chip detective @TUM_APISAK, reveals a new 10th-Gen Comet Lake Core i3-10100 processor sporting four cores and eight threads. That's a nice improvement over today's Core i3-9100 equivalent, which features four cores and four threads.
Another benchmark result, found by chip detective @momomo_us, also surfaced that shows a 6-core 12-thread processor that isn't specifically listed as a Core i5 model. However, Intel's current i5 series also tops out at six cores, while the i7 lineup features eight cores. This strongly implies the Hyper-Threaded six-core chip in the benchmark submission is a Core i5, which means the series could also receive the Hyper-Threading treatment for the first time.
That means that the new low-end Comet Lake Core i3 processors could offer the same threaded accommodations as the Core i7 processors from the 2017 time frame, meaning you'll soon be able to pick up a quad-core eight-thread model in the $120 price range, while just two scant years ago that type of performance from Intel would set you back ~$350. More importantly, it sets the stage for bigger gains in Intel's higher core-count models.
The Core i3-10100 benchmark submission lists the four-core eight-thread chip with a 3.6 GHz base clock, but this chip is likely an early engineering sample, meaning the specifications are subject to change. Meanwhile, the second submission (purportedly Core i5) has no discernible product identifier, but this would likely fall under the same 10th-Gen branding.
|Cores/ Threads||Base Clock||L3 Cache|
|Comet Lake Core i3-10100||4 / 8||3.6 GHz (preliminary)||6MB|
|Coffee Lake Core i3-9100||4 / 4||3.6||6MB|
Intel's response to AMD's Ryzen onslaught has typically been sluggish, largely because the company hasn't resorted to cutting prices on existing models. Instead, the company has slowly added more cores to its processor families with the release of new models, with those increased core counts equating to lower per-core pricing. The company has also added more features to some of its chips, like enabling Hyper-Threading and exposing more PCIe lanes on downstream models.
Unleashing Hyper-Threading on the Core i3 and i5 series continues that same strategy.
Like all of Intel's prior alterations to previous-gen low-end chips, the bulking up of the Core i3 series could reverberate up through the product stack to maintain the company's policy of strict segmentation. That means we're likely looking at a Comet Lake lineup that includes Hyper-Threading in the Core i5 and i7 series, meaning they could come equipped with 6C/12T and 8C/16T configurations, respectively.
|Possible Changes - Cores/Threads||Core i9||Core i7||Core i5||Core i3|
We've already seen evidence that Comet Lake's halo Core i9 part will come with a beastly 10 cores and 20 threads, a solid increase from today's 8C/16T Core i9-9900K.
Like Intel's current-gen chips, Comet Lake will be based on the 14nm process, though likely a further-refined version of the manufacturing process that unlocks more frequency and power efficiency. We do know the new chips come with a new platform controller hub (PCH) and socket, meaning you'll need a new motherboard to move up to Intel's new flagship series.
We expect Intel's Comet Lake chips to arrive in Q1 2020 to staunch the bleeding incurred by AMD's ultra-competitive Ryzen 3000 processors. AMD has delayed the 16-core 32-thread Ryzen 9 3900X until November, so company has a smaller window of opportunity to roam entirely uncontested as the performance leader on the mainstream desktop.