Skip to main content

Four Intel 10th Gen Comet Lake CPUs Benchmarked Before Release

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Comet Lake desktop CPUs have been selling ilegally in China since February. A couple of days ago, a user on the Chinese Sohu 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 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, 12-thread processors with 12MB of L3 cache. 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

ProcessorCores / ThreadsSingle-Core Boost Clock (GHz)All-Core Boost Clock (GHz)L3 Cache (MB)TDP (w)
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X8 / 164.4?3264
Intel Core i7-10700*8 / 164.74.61665
AMD Ryzen 5 3600X6 / 124.4?3295
Intel Core i5-10600K*6 / 124.34.112125
Intel Core i5-10500*6 / 124.24.01265
Intel Core i5-10400*6 / 124.34.01265

*Specifications are unconfirmed.

As we've known for a long time, Comet Lake-S processors will live on the new LGA1200 socket. The photographs on Sohu 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 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. However, the Sohu user reportedly sourced a Dell B460 motherboard. As you would expect from an OEM motherboard, the power delivery subsystem is pretty weak, so the tester slapped a heatsink and fan over the area to prevent overheating.

The B460 motherboard only allows RAM speeds up to 2,666 MHz, which was the speed used. The tester also played with the BIOS settings 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 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. 

ProcessorCinebench R15Cinebench R20CPU-Z3DMark Time Spy (CPU Score)3DMark Fire Strike ExtremeMaster Lu Benchmark
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X2,116 / 2074,788 / 5025,588 / 5369,07523,102170,135
Intel Core i9-9900K2021 / 2184,937 / 5135,416 / 57411,23223,661178,971
Intel Core i7-107001,974 / 2074,828 / 4935,625 / 5689,12923,353171,861
AMD Ryzen 5 3600X1,652 / 2063,718 / 5044,249 / 5317,45620,552150,774
Intel Core i7-9700K1,439 / 1933,505 / 4544,244 / 5508,33218.859129,666
Intel Core i7-8700K1,398 / 1953,400 / 4723,886 / 5367,09617,013108,777
Intel Core i5-10600K1,368 / 1883,268 / 4443,769 / 5066,21117,786112,341
Intel Core i5-104001,319 / 1833,203 / 4293,678 / 5016,29117,337109,255
Intel Core i5-105001,199 / 1732,956 / 3973,363 / 4635,57115,88995,641
Intel Core i5-9600K1,022 / 1872,566 / 4712,886 / 5256,11813,80996,858

According to the results from the review, the i7-10700 is slightly faster than the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X, 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. 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 either, since its performance is very close to the X variant.

ProcessorCinebench R15Cinebench R20CPU-ZMaster Lu Benchmark
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X727 / 1891,784 / 4611,954.2 / 49460,758
Intel Core i7-10700675 / 1771,656 / 4211,908.2 / 484.456,331
Intel Core i7-8700K657 / 1731,624 / 4161,804.9 / 48358,399
Intel Core i9-9900K657 / 1721,636 / 4191,831.1 / 483.460,482

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, i7-10700, i9-9900K and i7-8700K to a four-core, four-thread configuration at 4 GHz.

The charts 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 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.