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Review: Intel Core i9-10900K and Core i5-10600K

by Tarinder Sandhu on 20 May 2020, 14:01

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaekij

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Test Methodology

Intel Core Processor Configurations

CPU
CPU Base Clock
3.7GHz
4.1GHz
3.6GHz
3.6GHz
3.7GHz
2.9GHz
3.6GHz
CPU Turbo Clock
5.2GHz
4.8GHz
5.0GHz
4.9GHz
4.6GHz
4.1GHz
4.2GHz
CPU Cache
20MB
12MB
16MB
12MB
9MB
9MB
6MB
CPU Cores / Threads
10 / 20
6 / 12
8 / 16
8 / 8
6 / 6
6 / 6
4 / 4
CPU TDP
125W
125W
95W
95W
65W
65W
65W
Integrated Graphics
UHD 630
UHD 630
UHD 630
UHD 630
UHD 630
-
-
IGP Base Clock
350MHz
350MHz
350MHz
350MHz
350MHz
-
-
IGP Turbo Clock
1.2GHz
1.2GHz
1.20GHz
1.20GHz
1.15GHz
-
-
Socket
LGA 1200
LGA 1151v2
Lithography
14nm
Motherboard
MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi
Asus ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming
BIOS
E7C73IMS.123
2603
Memory
G.Skill Trident Z DDR4-3200
Memory Config
2x16GB
Memory Timings
14-14-14-34-1T
Memory Speed
2,933MHz
2,666MHz
2,666MHz
2,666MHz
2,666MHz
2,666MHz
2,400MHz
Disk Drive
Corsair MP600 NVMe 1TB
Power Supply
be quiet Dark Power Pro 11 (1,000W)
Graphics Card
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition (445.87)
CPU Cooler
Noctua NH-D15S
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit) 1909

AMD Ryzen Processor Configurations

CPU
CPU Base Clock
3.5GHz
3.GHz
3.9GHz
3.8GHz
3.8GHz
3.8GHz
3.6GHz
CPU Turbo Clock
4.7GHz
4.6GHz
4.5GHz
4.4GHz
4.4GHz
4.3GHz
3.9GHz
CPU L3 Cache
64MB
64MB
32MB
32MB
32MB
16MB
16MB
CPU Cores / Threads
16 / 32
12 / 24
8 / 16
8 / 16
6 / 12
4 / 8
4 / 8
CPU TDP
105W
105W
105W
65W
95W
65W
65W
Integrated Graphics
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
IGP Base Clock
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
IGP Turbo Clock
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
Socket
AM4
Lithography
7nm
Motherboard
Asus X570 Crosshair VIII Hero WiFi
BIOS
1302
Memory
G.Skill Trident Z DDR4-3200
Memory Config
2x16GB
Memory Timings
14-14-14-34-1T
Memory Speed
3,200MHz
Disk Drive
Corsair MP600 NVMe 1TB
Power Supply
be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 (1,000W)
Graphics Card
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition (445.87)
CPU Cooler
Noctua NH-D15S
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit) 1909

Benchmark Suite

CPU
HEXUS PiFast Our number-crunching benchmark tests the single-thread power of the CPU.
Cinebench Release 20 This popular cross-platform benchmark examines both single- and multi-core performance.
Blender 2.82 We render the Classroom scene in this popular open-source creation suite.
Memory and Storage
AIDA64 Benchmark that accurately depicts memory bandwidth and latency.
System
PCMark 10 A set of tests covering a wide variety of tasks performed in the modern workplace.
VRMark Using the DirectX 12 API, the Cyan Room test examines a system's VR credentials.
3DMark We run Time Spy, a QHD DirectX 12 test of both GPU performance and stability.
Gaming
Civilization VI: Gathering Storm Tested in DX11, with 4x MSAA and Ultra quality settings.
Far Cry: New Dawn Tested in DX11, with TAA, Ultra quality settings and HD textured enabled.
Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers Tested in DX11, with FXAA and Maximum quality settings.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider Tested in DX12, with TAA and Highest quality settings.
Vitals
CPU Temperature Core temperature recorded when idle and when rendering via Blender.
Power Consumption System-wide mains power draw recorded when idle and when playing Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

Notes

It's worth mentioning there were multiple motherboard BIOSes released in the run-up to launch. The primary issue was one of ensuring the chips turbo boosted correctly when BIOSes were set to Auto. As shown on the first page, Intel says the Core i9-10900K can run at up to 5.3GHz on a couple of cores and, temperature permitting, 4.9GHz across all cores.

Achieving such speeds requires tweaking the power levels of the processor. Intel chips are equipped with at least a couple of exposed power levels known as PL1 and PL2. The latter is the short-term limit that is higher than the TDP, which in this case is 125W. PL1 is the long-term power, which ought to be that 125W, and the time the processor stays in the short-term PL2 is known as Tau.

Now, the processor maintains its 4.8GHz/4.9GHz (TVB) all-core speed when it's in the PL2 state, but according to Intel's guidelines, drops down to something lower when PL1 is active. Benchmarks that are over quickly, within the PL2 envelope, do well, but those that are longer ought to spill over to lower-frequency PL1.

Intel, however, offers system integrators and motherboard partners a choice on how they implement these power targets and Tau time. "We have expanded our definition of PL2 to allow customers to take further advantage of a 10th Gen Intel Core desktop processor’s performance options and capabilities. Our customers now have more ability to configure their boards and implement power and performance settings according to their own design targets. Some customers may want to follow Intel’s configuration recommendation, while others will design boards that draw more power and may require more capable cooling solutions".

All of this is important because the motherboard guys want to hit peak performance for as long as possible. The flurry of recent BIOSes aim to achieve that peak 5.3GHz TVB frequency and 4.9GHz all-core load for lengthy benchmarks. Even up until last Friday BIOSes were being released by all the major makers, including MSI, as tested here, to fully exploit the potential speed of the processor.

The upshot of all this is that, set to Auto in BIOS, the Core i9-10900K easily surpasses its 125W TDP for long-term load, and operates at somewhere in the region of 200W, unlike AMD processors that steadfastedly keep within their allocated TDP. You'll see exactly what we mean on the power-consumption page.