Intel’s Core i9-10850K is a 100MHz slower, $35 cheaper 10900K

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Intel’s Core i9-10850K is a 100MHz slower, $35 cheaper 10900K

What’s the value of 100MHz? Apparently $35. At least that’s how much of a discount Intel will give those who buy the new Core i9-10850K “Comet Lake-S” CPU it officially unveiled today.

That makes it fairly easy to memorize the specs of the newest 10th gen chip: Take the 10-core Core i9-10900K and literally subtract 100MHz across all keys specs of the x86 cores.

For example, the Core i9-10900K has a 3.7GHz base clock, 5.1GHz single-core boost and all core boost 4.8GHz. With its Thermal Velocity Boost feature running speeds up higher when the chip is properly cooled, you get 5.3GHz on single-core boosts and 4.9GHz on all-core boosts.

And yup: The 10-core Core i9-10850K has a 3.6GHz base clock, 5GHz single-core boost, and all core boost of 4.7GHz. When running on Thermal Velocity Boost, it’s 5.2GHz on single-threads and 4.8GHz on all core TVB.

Intel 10th gen Comet Lake S Intel

Intel’s 10th gen Comet Lake S lineup gets a new chip that should help alleviate the strain of finding Intel’s top-end parts.

So why did Intel bother stapling the Core i9-10850K onto a 10th-gen lineup that officially rolled out just over two months ago? “The i9-10850K is based on immediate feedback we’ve received from customers, including to further expand options and different price points,” the company says. “This will also obviously support long term demand for i9K processors as well.”

More cynical observers believe Intel’s really aiming to make lemonade out of lemons by taking 10-core dies that don’t quite reach the full Core i9-10900K levels and selling them as Core i9-10850K chips. Intel made a similar move when it began selling “F” versions of its CPUs with disabled graphics cores. In fact, if you eyeball the current Comet Lake S line up, there are three 10-core Core i9 models that are all so close in specs it seems silly.

Intel did say the Core i9-10850K will take its place in the lineup for the life of the series. This isn’t some short-term special edition. 

intel 10th gen lower decks Intel

Intel’s mainstream 10th-gen Comet Lake S lineup actually stands on firmer ground than the 9th-gen Coffee Lake CPUs thanks to the inclusion of Hyper-Threading.

The Core i9-10850K is actually a good deal (for Intel)

The thing is, if the Core i9-10850K can be found close to its expected $453, it’s actually a far better value than the flagship Core i9-10900K. Losing 100MHz across all specs adds up to about a 2 percent clock speed reduction over the Core i9-10900K at a price reduction of about 7.4 percent. 

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