Next-generation Intel Comet Lake 10th Gen CPU's available now: Buyers Guide

Intel 10th GEN processor banner

The future is here! Intel has just officially unveiled it's a brand new line-up of Comet lake processors for desktop and these 10th generation chips improve on the Coffee lake refresh we saw back in 2018. Comet lake once again uses the enhanced 14nm++ architecture to increase turbo frequencies up to 5.3Ghz. There has also been an increase in core count to 10 with the addition of hyperthreading on every i3, i5, i7, and i9 processor.

As with any new release, there are many different CPU's to choose from, and Intel has made sure all bases are covered when it comes to price and performance. The Comet Lake processors use the new LGA 1200 socket, and there is a selection of high-quality Z490 motherboards all with different features to consider. It's also worth deciding what memory and cooling to pair with these news chips to ensure overclocking freedom and peak performance. If you aren't comfortable with tackling your own build, there is also a selection of expertly assembled Pre-built PC's available from Overclockers with this exciting new hardware.

What Comet Lake CPU's are available?

Intel 10900K image

Intel i9 processor

At the top of the stack is the flagship i9-10900K and this is the CPU that you will need to purchase to experience the power of 5.3Ghz (Single core) and ten cores / 20 threads. It replaces the i9 9900K as "The world's fastest gaming processor" and is available for the same price of £529.99. Officially Intel states it will support DDR4-2933Mhz memory speeds. However, the experts at Overclockers UK recommend high quality 3200MHz and 3600MHz kits. The i9 benefits from the exclusive Thermal velocity boost, which intelligently adjusts the clock speed when the CPU is below 70c ensuring best performance. Over 70c it uses Turbo Max 3.0 like the i7 and will require sufficient cooling to sustain the max turbo frequency with a power recommendation of up to 250W. There is also an i9 10900 which cannot be overclocked and boosts to 5.2Ghz and the i9 10900KF which lacks integrated graphics and is slightly more affordable. Both these variants will be available from Overclockers UK in the near future.

Intel i7 10th gen processor

Intel i7 processor

The i7-10700K boasts similar specifications to its predecessor the i9-9900K, with eight cores/sixteen threads and a single-core boost clock speed of up to 5.1Ghz thanks to Turbo Boost 3.0 technology. The all-core speed sits at an impressive 4.7Ghz, and these speeds come at a reduced cost of £419.99 compared to the i9-9900K's £529.99 asking price. Officially it can support DDR4-2933Mhz memory. However, Overclockers UK once again recommends high quality 3200MHz and 3600MHz kits to make the most of this CPU. The listed TDP for the i7-10700K is 125W, but Intel also stated a power recommendation of up to 229W, meaning high-quality cooling will be a requirement. Other variants of the i7 are the i7-10700 which lacks Overclocking capabilities and the i7-10700F option which has no integrated graphics. Both are slightly cheaper, and Overclockers UK will be stocking them in the near future.

Intel i5 processor

Intel i5 and i3 processors

Moving down the stack is a selection of Intel i5 and i3 processors which provide sizable performance that is more budget-friendly. The i5 and i3 processors lack the turbo boost 3.0 and favoured core support of the higher-end processors, and the official memory speed support drops to 2666Mhz. The i5 10600K has six cores/12 threads and is the fastest of the i5 processors with a single core boost of up to 4.8Ghz. The i5 10600K retails for £274.99 and is available in both an F (no integrated graphics) and non-overclockable variant. The i5-10500 and i5-10400 also feature six cores/twelve threads but have a lower boost clock speed of 4.5Ghz and 4.3Ghz respectively. There is no unlocked variant of these slightly cheaper chips however the i5-10400F is available with no integrated graphics. Intel's Core i3 processors have four cores and the addition of hyperthreading, which is surprising on such a budget Intel chip, and means they have eight threads. Overclockers UK will be stocking the Intel i3 processors soon with the fastest being the i3-10320 which has a single-core boost of 4.6Ghz.

What Comet Lake CPU should I buy?

These latest 10th gen desktop processors from Intel increase the core count available and also the frequency so whether you are gaming, streaming or undertaking creative tasks, there is a performance increase to be had within your budget. I will also suggest cooling solutions for each processor as current 115X coolers are compatible with the same size 1200 socket. Although we are focusing on the latest processors from Intel in this article, it's worth considering competitors such as AMD Ryzen which are extremely competitive and offer similar specifications. You can find Overclockers UK's range of AMD CPU's HERE.

The main things to consider when choosing your CPU are core count, frequency, compatibility, use and budget. One of the easiest ways to select your CPU is to focus on the budget and choose a chip that lines up with what you are happy to spend. Remember these new processors will also require a new LGA 1200 motherboard and a high-quality cooling solution. However, if you are fortunate enough to have an unlimited budget, there isn't always a need to buy the most powerful processor available.

Intel i5 logo

The i5-10600K which retails for £274.99 is an excellent balance of price and performance and is suitable for the majority of gaming systems where the GPU is the more critical component. The six cores and 12 threads are more than most games will use, and a high boost clock speed also makes it great for gaming. It will also be easier to cool than the more powerful chips due to the lower TDP, which means a quality air cooler (Noctua NH-U12S CHROMAX) will be sufficient, saving on build costs. The locked i5-10600 is for those of you that never intend to overclock the CPU. Although overclocking, when done correctly, is low risk. The F version of the chip can save you money when using a dedicated GPU. However, it will make troubleshooting more difficult in the future with no integrated graphics to fall back on.

Intel i7 logo

The i7-10700K is a powerful processor suitable for demanding gameplay at high resolutions and there is likely little difference in FPS when compared to the 10th gen i9. Extra cores can be utilised for streaming and creative tasks, and it would pair well with a top-end graphics card.  With a TDP of 229W, it will be more manageable to cool than the i9 processor. It would pair well with an AIO cooler like the ROG RYUJIN Performance AIO. The more affordable locked and F variants have the same benefits and drawbacks as the i5.

Intel i9 logo

The i9-10900K is the multitasking master, is the fastest gaming CPU money can buy, and is for anyone who wants the best. At £529.99 it is over £100 more expensive than the i7 chip, but with two extra cores and a higher boost clock speed, there will be a slight increase in FPS and an excellent advantage for core hungry creative tasks such as video editing, 3D Modelling and 4K streaming. Will be great paired with one of the best GPU's available and ideally, should be cooled with a custom loop to ensure it can maintain a high boost clock speed and allow for maximum overclocking headroom. EK confirmed it's 115X CPU blocks such as the EK Velocity  are compatible with the LGA 1200 socket.

What motherboard should I buy for my Comet Lake CPU?

The Comet Lake CPUs come with a new LGA 1200 socket due to higher power requirements and therefore a new family of 400 series motherboards. The flagship and the only option currently available is the Z490 however the more budget B460 and H410 will be coming later this year. The main additions to the Z490 platform are up to a 2.5Gb Ethernet connection, native WiFi 6 support and future compatibility with PCIe 4.0 if you upgrade to Rocket lake. Overclockers currently stock fifty Z490 boards at various price points with a vast range of specifications and features. To help you narrow down the selection I've picked out a few and highlighted the main features. The full range of Motherboards is HERE.

ASROCK Z490 Phantom Gaming 4 ATX Motherboard

  • Most affordable Z490 motherboard available at £134.99
  • Phantom Gaming 4/ac available for £144.95 with built-in 802.11ac WiFi Module
  • Support for up to 128GB 4400Mhz (OC) Memory
  • 2-Way AMD CrossFire technology
  • 6 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s Connectors & 1 x Ultra M.2 Socket
  • 3 Year Manufacturer warranty
  • Best for locked CPU’s and budget systems

BUY NOW

ASROCK Phantom gaming 4 image

Asus ROG XII Maximus Hero (Wifi)

  • Available for £429.95
  • Support for up to 128GB 4800Mhz (OC) Memory
  • Supports NVIDIA 2-Way SLI Technology & AMD 3-Way CrossFireX Technology
  • 6 x SATA 6Gb/s port & 3 x M.2 Sockets
  • Intel Wifi 6, Bluetooth v5.1, Marvell AQtion 5Gb Ethernet
  • Attractive black design with Asus Aura Sync RGB
  • 3 Year Manufacturer Warranty
  • Best for powerful processors, Overclocking, great storage and fan connectivity

BUY NOW

Asus ROG XII Maximus Hero (Wifi) image

Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Xtreme Waterforce

  • Available for £1119.99
  • Support for up to 128GB 5000Mhz (OC) Memory
  • Support for NVIDIA® Quad-GPU SLI & AMD Quad-GPU CrossFire
  • 6 x SATA 6Gb/s ports & 3 x M.2 Sockets
  • Intel Wifi 6 AX201, Bluetooth 5.0, Aquantia 10GbE LAN chip
  • Integrated monoblock, nanocarbon baseplate and RGB fusion 2.0
  • 3 Year Manufacturer Warranty
  • Best for the i9 10900K, Extreme Overclocking, Custom water-cooling, Unbeatable connectivity

BUY NOW

Aorus Xtreme Waterforce Image

What Prebuilt systems and bundles are available?

Upgrading to Intel 10th gen can be a stress-free process if you leave it to the experts at Overclockers UK. The methodically tested all-in-one bundles are guaranteed by one of the world’s best Overclockers Ian “8 Pack” Parry and there are 10th gen pre-built PC’s for every budget that will save you time. Below are some of my favourites and you can check out all the PC systems HERE and all the upgrade bundles HERE. 

Overclockers UK Kinetic Z4

  • Configurable with a range of Intel 10th gen processors
  • Up to 32GB 3200MHz Memory
  • 600W 80 Plus Bronze Rated PSU
  • A vast amount of dedicated GPUs to choose from
  • Choice of storage including SSDs & Hard drives
  • Available from £899.99

BUY NOW

Overclockers UK Kinetic Z4

GERMANIUM Z4 Overclocked Gaming PC

  • Intel i9 10900K Ten Core/Twenty Thread Processor
  • Up to 32GB 3200Mhz Memory
  • High-Quality Components For Maximum Reliability
  • 850W 80Plus Platinum Rated PSU
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super 8GB GDDR5X Graphics Card
  • Available for £2,599.99

BUY NOW

Overclockers Germanium Z4 PC

Overclocked I9 10900K @ 5.2GHZ Gaming Bundle

  • Designed by professional overclocker Ian "8Pack" Parry
  • Built with the best components to offer the ultimate upgrade solution
  • A hand-picked processor that is pre-overclocked to a stable speed of 5.2GHz
  • 32GB of insanely fast 3600Mhz 8Pack DDR4 memory
  • 3 Year Overclockers Support package
  • Selection of EK water cooling kits and blocks

BUY NOW

8 pack i9 10900K upgrade bundle image

Overclockers UK have 10th Gen processors available for pre-order now with delivery scheduled for the 20th May. There are many Z490 motherboards already in stock so place your order to get ready for launch!

 
 

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