Introduction

When it comes to computing power, Intel needs no introduction as it is one of the oldest players in the market. Skylake was the last iteration in which we saw a platform change from Intel. Ever since we are now used to seeing generations over generations still based on the Skylake architecture and all coming from the same 14nm production process. The company some time ago, announced the next architecture to be based on a 10nmm FAB node but ran in some issues and could not materialize it. Meanwhile, the red camp has been making some waves with its ever popular Ryzen platform, and with Zen 3, they have, for the first time in decades, taken over the competition with their CPUs offering a better price to performance, all-around. In the local market, there has been a trend of Intel Core i5 capturing the mid-range budget segment which now has been taken over by the Ryzen 5 series CPUs and this has happened in the market where AMD is not yet present officially!

Intel announced their 10th generation Core i series CPUs in earlier 2020. This time they have upped the game with their flagship Core i9 series CPUs by offering 10 Cores/20 Threads configuration as compared to the 9th generation 8 Cores/16 Threads configuration. The most obvious and welcoming change is enabling the Hyper-Threading across all variants in the Comet Lake S series lineup. Intel has allowed the user to change the Hyper-Threading per core basis which may appear promising for some users. This would mean the Core i5 10600k is now 6 Core/12 Thread chip as compared to the 6 Core/6 Thread 9600k and for that matter, the i7 9700k was 8 Core/8 Thread chip. This was done to make Core i9 a more promising and flagship CPU at that time with 8 Cores/16 Threads by still keeping the same core count.

Intel for long has kept their CPUs in 4 Core/4 Thread/8 Thread configuration till the competition become fierce from the red camp and this rather forced Intel to up their core counts which previously was exclusive to their HEDT platform. From Coffee Lake, we saw 6 Core/12 Thread Core i7 8700k from Intel. This was a good change for the consumers by all means. Ever since we are seeing diminishing returns on the IPC side from the blue camp and since they have not yet been able to switch to the 10nm or lower production process with new architecture, they are rather forced to increase the Core count on their offerings with high boost clocks, thanks to the competition. This is exactly the case with the Comet Lake S generation as well. Intel has given a maximum of 10 Cores with 20 Threads in their high-end offering in the $500 range with Turbo Boost 2.0 and Turbo Boost Max 3.0 technologies as well as the Thermal Velocity Boost with the last one only available with the flagship Core i9 series CPUs.

Intel was kind enough to up our Intel test bench from dead 8700k to 10700k. In this content, we will be testing their Core i7 10700k CPU. To make the comparison more informative, our community hooked us with the Intel Core i9 9900k CPU for this content. We have also spin the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X for this particular content. The i7 10700k has almost the same configuration as is on the i9 9900k flagship CPU from the 9th gen. Both chips are from the 14nm process. Both have 8 cores/16 threads. The Core i7 10700k has a base clock of 3.8GHz as compared to 3.6GHz on the Core i9 9900k. The maximum turbo frequency on the Core i7 10700k is 5.1GHz as compared to the 5.0GHz on Core i9 9900k. Both chips have the same 16 MB L3 cache. Besides this, another important factor is efficiency. The core i7 10700k is more power-efficient on the stock as compared to the i9 9900k [talking in terms of the package power with power limits imposed]. The Core i7 10700k is rated at 125W TDP with a configurable TDP of 95W. The Core i9 9900k has a TDP of 95W. Keep in mind that Turbo Boost refers to the maximum boost clock on any core; not all cores and in Turbo Boost Max 3.0 the favorite core(s) will get a temporary boost to 5.1GHz provided there is thermal headroom coming from the ambient temperature and cooling solution. This would also rely on the power factor of the CPU. Intel has given a free hand to the motherboard vendors to come up with their power solutions through UEFI/BIOS and the user can remove the power restriction to take full benefit of the computing power at hand. This would vary from vendor to vendor.

Here is a quick rundown of the comparison of these chips:

Intel Core i9 10900k Intel Core i9 10850k Intel Core i 10700k Intel Core i9 9900k Intel Core i7 9700k AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
Base Clock (GHz) 3.70 3.60 3.80 3.60 3.60 3.60
Boost Clock (GHz) 5.30 5.20 5.10 5.0 4.90 4.40
Memory Channel 2 2 2 2 2 2
Memory Support DDR4-2933 DDR4-2933 DDR4-2933 DDR4-2666 DDR4-2666
Fabrication 14nm 14nm 14nm 14nm 14nm 7nm
Socket LGA-1200 LGA-1200 LGA-1200 LGA-1151 LGA-1151 AM4
TDP 125W 125W 125W 95W 95W 65W
No of Cores 10 10 8 8 8 8
No of Threads 20 20 16 16 8 16
Integrated Graphics Intel UHD 630 Intel UHD 630 Intel UHD 630 Intel UHD 630 Intel UHD 630 Nil
L3 Cache 20 MB 20 MB 16 MB 16 MB 12 MB 32 MB
PCIe Version 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0 4.0
Thermal Junction 100°C 100°C 100°C 100°C 100°C 95°C
Thermal Solution Not Included Not Included Not Included Not Included Not Included Wraith PRISM
Price US$* $514.99 $429.99 $379.88 $359.99 $269.99 $324.95

*NewEgg Prices at the time of the review

The above comparison is giving an idea of the performance and value proposition coming from the various offers. I did not include the Core i5 10600k in the table. I have also mentioned the maximum turbo boost clock per chip regardless of the underlying enabled boost technology. Intel has now better DDR4 frequency support out of the box as compared to the previous generation. This speed is what is guaranteed by Intel given their chip though we know the higher frequency DDR4 kits work just fine and they may have more to do with the motherboard support. It was disappointing to know that the 10th generation does not support PCIe 4.0. Expectedly, Rocket Lake would support PCIe 4.0 but again it is a matter of time and this time is favoring AMD for enabling PCIe 4.0 with their last two iterations.

Take note of the integrated graphics. There is no change as the 10th generation CPUs are using the same Intel UHD 630 chip with 350MHz base frequency using 1.2GHz dynamic frequency. Both generations support 4k at 60Hz. The maximum supported resolution on the HDMI port is 4096×2304 at 24Hz. The same resolution is supported on the DP port but at 60Hz.

However, the 10th gen CPUs can’t be used on the Intel LGA1151 socket. Intel has released a new socket named LGA1200 socket for these CPUs. The position of the notches is lowered as compared to the previous generation in addition to more pins in the socket. To make use of this new socket, Intel has released new chipsets named Z490, H470, and B460. As expected, the full power potential of the platform would come from the Z490 chipset with loads of support for overclocking and multiple graphics card support in addition to the plethora of M.2 ports and other connectivity options. H470 and B460 would be geared towards the budget segment for the locked chips in the Comet Lake S platform.

There is not much of a difference between the Z390 and Z490 chipsets. We now have Intel WiFi 6 CNVi which is to be used in conjunction with the CRF module and we have a 2.5 gigabit Ethernet connection from a PCIe 3.0 x1 lane. The motherboard manufacturers would need a supported controller for this provision. We still have 40 PCIe lanes with 16 lanes coming from the CPU and 24 coming from the chipset. The DMI is using PCIe 3.0 interface. The CPU supports up to 2999MHz as compared to the 2666MHz support on the previous generation. It is expected that the coming Rocket Lake would support the PCIe 4.0 lanes. Since Comet Lake has future support for the coming 11th generation CPUs, this has implications in terms of the PCIe 3.0/4.0 implementation on the Z490 chipset motherboards. We have seen various vendors providing support for the PCIe 4.0 on their offering which may be a sort of hybrid design using switches and PCIe 4.0 READY PCB.

  • Product:                Core i7 10700k
  • Manufacturer:       Intel
  • Price:                    $379.88 [At the time of the review]

Specifications

Packaging

The packing box is made of paperboard. CPU comes in a tray only package meaning there is no cooler bundled in the box. Intel is not providing a cooling solution with their unlocked CPUs. The heatsink is only provided with the locked chips.

Take a sneak peek at the CPU inside the packing box.

The first look at the CPU will make you feel no difference if you are used to the previous generation Core i series CPUs. The position of the notches on the 10th generation CPUs is different as compared to the previous generation. The position on the previous generation was towards the upper side which is now taken towards the lower section.

We have seen the specifications and the proposition; it is time to test the CPU to evaluate its performance caliber. First, here is the CPU-Z run:

Take a peek at our new Intel testbed:

Testing

Following is the configuration of the test benches that have been used for this content.

Intel Z390

  • Intel i5 9600k/9900k
  • Ballistix Elite 16GB @ 3000MHz
  • Asus Strix Z390-E Gaming Motherboard
  • Asus Ryujin 360 CPU Cooler/EK-AIO 240 D-RGB
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 FE
  • HyperX 120GB SSD
  • Samsung 840 EVO 1TB SSD
  • Thermaltake ToughPower RGB 750 Gold/CORSAIR AX 1200i PSU

Intel Z370

  • Intel i7 8700k
  • Ballistix Elite 16GB @ 3000MHz
  • Gigabyte Ultra Durable Z370-HD3
  • Asus Ryujin 360 CPU Cooler
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 FE
  • HyperX 120GB SSD
  • Samsung 840 EVO 1TB SSD
  • Thermaltake ToughPower RGB 750 Gold PSU

Intel Z490

  • Intel i7 10700k
  • Ballistix Elite 16GB @ 3000MHz
  • EK-AIO 240 D-RGB
  • MSI MAG Z490 TOMAHAWK
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 FE
  • Addlink S70 256GB NVMe SSD
  • Samsung 840 EVO 1TB SSD
  • CORSAIR AX1200i

AMD X470

  • AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
  • Ballistix Elite 16GB @ 3000MHz
  • Asus Ryujin 360 CPU Cooler
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 FE
  • HyperX 120GB SSD
  • Samsung 840 EVO 1TB SSD
  • Antec HCP1300 PSU

AMD X570

  • AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
  • Ballistix Elite 16GB @ 3000MHz
  • Asus Ryujin 360 CPU Cooler
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 FE
  • HyperX 120GB SSD
  • Samsung 840 EVO 1TB SSD
  • Antec HCP1300 PSU

Special note to thank our sponsors namely: AMD, ASUS, GIGABYTE, MSI, EK Water Blocks, Thermaltake, Antec, and Intel.

Methodology

The following was ensured for each testing:

  • Each testing was done on the Auto and Stock settings.
  • Default tweaking/performance enhancement options were disabled in the BIOS.
  • XMP was loaded for each testing. DRAM timings and Voltage were set manually.
  • Ballistix Elite DDR4 kit was used on all the platforms for the testing. The same was the case on the AMD platform. I know this is a slow kit particularly for the Ryzen platform but I needed to have cross-platform consistency and standardization where possible hence it is a make-do.
  • All other voltages were left at Auto.
  • The pump and fans of the AIO were made to run at 100% during the testing.
  • Games were benched on the stock clocks.
  • The overclocking results of the processor under discussion are shown.
  • The Graphics card was not overclocked. During the testing, our Asus Strix GeForce RTX 2080 O8G Gaming graphics card malfunctioned so I was forced to use Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 FE which is the only other high-end card available to me. I had to truncate the results from RTX 2080.
  • Motherboards’ BIOS were updated to their latest.
  • Nvidia’s driver 417.71 was used for AMD Ryzen 7 2700, Intel i5 9600k, and Intel i7 8700k. For AMD Ryzen 5 3600, 431.60 drivers have been used. For other CPUs, 457.71 drivers are used.
  • HWinfo64 was used to monitor the sensors.
  • Each game was tested on maxed out setting using the built-in benchmark utility except Doom Eternal where the MSI AfterBurner was used to record the FPS from the actual gameplay.

The following test suite has been used for the testing:

  • AIDA64 Extreme 6.2
  • Performance Test (for CPU and Memory)
  • PCMark 10
  • 7-Zip
  • Blender Benchmark (BMW27, Classroom)
  • FryBench FryRender
  • Corona
  • Indigo Benchmark
  • V-Ray
  • POV-Ray
  • Cinebench R15
  • Cinebench 20
  • Geekbench
  • Handbrake
  • X264 HD 5.0 Benchmark
  • Kraken
  • Octane
  • Web XPRT 3
  • Fritz Chess
  • Super-PI

Synthetic Gaming Benchmarks:

  • FireStrike
  • TimeSpy

Games:

  • Assassin’s Creed Origins
  • Far Cry 5
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider (DX12)
  • DOOM Eternal (Vulkan)
  • Metro Exodus (DX12)

Let’s start with the results.

7-Zip

7-Zip is free software with open source. Most of the code is under the GNU LGPL license. Some parts of the code are under the BSD 3-clause License. 7-Zip has a high compression ratio in 7z format with LZMA and LZMA2 compression with supported formats of Packing/unpacking: 7z, XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, TAR, ZIP, and WIM and unpacking only: AR, ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, CramFS, DMG, EXT, FAT, GPT, HFS, IHEX, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MBR, MSI, NSIS, NTFS, QCOW2, RAR, RPM, SquashFS, UDF, UEFI, VDI, VHD, VMDK, WIM, XAR and Z. For ZIP and GZIP formats, 7-Zip provides a compression ratio that is 2-10 % better than the ratio provided by PKZip This software has a built-in benchmark which tests the performance of the given CPU by compressing and decompressing the load. The results are in MIPS and a higher count is preferable.

It is a mixed result for the Intel 7 10700k and AMD Ryzen 7 3700X where one CPU has the upper hand in one domain while the other CPU is leading in the second domain.

AIDA64

AIDA64 Extreme has a hardware detection engine unrivaled in its class. It provides detailed information about installed software and offers diagnostic functions and support for overclocking. As it is monitoring sensors in real-time, it can gather accurate voltage, temperature, and fan speed readings, while its diagnostic functions help detect and prevent hardware issues. It also offers a couple of benchmarks for measuring either the performance of individual hardware components or the whole system.

Following built-in benchmarks were run in this software:

  • CPU AES
  • CPU Queen
  • Memory

CPU AES

This integer benchmark measures CPU performance using AES (a.k.a. Rijndael) data encryption. It utilizes Vincent Rijmen, Antoon Bosselaers, and Paulo Barreto’s public domain C code in ECB mode. CPU AES test uses only the basic x86 instructions, and it’s hardware-accelerated on VIA PadLock Security Engine capable VIA C3, VIA C7, VIA Nano and VIA QuadCore processors; and on Intel AES-NI instruction set extension capable processors. The test consumes 48 MB memory, and it is HyperThreading, multi-processor (SMP), and multi-core (CMP) aware.

CPU Queen

This simple integer benchmark focuses on the branch prediction capabilities and the misprediction penalties of the CPU. It finds the solutions for the classic “Queens problem” on a 10 by 10 sized chessboard.

Memory

This test measures the system memory’s read, write, and copy speeds as well as the latency.

The Intel i7 10700k is leading the scoreboard.

PCMark 10

PCMark 10 is the latest version in the series of industry-standard PC benchmarks. PCMark 10 features a comprehensive set of tests that cover the wide variety of tasks performed in the modern workplace. With express, extended, and custom run options to suit your needs, PCMark 10 is the complete PC benchmark for the modern office. It is the ideal test for organizations that are evaluating PCs for a workforce with a range of performance needs. The tests in this benchmark cover a wide range of activities from everyday productivity tasks to demanding work with digital media content.

The Intel i7 10700k is leading the scoreboard.

Performance Test

PassMark PerformanceTest allows you to objectively benchmark a PC using a variety of different speed tests and compare the results to other computers. I have used only CPU and Memory benchmarks.

The Intel i7 10700k is leading the scoreboard.

Super-PI

Super PI is a single-threaded benchmark that calculates pi to a specific number of digits. It uses the Gauss-Legendre algorithm and is a Windows port of a program used by Yasumasa Kanada in 1995 to compute pi to 232 digits. I have used it to calculate pi of 32M.

The reported results are converted into seconds from minutes and seconds. The Intel i7 10700k is leading the scoreboard.

wPrime

wPrime uses a recursive call of Newton’s method for estimating functions, with f(x)=x2-k, where k is the number we’re sqrting, until Sgn(f(x)/f'(x)) does not equal that of the previous iteration, starting with an estimation of k/2. It then uses an iterative calling of the estimation method a set amount of times to increase the accuracy of the results. It then confirms that n(k)2=k to ensure the calculation was correct. It repeats this for all numbers from 1 to the requested maximum. Each thread is designed to do 1/n of the work, where n is the number of threads.

I have used the 1024M calculation. The reported time is in seconds. Please, take note that you would need to set the thread count manually. The core count was set to 16 for the Intel i7 10700k.

The Intel i7 10700k is on slot no 2 with AMD Ryzen 7 3700X leading the scoreboard.

Fritz Chess

Fritz Chess benchmark tests the CPU performance in terms of as many chess board positions as possible. It is using the Deep Fritz 12 engine.

The Intel i7 10700k is leading the scoreboard.

VeraCrypt

We have added the AES based Encryption and Decryption using VeraCrypt benchmark in this content. The results with Intel i7 8700k, AMD Ryzen 5 3600, and Ryzen 7 2700X are not available since the test was not used at their time of testing.

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X is leading the scoreboard.

Rendering Tests

I have run multiple rendering tests for evaluation. The results of these tests are mostly the rendering time and frames per second unless stated otherwise. Lower time and higher FPS are what we are looking for.

Blender

I have used the blender benchmark app for this purpose in addition to rendering the BMW27 scenario in the main Blender software. The Blender Benchmark will compute performance for CUDA, OpenCL, and CPU, along with GPU performance. Blender Benchmark is a new platform to collect and display the results of hardware and software performance tests. Blender is the free and open-source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation. For the purpose of this testing, the quick run method was used in the Blender Benchmark. BMW27 and Classroom rendering scenes have been used.

The Intel i7 10700k is leading the scoreboard with the lowest render time in the graph.

Corona

Corona is another simple to use rendering benchmark. It starts benching as soon as the software is run. It reports the results in the rendering time and rays per second.

The Intel i7 10700k is leading the scoreboard.

FryBench

Frybench is a multi-core CPU benchmark based on fryrender. fryrender is a physically-based light simulator developed by RandomControl, a Spanish company located in Madrid. fryrender is a photo-realistic render engine where all elements involved in the generation of the final image (materials, lights, and cameras) are based on physically accurate models.

The Intel i7 10700k is leading the scoreboard.

V-Ray

V-Ray Benchmark is a free stand-alone application to help you test how fast your hardware renders. The benchmark includes two test scenes, one for GPUs and another for CPUs, depending on the processor type you’d like to measure.

The Intel i7 10700k is leading the scoreboard.

POV-Ray

The Persistence of Vision Ray Tracer, or POV-Ray, is a ray-tracing program that generates images from a text-based scene description and is available for a variety of computer platforms. It was originally based on DKBTrace, written by David Kirk Buck and Aaron A. Collins for the Amiga computers. There are also influences from the earlier Polyray[6] raytracer contributed by its author Alexander Enzmann. POV-Ray is free and open-source software with the source code available under the AGPLv3.

The result is in the points per second format. Higher the points, the better performance. The Intel i7 10700k is leading the scoreboard.

Indigo

Indigo Renderer is an unbiased, photorealistic GPU and CPU renderer aimed at ultimate image quality, by accurately simulating the physics of light. State of the art rendering performance, materials, and cameras models – it’s all made simple through an interactive, photographic approach with few abstract settings, letting you concentrate on lighting and composing your imagery.

The result is in M Samples/sec; the higher the better. The Intel i7 10700k is leading the scoreboard.

Cinebench R15

CINEBENCH is a real-world cross-platform test suite that evaluates a computer’s performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON’s award-winning animation software Cinema 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Iron Man 3, Oblivion, Life of Pi or Prometheus, and many more. CINEBENCH is the perfect tool to compare CPU and graphics performance across various systems and platforms (Windows and OS X).

On stock clocks, the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 has a lead over the Intel i7 8700k in the CPU score though the Intel i7 8700k has a better single core score thanks to its higher clock speed. But a single-core score is not that low for this price CPU.

Cinebench R20

Cinebench is a real-world cross-platform test suite that evaluates the computer’s hardware capabilities. R20 brings improvements over R15 to reflect the overall advancements to CPU and rendering technology in recent years, providing a more accurate measurement of Cinema 4D’s ability to take advantage of multiple CPU cores and modern processor features available to the average user.

Cinebench R23

Improvements to Cinebench Release 23 reflect the overall advancements to CPU and rendering technology in recent years, providing a more accurate measurement of Cinema 4D’s ability to take advantage of multiple CPU cores and modern processor features available to the average user.

Geekbench

Geekbench 4 and 5 measure your system’s power and tells you whether your computer is ready to roar. How strong is your mobile device or desktop computer? How will it perform when push comes to crunch? These are the questions that Geekbench can answer. In Geekbench the result is in the form of Single Core and Multi-Core performance.

The Intel i7 10700k and AMD Ryzen 7 3700X are almost neck-to-neck in multi-core result with AMD taking the lead whereas the single-core score is shining for the blue camp.

In Geekbench5, the Intel i7 10700k is leading the scoreboard.

Transcoding

I have used two software Handbrake and X264 HD Benchmark to measure the transcoding performance of the CPU.

X264 HD 5.0 Benchmark

x264 HD Benchmark is a benchmark that allows you to measure how fast your PC can encode a 1080p video clip into a high-quality x264 video file. It allows for easy comparison because everyone running it will use the same video clip and software. The x264 video encoder has a fairly accurate internal benchmark (in frames per second) for each pass of the video encode and it also uses multi-core processors very efficiently. All these factors make the x264 HD Benchmark an ideal tool in comparing the video encoding performance of different processors and systems.

The reported result is in average FPS. It is calculated by summing up the FPS count on each run of each pass and dividing it by 4 as there are 4 runs per pass. The average result is what is reported on the graph. A Higher FPS count means better performance.

Handbrake

A handBrake is a tool for converting video from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs. I have transcoded a 4k sample video into 1080p and 720p using Matroska x264 presets. The result is reported in terms of frame per second and encoding time.

The AMD Ryzen 7 3700X is leading the scoreboard.

Web-based benchmarks

Just to give an idea of how the CPUs impact general web browsing, I have used two JavaScript-based benchmarks.

Kraken

Kraken is a JavaScript performance benchmark created by Mozilla that measures the speed of several different test cases extracted from real-world applications and libraries.

Processing time is reported in seconds; lower is better. The AMD Ryzen 7 3700X is leading the scoreboard.

Octane

Octane 2.0 is a benchmark that measures a JavaScript engine’s performance by running a suite of tests representative of certain use cases in JavaScript applications. Please note that Octane is retired and no longer maintained. I have used it to give an idea of the performance only.

The Intel i7 10700k is leading the scoreboard.

Web XPRT 3

WebXPRT 3 is a browser benchmark that compares the performance of almost any web-enabled device. It contains six HTML5- and JavaScript-based scenarios created to mirror the everyday tasks including Photo Enhancement, Organize Album Using AI, Stock Option Pricing, Encrypt Notes, and OCR Scan, Sales Graphs, and Online Homework.

The result is in number. The higher the score, the better the result. The Intel i7 10700k is leading the scoreboard.

Gaming Benchmarks

Let’s start with the synthetic benchmarks. For this purpose, I have used 3DMark Fire Strike and Time Spy benchmarks.

Fire Strike

Fire Strike is a showcase DirectX 11 benchmark for modern gaming PCs. Its ambitious real-time graphics are rendered with detail and complexity far beyond other DirectX 11 benchmarks and games. Fire Strike includes two graphics tests, a physics test, and a combined test that stresses the CPU and GPU.

I have included the CPU score only to showcase the result coming from the CPU. Intel i7 10700k is leading the scoreboard.

Time Spy

3DMark Time Spy is a DirectX 12 benchmark test for Windows 10 gaming PCs. Time Spy is one of the first DirectX 12 apps to be built the right way from the ground up to fully realize the performance gains that the new API offers. With its pure DirectX 12 engine, which supports new API features like asynchronous compute, explicit multi-adapter, and multi-threading, Time Spy is the ideal test for benchmarking the latest graphics cards.

I have included the CPU score only to showcase the result coming from the CPU. Intel i7 10700k is leading the scoreboard.

Following games have been tested:

  • Assassin’s Creed Origins
  • Grand Theft Auto – V
  • Far Cry 5
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider (DX12)
  • DOOM (Vulkan)
  • Ashes of the Singularity (DX12)

As we know the on lower resolutions, the gaming is more CPU bound (relatively) so I have tested the gaming performance on 720P as well. It is there only to show the relative performance measure. For true gaming performance in terms of who is playing at what resolution, 1080p and higher is where the gamers are at. These resolutions are also present in the graphs. The average FPS is reported on the graphs. MSI AfterBurner version 4.62 has been used to bench the FPS.

Assassin’s Creed Origins

Far Cry 5

DOOM Eternal

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Metro Exodus

Turbo Frequency

The above picture shows the clocks boost at their best. On stock clocks, with all the UEFI/ BIOS settings on Auto (stock settings), the Intel i7 10700k was boosting to 4.7GHz on all cores under the multi-threaded load. Only a few times two cores hit the 5.1GHz Turbo Boost Max 3.0 mark. Cores were regularly reaching the 5.0 GHz mark under a single-threaded load.

Thermal, Power, and Overclocking

The thermal junction on the Intel i7 10700k is 100°C. I have used the Blender Benchmark tool to stress test the CPU under heavy load with AVX. The motherboard was not pouring in excessive voltage on stock settings which was surprising. I will be showing the CPU Package power in the graph. The system’s total power draw was recorded using CORSAIR iCUE without the graphics load since the graphics card was not under heavy load. Please keep in mind that the power draw varies from system to system depending upon the configuration hence it can only give you an idea but not a concrete reference point.

The above picture shows the screenshot of the HWInfo 64 after running the Blender benchmark. The run was made on the stock settings with Voltages at Auto. The average temperature was 58.75°C on an ambient temperature in the range of 15-16°C.

The above picture shows the power draw of the PC (without display and graphics load) noted during the blender benchmark run on stock settings.

I was able to overclock the Intel i7 10700k 5.1GHz all cores using 1.379V VCore. Above is the screen show of the HWInfo64 after a Blender run using manual overclocking. The average temperature comes to 78.87°C at an ambient of 15-16°C. This result is with a 240mm CLC cooler. Looking at the ambient, it is clear that the chip would run hot at ambient temperature ≥ 24°C~26°C.

The above picture shows the power draw of the PC (without display and graphics load) on a 5.1GHz manual overclock on the CPU.

I can’t emphasize enough that power consumption would vary from system to system depending upon the components in use. One simply can’t compare the results shown in the graph with their own to draw any conclusion hence it is imperative that one must read the testing methodology, configuration of the testbed beforehand.

We are seeing improvement in the efficiency on the 10th gen 8-core chip against the 9th gen 8-core chip from Intel. The Intel i7 10700k on stock draws 130.937W on the package whereas the i9 9900k draws 162.186W on the package.

The Intel i7 10700k was drawing 187.478W on the package under blender load with an all-core 5.1GHz overclock using 1.379V VCore.

OC Results

Here are the graphs showing the results with stock settings vs manual overclocking:

Conclusion

Intel released their 10th generation of Core i series CPUs in 2020 along with the new chipset and most importantly new socket. Say hello to Intel LGA1200 which makes the 10th gen chips incompatible with the Intel LGA-1151 socket. To drive the new socket, Intel released the enthusiast-grade Z490 chipset along with the mid-range and budget segment H470 and B460 chipsets. We have multiple SKUs starting from Core i3 ranging to Core i9 as was the case with the last generation chips. There are a few noticeable differences when we look at the 9th and 10th generation chips. The Core i9 9700k was released without hyper-threading having 8 Cores/8 Threads to make the flagship Core i9 9900k with the same 8 Cores but with 16 Threads look more premium and power horse solution. Despite the flagship motto, the Core i7 9700k came closer to the gaming performance of the flagship Core i9 9900k with later being a clear winner when it comes to multi-threaded load. Similarly, the Core i5 9600k was without hyper-threading.

Any difference in the 10th generation or the SAGA of 14nm and Skylake based architecture continues? Well, there are a few differences leaving which aside, yes the SAGA continues. First of all, Intel has enabled hyper-threading across the entire product line in the 10th generation which is a wise move. They have also enabled the per core hyper-threading control which is a fine refinement. This time, we have a proper flagship premium CPU in this segment with i9 10900k and 10850k with each having 10 cores and 20 threads. The core i7 10700k is released with 8 cores and 16 threads hence the addition of two cores in the flagship CPU does make the whole line more complete and robust as compared to the previous generation. Intel has done this right for sure. Another feature is the PL1 (TDP) and PL2 power states whereby the user can remove the power restrictions in the UEFI/BIOS and this would raise the power limit to 229W on PL2 as compared to the 125W TDP on the default. PL2 is the turbo power limit. Intel guarantees that the given k series chip in this generation will perform on the default TDP power limit at sustained base clocks. With PL2 the CPU can enter into a turbo boost mode but this is done for a limited time which is 56 or 57 seconds for the Intel i7 10700k. During this time, the chip will boost to the maximum turbo frequency allowed on the chip. This is Intel’s default values. Intel has allowed the motherboard manufacturers to set their power design and power limitation along with the boost timing. This all would imply one thing which is the cooling solution not only on the CPU itself but on the motherboard’s VRM. I am assuming that high-end motherboards with beefy VRM and adequate VRM cooling may have aggressive power and timing settings.

Another observation is that we might not see that much of a performance boost in the IPC count but these chips are geared towards higher boost clocks with more cores and now with longer than ever sustained higher boost clocks. This is where AMD has an advantage of the 7nm FAB node and refine architecture giving it more IPC count than the boost clocks. What we have seen in the testing that as compared to the Red camp, the blue camp is not powered efficient particularly under the multi-threaded loads where the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X is performing that well coming closer to the performance level of Intel i7 10700k on several occasions yet with much less power consumption. But Intel shines in the gaming performance and single-threaded performance. Intel i7 10700k has performed well if not that well as compared against the i9 9900k.

Intel i7 10700k resembles the i9 9900k in multiple aspects. Both feature the same 16 MB L3 cache. i7 has a 200MHz more base clock over the 3600MHz base clock. Both have the same iGPU UHD 630 with a base frequency of 350 MHz and a dynamic boost frequency of 1.2GHz using 64GB max video memory. The supported resolutions on HDMI and DP ports are the same. Intel i7 10700k has a more TDP rating of 125W as compared to 95W on i9 9900k. It supports Turbo Max Boost 3.0 which is not present on the i9 9900k. Both have the same thermal junction of 100°C. This is what is on the paper. In terms of the synthetic loads, we are not seeing that significant jump in the performance with the i7 10700k over the i9 9900k. The single-threaded load is favoring the i7 10700k thanks to the 5.1GHz turbo most frequency. Now, let’s bring in the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X in the equation. In synthetic benchmarks, this CPU has performed very well and in fact, ended up beating both Intel 8 core CPUs in some tests and coming close in a few. Our gaming result is not conclusive many thanks to our RTX 2080 bricking just in time leaving no choice but to bench using the GTX 1080. In order to truly determine the CPU scaling, we need to have that powerful graphics card to challenge the CPU. It is nice to see AMD catching up. So, what does this all mean if we have to sum up? Let’s bring in the most critical factor for the evaluation of the performance, pricing. At the time of writing this content, the Intel i7 10700k is listed on NewEgg at $379.88, i9 9900k is listed at $359.99 and 3700X is listed at $324.95. These are the updated prices. If you are on Intel 9th generation, I really don’t see any reason to upgrade particularly when there is no PCIe 4.0 support on the 10th generation and the chipset prominently offers Wifi 6 with 2.5 GbE NIC. If you are looking for a pure gaming-related CPU then i7 10700k will definitely serve your platter. Not only this 8 core CPU is offering a better gaming performance, but it is also equally good at multi-threading load. Keep in mind that you would need a cooling solution (a good one!) and a Z490 chipset series motherboard. On the other hand, put the least expensive 3700X on a B450 motherboard and enjoy the stock cooler. This way you would end up with some savings that could go towards the better graphics card budget though, in all honesty, the current price difference is not that substantial to suggest anything comfortably.

Concluding CPU content is never an easy task as it has related factors like motherboard, cooling solution, supported RAM speed to determine the true value of the given solution. The Intel i7 10700k is at present the best 8 core processing solution from the blue camp in this segment and without a doubt, this chip has all the power to drive your gaming and multi-threaded loads though the competition is really cut-throat! You can actually save like $130 based on the current pricing by choosing i7 10700k over the flagship i9 10900k and use that saving for a better graphics card or beefy motherboard and still enjoy the good performance.

We are thankful to Intel, MSI, bequiet!, and TEAMGROUP Pakistan for sponsoring our new Intel test bench enabling us to continue testing the hardware.

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