After testing the Core i9-10900K and Core i7-10700K last week, only the Core i5-10600K is left to complete our tour of the new parts of the 10th generation Intel Core K series for enthusiastic manufacturers .
The 10600K is arguably the most compelling of the unlocked 10th generation desktop parts. First, it's the cheapest product that is retailed for $ 262. Second, if you look at the spec sheet, it's basically a Core i7-8700K, which in its heyday was not just an amazing flagship processor, but was sold for around $ 360 before this release. So that's a 22% discount there.
The 8700K was released in late 2017, so of course we would expect us to pay less for older hardware, and so Intel has been down lately, which is becoming a problem for them. Although the 10600K looks pretty good compared to previous Intel offerings, this new 6-core processor with 12 threads hits the Ryzen 7 3700X, while AMD's own 6-core CPU, the Ryzen 5 3600, hits $ 200 is considerably cheaper.
That just means that AMD offers more cores for about the same price, which will undoubtedly lead to better productivity performance. For those of you who are looking for maximum frame rates in games and are a bit budget conscious at the same time, the Core i5-10600K might have something to offer here.
The 10600K is immediately clocked at up to 4.8 GHz, which makes it pretty snappy in games. After all, most games don't need a 6-core processor with 12 threads, certainly not one with a modern architecture that is clocked near 5 GHz. Of course, there are other advantages to the high-end Core i7 and Core i9 CPUs, such as: For example, a large L3 cache, but in most games they are unlikely to be much faster. It's also very likely that you can overclock the 10600K to around 5 to 5.1 GHz and get Core i7-10700K and more broadly Core i9-10900K-like performance at a fairly high discount.
Our test setup corresponds to that from previous test reports. Ryzen processors were tested on the Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master, 8th and 9th generation Intel Core processors were tested on the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra and the new 10th generation Intel processors on the Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme.
In this test only results for Intel CPUs are considered, which are not limited to performance, therefore no TDP-restricted tests. This is how we normally test Intel CPUs like the 9900K, and this is how most Z490 cards work right away. So while we use the standard clock multiplier tables, none of the Intel CPUs stick to performance limits. All configurations were tested with an RTX 2080 Ti, 32 GB DDR4-3200 CL14 memory and a Corsair Hydro H150i Pro 360 mm AIO liquid cooler.
Here you can see the multi-core results of the Cinebench R20. Here we see that the 10600K is 6% faster than the 8700K, which is a pretty surprising result given the technical specs. Despite the surprisingly strong result compared to the 8th generation Core i7, the 10600K was still 5% slower than the Ryzen 5 3600 and 27% slower than the 3700X.
The single-core performance of the 8700K also increased slightly, here the 10600K was 4% faster and thus only 1% slower than the 3600.
In the 7-Zip version, the 10600K again achieved the decompression performance of the 8700K, 20% slower than the 3600 and almost 40% slower than the 3700X.
If we look at the compression performance, we see that the 10600K is very similar to the 8700K, this time with a small lead. It was slower than the Ryzen 5 3600 and quite a bit slower than the 3700X.
The AES encryption performance in SiSoftware is also very similar to that of the 8700K, since the 10600K offers a throughput of 13 GB / s and is therefore 35% slower than the 3700X.
Next we have the Blender Open Data benchmark, where the 10600K was 5% faster than the 8700K, with the CPU benchmark being 1282 seconds. That said, it was slightly faster than the Ryzen 5 3600, but 24% slower than the 3700X.
In the V-Ray benchmark, the 10600K was slightly faster than the R5 3600, but over 20% slower than the 3700X.
The Core i5-10600K shows a small performance improvement over the 8700K in the Corona benchmark and that means that it was 7% faster than the 3600 but cannot keep up with the 16 threads of the 3700X and delivers over 20% more performance.
Next we have code compilation performance. Here the 10600K was 6% faster than the 8700K and that allowed it to match the 9700K. This is one of the bigger margins we've seen so far, but after running this test on both CPUs again, we got the same results. The 10600K was still 11% behind the R5 3600 and 28% slower than the 3700X.
DaVinci Resolve Studio 16 saw a small gain for the 10600K over the 8700K, and the new Core i5 processor was again slower than the Ryzen 5 3600, which was only the R5 2600.
If we move on to the Adobe Premiere Pro results, we see that the 10600K is 6% faster than the 8700K, the same margin as in the Chromium test. It's not a big difference, but it's interesting to see another repeatable example where the 10600K is significantly faster than expected.
The most unexpected result so far was that the 10600K was 10% faster than the 8700K in Adobe Photoshop. While it's still behind the Ryzen 5 3600, it's a surprisingly large margin over the 8700K considering what we've seen in other applications.
The 10600K also outperforms the 8700K in After Effects, albeit a slight 3% improvement. That was enough for the new Core i5 processor to skip the 2700X, but not enough to catch the Ryzen 5 3600.
That will do it for the application benchmarks, time to check the power consumption. With no performance limits, the Core i5-10600K increased the total system load to 198 watts, slightly higher than the 9700K and by 12% over the 8700K. Perhaps more importantly, overall system utilization was 21% higher than the 3700X and a whopping 32% higher than the 3600, although the Ryzen 5 processor was only exceeded by 4% in this test.
When we move on to the gaming benchmarks, we have Battlefield V first with the 1080p results using a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics card. Here the 10600K was 3% faster than the 8700K. Please note that we have re-tested the 8700K since the 10900K and 10700K tests to verify some results, and found a small improvement in 1% performance in Battlefield V at 1080p and Far Cry New Dawn around 1440p. In this example we are talking about an increase of 4%. It is possible that the last time an update was carried out in the background where this data was deleted slightly.
In terms of performance, the 10600K is very similar to the 8700K, which means that while it can reach the average frame rate of the 9900K, 10700K and 10900K, it was 8% slower when looking at the 1% low data.
Compared to Ryzen, it was 11% faster than the Ryzen 7 3700X at 1080p, which is a reasonable increase in performance. However, if you plan to play with an RTX 2080 Ti at 1440p or a lower-end graphics card at 1080p, the difference between 10600K and 3700X is very small. In this case, the Intel CPU was only 1% faster or 1 fps faster when comparing 1% low data and 4% faster when comparing the average frame rate.
When tested with Far Cry New Dawn, the 10600K delivered an average of 121 fps, which was 8% slower than the 10700K, but 4% faster than the 8700K. Compared to competing Ryzen parts, it was 6% faster than the 3700X and 9% faster than the 3600.
These margins change slightly at 1440p, where the 10600K was 8% faster than the 3700X and 3600, while it was only 6% behind the 10700K and 10900K.
If we jump to the Gears Tactics, we see that the 10600K at 1080p with an RTX 2080 Ti matches the 10700K and is within 1-2 fps of the 10900K. It was 4% faster than the 8700K and 10% faster than the 3700X, which is a very solid result for the new 6-core Intel processor.
Performance at 1440p is strong again, although margins are expected to close, but the 10600K is still 8% faster than the 3700X.
In Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, the 10600K delivered an average of 276 fps, which is comparable to the performance of the 10700K and 10900K. There is a relatively big difference in 1% low performance because the Core i5 was 12% slower than the 10700K. In addition, the 10600K may have delivered a higher average frame rate compared to the 3700X, but was slightly slower compared to 1% less power.
As we've seen so far, these margins close almost completely at 1440p. Here we see an almost identical performance of the 3700X and 10600K, while the more expensive 10700K and 10900K are a few frames faster.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint is a very GPU-restricted title, even at 1080p with the powerful RTX 2080 Ti. As a result, the 10600K was only a few frames slower than the 10700K and 10900K, while outperforming the 3700X by 5%.
Despite increasing the resolution to 1440p, we basically see the same edges, this time the 10600K was 6% faster than the 3700X and 7% faster than the 3600.
Next we have Shadow of the Tomb Raider and here the 10600K was up to 6% faster than the 8700K and that meant it was 2% faster than the 3700X but 5% slower than the 10700K when you consider the average frame rate and compares 11% slower when comparing 1% low data.
When switched to 1440p, the 10600K and 3700X models deliver the same performance, making them 9% slower than the 10700K and 10900K models when comparing 1% low data.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is another heavily GPU-bound title, even if high quality settings were chosen at 1080p. Here the 10600K achieved the average frame rate of the 10700K and 10900K and was only slightly behind the 1% low result.
Increasing the resolution further increases the GPU bottleneck, and now the 10600K, 3700X, 3600 and a number of other processors offer virtually identical performance.
By simply activating an improved multi-core value, the multi-core score of Cinebench R20 increases from 3566 to 3836 points, which means an easy to achieve 8% increase in performance. Basically, we increase the all-core clock frequency from 4.5 GHz to 4.8 GHz.
Then we see that manual 5.1 GHz overclocking with 1.35 V raised the Cinebench score to 4039 points, which corresponds to a further 5% increase in performance.
If we look at the single-core performance, we see that MCE increased the score here by 3%. The 10600K should work with an all-core frequency of 4.8 GHz as standard, but fluctuations in the clock frequency lead to a slightly lower score. Then the 5.1 GHz overclocking increased the score to 533 points, which corresponds to a performance jump of 7%.
If we now look at the exaggerated gaming performance, we will only compare the 5.1 GHz overclocking with the stock results. When testing with Far Cry New Dawn at 1080p, a frame rate increase of 12% was found, which was sufficient to equate the 10600K with the 10700K and 10900K.
The overclocked results are not that impressive in Rainbow Six Siege. We only get a few extra frames here on average, although we see an 8% increase at 1% low performance, which still means a fairly decent performance increase.
Finally, we have Shadow of the Tomb Raider, where we see an increase of 6% at 1% low performance with an average of a few additional frames. A decent performance boost that puts the 10600K in the 10700K and 10900K range – not quite the same level, but certainly comparable performance.
When it comes to operating temperatures, we should note that we use a fairly powerful Corsair 360mm AIO, but you'll see similar results with a high-end air cooler like the DeepCool Assassin III or Noctua NH-D15.
The Corsair H150i Pro has the 10600K in stock at only 52 ° C and here we see a case performance of only 104 watts. By activating MCE, the maximum operating temperature was increased to 65 ° C, since the case performance increased by 45% to 145 watts. Then the 10600K reached 75 ° C with our manual overclocking, which is still very cool in every way. That's a pretty big temperature rise for just a 13 watt increase in power, but of course this stuff scales linearly.
Deal or no deal? What we have learned
With all this data, I will share some of my opinions. Having recently tested the i9-10900K and i7-10700K, we have a good idea of how these models fit into the current CPU landscape. In short, both are objectively good, but they are also niche products.
The Core i9-10900K is undoubtedly the fastest gaming processor in the world, but its closest competitors are close by and happen to offer a number of advantages. Since games won't benefit from 10 cores in 2020, the 10700K is as good as the outgoing 9900K. In the meantime, the Ryzen 9 3900X mostly offers a gaming experience that is indistinguishable for the Core i9, but there is a lower price, less power consumption, and it is also much more powerful for productivity tasks.
The Core i7-10700K corresponds to the price of the 3900X and is therefore a better choice for gamers compared to the 10900K. However, it is far behind Ryzen in terms of productivity and performance per watt. In summary, the 10700K is either at the level of the 3700X for a massive 40% price premium, or much slower than the 3900X for the same price.
… the Core i5-10600K has the potential to deliver 10700K and 10900K-like performance at an even cheaper price.
On the other hand, the Core i5-10600K has the potential to deliver 10700K and 10900K-like performance at an even cheaper price. For those looking for strong gaming performance and value for money, the 10600K is an attractive option. If it's overclocked, it can match the parts for $ 400 and $ 500, or at least get so close that it doesn't matter. In my opinion, it is the cheapest high-end gaming CPU from Intel.
For those of you who only play, I can see how useful the Core i5-10600K is. I should point out that under realistic gaming conditions it is ~ 6% faster than the 3700X, as can be seen in our 1080p data with the RTX 2080 Ti in 7 games. This margin is reduced to only 3% at 1440p. In this case, I can also see that buying a processor with 25% fewer cores at about the same price may not be the smartest investment in the future. However, if you play games like Fortnite or PUBG and use competitive settings, you will make double-digit profits with the 10600K.
In short, if you are looking for a high-performance gaming CPU but are not interested in the area of falling returns, the Core i5-10600K is the right part. However, if you're looking for something a little more rounded, it's hard to pass the Ryzen 7 3700X on with its ~ 30% better productivity.
If you're looking for maximum value – for both games and application tasks – it's very difficult to ignore the Ryzen 5 3600 for just $ 175. This is an incredible deal where the 10600K costs 60% more and offers only a modest 6% speed bump in 1080p games.
But let's not stop at the CPU. The Core i5-10600K is even more expensive because it doesn't have a cooler and decent Z490 boards are more expensive than a high quality B450 or future B550 motherboard. The problem with the cooler can be solved for just $ 30, but if you add the price of the motherboard, it gets more and more expensive. For example, the MSI B450 Tomahawk Max costs $ 115 and supports the Ryzen 9 3950X, while the cheapest Z490 boards we would invest in cost around $ 190, like MSI's ZI90 Tomahawk.
Considering $ 30 for an affordable tower cooler and $ 75 more for a decent Z490 motherboard, support for the 10600K costs a little more than $ 100 in additional costs. If you plan to overclock to at least 5 GHz, you can double the price of the cooler. With all of that in mind, you'll have to pay at least $ 500 for the 10600K, with a decent entry-level Z490 motherboard and a budget tower cooler. The Ryzen 5 3600 brings you back $ 290 with the MSI B450 Tomahawk Max. Coincidentally, it's about what you would only pay for the 10600K.
Regardless of your decision, it is simply not possible to purchase the Core i5-10600K at the time of writing. As far as we know, no retailer received inventory and we were informed that no inventory will be available in the second quarter. This means that the CPU appears in July at the earliest and possibly very scarce.
- AMD Ryzen 7 3700X on Amazon
- AMD Ryzen 5 3600 on Amazon
- Intel Core i5-10600K at Amazon (soon?)
- Intel Core i7-10700K at Amazon
- Intel Core i9-10900K at Amazon
- AMD Ryzen 9 3900X at Amazon
- GeForce RTX 2060 Super on Amazon
- GeForce RTX 2080 Ti on Amazon