Earlier this week, we tested the new Intel Core i9-10900K and found that it performed well, but was not impressive in a world dominated by AMD's Ryzen lineup. For $ 500, it's much more expensive than the Ryzen 9 3900X, it's slower in most applications, while offering a little edge in games.

In the end, we couldn't really say who would buy 10900K. The cheaper Core i7-10700K now seems to be a more interesting part. Essentially, we have a Core i9-9900K with a 25% discount here, as Intel has set the MSRP at $ 375. Even if you can't find it right away at this price, it's a reasonable discount over the previous game king, the 9900K, which is still retailed for $ 530. But will that be enough?

The Core i7-10700K is an 8-core CPU with 16 threads, just like the 9900K, but while the Coffee Lake part has a base clock of 3.6 GHz, the 10700K doesn't drop below 3.8 GHz and thus the TDP drop has been increased to 125 W. The boost clock frequency has also been increased by 100 MHz, which means that the 10700K reaches 5.1 GHz. The L3 cache remains unchanged on both models with a capacity of 16 MB.

That's the 10700K in a nutshell, time to get into the benchmarks!

We tested all Ryzen processors with the Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master. 8th and 9th generation Intel processors were tested on the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra and the new 10th generation Intel Core CPUs 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, such as 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.

For the 10700K, this means that the all-core clock speed is 4.7 GHz under load and the frequency is maintained for the duration of the test. This is the same all-core clock frequency that the 9900K works with. Finally, all configurations were equipped with a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, 32 GB DDR4-3200 CL14 memory and a 360 mm all-in-one liquid cooler Corsair Hydro H150i Pro.

Benchmarks

As usual, we start with Cinebench R20 Multi-Core and here we see that the 10700K can actually keep up with the 9900K with a score of 4985 points. The 2% increase is within the margin of error, even for our 3-run average.

If we look at the single-core performance, we see that the 10700K is very powerful, but is no exception and basically corresponds to the 9900K, 3700X and 3900X.

With 7 zipper compression performance, the 10700K is only 1.5% faster than the 3700X and 37% slower than the 3900X. He rules the test with the 3900X, which is currently sold for around $ 415, and Intel has a large performance deficit at AMD for the same price.

For Intel, it gets worse in the decompression test if the 10700K is 9% slower than the 3700X and is therefore significantly behind the 3900X and loses 39% less.

The AES 256-bit encryption performance is interesting because we can see here that the 10700K is slightly slower than the 9900K and has a 6% lead. Given that these two CPUs are identical in terms of technical data, but the 10700K clocks are higher, this should not be possible. However, the Comet Lake architecture introduces a number of security fixes at the hardware level, and we have found at Cascade Lake-X that this sometimes affects performance. I think that's what we're looking at here.

The 10700K was also slower than the 9900K in Blender's Open Data benchmark, although we're talking a few seconds here, so the performance was basically the same.

The V-Ray performance is very typical of what we've seen so far. Here the 10700K is 4% faster than the 9900K and almost 30% slower than the Ryzen 9 3900X.

The 10700K performed as expected in Corona and significantly displaced the 9900K. It was also 14% faster than the 3700X, but 24% slower than the 3900X. An expected result, but overall not a particularly good result for Intel.

When it comes to code compilation, the 10700K is just ahead of the 9900K, which makes it slightly slower than the 3700X and a whopping 33% slower than the 3900X. So performance is back as expected, but when it comes to serious productivity work, Intel seems to be outperformed by the rival Ryzen processors.

In terms of DaVinci Resolve Studio performance, the 10700K is 6% faster than the 9900K, making it equivalent to the 3700X. It was still 9% slower than the 3900X, but it doesn't make much difference, although it's not a great result.

The performance ranges shown in Premiere Pro are very similar to those of DaVinci Resolve. The 10700K can keep up with the 3700X and was 6% faster than the 9900K.

The higher clocked CPUs from Intel work well in Photoshop, and although the 10700K doesn't destroy the 3900X, it can at least keep up here, and we haven't seen much of that.

After Effects performance is average, although the 10700K offers a 6% increase in performance over the 9900K. That said, it was still slower than the 3700X and 10% slower than the 3900X.

As far as power consumption is concerned, we see the total consumption of the system here. The 10700K corresponds to the 3900X at 230 watts and that means that Intel has a significant disadvantage in terms of performance per watt, but that's certainly not new to anyone at this point. In any case, the 3900X was 60% faster than the 10700K in Blender, which is a significant advantage in terms of performance per watt.

Gaming performance

Starting with Battlefield V at 1080p using the highest quality preset and of course with an RTX 2080 Ti graphics card. Here the 10700K matched the 9900K and 10900K to offer the best and most consistent gaming experience of the CPUs tested.

The 1% low performance was 19% better than 3rd generation Ryzen processors, despite the minor difference in average frame rates. Still, this is a strong game result for Intel and it's great to see a 9900K-like performance at a cheaper price.

For example, if you're playing at 1440p and I think this is the minimum resolution that people who rock an RTX 2080 Ti would target, the difference between the 10700K and the 3900X is basically indistinguishable.

Next we have Far Cry New Dawn and again we see 9900K and even 10900K-like performance with the 10700K. This is good news, but not unexpected either. The Far Cry series has always preferred Intel CPUs, and we're happy to include them, as this is a worst-case scenario for AMD. While the 10700K is often 5% faster than the 3900X when playing, there are titles like Far Cry New Dawn where Intel is 15% faster and this margin can even be seen at 1440p.

In terms of Gears Tactics performance, the 10700K also matches the 9900K and 10900K, pumping out 138 fps on average to be 8% faster than the 3900X at 1080p. This margin is slightly reduced to 6% at 1440p, although the low result of 1% is now identical, which means that the gaming experience with both CPUs is indistinguishable.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege is a title that allowed the 10900K to distance itself from the 9900K, albeit with a small lead. This advantage was made possible by the slight increase in clock speed, and we see that the 10700K shares this advantage too. However, we are only talking about a 1% increase in performance by 5%.

This advantage disappears at 1440p, here the 10700K is only a few frames faster than the 3900X, and here, too, both processors offer the same gaming experience.

With the Ghost Recon Breakpoint, the 10700K also corresponds to the 10900K and in a broader sense to the 9900K, 9700K and even the 8700K. Again, the 10700K was faster than the 3900X, but this time it's just a 5% performance advantage at 1080p.

The margins remain largely the same at 1440p, with the 10700K being 7% faster than the 3900X.

In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the 10700K was only a few frames away from the 10900K and about 6% faster than the 3900X. When switching to 1440p, we find that the 10700K is not faster than the 3900X, 3950X and 10900K and offers almost identical performance.

The last game we tested, Red Dead Redemption 2, shows us a strong GPU bottleneck at 1080p, although we used the settings for the quality down. The 10700K averaged 103 fps, matching the 10900K along with the 9900K, 9700K, and 8700K. It was also a couple of frames faster than Ryzen 9 and 7 processors.

The margins were reduced at 1440p and now we basically see no difference in performance between most CPUs tested.

If we look at the average performance of the 7 games tested at 1080p, we see that the 10700K is basically identical to the 10900K and just a whisker faster than the 9900K. The 9700K is also very close on average, but the 1% low power wasn't at the same level.

Compared to the 3900X, you can see an average frame rate improvement of 7% and performance improvement of 1% by 8%. This is a reasonable advantage for gaming.

If you jump to 1440p, the average frame rate and low margin will be reduced from 1% to only 5%. While the 10700K is significantly faster for gaming, it's not much faster and in most cases you won't notice the difference.

Excellent for playing, but …

It's time to understand the data. On the one hand, this is similar to what we saw with the Core i9-10900K. The 10700K simply cannot keep up with the value of competing Ryzen parts in productivity applications. The Core i7-10700K is either at the level of the 3700X for a massive 40% price premium, or much slower than the 3900X for about the same price.

However, the 10700K certainly makes more sense than the 10900K because it offers the same gaming performance for around $ 100 less. With this in mind, we look forward to testing the Core i5-10600K, which may be one of the most compelling 10th generation products from Intel. The 10600K is basically an overclocked 8700K. Since the 8700K offers gaming performance similar to that of the 10700K, and more broadly the 10900K, this is the CPU you get when you only play. The 10600K is obviously cheaper at just $ 280.

The 10700K and 10900K suffer from the fact that games won't need more than a 6-core processor with 12 threads in 2020, and we doubt that this will change soon. So if you want to use Intel to play, it doesn't make sense to spend $ 100 or $ 200 more on these Core i7 and Core i9 parts. And if you want both gaming and productivity performance, Ryzen can cover both areas in a compelling way. At a price of around $ 400, the R9 3900X just doesn't go by.

The 10700K is certainly a good deal compared to the outgoing Core i9-9900K, but we should first find out if the 10600K can offer the same gaming experience at a much cheaper price. Had Intel been able to offer the 10700K for $ 300, we could certainly recommend it as a Ryzen 7 3700X alternative, but for $ 375 or more, it's a passport for now. Availability seems to be a key issue, as we mentioned with the 10900K. Although we were able to purchase this Core i7-10700K chip on the day of release, we were told that inventory is extremely limited.

Purchasing links:
  • AMD Ryzen 7 3700X on Amazon
  • AMD Ryzen 9 3900X at Amazon
  • Intel Core i7-10700K at Amazon (soon?)
  • Intel Core i5-10600K at Amazon (soon?)
  • Intel Core i9-10900K at Amazon (soon?)
  • AMD Ryzen 9 3950X at Amazon
  • AMD Ryzen 5 3600X on Amazon
  • GeForce RTX 2070 Super on Amazon
  • GeForce RTX 2060 Super on Amazon

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