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Intel Core i9-10900K, Great CPU to Battle AMD


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The Intel Core i9-10900K concluded the test as a very good desktop processor. It is the first ten-core CPU of the Comet Lake S generation that Intel has placed in the mainstream segment. Accordingly, it is considered a competitor to AMD's Ryzen 9 5900X. The CPU shows itself to be extremely powerful in our benchmarks. Overall, however, it can't even keep up with the performance values of the cheaper Ryzen 7 5800X.


Intel Core i9-10900K in the test: A lot of power for a ten-core CPU
Intel's Core i9-10900K has a base frequency of 3700 MHz and can temporarily increase the clock to 5,300 MHz for complex work processes in Turbo Boost. Thanks to Hyper-Threading, the ten-core can process 20 threads simultaneously and thus faster. The CPU also supports DDR4-2933 RAM natively.

To be able to install the Core i9-10900K in your computer, you need a mainboard with an Intel LGA1200 socket. It is the first Intel generation with LGA1200. So in almost all cases you have to take into account the purchase of a new motherboard.


Benchmark comparison of the Intel Core i9-10900K
Intel still manufactures its current desktop processors in 14 nm technology, which was introduced in 2014 with the Broadwell generation. Even if the technology has now been modified, the manufacturing process is much older than AMD's 7 nm variant. But despite this disadvantage, Intel shows that the 10th generation CPUs are competitive to a limited extent.

The table below shows the comparison between the Intel Core i9-10900K and the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X. Both are the current top models of the respective manufacturer in the mainstream segment, the Intel CPU is a ten-core, while AMD is a twelve-core. So that you can classify the whole thing better, the following should be given to you: For the values given in points, MB/s, fps or pps, the simple principle applies: the higher the value, the better the result. Only the results expressed in s (seconds) are about the elapsed time and the following applies: the lower the numerical value, the better the measurement result.

We tested the graphics benchmarks in combination with an Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti. In contrast to the AMD model, the Intel processor with the UHD graphics 630 has its own GPU, which is unsuitable for demanding games or applications.

 

AMD RYZEN 9 5900X VS. INTEL CORE I9-10900K (GAMING TEST WITH NVIDIA RTX 2080 TI)

  AMD R9 5900X Intel Core i9-10900K

PCMark 10 (Applications)

12,411 points

11,830 points

PCMark 10 (Extended)

7,665 points

7,413 points

PassMark (total)

7,011 points

7,319 points

PassMark (CPU Mark)

35,344 points

24,737 points

PassMark (2D Graphics)

1,026 points

1,142 points

PassMark (3D Graphics)

11,033 points

11,238 points

PassMark (Memory Mark)

3,399 points

3,728 points

PassMark (Disk Mark)

4,536 points

5,048 points

Cinebench R20 (n-thread)

8,506 points

6,306 points

Cinebench R20 (1-thread)

628 points

530 points

x265 encoding

18.2 fps

11.3 fps

POV-Ray (1,920x1,080, AA 0.3)

7,443 pps

4,990 pps

VeraCrypt (Kuznyechik-Serpent-Camellia)

1,200 MB / s

1,200 MB / s

Blender ("Classroom")

436 s

619 s

Blender ("BMW27")

53 p

74 p

FSI ("Monte Carlo")

20 s

27 p

FSI ("Black Scholes")

76 s

109 s

Handbrake (HQ, 4K)

46 s

64 s

Handbrake (default, 1080p)

191 s

279 s

LuxRender

9,475 points

7,681 points

namd: apoa1

22.9 s

31.3 s

python36 (multithreaded matrix)

61 s

95 s

Total War: Warhammer II (DX12; Full-HD; Ultra; vsync off)

107.8 fps

88.1 fps

Anno 1800 (DX12; Full-HD; Ultra, vsync off)

144.3 fps

124.2 fps

The Division 2 (DX12; Full-HD; Ultra, vsync off)

146 fps

142 fps

3DMark Fire Strike

30,523 points

23,527 points

3DMark Time Spy

14,593 points

13,577 points

 

The overall excellent performance is subject to AMD rivals
As with the comparison of the two eight-core CPUs , the Core i9-10900K can only keep up with the Ryzen 9 5900X in a few benchmarks and ultimately has to admit defeat completely. The Intel processor is ahead in the PassMark benchmark (overall) with 7,319 to 7,011 points, but if we consider the pure CPU comparison, it no longer sees any country with 24,737 to 35,344 points.

When it comes to multi-core tasks, the Core i9 clearly lags behind AMD's twelve-core system. This is shown, among other things, by our Cinebench R20 benchmark:

  • R20 (multi-core): 6,306 points for Intel against 8,506 points for AMD
  • R20 (single core): 530 points for Intel against 628 points for AMD

If we take a look at our gaming benchmarks, it is clear that the Core i9-10900K provides sufficient performance for gaming under DirectX 12, and 4K gaming will not be a problem with the appropriate graphics card. Nevertheless, the Intel CPU cannot keep up with the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X in this comparison and is even subject to the somewhat cheaper AMD Ryzen 7 5800X here as in the majority of other benchmarks. 


Intel Core i9-10900K Power consumption and equipment
In contrast to the Intel Core i7-10700K, the maximum system power consumption of the Intel Core i9-10900K is around 294 watts and thus almost 100 watts higher than Intel's eight-core CPU Core i7-10700K, which requires 196 watts. Even the expensive AMD competitor Ryzen 9 5900X only consumes 207 watts in this case. However, the comparison with the AMD system is not straightforward because we naturally have to use a different motherboard for the tests.

Ultimately, the price comparison remains. The price of the Intel Core i9-10900K is currently around 490 euros, which makes it around 300 euros cheaper than the powerful twelve-core CPU from AMD and almost 140 euros more than the Intel Core i7-10700K. Despite the price, you have to buy a suitable cooling solution for this model too, as this is not included in the scope of delivery. In addition, the better overall AMD Ryzen 7 5800X costs almost 30 euros less at the time of testing.

Advantage:

  • High-performance ten-core processor
  • Integrated graphics solution
  • Natively supports Thunderbolt 3

Disadvantage:

  • Fan not included
  • Weaker and more expensive than AMD competition

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