Well, it kinda looks like the ten-core Intel Comet Lake desktop processors might be coming a little sooner than the 2020 release date that has previously been rumoured. Both the Comet Lake ten-core and Comet Lake six-core CPUs have appeared in EEC registration listings made public today.
These appear to be the desktop processors as they are both denoted as Comet Lake-S parts with either the ‘10 +2’ or ‘6 +2’ notation on their respective product names. We’re taking the first number to be the processor core count and the second to denote that they come with graphics silicon baked into them.
It does appear, however, that the EEC registration listings are not purely referring to the Comet Lake-S CPUs themselves; they seem to be referencing some sort of barebones system. The SDP portion of the listing makes me think that it’s probably part of Intel’s software development platform, designed to help test the new processors. The fact that a beta development kit is doing the rounds could suggest Comet Lake processors might actually ship this year.
Though whether the ten-core Intel Comet Lake CPU is going to ship with HyperThreading turned on, and therefore a full 20-threads of processing power, is still somewhat up for debate. There have been rumours flying around that the top chip might have it disabled, potentially because of the security vulnerabilities that have been uncovered recently.
Read more: These are the best CPUs for gaming today
That seems a little far-fetched to me, especially given that Intel really needs every last thread it has to compete with first the Ryzen 9 3900X 12-core, 24-thread processor leading the Ryzen 3000 vanguard, and then the Ryzen 9 3950X 16-core, 32-thread chip coming in September.
Incidentally, new AMD 16-core Geekbench benchmarks have appeared showing an AMD processor with a 3.29GHz base clock speed, 4.3GHz turbo clock, and 16 CPU cores inside it. Though this AMD Myrtle chip looks like an engineering sample given the lowish frequencies, rather than a genuine Ryzen 9 3950X sample being tested in the wild.
Geekbench is tough to use as a comparative tool, unfortunately as the results vary so much – you can put it up against one i9 9900K result and its single-threaded performance is way out in front and on another it’s well behind. Still, they’re out there and they’re coming for you, Intel…
Anyways, these latest Intel security flaws haven’t actually been exploited in any attacks that we’ve heard of and often require you to almost hand over the keys to your PC for any would-be assailant to take advantage of it.
Intel will more likely follow the same path it took for the Core i9 9900K and Core i7 9700K, where one octa-core CPU had HyperThreading turned on and the other didn’t.
These recent rumours have still pegged the Comet Lake release date for sometime next year, but I’ve just got a sneaky feeling we’ll have something new from Intel coming to the desktop this year. Even if it’s in small quantities like the 9900K and 9700K releases at the tail end of last year, I believe it’s important for Intel to at least look like it’s still competing outside of laptops..