If the leaked Comet Lake CPU prices are true… then wtf Intel?!

At a time where the AMD competition is real the leaked Intel Comet Lake pricing makes no sense at all

Prices have emerged for Intel Comet Lake CPUs, although they may be little more than retail placeholders. In fact, we’re hoping they are just that, if only so that we have some competition in the desktop CPU market. If these really represent Intel’s 10th Gen intentions, Comet Lake really doesn’t stand a chance versus AMD’s Ryzen processors, the chips currently dominating our best CPU for gaming lists.

Intel’s 10th Gen pricing was spotted by Momomo_US on ITSK, a Slovak IT retailer. There are 12 processors listed, seven of which are Core processors ranging from the i3 10100 to the i5 10600. The remaining processors are Pentium and Celeron models on the LGA 1200 socket. What’s missing are the high-end Core i7 and Core i9 models, which are expected with up to 10 cores and 20 threads.

The Intel Core i5 10600 is listed at €279 (incl. 20% VAT). That puts this Comet Lake chip a touch more expensive than the Coffee Lake Core i5 9600 at €272 (incl. VAT). Now that’s technically not a bad deal considering HyperThreading is likely activated for the first time on the Core i5 range, doubling available threads and improving multithreaded performance in the process. But Intel doesn’t exist in a vacuum…

Intel is fighting against AMD Ryzen, specifically 3rd Gen Ryzen processors on the Zen 2 architecture. AMD’s also promised Zen 3 processors, tentatively named Ryzen 4000, will launch this year, which will also see Intel Comet Lake running up against the latest 7nm+ processors from the red team.

The Ryzen 5 3600 costs $180 (£154), which, if these early prices are true, will dominate Intel in price/performance. While Intel will (likely) maintain a lead in gaming performance, as its single-core performance has historically helped it maintain, it’s a tough, near-impossible recommendation on our part. And even that light grip on gaming superiority is set to be tested by the proposed IPC increases of the upcoming Ryzen 4000 desktop chips.

But that is, of course, all speculative at this point.

The best CPU of the bunch

The introduction of HyperThreading across the entire Comet Lake range is an obvious reaction to the AMD competition, and we’d expected some movement on pricing to really double down on that too. Not least because of the recent rumours of Intel price cuts across the consumer market.

It’s not as though Intel doesn’t have previous on this either. The Cascade Lake high-end desktop chips could only hope to compete with AMD’s Threadripper CPUs by virtue of a massive price cut. Intel duly obliged, slashing the prices of its most expensive desktop processors by half.

Hence why we’re hoping this leak is inaccurate, and just a placeholder or speculative listing to generate interest that retailers are occasionally known to do. Otherwise, Intel Comet Lake will, almost certainly, be dead on arrival.