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Intel’s 10-core Comet Lake CPU’s ahead of schedule and set for a CES preview

A Japanese tech site claims Comet Lake is ahead of schedule and coming in Q1 2020

Intel CPU die on wafer

Intel Comet Lake CPUs are set for a CES preview in January, prior to a February launch, at least that’s what Japanese tech site, ASCII.jp, is contending. Though its own Intel CPU roadmap seems to show the desktop versions of the Comet Lake processor architecture with a guesstimated March release date. So it’s all either a dodgy translation, pure guesswork, or it has some sort of source in all this. I know which one I’m putting my money behind…

There have already been 14nm Comet Lake laptop parts released into the wild as some sort of high-performance counterpart to the more advanced, though necessarily slower, 10nm Ice Lake chips. But where the desktop parts will potentially differ, however, is they will represent the first time Intel has introduced a 10-core processor into what is essentially its mainstream line of CPUs.

Of course it’s liable to cost a pretty penny, and won’t exactly be mainstream in that sense, but it will be more accessible than the high-end desktop lineup of Cascade Lake. Though that in itself has had a ‘price reset’ of around 50%, so the Core i9 10900K is unlikely to cost more than the $590 of the Core i9 10900X.

With AMD’s 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X retailing for the same ~$500 figure as the Core i9 9900KS that doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room on pricing for Comet Lake. I’d guess that as the KS is such a limited edition part that we’ll see the i9 10900K coming in at the same price to really try and stick it to AMD. A 10-core Intel CPU up against a 12-core Ryzen might be an interesting fight…

Cores Threads Base clock Boost Clock Price
Intel Core i9 10900K 10 20 TBC TBC TBC
Intel Core i9 10900X 10 20 3.7GHz 4.7GHz $590
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 16 32 3.5GHz 4.7GHz $749
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 12 24 3.8GHz 4.6GHz $500
Intel Core i9 9900KS 8 16 4GHz 5GHz $524

The ASCII.jp piece suggests that the Comet Lake desktop launch was originally likely to be in Q2 of 2020, but that Intel has got it up and running ahead of schedule and we might end up seeing it in the Q1. The writer isn’t sure exactly when in Q1, but they’re hedging their bets and suggesting either March or February release dates with a January reveal at the big CES event in Las Vegas.

We’re going to be on the ground at CES, knee deep in post-Christmas tech to learn about all the goodness in stall for us in the coming 12 months. And we’ll be keeping an especially close eye on Intel to see what it has planned for Comet Lake. I’m sure the motherboard partners will have something to say too, because the new Intel chips are reportedly going to require a new LGA1200 CPU socket, and that means new Z490 boards to check out…

HP Pavilion All-in-One PC

One other hint that the new Comet Lake chips aren’t far off is the recent Geekbench result showing an HP Pavilion 23 All-in-One PC getting tested ahead of launch. That’s sporting what I assume is a Core i9 10900T, the low-power variant of the 10-core, 20-thread processor.

Geekbench isn’t 100% reliable, especially on unreleased silicon, so I’d maybe take the 1.5GHz base and 3.2GHz boost clock with a pinch of salt right now.