Intel Comet Lake info; The hottest desktop chip ever?

Reports out of Asia show that Intel’s latest attempt at a Ryzen killer not only guzzles up to 250 watts of power on load, but it does so at up to 90 degrees Celsius (ie. even hotter than the previous gens).

I’m sure a lot of gamers will go all out again to get a handful of extra frames, but it does show that Intel needs to get their new fab processes working, as the extra performance you might get does not look so good anymore when you factor in the cost.

This is likely going to be the chip that will go up against Zen 3, and AMD’s focus has been on architecture and technology. Intel has Tim Keller on board now, so maybe the mystical Sunny Cove architecture will keep the stiff competition going.

Good buy, or good grief?

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More details.

It looks like a big part of the design changes is getting the chip to handle more wattage (up to 250W minimum expected at the highest boost state) and allowing it to run hotter. This way they can increase the clocks for both single core and all core boosting. This will mean any machine that uses these will need beefy cooling and users will need to prepare for pricey electric bills. How much are gamers willing to pay for 5 or 10 extra frames per second?

The most interesting stuff though is how AMD is pushing Intel to add value and performance to the brand. For the first time, the lower-end products will have hyperthreading enabled, and prices across the board appear to be down from a few generations ago.

Nice headline, i totally agree. It’s hot shit. :laughing:
Meanwhile my ancient I7 runs at 39°C when idle and goes a little over 60 when on full load for a while.
90°C is like having an extra heater under your desktop that keeps your feet warm. Could be a plus - but for me it would be hell in summer.
Not to mention the electric bill.

That power draw is ridiculous, imo. 250W used to be Intel’s HEDT chips territory now they’ve passed it down to their consumer chips. The prices are finally competitive but AMD still looks better in the end imo.

What gets me is that Mobomakers have PCIe4 in their marketing for the Z490 motherboards, but the 10 series chip does not have PCIe4 support. It’s a marketing ploy to make Intel look better in comparison to AMD. Someone who doesn’t know any better will buy a Z490 see PCIe4 and assume that they have PCIe4 support. That’s so disingenuous imo.

Possibly because they increased the core count while keeping the 14nm process, the monolithic die, and the Skylake architecture (ie. very similar to the tech. they used when 10 cores were classed as HEDT).

You think the power draw and heat is crazy now, Intel is apparently planning to push even further with Rocket Lake (before larger architectural changes start arriving). They can do this because their gaming fans (as seen in the article’s comments and elsewhere) are willing to compensate with ever larger and more elaborate cooling and power delivery systems (it is all about the framezz1010!! and the rationale to trash AMD).

This shows just how far down the road AMD really is. Intel is sucking on exhaust fumes.

The 250W setting is for only a short period of time, 56 secs. Or if you’re using a thermally throttling iMac 0 secs…

I bet Apple were absolutely thrilled to learn of of this range of processors, and extra 30W base TDP and a PL2 state from 118W up to 250W for 56 secs vs to 28 secs compared to the 9900K. Could the standard iMac have to move to the cooling setup of the iMac Pro or for them to use a much lower spec of CPU this time? Maybe a completely new case design?

The iMac is, IMHO, Apple’s best and best value Mac, these chips could change that calculation.

Apple are moving away from Intel. Focusing on ARM for future technology.
Intel are screwed.

Yes, but Apple will have to rely upon Intel for desktop Mac CPUs for a while and that means the next refresh of the iMac will have Intel CPUs not ARM.

Intel is enormous, it’s not screwed but it is wounded.

Intel is screwed as far as many of us buying and building desktop PCs are concerned but they have a massive server business which AMD has only just dented. AMD has to keep up the winning streak for many more years yet.

Dang. They really cranking the heat up to compete with Zen.
Zen has superior design to be honest. It’s slightly gimmicky combining processors with infinity fabric but it works and is very easy to scale.

Intel will need a new answer within the next 5 years or it could get ugly. It’s obvious that they’re on the edge of what their current process can achieve.

So it is looking like Intel’s new i9’s may mean the company again becomes the undisputed performance king, but full utilization of such a system could mean a 230+ watt power draw and temperatures of over 90 degrees centigrade (with a good quality AIO cooler or something more elaborate being required).
https://www.guru3d.com/news-story/intel-core-i9-10900k-at-defaults-stressedpower-consumption-reads-235wtemperatures-hits-93°c.html

This confirms that Intel managed their unusually hefty performance increase by managing to make their chips more robust under extreme conditions. To draw this much power at close to the boiling point of water and staying there without crashing is impressive, even though it means the chips will likely appeal only to the most hardcore of Intel’s fanbase.

Intel Comet Lake review

Like the last few generations, Intel again fails to clearly top AMD in multithreading performance while excelling once again in performance for games. If all you do is game, then this chip is the undisputed performance king.

It will come at a cost though, that sweet 5.3 Ghz will require a pricey water cooler (as the temps can soar over 90 degrees C otherwise). As hinted, it’s not such a good deal for tasks that can use all cores as you will see the chip consuming up to 300 watts of power (which is far more per core than even AMD’s Ryzen 9 3950X).

To conclude, it’s not a bad chip at all if you’re one of those gamers who will spend thousands on a few extra frames, but AMD still has the better deal overall. Sure, some games see Intel getting close to a staggering 50 percent performance advantage at very low resolutions, but who plays at sub HD these days?


Supposedly, Comet Lake is officially the end of the line for Skylake refreshes and Rocket Lake brings out a new architecture, maybe that will be a home run for Intel and keep future Zen prices in check.

Gotta admit that Intel have managed to milk all the performance they can out of 14nm and the Skylake architecture. It makes me wonder what they’ll be able to do on 7nm or 5nm. AMD aren’t exactly resting on their laurels though, so it will be exciting to see what their processor lineup will look like by the time Intel manage to get something sensible out the door, since a 300W desktop CPU is not especially sensible… it should probably be compared to the Threadripper 3990x, which is 280W :smiley: