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Intel Core i5-10600K review: One of the best for gaming

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With a good price / performance ratio, the Intel Core i5-10600K outperforms its direct competitor at AMD and shows great overclocking skills. The K series at Intel is really willing to overclock thanks to the unlocked multiplier. On the market for mid-range processors designed for everyday use and gaming, the Intel Core i5-10600K (286 €) is doing well with amazing performance thanks to its unlocked multiplier, its six cores and its 12 threads.

This 10th generation chip, which is based on the Comet Lake S architecture, remains engraved in 14nm andhosts the same UHD 630 integrated GPU as the previous generation. The Comet Lake S platform requires a motherboard with an Intel 400 chipset supporting the LGA 1200 socket capable of tolerating TDP power up to 125 watts on the 10600K. For this test, we used a Z490 motherboard cut for overclocking, namely the Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme (997 €), which will also be used for the test of the Intel Core i9-10850K to come. Very well finished with 2.5 and 10 Gb Ethernet ports, this motherboard automatically manages overclocking.

The frequency was able to rise and stabilize at 4.9 GHz (+ 21%) and even 5.1 GHz by pushing a little by deactivating hyperthreading - during our tests with good liquid cooling (NZXT Kraken Z63). The factory frequencies are set at 4.1 GHz in normal mode and 4, 2TB PCIe  4 NVMe. For comparison with the chip AMD Ryzen 5 3600X, we used a motherboard ASUS TUF Gaming X570-Plus / WiFi (socket AM4) with a liquid cooling system Be Quiet, 32GB of RAM (DDR4 3600 MHz), the same RTX 2080 Ti graphics card and a 2TB NVMe PCIe 4. A configuration already used for our test of the AMD Ryzen 7 3800xt chip. The processor has simply been changed.

Intel is now providing much more information on the turbo boost capabilities of its latest chips. With this generation, the founder has significantly overhauled the Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0, which debuted in 2016 with the Extreme Broadwell-E processors, and then with the Cascade Lake-X desktop chips. With these two families of chips, the Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 algorithm selects a single “privileged” core capable of supporting a rise in frequency.

Within the Comet Lake family of chips, the same technology selects not one, but two cores capable of withstanding overclocking without increasing electrical voltage. One of the coolest features of Comet Lake is the ability to disable hyperthreading by rote. Disabling it on cores that are not in use allows finer control. The most important point remains the power consumption since the processor generates less heat when hyperthreading is disabled.

Less heat means that the cores that are used can stay in turbo mode for longer periods of time, resulting in more performance in the end. “Heat, as most of you know, is our enemy in terms of performance,” said generating more performance in the end. “Heat, as most of you know, is our enemy in terms of performance,” said generating more performance in the end. “Heat, as most of you know, is our enemy in terms of performance,” saidBrandt Guttridge, Director of Product Marketing for Desktops and Workstations at Intel at a press briefing . “We don't want to generate heat, or if we do, we want to get it out of the processor as quickly as possible. Without saying it, Intel seems to be trying to minimize its multicore disadvantage over AMD's Ryzen, while maximizing the Comet Lake-S frequency in turbo mode to boost performance.

Intel Core i5-10600K Frequency premium
Thanks to its high clock speeds, the Core i5-10600K performs valiantly against competing chips from AMD, the Ryzen 5 3600x and 3600xt. At 1080p, the Intel chip is in fact more efficient than the Ryzen 5 3600x in all the tests published in recent months by our colleagues at TechSpot, Digital Foundry, Gamers Nexus and Anandtech. The Ryzen 5 3600x wins a handful of benchmarks, and the performance gap narrows dramatically as the resolution increases. Intel's chip is also particularly used in esports competitions. 

In 3D Mark Time Spy, the 10600K claims 8,373 points, the best result of any midrange six-core chip. Its main competitor at AMD, the Ryzen 5 3600x climbs to 7307 points. The latter also has 6 cores / 12 threads with a rate of 3.8 GHz and 4.4 GHz in turbo mode. Its thermal envelope is 95 watts. In the 3D Mark Time Spy test, he was about 900 points slower.

This result translates to more images in games at the same resolution with the i5-10600K. In Ghost Recon Wildlands at 1080p, for example, the i5-10600K averages 84 fps while the Ryzen 5 3600x achieves 81 fps. Likewise, Warhammer tops out at 123 fps at 1080p with the 10600K, while the 3600x comes in at 118 fps. The difference is slim even with a good screen.


Competition increases with the Ryzen 5000
The Core i5-10600K at 285 € is therefore a little more efficient than the Ryzen 5 3600x (195 €) in terms of frame rates in games, but costs more, especially if we take the price of the LGA1200 motherboard. more expensive than the M4. Afterwards, the choice of a platform rather than another will depend on the need to quickly switch to PCIe Gen4 (supported by AMD) to install an NVMe SSD like the Sabrent Rocket 2 TB that we used for our tests or a Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card (currently not found on the main French merchant sites).

Intel has just announced the support of PCIe Gen4 on its Tiger Lake chips engraved in 10nm SuperFin and reserved for the moment for laptops. And, like the next Intel desktop chips engraved in 10nm Superfin -Ender Lake based on the Foveos architecture (a combination of large cores and Atom cores) are not expected for a long time, the Core i5-10600K remains a safe bet.

However, AMD risks sweeping away these certainties on October 8 with the presentation of its next generation of Ryzen 5000 Vermeer processors, based on the Zen 3 architecture and still engraved in 7nm, but with some technical improvements. 

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