Intel today is adding a new CPU to its Comet Lake Core i9 lineup, officially revealing the Core i9-10850K. As Intel’s numbering scheme would suggest, the 10850K is a bit underpowered compared to the i9-10900K, but not by much. In fact, it seems that the 10850K is only slightly less capable than the i9-10900K.
What exactly does “slightly” mean here? As Anandtech points out, the numbers Intel has released so far – which show the 10850K’s base and boost clock speeds underclocked by a mere 100MHz compared to the 10900K – suggest that the 10850K performs at about 97% of what the 10900K performs at.
That’s an almost negligible difference, and though this processor will be available to Intel’s OEM partners and at retail, it’s probably only worth buying over the 10900K for those who are looking to stretch every dollar they can while building a PC.
Even then, it’s tough to make that call, because Intel hasn’t revealed an actual price for the 10850K yet. Obviously, it’ll have to be cheaper than the 10900K, but how much cheaper is the big question. When we’re talking about a 100MHz difference and little else (like the 10900K, the 10850K has 10 cores/20 threads, uses the same UHD 630 integrated graphics, and Anandtech assumes that it’ll have the same 125W TDP rating), the difference in price could be minuscule as well.
So, we’re left with a new CPU from Intel that may have trouble finding a market among OEMs and DIYers alike because it’s so closely related to Intel’s flagship i9 CPU. Then again, people love saving money even if it’s just a few bucks here and there, so this “not-quite-10900K” CPU might nevertheless find its way into some builds.