Intel Core i9-10900K flagship leads potent 10th Gen desktop chips

Intel has unveiled its most potent desktop processors, with the 10th Gen Intel Core S-series promising the most grunt-per-watt for gamers and more. The line-up is topped by the new Core i9-10900K, which Intel says will have 10 cores, 20 threads, and support for DDR4-2933 memory.

It's enough, Intel claims, to make the 14nm Core i9-10900K the world's fastest gaming processor. It'll hit up to 5.3 GHz using Thermal Velocity Boost – the base speed is 4.9 GHz – while Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 will automatically overclock the CPU on lightly threaded applications.

For those who want more manual control, there'll be support for more experienced users to tweak the hyperthreading of each core individually. Overall, Intel says, we can expect up to 12-percent faster video editing than the previous Core i9-9900K, along with up to 18-percent faster 4K video editing. Versus a three year old PC running a Core i7-7700K, meanwhile, Intel says to expect up to 31-percent better overall system performance.

Other speed-focused improvements include support for the Intel Ethernet Connector I225. That delivers more than twice the network speeds of 1GB ethernet over existing cabling. Intel's Wi-Fi 6 AX201 is also integrated, for faster throughput and better range.

At $488, the Core i9-10900K will be out of the reach of many. Intel, though, will have an array of more affordable options. The i0-10900KF, for example, will be $472 and sacrifice the onboard Intel UHD Graphics 630, while the i9-10900 is $439 and sees the base clock dip to 4.5 GHz, no overclocking support, and a maximum 5.1 GHz Turbo Boost Max.

Intel will also have two unlocked i7 options. The Core i7-10700K and Core i7-10700KF will be $374 and $349 respectively, with up to 5.1 GHz Turbo Boost Max, eight cores, and sixteen threads. The former has UHD Graphics 630, while the latter does not. Like all of the new 10th Gen Intel Core S-series chips there's support for Intel Octane memory.

What'll remain to be seen is just how well the processors handle their thermals. The flagship unlocked CPUs have a 125W TDP; their locked counterparts dip down to 65W TDP. Clearly, Intel is betting on things like the ability to individually shut down hyperthreading on a per-core basis to help manage heat.

The 10th Gen Intel Core S-series is expected to go on sale, and arrive in PCs from system-builders, from May 2020.