Intel has been losing ground to AMD for some time now in the processor world, and more so with the release of the Ryzen 3000 series of CPUs, which are incredibly competitive on all fronts – but Intel is prepping a beast of a Comet Lake response to this fresh threat, if the latest from the rumor mill is anything to go by.
From the off, we should underline that this is mere speculation as picked up by Hot Hardware, which comes in the form of a leaked roadmap with some dubious details and question marks hanging over it.
Still, if real, it shows how serious Intel is about combating the danger that Ryzen 3000 poses.
The slide shared supposedly shows Intel’s roadmap for 10th-gen Comet Lake processors which are built on a revised 14nm+++ node. This range will be headed up by the Core i9-10900KF, a 10-core (20-thread) CPU with a base clock of 3.4GHz and the ability to hit Turbo to 4.6GHz across all those cores (and 5.2GHz on a single core). It will have a TDP of 105W, the leak claims.
This chip will allegedly be priced at $499 (around £400, AU$715), which funnily enough, is the price tag of the 12-core AMD Ryzen 9 3900X (also running with a 4.6GHz boost, and a TDP of 105W too) which just stormed onto the scene offering an incredible price/performance ratio (and achieved full marks in our review, no less).
This rumor further suggests that hyper-threading will return to the entire range of these 10th-gen Intel chips – even the low-end Core i3 quad-core models – and that the top-end Core i9 processors will not have an integrated GPU (it will either not be present, or disabled, as presumably dispensing with it is necessary in terms of achieving a better yield).
Socket to me
In all honesty, those final points seem rather unlikely, and moreover, the leak claims that these processors will use a new ‘LGA 1159’ socket – so would that necessitate buyers also acquiring a new motherboard? That prospect certainly seems unlikely, with the step to ramping up production of 10nm processors in the pipeline for Intel’s near future.
As well as these concerns, the slide itself is a little strangely laid out and comes from an anonymous source (via Twitter) with no further clarification. And the alleged Core i9-10900KF seems to fit just a little too snugly in terms of its specs for going up against the Ryzen 9 3900X, with matching TDPs and turbo clocks (not to mention the price – which is apparently exactly the same).
So there are plenty of reasons to be cautious about this purported Intel slide, but that said, the model names of the chips (and much of their overall base specs) seem solid enough in terms of their potential validity.
And it’s certainly believable that Intel will be wanting to pull something seriously compelling out of its silicon hat to gain back some of the CPU turf it has been losing to AMD of late.
Intel used to be the dominant processor power, and going by one online retailer’s figures it still was at the beginning of 2018, but that balance has since tipped so that AMD sold twice as many CPUs as Intel in March 2019.
And that picture could worsen with AMD’s new Ryzen 3000 line-up, which as we observed yesterday, sees the chip manufacturer beating Intel not just on price, where it has always been competitive, but also on performance and indeed power efficiency. A triple blow to Intel, if you like.
One thing’s for sure: following all this slippage, and its well-known stock shortage issues of recent times, Intel will need to generate momentum from somewhere in order to stay competitive with the rapid progress AMD is making.