The Intel 10th generation processors are finally out, as they promise superior performance and top speed levels for high-intensity computing tasks. But there are two offerings from this series that have drawn our attention – the i9-10900K and i9-10900X series.
|Intel||Intel Core i9-10900X Desktop Processor 10 Cores||Check Price on Amazon|
|Intel||Intel Core i9-10900K Desktop Processor 10 Cores||Check Price on Amazon|
Both of them offer similar features with the same cores and threads. Admittedly, the new product names are getting a bit confusing each day. However, while one is from the K series, the other is the flagship product from the X series.
However, one thing they have in common is both of them use X299 LGA2066 sockets. That means they will still be compatible with older motherboards or new ones that may be released later.
Comparing i9-10900x vs i9-10900k
Both CPUs are not designed for everyday computer use. They are high-end models designed for professional and enthusiastic users for game development, video editing, and high-end gaming. With their 10 cores and multi-threaded features, there’s no doubt that the processors have been specifically designed for developers and other professionals who usually make use of core-hungry applications. But we will see how these processors respond to real-world usage. We did some tests and benchmarks to find out which is better in terms of performance and features.
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i9-10900x vs i9-10900k – features
As we mentioned earlier, both the Intel Core i9-10900K and Intel Core i9-10900X have 10 cores. The 10900K uses Intel Optane Memory, supports Intel Turbo boost technology, and is compatible with Intel 400 series motherboards. This CPU can reach an unlocked speed of up to 5.3 GHz. The processor also comes with 72 PCIe and it gets complete support of Intel’s Wi-Fi 6 technology
On the other hand, i9-10900X is 0.5 GHz short in terms of clock speed, as it can go up to 4.7 GHz. But, like i9-10900K, it offers support for Intel Optane memory and requires discrete graphics. When it comes to power consumption, 10900X consumes more power with 165 watts, as against 10900K that consumes 125 watts. But with the strength of their performance, both power consumption rates are still very tolerable compared to some other AMD CPUs.
The clock frequency of 10900X may not be surprising, considering the number of clocks it has. But unlike other average consumer CPUs in the market, the processor can accommodate about twice the amount of RAM for the everyday computing CPUs. With such power, it’s a clear impression that the platform is not only meant for browsing and gaming.
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i9-10900x vs i9-10900k – Thermal cooling system
The i9-10900X is smaller than i9-10900K, but it demands more TDP than its K variant. As we mentioned before, it demands a TDP of 165 W while its K variant demands about 125 TDP. As a result, i9-10900X requires a high amount of heat to get it going compared to the i9-10900K. So, it’s important to put this into consideration when deciding which system to choose.
i9-10900x vs i9-10900k – performance
The top clock speed of 5.3 GHz for i9-10900xis delivered through a combination of thermal Velocity Boost and Turbo Max 3.0. These technology pairs are only utilized by the Comet Lake Core i9 CPUs, as they offer high frequencies when the power delivery and thermals allow. From the clock speed of both CPUs, there is evidence pointing to the fact that i9-10900K is faster with 5.3 GHz turbo boost speed compared to 4.7 GHz frequency of i9-10900X. But this does not translate to real-time performance. In our test, the extra core boost did not make any meaningful difference when both CPUs were used for high-end tasks.
At 1440P, and particularly at 4k resolution, the games may unavoidably be limited by GPU, so the level of performance you will be getting may not tax your CPU. The performance may be highly dependent on the graphics card.
In terms of productivity, both the i9-10900K and i9-10900X share the spoils at the top. They may both still be behind AMD Ryzen 9 3900X in terms of productivity, but both come packed with strong performance punch.
Compared to the previous i9 processors, both the K and X variants are pretty fast. However, it seems i9-10900K performed better in several gaming benchmarks we ran, albeit with little margin.
i9-10900x vs i9-10900k – Overclocking capacity
If you are going for a CPU because of its overclocking capacity, both of these CPUs will offer an interesting proposition. The i910900K is a thinner CPU than its i910900X counterpart. It comes with a thicker heat spreader at the top and solder as the thermal interface material. With these features, you will see some good OC headroom on i910900K, but much of the headroom was stolen when Intel gave the CPU a 5.3 GHz single-core peak. However, i910900K is still a bit ahead of i910900X when it comes to overclocking because of its more impressive thermal feature.
Yet, for both CPUs, you need to turn off the hyperthreading feature if you don’t want to burn a hole through the motherboard.
From our test, we discovered that it’s possible to overclock both the i910900K and i910900X, but the K variant is a bit more responsive. So, if you’re looking for a CPU with better-overclocking capability between both CPUs, we advise you to select i910900K.
i9-10900x vs i9-10900k – Benchmarking
When we benchmarked both processors, both the i910900K and i910900X had impressive stats. The multithreaded result showed that i910900K had 2092cb in Cinebench R 15 result, which is a 7% increase against i910900X. The performance increase is not too revealing and represents a close proportional measure of their differences in price.
When measured in single-core performance, the i910900K also showed a slight increase of 5%, which is not significant to call a major performance increase. The small increase in performance will not make a difference even for the most enthusiastic PC builder or gamer.
However, a slight increase is still appreciated, especially when high-end graphics gaming and tough video editing tasks are at play.
With the impressive display of prowess by both processors, they will certainly be a handful for those who spend more time on high-end tasks like video editing. But if we have to take a pick between i910900K and i910900X, we would certainly go for the former, based on our benchmarking result.
i9-10900x vs i9-10900k – POV-Ray test
We also carried out a POV-Ray test to find out the performance difference between i9-10900x vs i9-10900k. Based on the result, it was also a close call between both of them. But i9-10900X slightly sheds i9-10900K this time. It got a 7% higher score than its K variant with a 78% score against 71% score in the POV-Ray test.
We also tested both CPUs against other CPUs from AMD. Our result showed that i9-10900X and i9-10900K are clear leaders here. So, if you’re going to choose between both Intel CPUs, it will be a hard choice forgoing one for the other because they both have similar performance levels, especially in the POV-Ray test we’ve carried out.
i9-10900x vs i9-10900k – Gaming performance
Obviously, gaming performance is one of the clearer measures of supremacy between two CPUs. If you recall that i9-10900K has a better thermal cooling system than i9-10900X, it could give us a clue regarding its gaming performance since the thermal system is needed for optimum performance. To find out how both of the CPUs perform in actual gaming, we tested them on Tomb Raider, Ghost Recon Wildcards, as well as Civilization VI.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
After putting up some remarkable performance, we expected both CPUs to go on toe-to-toe against each other in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. As expected, we were not disappointed.
This is one of the most demanding games in the world and any less impressive CPU will get stuck requiring more power. However, both i9-10900K and i9-10900X CPUs were quick and very responsive. They posted almost identical frame rates, with i9-10900K taking the lead by only 2%. For this game, 2% is almost unnoticeable, so we can say both CPUs perform the same in this game.
From the 4K test we carried out, we weren’t surprised that the i9-10900K processor still topped the rating, although by still a small margin. The i9-10900X model was only lagging by 3 fps. Again, this shouldn’t be noticeable when playing high-end games.
We tried our test on the Ghost Recon Wildlands game. We tested both CPUs against each other. To our surprise, the i9-10900X impressed better with 2 fps higher than i9-10900K. But when we tested the same game using Full DHH resolution, i9-10900K was able to leapfrog i9-10900X by 4 fps. So, if you’re playing Full HDD games, it’s obvious the i9-10900K CPU will be a better option.
In Civilization VI, both processors also posted similar performance levels. Civilization VI is a bit different from other types of games because the AI devises strategies with complex calculations. In this case, the CPUs need to be at optimum performance with the right response and speed levels. That is where i9-10900K was a clear leader.
It scored an impressive 10.5 seconds as against the 12.7 seconds for i9-10900X. That means the i9-10900K is faster at this game than its X series. Again, this improved performance is a result of the high clock speed the CPU has. So, in terms of speed and responsiveness, it seems the i9-10900K carries the day.