Are you looking to get into gaming, build your own gaming rig, but have no idea what processor to get? How about playing games with frame rates averaging up to 90 fps? Or, you’ve finally saved up to upgrade that old PC with a new processor? Whatever it is, our Intel Core i5-10600K review has got you covered.
The Core i5-10600K is the new stack of Intel’s 10th generation Comet Lake-S i5 desktop processor family. It carries a “K” label which means that the i5-10600K is unlocked for overclocking.
Intel is betting more on the gaming capacity that serves as the main distinction for the Comet Lake-S series.
But is this worth the buy? Well, we believe the Intel Core i5-10600K is an average gamer’s best pick when it comes to processors. So, let’s learn more about the product in our Intel Core i5-10600K review.
But before we get into full details, let’s first see the chip’s packaging.
Intel Core i5-10600K Packaging
The Intel Core i5-10600K is one of the most important components of a gaming computer. With that, it should be kept in a safe and secure package.
Also, if you’re searching for the chip in local computer stores, you should be aware of how the package appears.
The Intel Core i5-10600K’s signature can be spotted instantly on the package. It also sports a faded blue theme, which makes it easy to distinguish from other processors.
Its name is set in front of the package. This will allow you to see it immediately when searching for the package in physical stores.
Around the box, there’s a white sticker containing information about the processor. These include the serial number and other essential details.
Inside the box is a small carton measuring 37.5 x 37.5mm, and it houses the processor chip. It’s kept in a clamshell casing for increased protection.
The package also comes with the user’s manual and an Intel sticker in grey glossy print attached on the manual. Unlike some of the previously released Intel processors, the i5-10600K does not come with a bundled cooler.
Now, let’s get into its design and functionality here in our Intel Core i5-10600K review.
Intel Core i5-10600K Review – Design and Functionality
The design of the Intel Core i5-10600K and its functions are necessary for our Intel Core i5-10600K review. It gives you an idea of how it works and functions based on its design and build.
The processor supports the new FC LGA-1200 socket. It has a metal covering with the copyright mark printed on its top-left section. You’ll also find printed details of the processor series it belongs to. In addition to that, its name, specification code, base frequency, and FPO code are also present.
On the board where it is mounted, you’ll find the 2D Matrix print on the top-right section. Here, you will also see the full serial number of the chip or full ATPO. Just below this area is the partial serial number or partial ATPO.
Since Intel continues to utilise the 14nm processing technology, there isn’t much difference to the silicon that’s underneath. This is us comparing it to the previous generations.
The Core i5-10600K looks like any other LGA-1xxx processor that’s been released by the company. Do remember that the i5-10600K is only compatible with the socket LGA-1200 boards.
This is because the positioning of the rounded notches was changed. With that, older motherboards can’t work with the Intel Core i5-10600K. It’s only compatible with the Z-490 platform of motherboards.
The Z-490 is one of the top 400 series chipsets that’s available. It’s one of the most targeted chipsets for gaming PCs and desktops by a lot of enthusiasts. This is because the chipset allows for serious overclocking as well as multi-GPU support.
Despite this, it’s a good thing that the socket LGA-1200 maintains cooler compatibility with all the older LGA-115x socket series. It only means that you’ll be greatly spoiled for choice when choosing a cooler to match with the Core i5-10600K.
The processor is built with the 14nm Skylake technology. With this, there are less distinctions in the design and silicon patterns of the chip.
With the new Intel Core i5-10600K processor, it’s enhanced with new notable features and capabilities. These make it promising as the new generation of the i5 family.
Throughout the generations, the Intel Core i5 received a massive performance boost. It received more core and threads, which is good. Not only that, but the single-core performance drastically improved as well.
Most games today still can’t fully utilise all core counts of a CPU. They heavily rely on each core’s raw performance, typically using only 4 – 8 cores/threads.
With Intel’s excellent single-core performance, their CPUs should deliver and maximize adequate frames per second.
SITM and Intel XTU
To support its overclocking features, the Core i5-10600K is built using the STIM and Intel XTU.
STIM is a solder base interface material between the integrated heat spreader and processor die. STIM provides increased thermal conductivity between the CPU and the Integrated Heat Spreader (IHS). With increased thermal conductivity, heat dissipation is higher, allowing more for thermal headroom.
The Core i5-10600k has increased power since it utilises a thinner die design. It also features a thicker heat spreader and soldered thermal interface to improve the thermal performance.
Intel XTU’s modifying core multiplier allows the system to run at base speed with all power states for normal loads.
Key Features of the Intel Core i5-10600K
This is where we check out all the key features of the Core i5-10600K. Knowing about these is a quick and good way to determine what the processor has in store for you.
Intel’s Hyper-Threading Technology
Intel’s Hyper-Threading Technology or HT Technology offers two processing threads per core.
With the processor, highly-threaded applications can do more in parallel, allowing you to complete your tasks faster.
The Intel Optane is a new non-volatile memory set amidst storage and system memory. It works to boost system responsiveness and performance.
When it’s put together with the company’s Rapid Storage Technology Driver, it can easily control several storage tiers. This process is possible while presenting a virtual drive to the OS.
It will guarantee that frequently utilised data is kept on the fastest tier of storage. Do note that the Optane Memory needs specific software and hardware configurations for you to take advantage of its benefits.
Intel Turbo Boost Technology
The Turbo Boost Technology from Intel dramatically enhances the processor’s frequency whenever necessary. It’s possible by taking advantage of the power and thermal headroom, giving you a burst of speed when needed. When it isn’t, energy efficiency is enhanced.
Intel Virtualization Technology (VT-x)
The Intel Virtualization Technology or VT-x lets a single hardware platform function efficiently and as numerous “virtual” platforms.
It offers enhanced and more efficient manageability. This is possible by limiting downtime while simultaneously maintaining productivity by setting apart computing activities into different partitions.
Intel Identity Protection Technology
The Identity Protection Technology from Intel is also present in the Core i5-10600K. It’s an essential integrated security technology that aids in providing a sample, tamper-resistant processes to protect access to online data.
Specifically, it helps protect data from any forms of fraud or threats.
Intel IPT offers hardware-based evidence of a distinct user’s PC to websites and various network services. This offers non-malware verification that often tries to log in.
The Intel Identity Protection Technology can be the key element in two-factor verification solutions. Basically, it’s to protect and secure all your information at business or website log-ins.
Intel vPro® Platform Eligibility
The Intel vPro® platform is a collection of technologies and hardware that is utilised to establish business computing endpoints. This is accomplished by premium and excellent performance, integrated security, platform stability, and modern manageability.
The 64 Architecture provides 64-bit computing on your workstation, server, mobile and desktop platforms. It’s done when combining it with supporting software.
The Intel 64 Architecture greatly enhances and boosts the performance. It’s accomplished by simply letting the systems address more than 4GB of both the physical and virtual memory.
Thermal Monitoring Technologies
Thermal Monitoring Technologies aids in protecting the processor package. It also safeguards the system from any form of thermal failure. This is done via several effective thermal management features.
An on-die Digital Thermal Sensor or DTS detects and determines the core’s temperature. When it comes to thermal management features, it decreases the package power consumption and temperature whenever necessary.
It’s an essential process to further remain within its standard operating limits.
SIPP – Stable Image Platform Program
Intel’s SIPP or Stable IT Platform Program is specifically designed to address the daunting task of upgrading your system. This program allows transitioning to the latest technologies at your own pace without compromising performance and quality.
SIPP aims to make no changes to the primary platform components for at least 15 months or the next-gen releases. As a result, managing computing endpoints becomes less complicated.
Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology
Intel’s Enhanced SpeedStep Technology is an advanced way of allowing high performance while conserving power. The conventional version of this feature switches frequency and voltage in high & low levels, responding to processor load.
This new and improved version utilises design strategies like the separation between the changes of frequency & volume. Another strategy is the clock recovery and partitioning.
Intel’s VT-x with Extended Page Tables or EPT
The VT-x with EPT is also known as SLAT or Second Level Address Translations. This feature delivers acceleration for memory-intensive virtualised apps.
Since this processor features the company’s Virtualisation Technology with EPT, power and memory overhead costs are reduced. This feature also increases battery life via hardware optimisation of page table management.
Clear Video Technology
Intel’s Clear Video Technology is a set of technologies for image decoding and processing. It’s integrated into the Intel Core i5-10600K to improve the quality of video playback.
As a result, you can enjoy cleaner and sharper images that appear more vivid, natural, and accurate. Also, the video picture is clear and stable.
What makes the Core i5-10600K distinct is its integrated graphics chip and is built with the Intel UHD graphics 630. It has a base frequency of 350MHz up to a maximum of 1.2GHz. This supports 4K resolution at 60Hz.
Moreover, it supports DirectX12 and the open-GL 4.5, allowing it to utilise up to 64Gb of your system’s RAM.
Now in our Intel Core i5-10600K review, we’ll look into this processor’s specifications. We’ll see what makes this Intel Core processor stand out from its competitors.
The Intel Core i5-10600K sports the Intel Socket 1200 and has a processor size of 14nm. It comes in the FC LGA-1200 package with a 72-degree Celsius tCaseMax and 100-degree Celsius for the tJMax.
This is a 4.1GHz processor with a turbo clock of up to 4.8GHz. Its base clock is 100MHz and comes with an unlocked multiplier that’s 41.0x.
For the TDP, PL-1, PL-2, and FP-32, these are 125W, 125W, 182W, and 921.6 G-FLOPS respectively.
Specifically, the processor markets for desktop computers, and it’s part of the Core i5 Comet Lake series. The i5-10600K comes with Gen 3, 16 Lanes for its PCI-e (CPU only).
It comes with a total number of 6 cores, 12 threads, and one SMP CPU. When speaking of its integrated graphics, it utilises the UDH Graphics-630.
Regarding its cache, the i5-10600K uses 64k per core (Cache L1) and 256k per core (Cache L2). When shared, it utilises 12MB (Cache L3).
Next on our Intel Core i5-10600K review, we’ll discuss the performance of this processor and see how good it is.
Hands-on with the Intel Core i5-10600K
This time, our Intel Core i5-10600K review will focus on getting hands on with the processor. Here, we’ll see how well it performs. Knowing about it will help you decide if it’s something you’d need or you can pass up on.
Heat management is vital and essential for successful CPU overclocking. This is why Intel included a thin die solder-based thermal interface material (STIM). Its presence keeps the processor cool despite its high power draw.
Overclocking the Intel Core i5-10600K gave us higher frame rates and better general CPU productivity performance compared to its competitors. Even when running at peak temperature, we were still able to overclock the processor without any worries and issues.
However, if you want to overclock the processor, make sure to pick a motherboard that supports overclocking.
Perfect for Gaming
When it comes to gaming, the Core i5-10600K takes the lead. At 1080p setup, it runs faster than any other AMD processors.
The Core i5-10600K was quicker compared to the Gen 8 and Gen 9 Intel processors. With higher resolutions, the difference decreases as the bottleneck moves from the CPU to GPU.
Around the AMD types, the Intel Core i5-10600K has also been competitive. In a gaming setup, the processor was slightly faster compared to others that we’ve tested. However, you should note that its performance may vary depending on the applications and tasks you’re doing.
With gaming being the main highlight of the Comet Lake-S series, the i5-10600K definitely holds up well in this area.
Energy and Speed
In terms of efficiency and speed, the Core i5-10600K is slightly slower than its predecessors.
Intel wanted to create a processor with enhanced clock speeds. With that, the voltage for the i5-10600K was increased a bit. This resulted in a 10% to 20% loss in energy efficiency.
In our test, we allowed the stock performance and processor to run without any power limitations.
We discovered that the Core i5-10600K occasionally exceeds 125W during regular applications. Plus, we noticed that it doesn’t reach its 182W peak unless we’re checking it for stress tests.
But overall, the Core i5-10600K performed excellently out of the box even without making any changes. We didn’t experience any issues during the tests, and it worked smoothly, which was great.
So is it something that we’d recommend? Definitely.
Intel Core i5-10600K Review Summary
If you want to have the best gaming experience, opt for an Intel processor like the Core i5-10600K. It performs excellently, and it’s much cheaper compared to the i7 and i9 processors.
For a dedicated machine, the Intel Core i5-10600K is a great product delivering improved performance. Also, it’s better than its equivalent AMD counterparts.
As a mid-range CPU, the new Intel Core i5-10660K processor has more to offer than its previous generations. With the combination of its overclocking capacity and the extra boost of HyperThreading, the i5-10600K is definitely a great option.
Not only that, but it’s ideal for gamers and those who use slightly processor-intensive applications.
As we end our Intel Core i5-10600K review, we’re highly recommending this to gamers looking for an affordable processor.
If you’re looking to purchase Intel Core i5-10600K, simply go to their official website.