Intel Core i5-10600K Review

Mid-range desktop processor released in 2020 with 6 cores and 12 threads. With base clock at 4.1GHz, max speed at 4.8GHz, and a 125W power rating. Core i5-10600K is based on the Comet Lake 14nm family and part of the Core i5 series.
Price 60.6%
Speed 91%
Productivity 78%
Gaming 96%
Category Desktop
Target mid-range
Socket Compatibility LGA1200
Integrated Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 630
Cooler Included No
Overclock Potential 3 %
Year 2020 Model
Price 262 USD
Number of Cores 6 Cores
Number of Threads 12 Threads
Core Frequency 4.1 GHz
Boost Frequency 4.8 GHz
Max Stable Overclock 5.1 GHz
Power Consumption 125 W
Manufacturing Process 14 nm
L3 Cache 12 MB
Maximum Supported Memory 128 GB
Price-Value Score 60.6 %
Speed Score 91 %
Productivity Score 78 %
Gaming Score 96 %
Max 1080p Bottleneck 10.6 %
Max 1440p Bottleneck 5.3 %
Max 4K Bottleneck 2.6 %
Overall Score 56/100

The Core i5-10600K is one of Intel's mid-range Desktop processors. It was released in 2020 with 6 cores and 12 threads. With base clock at 4.1GHz, max speed at 4.8GHz, and a 125W power rating. The Core i5-10600K is based on the Comet Lake 14nm family and is part of the Core i5 series.

Core i5-10600K is also the successor of Intel's last gen Core i5-9600K processor that was based on the Coffee Lake Refresh and 14nm process and was released in 2018.

In our mind, the best processors are the ones that deliver outstanding performance at a reasonable price point. And, the Core i5-10600K absolutely nails this concept.

That something is the Core i5-10600K. Intel cranks the TDP dial up to 125W on this 6-core 12-thread chip, making it the high-performance counterpart to the 65W Core i5-10500, which is basically the same 14nm chip built with the Comet Lake microarchitecture, but with a lower TDP rating. That chip came away from our first look at the Comet Lake series with an Editor's Choice award, going toe-to-toe with AMD's Ryzen 5 3600X, so it's fair to say we have high hopes for the higher-performance model. Intel still hasn't sampled the chip to the press, so we bought one at retail to put it under the microscope.

As the higher-priced version of the Core i5-10500, the Core i5-10600K has higher base and Boost frequencies of 4.1 and 4.8 GHz, respectively. That's an increase in base frequency and a bump to boost clocks, but the real advantage should lay in the higher Package Power Tracking (PPT) envelope, which is a measurement of the maximum amount of power delivered to the socket. The Core i5-10500's PPT tops out at 65W, while the motherboard can pump up to 142W to the Core i5-10600K at peak performance. That opens up much more aggressive boost behavior, on both single and multiple cores, that could widen the performance gap beyond what we see on the spec sheet.

What this all means is that the Intel Core i5-10600K is an absolute beast when it comes to multi-threaded workloads, especially at this price point. If you're counting on doing some video editing or compiling one hell of an Excel spreadsheet, you're going to see firsthand a performance boost with the Core i5-10600K.

The Intel Core i5-10600K is another impressive release from Intel and its 10 Generation of Core i5 chips. With it, you’re getting 6-cores and 12-threads, with a boost clock of 4.8GHz. It may not be the strongest contender ever made on paper, but when you see and feel the actual performance gains it offers, you’re certainly getting a lot of bang for your $262 buck.

If you're mostly playing games on your PC, you will be happy buying either processor. Both proved to be solid options and are evenly matched with a slight advantage to the AMD chip if you don't tune up the Ryzen 5 processor. The base performance we showed for the Core i5-10600K can be achieved with $90 memory, while the Ryzen 5 3600X will require $110 - $120 memory in order to enable the frame rates shown here. It’s not a big cost difference and right now with anything less than an RTX 2070 or Vega 64 you’ll more than likely become GPU limited.

For a 6-core processor, Intel’s $262 flagship Core i5-10600K processor seems downright cheap. On paper, the cost of those 0 extra cores is almost an afterthought when you stack it up against its direct competitor, the $237 6-core AMD Ryzen 5 3600X.

If extended overclocking and boost frequencies are trivial matters to you, Intel also offers the Core i5-10500 at $192. It’s still outfitted with 6-cores and 12-threads, but clocks in at a slower 3.1GHz and maxes out at only 4.5GHz.

Now the biggest question is can Intel’s Core i5 processor play games? The answer is simply yes as it got a respectable gaming score of 96% in our benchmarks.

Regardless of those external factors, the Core i5-10600K proves it has the chops to be your main gaming system and a just as effective media creation platform – two things that are becoming intrinsically connected in this age of live-streaming, eSports and uploading gameplay videos.