Best 10th gen Intel CPUs

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The latest wave of Intel processors for desktop computers are coming out, offering a big performance boost. With the top-end chips offering single-core performance of up to 5.3 GHz, and CPUs offering up to 10 cores, offering 20 threads.

Intel will be hoping that the 10th Generation Intel Core processors will stave off stiff competition from AMD’s impressive lineup of Zen 2 based processors. In general, these Intel Chips offer excellent single-core performance, whereas AMD’s current lineup of processors excel slightly more with multi-threaded performance, and have more budget-friendly pricing.

We’ve picked out the smartest choice for desktop processors in the Intel 10th Generation lineup, comparing how fast they are, and their price. We’ll add newer options from this lineup as they become available.

These processors offer a range of options at varying different clock speeds and core counts, to suit different types of users. We’ve included options both of the high core count and top-end performance for users that need extreme processor performance, in addition to mid-range options that will offer more typical users excellent

Our Recommended

Best 10th gen Intel CPUs

Editor’s Choice

Excellent single-core performance

16 threads

Include basic onboard GPU


Fairly expensive

Thermal envelope is a little tight

Requires LGA 1200 motherboard

The i7 is Intel’s high-end family of processors, targeting performance users who want a CPU that will offer excellent performance. They’re toward the pricier end of the spectrum and will be ideal for users wanting a processor that can handle demanding tasks like high frame rate gaming, 4k video editing or high-end programming.

The i7-10700K is one of the first 10th Generation desktop-class Intel has released in the i7 range, and as such it’s a great choice for users who want to be on the cutting edge of desktop processing power.

There’s a 125w power requirement, so ensure that your power supply is up to the task before upgrading to this processor, and you’ll need a motherboard that features the Socket Type LGA 1200.

Best Value

Relatively modest power requirement for the performance

Great value

Excellent speeds


Not the highest performance from this lineup

Requires LGA 1200 motherboard

Some tasks optimized for multi-core performance might do better with a Ryzen.

The Intel i5 series of processors is the midrange workhorse of the Core lineup, offering solid but not industry-leading performance, at a price point that suits mainstream PC users. These offer great performance for general use, and can adequately handle many different tasks like high-end gaming, video editing, and any other tasks that demand reasonable CPU grunt. It may not be able to max out performance as the higher end processors can, but they’re still very capable.

The i5-10400 is probably going to be one of the most popular desktop chips from the Intel 10th Generation lineup, where if you don’t have any particular need for extreme CPU performance, the i5 makes the most sense. Any users looking for a capable PC that will be able to easily handle most tasks with ease should give the i5-10400 serious thought.

The power requirement for the i5-10400 65W, which is impressive for a processor operating at these speeds across 6 cores. You’ll need to pair this CPU with a motherboard that offers the LGA 1200 port. This is a specialist processor for extremely demanding use, it’s not a typical consumer CPU.

Runner Up

Astonishing multi-core performance

Fantastic core speeds

Great overclocking headroom




Requires a high-end motherboard

Strictly speaking, this is not part of the Comet Lake family, despite its 10th Generation branding. i9-10900X was released in late 2019, and it’s part of the Cascade Lake-X sub-family. These were created targeting workstation, server, and high-end enthusiast users.

The i9-10900X has a lot of headroom for overclocking, great for anyone who likes squeezing every bit of juice from their machine. These are not processors you’d ever have any kind of need for in a simple web browsing and emailing machine, but with 10 Cores operating at a base 3.70 GHz clock speed, it’s a beast for use in high-end professional contexts, or in money is no object gaming rigs.

A powerful processor like this needs a high wattage power supply to operate, with a massive 165W power draw, so it’s important you check to make sure your power supply is up to the challenge. This requires a motherboard with an LGA 2066 port.


Things To Consider

Make a list of what exact tasks you intend to use your new processor for, and do some research into whether that’s a task that prioritizes single-core performance (such as most gaming), or multi-core performance (such as video editing or advanced photoshop functionality).

Is my motherboard compatible?

The Comet Lake processors all require a motherboard that features an LGA 1200 port. You need to be looking for a 400 series motherboard, such as Z490 series motherboards.

Should I get an Intel or an AMD?

It’s a tricky decision, but the answer will largely depend on what your budget is, and what your intended use is. You may wish to compare and contrast these options with the latest Ryzen processors from AMD.

Our Verdict

Editor’s Choice

We had to pick the i7-10700K as our top choice for a 10th Generation Intel CPU. If it’s within your budget, it’s a massive improvement in performance compared to its predecessor and will be more than capable of handling anything you can throw at it. It’s an ideal CPU for powering a high-end gaming rig, or any system that needs to be able to handle demanding tasks.

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I skew Chaotic Good where possible, and love pressing buttons, viewing pixels and listening to sounds. I’ve written for publications like Rock Paper Shotgun, Eurogamer, VG247 and Kotaku UK, and spent 13 years running If you ever get the chance you should ask me to tell you the story about that time I had a fight with a snake on an island off the coast of Cambodia.

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