Test Bed and Setup

As per our processor testing policy, we take a premium category motherboard suitable for the socket, and equip the system with a suitable amount of memory running at the manufacturer's maximum supported frequency. This is also typically run at JEDEC subtimings where possible. It is noted that some users are not keen on this policy, stating that sometimes the maximum supported frequency is quite low, or faster memory is available at a similar price, or that the JEDEC speeds can be prohibitive for performance. While these comments make sense, ultimately very few users apply memory profiles (either XMP or other) as they require interaction with the BIOS, and most users will fall back on JEDEC supported speeds - this includes home users as well as industry who might want to shave off a cent or two from the cost or stay within the margins set by the manufacturer. Where possible, we will extend out testing to include faster memory modules either at the same time as the review or a later date.

Test Setup
Intel Core 10th Gen Intel Core i9-10900K
Intel Core i7-10700K
Intel Core i5-10600K
Motherboard ASRock Z490 PG Velocita (P1.30a)
CPU Cooler TRUE Copper (2kg)
DRAM Corsair Vengeance RGB 4x8GB DDR4-2933
Corsair Vengeance RGB 4x8GB DDR4-2666
GPU Sapphire RX 460 2GB (CPU Tests)
MSI GTX 1080 Gaming 8G (Gaming Tests)
PSU Corsair AX860i
SSD Crucial MX500 2TB
OS Windows 10 1909


Please note we are still using our 2019 gaming test suite for CPU reviews with a GTX 1080. We are in the process of rewriting our gaming test suite with some new tests, such as Borderlands and Gears Tactics, as well as changing the settings we test and moving up to an RTX 2080 Ti. It's going to take a while to do regression testing for our gaming suite, so please bear with us.



Many thanks to...

We must thank the following companies for kindly providing hardware for our multiple test beds. Some of this hardware is not in this test bed specifically, but is used in other testing.

Hardware Providers
Sapphire RX 460 Nitro MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X OC Crucial MX200 +
MX500 SSDs
Corsair AX860i +
AX1200i PSUs
G.Skill RipjawsV,
SniperX, FlareX
Crucial Ballistix


Scale Up vs Scale Out: Benefits of Automation

One comment we get every now and again is that automation isn’t the best way of testing – there’s a higher barrier to entry, and it limits the tests that can be done. From our perspective, despite taking a little while to program properly (and get it right), automation means we can do several things:

  1. Guarantee consistent breaks between tests for cooldown to occur, rather than variable cooldown times based on ‘if I’m looking at the screen’
  2. It allows us to simultaneously test several systems at once. I currently run five systems in my office (limited by the number of 4K monitors, and space) which means we can process more hardware at the same time
  3. We can leave tests to run overnight, very useful for a deadline
  4. With a good enough script, tests can be added very easily

Our benchmark suite collates all the results and spits out data as the tests are running to a central storage platform, which I can probe mid-run to update data as it comes through. This also acts as a mental check in case any of the data might be abnormal.

We do have one major limitation, and that rests on the side of our gaming tests. We are running multiple tests through one Steam account, some of which (like GTA) are online only. As Steam only lets one system play on an account at once, our gaming script probes Steam’s own APIs to determine if we are ‘online’ or not, and to run offline tests until the account is free to be logged in on that system. Depending on the number of games we test that absolutely require online mode, it can be a bit of a bottleneck.

Benchmark Suite Updates

As always, we do take requests. It helps us understand the workloads that everyone is running and plan accordingly.

A side note on software packages: we have had requests for tests on software such as ANSYS, or other professional grade software. The downside of testing this software is licensing and scale. Most of these companies do not particularly care about us running tests, and state it’s not part of their goals. Others, like Agisoft, are more than willing to help. If you are involved in these software packages, the best way to see us benchmark them is to reach out. We have special versions of software for some of our tests, and if we can get something that works, and relevant to the audience, then we shouldn’t have too much difficulty adding it to the suite.

Socket, Silicon, Security, Overclocking, Motherboards Core-to-Core Latency: Issues with the Core i5
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  • catavalon21 - Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - link

  • Lord of the Bored - Friday, May 22, 2020 - link

    The nostalgia is strong these days.
  • Bidz - Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - link

    So... where is the temperature chart? Given the power usage and the tier level of the product I would say many users want to know how practical it is to use.
  • LawRecords - Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - link

    Agreed. Its odd that thermals are missing given the high power draw.
  • shabby - Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - link

    I'd imagine it would be pegged at 90c since the cpu is constantly clocking itself as high as it can.
  • DannyH246 - Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - link

    Its not odd at at all. Its to make Intel look better we all know this.
  • shady28 - Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - link

    LTT has a video on thermals. The thermals for the gen 10 are better than gen 9, despite the higher clocks and core counts. Intel redesigned the conductive layer between the die and the lid. It worked.
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, May 26, 2020 - link

    Seriously? The thermals are better despite the higher power draw?

    I'm guessing this is a case of being able to get the heat out more easily *if you have a cooling system capable of subsequently dealing with the heat being pulled out*. That would make sense given the changes involved, but it involves the assumption that people are prepared to go from 280mm+ radiators.
  • mrvco - Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - link

    I get that this is a CPU review and not a GPU or system review, but it would be helpful to also include gaming resolutions w/ quality settings that people actually use for gaming rather just benchmarking... especially when building a gaming system and making decisions on how to allocate budget between CPU (+p/s +cooling) and GPU.
  • TheUnhandledException - Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - link

    I agree. Yes the result will show nearly identical performance from a 10900 down to an Ryzen 3600 but that is kinda the point. You don't really need an ultra high end CPU for gaming at high resolution. Even if it was just one game it would be nice to see how CPU performance scales at 1080p, 1080p high quality, 1440p, and 4K.

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