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Comet Lake-H Maxes Out Clock Speed

April 21, 2020

Author: Bob Wheeler

Comet Lake is likely to be the end of the road for the tired Skylake microarchitecture. Recent leaks confirm our earlier assertion that the forthcoming Rocket Lake must adopt a new CPU design, namely Willow Cove. In the meantime, the 10th Generation Core H-series (Comet Lake-H) delivers a lackluster upgrade over the two-year-old Coffee Lake. Squeezing the most out of its 14nm++ process, Intel has boosted turbo speeds by up to 11%, but other changes are minimal. Buyers without an urgent need should simply wait for Rocket Lake or Tiger Lake, both of which promise a new CPU, new GPU, and important I/O enhancements.

Five of the six new 10th Generation SKUs are direct replacements of 9th Generation parts. Intel added a new Core i7 device, however, with the 10875H replacing what was previously the Core i9-9880H; this rebranding also carries a 19% price reduction. As before, all H-series models have a 45W TDP and integrated Gen9.5 graphics; base clock speeds receive only minor changes. The top-of-the-line 10980HK gets a 6% boost in maximum speed, whereas the six-core devices get the larger 11% increase and the bottom-end i5-10300H enjoys a 10% bump.

Last month, AMD added the Ryzen 9 4900H to its lineup of 45W Renoir mobile processors. Compared with the Ryzen 7 4800H, it increases the base speed by 14% and turbo speed by 5% while offering the same eight-core configuration. Head-to-head benchmarks aren’t yet available for the i9-10980HK versus Ryzen 9 4900H, but we estimate the latter will outperform the former by about 14% on Cinebench R20 (multithreaded). On the other hand, single-thread performance appears nearly matched despite Intel’s superior turbo speed.

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