What just happened? Following rumors of its imminent arrival, Intel has finally revealed the Core i9-10850K—a chip that shares all the specs of the Core i9-10900K but is clocked slightly lower and is cheaper than the flagship CPU.
Earlier this month, a GeekBench entry for the Core i9-10850K showed it offering similar performance to the Core i9-10900K, which isn’t a surprise, given that the only difference between the two is the newer chip runs 100MHz slower across all clocks, from base to turbo.
The Core i9-10850K comes with the same 10-core/20-thread configuration as the 10900K, along with the same Thermal Velocity Boost feature, 125W TDP, and UHD 630 integrated GPU. The minor clock speed difference means the 10850K should offer just 3 percent less performance than the 10900K at a lower price point.
We knew the new processor would be cheaper than the top Comet Lake offering, and now Intel has confirmed it. The company’s bulk pricing for the 10850K is $453 per chip, while the 10900K is $488. That’s per thousand units, rather than the higher retail prices.
We expected the 10850K to be around $30 - $50 cheaper than the 10900K, and it seems this will be the case. We also know this chip will be available directly to the public, rather than being an OEM-only product reserved for device manufacturers.
One might wonder why Intel even released a CPU that’s so similar to its flagship. It may be that the company is trying to address Comet Lake shortages by adding the 10850K to the line, or they could just be chips that never made the cut to become 10900K processors.