Intel Core i9-10850K is unleashed, but 10-core Comet Lake CPU might not be as affordable as you hoped

Intel Core i9
(Image credit: Intel)

Intel’s Core i9-10850K is now official, with the 10-core CPU being released and priced up – although it might not be quite as cheap as you’d hoped.

The processor, which has been rumored for a while now, is essentially a cut-down version of the flagship 10900K, the only difference being it runs 100MHz slower across all clocks (keeping the same configuration and TDP otherwise

The other difference, of course, is that price, with Intel listing the Core i9-10850K at $453 in the US, compared to the price tag of the 10900K which is $488 (that’s the company’s pricing for buying the chip in bulk – per thousand units – not retail, which will obviously be higher).

So the difference between the two chips is $35, and previously, the rumor mill was indicating that the 10850K might pitch in a bit cheaper than this; but as ever, we always have to be careful around pre-release speculation.

Still, given that the performance difference is very little between these two processors – the clock speeds being notched down 100Hz is hardly a lead weight tied to the 10850K’s performance, as we’ve seen in leaked benchmarks – any price reduction is obviously welcome.

Bigger picture

And indeed in the bigger picture, Intel is struggling to get enough Core i9-10900K silicon out there – with many retailers out of stock – so this alternative 10-core offering will prove a relief in terms of supplying inventory for would-be Comet Lake buyers at the high-end.

As we’ve discussed before, the reasoning behind the existence of the Core i9-10850K could simply be that it’s a lesser-binned alternative that Intel can get out there quickly to relieve the aforementioned 10900K stock issues.

And the other good news is confirmation that this is a retail box release from Intel, and not just a processor which is offered to PC makers, and can’t be bought directly (another theory floated early on in the rumors around the 10850K).

The upshot is that those who want a 10-core Comet Lake beast of a processor will soon have more chance of being able to buy one, albeit notched down very slightly in performance compared to the existing flagship.

And the fact that it’s somewhat cheaper will certainly be more than welcome, at least in theory, because Intel’s recommended (volume) price is one thing, but it remains to be seen what kind of mark-up retailers might give to the 10850K in light of demand for the CPU (given the drying up of supply of the 10900K).

Via Anandtech

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).