Intel Comet Lake-S processors have been out since May 2020, though they've been facing some supply issues since then. However, Intel's processors have always been favorites of the overclocking community, and if you want to get a chip that will be guaranteed to hit high clock speeds, you're in luck.
Right now at Silicon Lottery, you can pick up an Intel Core i5-10600K that has been validated to hit a high all-core overclock, though you'll have to pay a big premium the higher the guaranteed clock speed. For instance, if you want to pick up a 10600K that's going to hit a whopping 5.1GHz, you're looking at a price tag of $419 (about ₤330, AU$600) nearly twice the suggested retail price of the processor.
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If you don't need that high of an overclock, you can still pick up a well-binned version of the processor. You can get one that will hit 4.8GHz on all cores, for instance, for just $294 (about ₤230, AU$420). That's more expensive than the suggested retail price, but not so much that it rubs up against higher-tier processors.
Either way, these are products that are aimed squarely at the type of computing enthusiast that has fun tweaking with their hardware. If you're not really interested in fiddling around in your BIOS to squeeze the absolute maximum juice out of your processor, you will absolutely be better off just buying one of these processors at retail – they're all going to hit their advertised boost speeds (or, at least, they should).
But if you are looking to do some overclocking and don't want to roll the proverbial dice on whether or not you get a solid chunk of silicon, these pre-validated processors from Silicon Lottery may be right up your alley.
Why are these even necessary?
Not all processors are created equal. Intel will manufacture millions of processors, but only some of them will be able to hit world record overclocks. In the hardware enthusiast community, this is referred to as the silicon lottery, which is absolutely where Silicon Lottery gets its name.
While every Intel Core i5-10600K should be able to hit the advertised maximum boost speed of 4.8GHz, there are no guarantees about how far you'll be able to overclock the processor.
So, basically, when you pick up a processor at the store, there's no way to tell whether or not it'll be able to overclock well until you plug it into your motherboard and start trying to push it as far as it will go. There's absolutely a chance that you're going to be extremely lucky and get a super high overclock, but it's way more likely that you're going to get a chip that won't go much higher than out-of-the-box settings.
For instance, according to the listing for the Intel Core i5-10600K @ 5.1GHz over at Silicon Lottery, only 8% of the 10600K processors tested by the company were able to hit that speed – so there's a pretty minute chance of getting a golden chip like that at your local Best Buy.
Basically, Silicon Lottery offers the peace of mind that you're getting the absolute best processor for your money by taking chance out of the equation. You're going to be paying more, sure, but if you don't want to take the chance, we could definitely see the value in it.
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Bill Thomas (Twitter) is TechRadar's computing editor. They are fat, queer and extremely online. Computers are the devil, but they just happen to be a satanist. If you need to know anything about computing components, PC gaming or the best laptop on the market, don't be afraid to drop them a line on Twitter or through email.