It's almost hard to believe Intel hasn't officially, publicly announced its Comet Lake desktop CPUs when they've been available in laptops for a while, and as AMD continues to gain ground.
But, rumors and leaks have suggested what Intel has coming, and the latest shows off a desktop Intel Core i5-10400 as well as an NDA that suggests a release date, according to a report from Kitguru.
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The pictures of the chip look authentic enough. They show both the lid, labeled with the chip's name and a 2.9GHz base speed, as well as the underside of the processor. The 2.9GHz base clock lines up with earlier leaks that suggested the Intel Core i5-10400 would be a 6-core/12-thread processor with a 4.3GHz Turbo frequency.
Comparing the chip design to a 9th-Gen chip, we can see a few differences in contacts and alignment cutouts that further suggest Intel will move to a new socket for the Comet Lake-S desktop processors. Intel is expected to use the yet-announced LGA 1200 socket for the chips.
Timing and pricing
The NDA included in this leak suggests the new Intel processors will launch sometime between April 13 and June 26. This could mean the next generation of Intel desktop chips isn't all that far off.
But that window of time is fairly big. If Intel waits until the latter half of that window, it will already have been a year since AMD announced its Zen 2 family of processors, and shoppers may be included to hold off on new Intel chips until they hear what AMD has in store for Zen 3.
Given AMD has supported its AM4 socket on all chips from Ryzen 1000-series to Ryzen 3000-series, budget-minded shoppers currently running a Ryzen processor would have a lot of gain by waiting to see if Zen 3 will continue to support the AM4 socket. If AMD doesn't change sockets, any existing customers will face the paywall of a new motherboard by switching to Intel. Meanwhile, it seems more and more likely that all existing Intel users will face the price of a new motherboard to get the LGA 1200 socket.
The Intel Core i5-10400 may not be the chip that converts AMD users, though that may be a job better left to the rumored Intel Core i9-10900K.
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