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The Intel Core i9-10900K is up for preorder – but it's expensive

(Image credit: Intel)

The Intel Core i9-10900K has gone up for pre-order in the US, and it’s bad news for those who planned on rushing out to buy the flagship Comet Lake processor. 

As spotted by Tom’s Hardware, US retailer B&H Photo Video already has the CPU available for pre-order, and despite Intel’s recommended price of $488 (about £395/A$765), it’s flogging the processor for some $600 – and that’s before you’ve bought a new motherboard, which you'll unfortunately have to do. 

Intel Core i9-10900K: $488 $599 at B&H Photo and Video
The Intel Core i9-10900K is the latest flagship processor from Team Blue. With 10 cores, 20 threads and boost clocks up to 5.3GHz, it's going to be one powerful chunk of silicon. View Deal

That price is much higher than the suggested price set by Intel for the Core i9-10900K, which is supposed to be just $488 (about £395/A$765). However, when Intel launches a new processor, the prices it releases are mere guidelines, rather than strict prices that retailers need to stick to.

This is also way more expensive than the Core i9-9900K, which fetched around $525 (around £420, AU$810) at launch. It’s also pricier than the 12-core AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, which arrived last year with an official price of $499. Either way, it looks like you'll be paying a premium if you want to get in on Comet Lake-S early. 

B&H Photo and Video doesn’t say when it expects to have the CPU in stock, though it’s expected to launch at some point in May 2020. We've reached out to both Intel B&H Photo and Video for comment, and Intel reiterated that "Intel’s Recommended Customer Price (RCP) is only a guidance for end users of which could be consumers in the box versions." We'll update the article if we hear back from B&H. 

Worth it?

Despite its hefty price-tag, the Intel Core i9-10900K is shaping up to be a champion performer. Specs-wise, the CPU, which debuted earlier this month as the flagship CPU in Intel’s 10th-generation Comet Lake-S lineup, packs 10-cores, 20-threads, a TDP of 125W and boost clock speeds of up to 5.3GHz thanks to Intel’s Thermal Velocity Boost (TVB) technology.

However, early benchmarks show that the CPU is capable of hitting 5.4GHz across all 10 cores. This overclocking feat saw the Core 10900K score 3,002 points in the Cinebench R15 multi-core test, way ahead of the Intel Core i9-9900K which scored 2,184. However, the processor failed to match the AMD Ryzen 3900X, which racked up 3,168 in the same test.

It remains to be seen how the incoming Intel Core-10900K performs in single-core tests, but if anything like the chipmaker’s previous releases, it’s likely to come out on top when it comes to gaming.

However, those that haven’t yet decided whether to upgrade to the Core i9-10900K, it’s worth remembering that AMD will be launching its long-rumored Ryzen 4000 ‘Vermeer’ desktop processors later this year. The Zen 3-based CPUs are expected to deliver a significant step up over AMD’s current Zen 2 CPUs, with 10-15% IPC gains, faster clocks, and higher core counts than ever before, and they’ll even be compatible with existing AM4 motherboards.

Carly Page

Carly Page is a Freelance journalist, copywriter and editor specialising in Consumer/B2B technology. She has written for a range of titles including Computer Shopper, Expert Reviews, IT Pro, the Metro, PC Pro, TechRadar and Tes.