The I5-10600K and i7-10700K are Intel's latest mid-range processors, targeting high-end gaming platforms and professional video and image processing workers, who do not need something like the i9-10900K. There are some significant differences between these two chips, although, hand on heart, both deserve our recommendation for choosing an Intel processor. The question is which one should you buy?
Although the more expensive i7-10700K is a better option in certain situations, the i5-10600K is a surprisingly potent and capable CPU. Especially if you are willing to overclock your processor, then it can offer the performance that the 10700K offers by default when used for gaming. However, for other purposes, such as audio, image, and video editing, the i7 still rules and gives the impression of a better choice.
Intel is expected to introduce its next generation of processors, more precisely the 11th generation of desktop chips, sometime in mid-2021. There aren't too many details for now, but Intel promises significantly improved instructions per clock, but the processors will be with a maximum of eight cores. Until then, both processors are likely to be readily available.
|Intel Core i5 10600K
|Intel Core i7 10700K
|12MB Intel Smart Cache
|16MB Intel Smart Cache
|Base clock speed
|Boost clock speed
It is important to note that both processors are factory unlocked for overclocking, so you can push them above 5 GHz with proper cooling. On the speed test, we can see some significant differences in performance with GeekBench results. The 10700K scored 1334 points per single core and 9,319 points for multiple cores, while the 10600K scored 1,306 points per single core and 7,026 points for multiple cores.
Although both results are “good” according to GeekBench, you should always take measurements with a certain amount of suspicion, generated by users. Not that they are inaccurate, but it is impossible to calculate accurately concerning different cooling and other components when comparing the results of one user with another. Single-core performance is equal to, or at least within the error limits.
However, the multi-core performance tells a different story, as the more expensive i7 rose above the i5 by about 2,000 points, which is quite noticeable. At 10700K we find more cores that can be overclocked more. For demanding games and photo and video editing applications, the 10700K is a clear winner.
I7 and i5 are equalized in single-core performances - 571 and 551, respectively, and move away in multi-core versions (5,747 and 4,055, respectively). In actual testing, the 10700K also outperforms the 10600K in very demanding applications.
i5-10600K vs i7-10700K in Gaming
For example, Ashes of Singularity takes advantage of all cores and threads from 10700K. At 1080p with the Crazy preset, the 10700K reaches an average frame rate of 55.6 FPS, while the 10600K reaches 50.2 FPS, by third-party standards. However, this is not the case in all games. In Final Fantasy XV, the 10600K beat the 10700K 175 FPS to 173.9 FPS.
In games that rely heavily on CPU - like Grand Theft Auto V, Hitman 2, and Civilization VI - the i7 is an obvious favorite. However, most games are GPU-related, not CPU-related. As we can see in Final Fantasy XV, the 10600K easily matches the more expensive 10700K, and you will probably see similar results in games that emphasize the GPU more than the CPU.
If gaming is what interests you, save some money on a cheaper processor and invest it in a good graphics card. If you like to overclock, it’s known that 10600K with real cooling can be pushed over the much more expensive 10900K. The advantage of multi-core performance 10700K is shown more in demanding applications for work.
Video editing apps like Premiere prefer a lot of cores, so video editors will get more than 10700K. If you're into 3D modeling or CAD, the 10700K is a must, (you might even consider upgrading to the 10900K).
i5-10600K vs i7-10700K?
If you are building a computer exclusively for games, the 10600K is a better option, even if the 10700K has better performance in certain titles. However, you can remove this gap if you are willing to perform manual overclocking. The 10600K can easily reach 5GHz, and it may still not match the performance of the 10700K in all overclocking games, what is for sure is that it will get quite close to it.