After living with this CPU and platform for a bit more after testing I have a bit more things to say. While I haven’t measured detailed metrics during gaming sessions, I can say that compared to previous systems that I’ve reviewed in a subjective sense I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. Everything feels as fast as it should and as smooth as it should. But gaming isn’t something I do a ton of, mostly what I do is video editing and using the unreal engine and quite a bit of graphical applications for texture authoring and design and 3D modeling. Using those types of programs are fast as hell. I multitask at times and running more than one thing at once isn’t an issue outside of normal software stability that has nothing to do with hardware.
In terms of enthusiast stuff that I’d be missing out on, this part is a more personal thing. I’m tired of tweaking and tuning knobs. There is a psychological thing I want to delve into for a bit here. When you have values shown to you as a user and options that can be changed there will always be that voice in your head nagging at you that things could be more optimal or better. If you have a bit of an obsessive hyper focused mind like I do, this can lead to a loss of productivity. You can waste hours twiddling around just to set things back to the way they were because during some time you were using the computer, settings you thought were stable weren’t. It has taken a bit to adjust to not owning an unlocked SKU, but I think in the long run I enjoy this better.
Technologically I’m against turbo clocks on CPUs. There are too many assumptions made on the CPU designers side that are completely unrealistic to how a modern system runs. I’ve shouted about this on Twitter numerous times. The issue is on both sides right now. AMD has their issues and Intel has their own. There is no perfect way to boost. Intel keeps lowering the base clock for some reason that I just cannot understand. I get that in some environments it makes sense to have a turbo that works from thread load to limit the clock speed. Well I don’t. No. The only thing that matters is heat. The only heat that matters is the TJMAX. Unless your engineers have found that the heat effects stability of a locked CPU. A CPU in which YOU, the manufacturer not the user, sets the voltages for at each frequency step using a table that the user has no access to, then there shouldn’t be any issue with having any core load go to any frequency. If my CPU has a bunch of little things running that seem to be occupying all 20 threads but not all at 100% then I should have the ability to get the max turbo from this CPU. That would be ideal. But you don’t. I don’t. No one does. It is horrible and I very much dislike it. Computers are always doing things even when they aren’t doing anything. There is no such thing as idle. If Intel could work with Microsoft on tuning Windows to be extremely aware of the new Lakefield type hybrid CPUs (if they continue to be a product in the future) and Intel decides to stay on Skylake a bit longer then that might be a way you could do this? I don’t know. I’m not a CPU designer. I don’t know what to tell them or what they can tell me. BUT ANYWAY, enough of this tangent, let’s get normal.
Do I recommend that you buy this CPU? No, not really. I don’t know you. I don’t know your current hardware situation. If you have an 8700K or 9900K, sure. I guess. I don’t know, it’s hard to say because I can’t convince you that you’ll be happy, mentally, with having a locked CPU in a desktop that you build yourself. But if you are interested in the 10900 at all then the 10900K is better because reasons, right? I’m sure Intel would rather me push you that direction because money reasons. But just know that if the 10900K is out of stock that you don’t need to feel like you are missing out on anything if you go with the 10900 instead.
I will advise you that the 10850K is coming out, its on the Intel ARK at least and people are talking about it. Maybe it cheaper? Is unlocked. Basically, it’s a 10900 but unlocked with an 800MHz higher base clock. I’ll let you decide what to do with your own money.