Intel Core i5-10600K vs. Core i7-10700K: Which CPU should you buy?

Intel Core i9-10900K review
Intel Core i9-10900K review (Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central)

The Intel Core i5-10600K is a better deal for most PC builds since you don't really need anything more powerful, like the Core i7-10700K, unless you plan on doing some serious gaming and/or content creation. It has everything you need for a capable PC, but if you do plan on pushing your PC harder, the Intel Core i7-10700K is available as a higher-tier pick.

Intel Core i5-10600K vs. Core i7-10700K: specs

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Header Cell - Column 0 Intel Core i5-10600KIntel Core i7-10700K
ArchitectureComet LakeComet Lake
Base speed4.10 GHz3.80 GHz
Boost speed4.80 GHz5.10 GHz
Cache12 MB16 MB
TDP125 W125 W
Launch price$262$374

Intel Core i5-10600K vs. Core i7-10700K: Which is better?

Intel Core i9-10900K review

Source: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central)

Intel is lagging behind AMD with its 10th Gen processor range. Compared to the AMD Ryzen 3000 series, Intel simply isn't offering as much value, mostly due to the company's inability to shrink its processor manufacturing process below 14nm. AMD uses TMSC for putting together its CPUs and is currently working towards 5nm.

Intel has announced 10nm, but this will take some time to come to market. Put against AMD counterparts, both the Intel Core i5-10600K and Core i7-10700K are behind in terms of cores, threads, but not speeds and do offer slightly better performance in some cases. What the company has been able to do with 14nm is pretty impressive.

The Intel Core i5-10600K is the better pick for most people, simply because it's more affordable yet comes with six cores and 12 threads. That's more than enough for most use cases. Should you require additional performance in video editing software and games, you'll likely want to consider the Core i7-10700K.

Both processors have the same thermal design power (TDP) rating, so if you choose the Core i7, it'll not pump out more heat than the Core i5, allowing you to use the same cooling solution. As well as the additional physical cores, the 10700K comes rocking more overall cache.

Intel Core i5-10600K is the CPU for most PC builds

Intel's Core i5-10600K is a brilliant mid-tier processor. For most PC builds, you likely won't require anything more than what this CPU has to offer from Intel. The six cores, 12 threads, and exceptional single-core performance make this one compelling option for your next build.

Choose the Intel Core i7-10700K if you need more power

Sometimes you need a CPU that offers more performance, which is particularly useful for content creators and gamers, and the Intel Core i7-10700K is a killer option. It's a little more pricey than the Core i5-10600K, but you'll unlock a further two core, four threads, and more headroom for clock speeds.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.