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Intel's 10th Gen Comet Lake H-series laptop CPUs are absolute speed demons

Intel have lifted the lid on their H-series of 10th Gen Comet Lake laptop CPUs today, and gee whiz they’re nippy. With top clock speeds reaching all the way up to 5.3GHz in some cases, Intel are quite rightly calling these “the world’s fastest mobile processors”. It’s not just the really high-end CPUs that have super high frequency speeds, either. Of the six new CPUs being announced today, four of Intel’s 10th Gen Comet Lake H-series line-up will have clock speeds that break the 5.0GHz speed barrier. That’s pretty darn fast for a laptop CPU, and should mean even better gaming performance when you’re on the move. Here’s everything you need to know.

As I just mentioned, there are six Intel Comet Lake CPUs being unveiled today, including two Core i5s, three Core i7s and one Core i9. The top speeds of 5.0GHz+ are reserved for the Core i7s and above, sadly, but even the two Core i5 Comet Lake CPUs will be able to reach a decent max Turbo Frequency of at least 4.5GHz this generation, which is a pretty decent leap compared to Intel’s 9th Gen Core i5 H-series CPUs that peaked at 4.1GHz and 4.3GHz respectively.

Alas, most of Intel’s attention was focused on the new Core i9 and eight-core Core i7 CPUs when I tuned in to their Comet Lake pre-brief presentation earlier in the week, so they didn’t have any figures to share about what that increase in Core i5 clock speed will actually mean in practice. Their Core i7 and Core i9 figures, however, certainly sound impressive, with Intel claiming that the Core i7-10750H will be able to deliver up to 33% more performance compared to a three-year old laptop with one of their 7th Gen Core i7-7700HQ processors inside it, while the Core i9-10980HK should see an increase of up to 44% more performance over their equally old Core i7-7820HK CPU.

To see all the key specs, have a read of the table below.

Processor Base Clock Speed Maximum Single Core Turbo Frequency Cores / Threads Thermal Design Power (TDP) Unlocked
Intel Core i9-10980HK 2.4GHz 5.3GHz 8 / 16 45W Yes
Intel Core i7-10875H 2.3GHz 5.1GHz 8 / 16 45W No
Intel Core i7-10850H 2.7GHz 5.1GHz 6 / 12 45W Partial
Intel Core i7-10750H 2.6GHz 5.0GHz 6 / 12 45W No
Intel Core i5-10400H 2.6GHz 4.6GHz 4 / 8 45W No
Intel Core i5-10300H 2.5GHz 4.5GHz 4 / 8 45W No

All of them support up to two channels of DDR4 2933MHz RAM as well (up to 128GB in capacity, too), and they all come with built-in support for Intel’s super fast Optane Memory as well. Other key features they share include Thunderbolt 3 support, and Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) for high-speed, low latency wireless performance.

Intel are making it easier to get the most out of their new Comet Lake CPUs by introducing their new Speed Optimizer software, too. This will let you overclock unlocked CPUs with just a single click. Admittedly, only the Core i9-10980HK and the partially unlocked Core i7-10850H will be able to make use of this to start off with, but at least you won’t need to spend ages testing and tweaking everything manually like you did before with Intel’s Extreme Tuning Utility tool.

Alas, none of Intel’s upcoming Project Athena laptops will be powered by these H-series Comet Lake CPUs, but Intel did say they expect to see them in at least 100 different gaming laptops this year, 30 of which are going to be classified as ‘thin and light’ laptops measuring 20mm or less. There will also be hybrid two-in-one designs, laptops with 300Hz refresh rates and secondary displays like the upcoming Asus Zephyrus Duo, and we’ll even see Comet Lake H-series laptops with 1000cd/m2 HDR panels.

I’ve only had a look at the aforementioned Asus Zephyrus Duo so far, but now that Intel have formally unveiled their entire stack of H-series CPUs, it’s only going to be a matter of time until we start seeing more Comet Lake laptops making themselves known. So, if your three-year-old laptop is starting to feel a bit creaky, a new 10th Gen Comet Lake one could be just what the laptop doctor ordered. Watch this space.

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Who am I?

Katharine Castle

Hardware Editor

Katharine writes about all the bits that go inside your PC so you can carry on playing all those lovely games we like talking about so much. Very partial to JRPGs and the fetching of quests. She's also RPS' resident deals herald.

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