Take that Intel 10th-gen 'Comet Lake' CPU leak with a massive grain of salt

Don't believe everything you read on the Internet.

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We don’t usually like to report on rumors here at PCWorld because, well, they’re usually (but not always) full of crap. But you’ll want to take the latest “leak” of Intel’s 10th-gen Comet Lake Core processors with an even bigger helping of salt than usual. These slides just scream fake.

The Comet Lake slide first came to our attention from Computerbase, which duly remarked that some things seem off. Still, we’ve since seen it repeated several other times around the web and on other PC sites without skepticism. (No, we won’t name names.) Make no mistake: The advances these slides promise would be amazing if they wind up true. Ten-core processors! Hyper-threading for everyone! Prices that compete with AMD’s outstanding new Ryzen 3000 processors! Everything’s coming up Milhouse!

But several small inconsistencies on the slide don’t add up. Here is the so-called “leaked” product details, via Twitter user Sohachi, though they apparently originated in Asian tech forums.

intel fake slides Sohachi via Twitter

Twitter screenshot of allegedly leaked Intel 10th-gen product details.

And here’s what’s off about it:

  • The dollar sign is listed after the prices, not before—a European idiosyncrasy. Intel has always placed the dollar sign in its proper place, before the price.
  • It includes a “Lithography” column showing the chips being built using a 14nm+++ manufacturing process. Intel hasn’t included this in any recent product detail reveals, and likely wouldn’t start to include it until the company finally achieves 10nm volume production.
  • A “Maximum all-cores Turbo frequency” is listed. While that would be nice information to have, Intel hasn’t provided it recently, instead sticking to the usual single-core boost clock. (Though Intel recently said its upcoming Core i9-9900KS will hit 5GHz on all cores.) Core X chips got a separate Turbo Boost 3.0 rating in its official slides, but that’s not the same thing.
  • It also includes a “Code name” column, another oddity for Intel.
  • The slide lacks a column for Optane Memory Support, a platform advantage that Intel has been pushing hard for several processor generations. It also lacks Intel’s usual column for indicating unlocked processors.
  • Would Intel really use awful five-digit-long product SKUs like Core i9-10900KF? I hope not. Hey Intel, if you’re reading this: Please no.

Don’t take my word for it, though. Here are the official slides Intel provided for the 8th- and 9th-gen desktop processor launches for comparison:

Intel 9th-gen Core Intel
Intel Coffee Lake 8th gen speeds and feeds Intel

I almost dinged this likely fake for using the incorrect “SKU’s” instead of “SKUs” in the box at the top of the slide, but Intel also got it wrong for the 9th-gen processor details chart.

That’s about it. It’s an amazing time to be a PC enthusiast, with core counts exploding and technology advancing on every front. But don’t put the cart before the horse, and definitely don’t believe everything you see on the internet. Consider these 10th-gen Comet Lake rumors an artistic representation of wishful thinking until you hear it straight from Intel—not fact.  

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