In addition to discussing the number of cores in the 10900K, this article will discuss recommendations for compatible motherboards, CPU coolers, and memory.
Intel's Core i9-10900K CPUs have 10 cores.
Check out our Recommended Motherboards for the 10th Gen 10900K below.
The Intel Core i9-10900K has 20 threads.
For Intel's 10th gen processors, Hyper-Threading is available for each core. Hyper-Threading provides two threads for each of the 10 cores on the 10900K.
The processor has a 3.70 GHz base frequency and supports a 5.30 GHz max turbo frequency.
|Processor Name Suffix||Meaning|
|K||"K" means it's an unlocked CPU. Unlocked CPUs have configurable frequencies and thus support overclocking. Your "motherboard" must support overclocking to overclock unlocked CPUs. Motherboards with Z-series chipsets typically support overclocking. Learn more about what each chipset supports in my article Which Chipsets Work With Intel's Core i9-10900K CPU?.|
The 10900K model name doesn't have an F suffix. Non-F CPUs contain integrated graphics, and a separate graphics card isn't required if your motherboard includes video-output connectors (e.g., HDMI).
The 10900K model name has a K suffix. K-suffixed CPUs can be overclocked with a compatible motherboard.
Motherboards with a Z-series chipset typically support overclocking. For example, motherboards with the Z490 chipset usually support overclocking Intel's 10th Gen Core CPUs. Learn more about what each chipset supports in my article Which Chipsets Work With Intel's Core i9-10900K CPU?.
A CPU cooler's TDP (Thermal Design Power) rating indicates how much heat it can dissipate in watts. If the cooler can't keep your CPU cool enough, your CPU may throttle (slow down), and your cooler will constantly run at full speed.
Intel CPU specifications indicate this power dissipation number as "Processor Base Power."
The Core i9-10900K has a TDP of 125 watts.
A CPU cooler can still work with a lower TDP rating than the TDP of a CPU. However, the CPU will eventually throttle itself to a lower frequency to allow itself to cool.
The CPU may not achieve or maintain maximum turbo speeds without adequate cooling.
Learn more in Choosing the Best CPU Cooler for Intel's Core i9-10900K.
For Intel's 10th generation Core i9 10900K processor, you'll need a motherboard with an LGA 1200 socket and a compatible 400-series or 500-series chipset.
Motherboards for Intel processors are made with chipsets provided by Intel. Each chipset offers a unique set of capabilities. However, motherboards must explicitly support features and capabilities for you to use them. Verify that a motherboard supports the features and capabilities you desire.
The "K" in the model name 10900K means it's an unlocked processor that supports overclocking. You will need a motherboard with the Z590 or Z490 chipset to support CPU overclocking.
For compatiblity with Intel's 10th generation Core processors, you'll need a 400-series or 500-series chipset.
The Z590, H570, B560, and H510 500-series chipsets are compatible with Intel's 10th generation Core processors. These are roughly listed from most to least functionality. The W580 and Q570 chipsets are also compatible, but are intended for workstation and business use cases; their availability in stand-alone motherboards is limited. Intel's 500-series chipsets were primarily designed for 11th generation Core processors but are backward compatible with all 10th generation Core processors.
The Z490, H470, B460, and H410 400-series chipsets are also all compatible with Intel's 10th generation Core processors. Similar to the 500-series chipsets, the W480 and Q470 chipsets are also compatible, but are intended for workstation and business use cases; their availability in stand-alone motherboards is limited.
For a detailed comparison of these chipsets, check out my article Which Chipsets Work With Intel's Core i9-10900K CPU?.
- Find Z590 Chipset 11th Gen Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
- Find H570 Chipset 11th Gen Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
- Find B560 Chipset 11th Gen Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
- Find H510 Chipset 11th Gen Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
- Find Z490 Chipset 10th Gen Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
- Find H470 Chipset 10th Gen Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
- Find B460 Chipset 10th Gen Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
- Find H410 Chipset 10th Gen Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
Best Feature Motherboard: MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi
- Our recommended feature-rich motherboard to pair with the Core i9-10900K is MSI's MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi motherboard:
- Two NVMe M.2 slots at PCIe 3.0 speeds.
- Wi-Fi 6 support provides fast Wi-Fi connectivity to your desktop.
- Bluetooth 5.0 is great for streaming music to Bluetooth headphones.
- One 2.5 Gb Ethernet port are faster than most Internet speeds with room to spare for file transfers.
- USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 offers 20 Gbps USB speeds!
- Check the latest price of the MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi on Amazon (affiliate link).
Best Value Motherboard: ASUS Prime B560M-A
- Our recommended value motherboard to pair with the Core i9-10900K is ASUS's Prime B560M-A motherboard:
- One NVMe M.2 slot at PCIe 3.0 speeds; the second M.2 slot will be disabled for 10th generation CPUs).
- The smaller microATX form factor is backward compatible with any full-size ATX case.
- One 1 Gb Ethernet port is faster than most Internet speeds.
- Check the latest price of the ASUS Prime B560M-A on Amazon (affiliate link).
Best AIO Liquid Cooler: Enermax Liqmax III 360
- This Enermax liquid cooler has an excellent cooling capability with a 360-watt TDP (Thermal Design Power).
- Supports a variety of CPU sockets, including Intel LGA 2066, 2011-3, 2011, 1700, 1200, 1366, 1156, 1155, 1151, 1150 and AMD AM4, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2, FM2+, FM2, FM1.
- Quiet operation at 14-27 dBA.
- Make sure your computer case dimensions support this, as it will take up a decent amount of space!
Best Dual-Fan Air CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15
- Dual 140 mm fans provide 220-watt TDP (183 NSPR) of cooling capability.
- Supports a variety of CPU sockets, including Intel LGA 1700, 1200, 1156, 1155, 1151, 1150, 2011, 2066 and AMD AM4, AM3, AM3+, AM2, AM2+, FM2, FM2+.
- Quiet operation at 24.6 dBA.
Runner-Up - Dual-Fan Air CPU Cooler: Thermaltake TOUGHAIR 510
- This CPU cooler doesn't have any fancy LED lights, but the dual 120 mm fans do a great job of cooling LGA 1200 CPUs.
- Suppose you think this cooler will take up too much space. In that case, Thermaltake has a few single-fan TOUGHAIR variants which use different orientations.
- This CPU cooler has a 2000 RPM max speed for optimal cooling.
- 180-watt TDP (Thermal Design Power).
Before purchasing memory, review your motherboard specification to verify which speeds are supported. For example, if a DDR4 motherboard stated that it supports "DDR4 3400(O.C.) / 3333(O.C.) / 3300(O.C.) / 3200 / 3000," that would mean that it could support DDR4-3400, DDR4-3333, and DDR4-3300 with memory overclocking, and DDR4-3200 and DDR4-3000 at stock speeds. Motherboard specifications also indicate the maximum capacity per stick of RAM (DIMM) and across all slots.
Recommended Stock-Speed DDR4
- At an effective frequency of 2933 MHz, this memory hits the fastest DDR4 speed supported by Intel's Core i9 10900K CPU without overclocking.
- The low-profile form factor ensures that the heat spreaders don't get in the way of other devices, including your CPU heatsink.
Recommended DDR4 for Overclockers
- This DDR4 memory is designed for overclocking to an effective frequency of 3600 MHz.
- Supports XMP 2.0.
- Compact heat spreaders avoid conflicting with a CPU cooler.
- Which Chipsets Work With Intel's Core i9-10900K CPU?
- Choosing the Best CPU Cooler for Intel's Core i9-10900K
- Choosing the Best Power Supply for Intel's Core i9-10900K
- Is the Core i9-10900K CPU Good for Gaming?
- Choosing the Best RAM for Intel's Core i9-10900K CPU
- Choosing the Best Motherboard for Intel's Core i9-10900K
- How Many Cores Do Intel Core i9-10900K CPUs Have?
- What Is the TDP of the Core i9-10900K CPU?
You can find detailed 10900K specifications on Intel's site.
Want to brush up on other new technologies to consider when building a computer? Check out these articles:
- CPU Coolers:
- Graphics Cards:
- Power Supplies: