If you’re interested in securing a 10th Gen Core-S processor with the highest overclocking potential and headroom, Intel’s i9 SKUs are, perhaps unsurprisingly, your safest bet. MSI’s Eric van Beurden and Michiel Berkhout tested a batch and found that 27 percent of their i9-10900K/KF processors featured top-tier dies. In contrast, the chances of an i7-10700K/KF and i5-10600K/KF having above-average dies were abysmally low (5 and 2 percent, respectively).
MSI classed the dies on three levels: Level A (dies that exceed specifications); Level B (dies that meet specifications); and Level C (low-quality dies that run below specifications). The chances for any one of these in the i9 series seem pretty even (as MSI’s chart below shows), while most i5 and i7 owners should expect processors that line up with standard specs. (These percentages don’t add up to 100, so there must be an additional level in MSI’s testing – but it isn’t clear what that is.)
Core quality aside, MSI also published some temperatures to give an idea of how hot VRMs might get during an overclocked Cinebench 20 run. As VideoCardz points out, the system power can run up to a spicy 347 watts (i9-10900K overclocked to 5.1 GHz on a Z490 ACE motherboard, with XMP on and core multiplier set to 51).