On Saturday, Chinese computer manufacturer PowerLeader launched a ‘new’ processor and compact desktop PC. During the press conference, PowerLeader talked about its first generation Powerstar P3-01105 CPU, featuring the “storm core” architecture, described as “extremely high performance,” x86 compatible, and offering great support for Windows. And so it should, as it looks very much like a rebranded Intel Core i3-10105(F) Comet Lake CPU with 4C / 8T.
In Chinese tech news media coverage, such as at ITHome, there was no hint given about a partnership with Intel on this rebrand. Instead, we have a quote from a PowerLeader execs talking about how the first gen Powerstar chips were “specially designed for daily desktop users, and are suitable for government, education, energy, industry, finance, medical care, games, and retail, etc.”
As well as the CPU, a new compact tower PC dubbed the PC PT620P, featuring the Powerstar P3-01105 CPU, was unveiled. A statement about this PC’s capabilities provided a small hint that the Powerstar P3-01105 wasn’t entirely domestic. According to the machine translation of a PowerLeader exec’s statement, the new CPU “has extremely high performance, which is several times higher than that of the domestic CPU.” There, it was admitted that this isn’t a domestic CPU.
One of the last official blurb worth reporting is that PowerLeader says the CPU will be launched shortly, targeting annual CPU sales of 1.5 million units.
It’s an Intel Chip, Sherlock
In response to harukaze5719’s Tweet about this Powerstar P3-01105 CPU, another Twitterer pointed out that what we are looking at is almost certainly an Intel Core i3-10105(F) Comet Lake CPU. The following clues convincingly point to this:
- Physical lugged heatspreader design, and other physical characteristics
- Physical substrate design is identical, as far as we can see
- Silk screen print format on the IHS is the same
- The PowerLeader processor name slightly jumbles Intel’s: compare “10105” and “01105”
- They are both marked as capable of a “3.70GHZ” base clock
- Last but not least, the QR code on the upper right of the Powerstar P3-01105 PCB is said to match Intel’s.
There seems to be a weight of evidence pointing to a rebrand, but we await further announcements and third-party tests to ensure it. So please stay tuned for when the truth comes out.
So, why would PowerLeader rebrand an Intel Core i3-10105? All we can find about the underlying reason for this sleight-of-hand with branding is that Chinese tech firms can benefit from attractive subsidies by developing and launching “domestic products.” If that is true, it also explains how Innosilicon touted its Fantasy graphics cards as “domestic desktop GPUs,” but later, we saw UK-based ImgTec confirm that they used the PowerVR architecture.