It’s finally here – Intel’s 11th generation desktop CPUs. Codenamed Rocket Lake S, these chips aim to take the gaming performance crown again from AMD, whose recently released Ryzen 5000 processors showed incredible gen-on-gen gains. Intel makes similar claims, stating 19 percent improvement in single-core speeds, but delivers 11th generation? To answer this, we have been testing the flagship Core i9 11900K and medium-sized Core i5 11600K hectically over the past week, in a new package of newer games that can trip up to and even flagship CPUs.
Before we get into the results, let̵
To support the offer, Intel has also debuted a few new features with its 11th generation chips. One that we are most excited about is called Adaptive Boost Technology (ABT), which aims to push the clock speeds higher as long as the CPU does not hit a limit of any kind, such as power or thermal. AMD’s Ryzen chips operate under a similar principle, so they can twist a little extra performance under good cooling solutions, and there is no reason why Intel’s take on the idea would not have as good results. Unfortunately, this ABT feature is only available on the most expensive Core i9 11900K and Core i9 11900KF chips, instead of being a feature in the lineup in general, but it is still a nice inclusion that deserves a little extra testing – look for it on page five of this review.
The 11th generation also arrives with new 500 Series motherboards, unlocking PCIe 4.0 support out of the box and allowing RAM overclocking on a wider range of chipsets. We will not spend too much time here on covering the motherboard features, since Z590 cards have been available for a while now, but we will cover the potential performance impact of RAM overclocking in more detail on the sixth page of this review.
|Processor||Cores / threads||Base Clock||Single / All Core Turbo||TDP||Cost|
|Core i9-11900K||8/16||3.5 GHz||5.3 GHz / 4.8 GHz||125W||$ 539|
|Core i9-11900||8/16||2.5 GHz||5.2 GHz / 4.7 GHz||65W||$ 439|
|Core i7-11700K||8/16||3.6 GHz||5.0 GHz / 4.6 GHz||125W||$ 399|
|Core i7-11700||8/16||2.5 GHz||4.9 GHz / 4.4 GHz||65W||$ 323|
|Core i5-11600K||6/12||3.9 GHz||4.9 GHz / 4.6 GHz||125W||$ 262|
|Core i5-11600||6/12||2.8 GHz||4.8 GHz / 4.3 GHz||65W||$ 213|
|Core i5-11500||6/12||2.7 GHz||4.6 GHz / 4.2 GHz||65W||$ 192|
|Core i5-11400||6/12||2.6 GHz||4.4 GHz / 4.2 GHz||65W||$ 182|
Note: We have omitted ‘F’ and ‘T’ processors from this chart to aid readability. more info here.
For now, let’s take a quick look at the test rig we’ll be working on and the performance of content creation, before we get into the right playing standards.
We paired our processors with an Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti Founders edition, as RTX 30 Series graphics cards are in short supply – even for technical journalists! We may return to these tests with an RTX 3090 in the future, which may allow us to see similar CPU differences when using higher graphics settings in some games (eg Cyberpunk 2077, Total War Three Kingdoms, and Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War) and only higher margins in general in others.
We used Intel’s included Asus Z590 ROG Maximus Hero 13 motherboard to test Intel processors, and Asus Crosshair 8 Hero to test AMD processors. Otherwise, we used G.Skill Trident Z Royal 3600MHZ CL16 RAM at XMP / DOCP settings, an Eisbaer Aurora 240mm AiO for cooling both Intel and AMD processors, an 850W 80+ Gold Gamer Storm PSU and a 2TB Samsung 970 Evo Plus NVMe SSD from Eske. The latest Windows updates and Nvidia graphics drivers were installed, while our Z590 card used the latest available BIOS provided by Intel at the time of testing (version 610).
It is important to note that we tested with Multi Core Enhancement (MCE) enabled, which means that Intel’s share power limits are not enforced. Furthermore, Intel Adaptive Boost was on for most of our testing, and the motherboard was set to Gear 1 mode (meaning that there is a 1: 1 ratio between the clocks of the integrated memory controller (IMC) and RAM). This reflects a typical usage scenario for an advanced processor, where the user accepts standard motherboard options to enable additional performance, and conforms to our previous testing methodology for CPUs.
However, you should know that this means that the CPUs operate outside Intel’s turbo durability limits, use more power and produce more heat, so you need to consider the cost of an affordable motherboard, good power supply and a strong cooling solution to get similar results. With stock limits activated, you can expect lower performance in workload that exceeds the normal turbo duration limit of 56s.
So with that caveat out of the way – content creation. We have selected two relatively fast tests here to give you the broad outlines of how the 11th generation performs for common tasks such as 3D rendering and transcoding of video from one format to another. For the former, we used the Cinebench R20, a reference application that mimics the rendering of a 3D scene in the professional graphics package Cinema 4D, while for the latter, we encoded a high-quality Patreon video in the h.264 and h.265 (HEVC) formats using the free parking brake application .
Cinebench tests both single- and multi-threaded performance, which can make it a useful predictor of later gaming performance – for example, a CPU with a high single-core score here is likely to do well in games that rely on a single thread for most of the computing, like Far Cry 5. Intel promised significant performance with a single core, and it is stated – both processors we have in the home score 600 points or higher in the single core, which is around 90 points higher than its closest predecessors and completely in line with AMD’s Ryzen 5000 design.
Multi-threaded points will also benefit from the IPC advantage, but 10900K surpasses 11900K here – that’s because Intel chose to go back from ten to eight cores with its new flagship design. However, the 11600K saw no such reduction in the number of cores, so it gets a healthy 741-point advantage in the multi-threaded rendering task, a 20 percent boost that is in line with Intel’s guidance.
|CB R20 1T||CB R20 MT||HB h.264||HB HEVC||HEVC power consumption|
|Core i9 11900K||636||6209||42.92 fps||19.60 frames / sec||390W|
|Core i5 11600K||599||4328||31.00 fps||13.97 frames per second||233W|
|Core i9 10900K||545||6337||45.55 frames / sec||19.43fps||268W|
|Core i5 10600K||493||3587||26.40 frames / sec||11.84fps||177W|
|Core i9 9900K||520||5090||37.87 frames per second||16.22fps||266W|
|Core i7 9700K||486||3759||28.77fps||13.12fps||171W|
|Core i5 9600K||450||2603||20.70fps||9.46fps||132W|
|Ryzen 9 5950X||650||10240||69.56 fps||29.82fps||259W|
|Ryzen 9 5900X||638||8564||60.49 fps||25.42fps||219W|
|Ryzen 7 5800X||625||6185||43.72 frames per second||19.41fps||214W|
|Ryzen 5 5600X||4446||597||31.43fps||14.35 frames / sec||148W|
|Ryzen 9 3950X||514||9249||64.73fps||25.59 frames / sec||296W|
|Ryzen 9 3900XT||538||7101||51.91 fps||20.49fps||221W|
|Ryzen 9 3900X||514||7032||51.80fps||20.29fps||228W|
|Ryzen 7 3800XT||540||5164||37.14 frames / sec||15.83fps||177W|
|Ryzen 7 3700X||494||4730||35.05fps||14.67 frames per second||152W|
|Ryzen 5 3600X||490||3705||27.54 frames / sec||11.81fps||149W|
|Ryzen 3 3300X||503||2577||18.89fps||8.25 frames / sec||120W|
|Ryzen 3 3100||449||2328||17.32fps||7.44 fps||118W|
|Ryzen 7 2700X||408||3865||27.31fps||10.04fps||224W|
|Ryzen 5 2600||399||2810||20.39fps||7.09fps||130W|
The results from the handbrake coding show a similar dichotomy, with 11600K gaining a 17 percent advantage over 10600K, but 11900K lost almost eight percent. Given that it only has eight cores instead of ten, it is not a terrible result by any means, but it does suggest that the 10th generation is a better option for someone who is primarily interested in workloads that link each core to 100 percent. .
It’s interesting to see how the 11600K and 11900K fit into AMD’s results. The 11600K is in line with the Ryzen 5600X in these two tests, but the Intel chip uses significantly more power (233W vs 148W) with Multi Core Enhancement enabled and falls behind AMD with disabled. (These power measurements are made on the wall and with different motherboards, but we expect the vast majority of the difference there to be down on the chip instead of the motherboard.)
11900K, meanwhile, most closely resembles the Ryzen 7 5800X, which leads narrowly in the Cinebench and HEVC code, but falls behind in the h.264 task. The Ryzen 9 5900X, AMD’s 12-core competitor to the eight-core i9, has almost 40 percent lead in Cinebench and an advantage of 30 to 40 percent in the handbrake, depending on the codec used. Despite this, the Intel system’s peak power output on the wall was 390W, almost 80 percent higher than the 219W we measured from the AMD system at the top. (The 11900K system drops to 313W when Intel’s power targets are met, but performance also drops by around 10 to 25 percent.)
So – some good news as Intel’s 11th generation chips definitely show an IPC advantage, but AMD’s results in content creation remain industry leading. AMD has a tougher grip on gaming, so let’s go there now.
We tested the new chips, their predecessors and AMD’s closest competitors in nine titles here, including six games that are new to our CPU test package, and we’ve also taken a brief look at memory bandwidth and Intel Adaptive Boost on separate pages. Choose your adventure from the options below, or just click the Next button to continue.
Intel Core i9 11900K and Core i5 11600K analysis