It’s lastly here – Intel’s 11th-generation of desktop CPUs. Codenamed Rocket Lake S, these chips intend to re-take the video gaming efficiency crown from AMD, whose just recently launched Ryzen 5000 processors revealed unbelievable gen-on-gen gains. Intel is making comparable claims, promoting as much as a 19 percent enhancement to single core speeds, however does 11th-gen provide? To response this, we have actually been evaluating the flagship Core i9 11900K and mid-range Core i5 11600K anxiously for the previous week, in a brand-new suite of current video games that can journey up even flagship CPUs.

Before we enter the outcomes, let’s take a minute to contemplate precisely how Intel have the ability to make these strong efficiency claims. As we developed in our 11th-gen desktop processors short article, these chips utilize Intel’s familiar 14nm procedure – one that’s formed the basis of their desktop CPUs given that their Broadwell fifth-generation Core processors in 2015. Since then, Intel has actually optimised the heck out of this specific lithography, and this time they’re doing so by ‘back-porting’ functions from their brand-new 10nm laptop computer chips. This is more affordable, from a research study and advancement viewpoint, than relocating to an entire brand-new procedure, however it still includes a huge effort from the engineering group.

To fortify their offering, Intel has likewise debuted a couple of brand-new functions with its 11th-gen chips. One that we’re most thrilled by is called Adaptive Boost Technology (ABT), which intends to press clock speeds greater as long as the CPU isn’t striking a limitation of some kind, such as power or thermals. AMD’s Ryzen chips run under a comparable concept, permitting them to wring out some additional efficiency under excellent cooling services, and there’s no factor that Intel’s handle the concept would not have likewise excellent outcomes. Unfortunately, this ABT function is just offered on the most pricey Core i9 11900K and Core i9 11900KF chips, instead of being a function of the lineup in basic, however it’s still a good addition that is worthy of some extra screening – search for that on page 5 of this evaluation.

11th-gen likewise gets here together with brand-new 500-series motherboards, opening PCIe 4.0 assistance out of package and permitting RAM overclocking on a broader variety of chipsets. We will not invest excessive time here covering motherboard functions, as Z590 boards have actually been offered for a little while now, however we’ll cover the possible efficiency effect of RAM overclocking in more information on the 6th page of this evaluation.

Processor Cores/Threads Base Clock Single/All Core Turbo TDP Cost
Core i9-11900K 8/16 3.5GHz 5.3GHz/4.8GHz 125W $539
Core i9-11900 8/16 2.5GHz 5.2GHz/4.7GHz 65W $439
Core i7-11700K 8/16 3.6GHz 5.0GHz/4.6GHz 125W $399
Core i7-11700 8/16 2.5GHz 4.9GHz/4.4GHz 65W $323
Core i5-11600K 6/12 3.9GHz 4.9GHz/4.6GHz 125W $262
Core i5-11600 6/12 2.8GHz 4.8GHz/4.3GHz 65W $213
Core i5-11500 6/12 2.7GHz 4.6GHz/4.2GHz 65W $192
Core i5-11400 6/12 2.6GHz 4.4GHz/4.2GHz 65W $182

Note: We’ve left out ‘F’ and ‘T’ processors from this chart to assist readability; more details here.

For now, let’s take a peek at the test rig we’ll be dealing with and content development efficiency, prior to we enter the video game standards appropriate.

We paired our processors with an Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti Founders edition, as RTX 30-series graphics cards stay in brief supply – even for tech reporters! We might review these tests with an RTX 3090 in future, which might permit us to see comparable CPU distinctions while utilizing greater visual settings in some video games (eg Cyberpunk 2077, Total War Three Kingdoms and Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War) and simply greater margins in basic in others.

We utilized Intel’s supplied Asus Z590 ROG Maximus Hero 13 motherboard for screening Intel CPUs, and the Asus Crosshair 8 Hero for evaluating the AMD CPUs. Otherwise, we utilized G.Skill Trident Z Royal 3600MHZ CL16 RAM at XMP/DOCP settings, an Eisbaer Aurora 240mm AiO for cooling both Intel and AMD CPUs, an 850W 80+ Gold Gamer Storm PSU and a 2TB Samsung 970 Evo Plus NVMe SSD from Box. The newest Windows updates and Nvidia graphics chauffeurs were set up, while our Z590 board utilized the current offered BIOS supplied by Intel at the time of screening (variation 610).

It’s crucial to keep in mind that we checked with Multi Core Enhancement (MCE) made it possible for, implying Intel’s stock power limitations are not implemented. Furthermore, Intel Adaptive Boost was on for the bulk of our screening and the motherboard was set to Gear 1 mode (significance there’s a 1:1 relationship in between the clocks of the incorporated memory controller (IMC) and RAM). This shows a normal usage case situation for a high-end processor, where the user will be accepting the default motherboard choices to allow additional efficiency, and matches our previous screening method for CPUs.

However, you ought to understand that this does suggest that the CPUs run beyond Intel’s turbo period limitations, utilizing more power and producing more heat, so you will require to consider the expense of an affordable motherboard, excellent power supply and a strong cooling service to get comparable outcomes. With the stock limitations made it possible for, you ought to anticipate slower efficiency in any work that surpasses the typical turbo period limitation of 56s.

maximus
The high M.2 heatshield (centre) makes launching the GPU a little difficult.

So, with that proviso out of the method – content development. We’ve chose 2 fairly fast tests here, to provide you the broad strokes of how 11th-gen carries out for typical jobs like 3D making and transcoding video from one format to another. For the previous, we utilized Cinebench R20, a benchmark application that simulates rendering a 3D scene in expert graphics plan Cinema 4D, while for the latter we encoded a premium Patreon video into h.264 and h.265 (HEVC) formats utilizing the totally free Handbrake application.

Cinebench tests both multi-threaded and single efficiency, which can make it a useful predictor of later video gaming efficiency – for instance, a CPU that boasts a high single-core rating here is most likely to do well in video games that depend on a single thread for the bulk of their calculation, like Far Cry 5. Intel assured a significant single-core efficiency increase, which’s substantiated – both CPUs we have in home rating 600 points or greater in the single-core, which is around 90 points greater than their instant predecessors and right in line with AMD’s Ryzen 5000 styles.

The multi-threaded ratings ought to likewise gain from the IPC benefit, however the 10900K exceeds the 11900K here – that’s because Intel selected to go back from 10 to 8 cores with their brand-new flagship style. However, the 11600K saw no such decrease in core count, so it gets to take pleasure in a healthy 741 point benefit in the multi-threaded render job, a 20 percent increase that’s right in line with Intel’s assistance.

CB R20 1T CB R20 MT HB h.264 HB HEVC HEVC Power Use
Core i9 11900K 636 6209 42.92fps 19.60fps 390W
Core i5 11600K 599 4328 31.00fps 13.97fps 233W
Core i9 10900K 545 6337 45.55fps 19.43fps 268W
Core i5 10600K 493 3587 26.40fps 11.84fps 177W
Core i9 9900K 520 5090 37.87fps 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 69.56fps 29.82fps 259W
Ryzen 9 5900X 638 8564 60.49fps 25.42fps 219W
Ryzen 7 5800X 625 6185 43.72fps 19.41fps 214W
Ryzen 5 5600X 4446 597 31.43fps 14.35fps 148W
Ryzen 9 3950X 514 9249 64.73fps 25.59fps 296W
Ryzen 9 3900XT 538 7101 51.91fps 20.49fps 221W
Ryzen 9 3900X 514 7032 51.80fps 20.29fps 228W
Ryzen 7 3800XT 540 5164 37.14fps 15.83fps 177W
Ryzen 7 3700X 494 4730 35.05fps 14.67fps 152W
Ryzen 5 3600X 490 3705 27.54fps 11.81fps 149W
Ryzen 3 3300X 503 2577 18.89fps 8.25fps 120W
Ryzen 3 3100 449 2328 17.32fps 7.44fps 118W
Ryzen 7 2700X 408 3865 27.31fps 10.04fps 224W
Ryzen 5 2600 399 2810 20.39fps 7.09fps 130W

The Handbrake encoding outcomes reveal a comparable dichotomy, with the 11600K getting a 17 percent benefit over the 10600K however the 11900K losing nearly eight per cent. Given it only has eight cores instead of ten, that’s not a terrible result by any means, however it does suggest that the 10th-gen part is a better option for someone that’s primarily interested in workloads that peg every core to 100 per cent.

It’s interesting to see how the 11600K and 11900K fit within AMD’s results too. The 11600K is in line with the Ryzen 5600X in these two tests, but the Intel chip does consume significantly more power (233W vs 148W) with Multi Core Enhancement enabled and falls behind AMD with it disabled. (These power measurements are made at the wall, and with different motherboards, but we expect that the vast majority of the difference there is down to the chip rather than the motherboard.)

The 11900K, meanwhile, most closely resembles the Ryzen 7 5800X, narrowly leading in Cinebench and the HEVC encode but falling behind in the h.264 task. The Ryzen 9 5900X, AMD’s 12-core competitor to the eight-core i9, holds almost a 40 percent lead in Cinebench and a 30 to 40 per cent advantage in Handbrake, depending on the codec used. Despite this, the Intel system’s peak power draw at the wall was 390W, nearly 80 per cent higher than the 219W we measured from the AMD system at its peak. (The 11900K system drops to 313W when Intel’s power targets are followed, however performance also drops by around 10 to 25 percent.)

So – some good news in that Intel’s 11th-gen chips definitely show an IPC advantage, but AMD’s outcomes in content creation remain industry-leading. AMD has a more tenuous grasp on gaming, so let’s head 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 suite, and we’ve likewise taken a short take a look at memory bandwidth and Intel Adaptive Boost in different pages. Choose your experience from the choices listed below, or just click the Next button to move onwards.

Intel Core i9 11900K and Core i5 11600K analysis