The Core i9-11900K should have been the eight-core, 16-thread desktop CPU that the Intel Core i7-11700K is. Most of the time, the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X is faster, but the Core i7-11700price K’s is pretty close, especially if you can find it on sale. This keeps the race from being a runaway.
The Core i7-11700K doesn’t have many of the BIOS problems we ran into when testing the Core i9-11900K when it first came out. This shows that with a bit of platform maturity and some more competitive pricing, Intel isn’t yet out of the desktop processor race.
Start off by checking out our review of the Core i9-11900K, which has all the details you need about the 11th Generation, including information on motherboard compatibility and the cost of adoption.
- Core Count 8
- Thread Count 16
- Base Clock Frequency 3.6 GHz
- Maximum Boost Clock 5 GHz
- Socket Compatibility Intel LGA 1200
- Lithography 14 nm
- L3 Cache Amount 16 MB
- Thermal Design Power (TDP) Rating 125 watts
- Integrated Graphics Intel Iris Xe (UHD Graphics 750)
- Integrated Graphics Base Clock 350 MHz
Where to get Intel Core i7?
For now, here’s how the different “Rocket Lake” CPUs stack up against each other. (Note that the low-power 35-watt “T” versions of these chips, which are mostly of interest to OEMs, have been left out for readability’s sake.)
No, you’re not seeing double. Intel really has released two eight-core processors in its 11th Gen line. The eight-core, 16-thread Core i9-11900K (a downgrade from last year’s 10-core, 20-thread Core i9-10900K) is almost identical to the Core i7-11700K, with the only differences being in the maximum boost speeds and maximum memory clock speeds.
First, we’ll talk about the maximum boost clock. The Core i7-11700top K’s speed is 5.0GHz, but the Core i9-11900K is rated to reach 5.3GHz (for a more detailed breakdown of how Intel is classifying boost speeds these days, see that review). Intel says that the Core i7 part’s maximum memory speed is limited to DDR4-2933, while the i9 can support up to DDR4-3200.
Overall, though, with only these two small differences between chips that cost $140 more and $140 less, the Core i7-11700K is almost always the better choice if you want an eight-core, 11th Generation Intel processor.
When it comes to AMD, comparing the Intel Core i7-11700K to the Ryzen 7 5800X, which won the Editors’ Choice award, is hard in every way. The AMD processor is better than the Core i7-11700K in almost every way except price and single-core boost limits (which don’t always mean single-core wins, as we’ll see below).
For example, the AMD processor has a 105-watt TDP (compared to the Core i7’s 125-watt rating), a larger 32MB L3 cache (compared to the Core i7’s 16MB), and is compatible with AMD’s well-known Socket AM4 (although motherboard support gets spottier for 5000 Series CPUs compared to the older, cheaper 3000 Series).