We would have liked to see the Intel Core i9-11900K receive a bigger upgrade. It’s just a minor update to keep it in line with the rest of Intel’s 11th-generation processors. It packs a punch, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t powerful. It’s hard to push it beyond its limitations. It’s unlikely to be a big hit with anyone, especially given all the competition from AMD.
While processors such as the Ryzen 9 5900X appear to be breaking new ground, the Intel Core i9-11900K essentially utilizes 10nm Ice Lake architecture, but in a 14nm process. This results in an 8-core, 16 thread design. Although it has maintained Intel’s dominance in single-core performance, it is outperforming the competition when it comes to multi-core performance.
Gaming is the only user that will really benefit from this CPU, considering its price. This CPU may soon be redundant now that the 12th generation Alder Lake chips are available . This is especially true considering the fact that the 12th-gen Intel i9 could outperform AMD’s best in leaked benchmarks.
Prices and availability
The Intel Core i9-11900K will become available March 30th at a suggested retail cost of $539 (about AU$710). This processor is a direct replacement of the Intel Core i9-10900K, and a competitor for the AMD Ryzen 9 590
Intel’s processors seem to have escaped the recent availability issues faced by AMD processors and graphics cards recently, so we don’t know if the prices will rise much.
The Intel Core i9-11900K isn’t as good as the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X or the $449 (PS419 AU$799) AMD Ryzen7 5800X when prices are back to normal. Intel has won some single-threaded games and applications. It’s unlikely you’ll be playing Overwatch if you spend close to a thousand dollars on your motherboard and CPU.
If you are looking for creative apps without having to jump to a high-end desktop platform, then you might want to consider other options.
Chipset and other features
The Intel Core i9-11900K desktop platform is based on the Rocket Lake-S architecture, which is produced on a 14nm process. This isn’t another Skylake version, like Kaby Lake, Comet Lake, and Coffee Lake.
Instead, Intel used the core design of its 10nm Ice Lake CPUs and backported it into the 14nm manufacturing process. This allows Intel to achieve clock speeds that are faster than the 10nm process, which is crucial for gaming. The Intel Core i9-11900K’s 8 CPU cores are down from the 10 core design of the Intel Core i9-10900K. This is due to the Intel Xe graphics on the die.
Although it sounds terrible, the new Cypress Cove core allows Intel to push clock speeds up to 5.3GHz (on a single core) and also provides a significant 19% increase in Instructions per Cycle (IPC).
It seems that Cypress Cove’s improvement results in higher power consumption, and higher temperatures.
The Intel Core i9-11900K is capable of consuming up to 203W power during heavy workloads such as Blender. This is even with the Multi-Core enhancement enabled by default on the Asus ROG Maximus VIII Hero. This option enabled increased power consumption to approximately 230W. This is much more than many modern graphics cards.
Temperatures can rise significantly when power consumption is so high. The Intel Core i9-11900 K’s stock settings can reach 82degC. This is a significant increase over the 76degC the Intel Core i9-10900K achieves under similar conditions. This processor is not equipped with a lightweight CPU cooler. It uses a 360mm AIO cooler. If you are considering purchasing this processor, make sure to get a sturdy cooler.
It’s not a good sign that the Intel Core i9-11900K arrives a few weeks after Team Blue ended its CPU Overclocking Warranty. Overclocking will be more difficult than ever because it voids your warranty. However, we don’t usually cover this in our reviews.
If you were able to obtain a powerful graphics card like the RTX 3090, and you plan to pair it up with this processor, you should make sure that you have an adequate power supply.
However, it’s not all bad. The Intel Core i9-11900K finally supports PCIe 4.0, which will allow you to use the most SSDs available. This functionality will also be available on Z490 boards, however you should check the manufacturer’s website for specific information.
Performance and benchmarks
Specifications for the test system
This is how we tested desktop CPU performance.
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Masterliquid 360P Silver Edition
Graphics card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 3090
RAM: 64GB Corsair Dominator Platinum at 3,600MHz
Motherboard: Asus ROG Maximus VIII Hero
SSD: ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro @ 1TB
Power Supply: Phanteks RevoltX 1200
Case: Praxis Wetbench
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Masterliquid 360P Silver Edition Graphics card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 3090
RAM:64GB Corsair Dominator Gold @ 3,600MHz
SSD: ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro @ 1TB
Power Supply: Corsair AX1000
The Intel Core i9-11900K processor is a great processor. It was capable of handling any test we put it through, no matter how complex. It’s fast enough to do everything you need, including gaming, content creation, and just playing around on the computer. We are fortunate to live in an age where almost any desktop processor can handle what most people will need. It’s how fast things are done that makes the difference.
When you spend this much on a processor you are likely to use it for a variety of things. The Intel Core i9-11900K begins to fall behind its main competitor, the AMD Ryzen 9 9 5900X when it comes down to creative workloads.
Blender shows that the AMD Ryzen 9 5900 X 12-core processor is 58% faster than the Intel Core i9-11900K and costs only 2% less. The Core i9-11900K was also 13% slower in the Puget Adobe Premiere benchmark. This means that the Intel Core i9-11900K is considerably slower than the rest when it comes to 3D modeling and video editing.
When we look at benchmarks for gaming, things look a lot better. This is where Intel has been focusing its marketing efforts this year. The Intel Core i9-11900K scored 13,301 in the 3DMark Time Spy test compared to the Ryzen 9 5900X’s 12,163, a 9% increase.
It’s almost a wash when we take a look at actual games. These tests were almost identical for the Ryzen 9 5900X and Intel Core i9-11900K.
However, there is a noticeable difference between older processors and the newer ones. The Intel Core i9-11900K ran about 7% faster in Total War than the Intel Core i9-10900K. Although it’s not enough to convince everyone to upgrade from the 10900K this is a significant step in the right direction.
However, that’s not the case everywhere. Two cores have been lost in the 11900K, which means 2020’s Intel Core i9-10900K performs noticeably better than the new chip in highly threaded applications such as Blender and Adobe Premiere.
It is even more concerning that the Intel core 11900K is considerably slower than the AMD Ryzen 7 7800X, which costs almost a hundred dollars less. The 8 core AMD champion wins over the 11900K in gaming and content creation. Team blue only loses in single-core synthetic benchmarks.
The Intel Core i9-11900K is a reminder of how far behind Intel is. It shows that AMD releases faster processors every year. This feels like a desperate attempt by Intel to maintain its relevance while it works on its next steps. We wish Intel would have waited until the 12th generation to release something valuable. We won’t have long to wait to see what the 12th-generation processors can offer.