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How Is this Intel’s new Flagship?? – i9 11900K Review

Most of you probably already saw some other youtubers reviews of the 11900K, unfortunately we couldn’t bring out our review in time as we ran into some technical difficulties, first we had a dead 10900K that we couldn’t benchmark. Secondly we had some results that just looked like it couldn’t be true as this was supposed to be the latest top of the range Intel CPU. And then we had so much trouble getting even an OK stable overclock on the 11900K, which didn’t even make sense at the end of the day. As most of the other reviewers didn’t even overclock their CPUs which we wanted to compare to to see if we possibly did something wrong or had a dud. Which is something we want to ask you guys about, do you guys want to see overclocking capabilities on CPU benchmarks, and also those of you who own unlocked versions of CPUs, do you actually overclock as these days it doesn’t seem to be the case.

But anyway the launch of the new 11th gen Intel CPUs have been very rocky. CPUs was on sale even before review embargoes lifted, I wonder why. 

Price

Now pricing for the new CPUs have slightly increased over the previous gen also, so you get less for more, sounds like an apple move to me, but anyways the 11900K retails for $614, if you can find stock as they were already sold out a day after the embargo lifted. If you guys don’t want to hear about all the other details of the CPU, just skip over to the benchmarks, with the time stamps in the timeline.

Specs

So what’s actually new on these CPUs from Intel? 

Well honestly not much and from some of the other reviews that we have seen, the only CPU that makes sense to get is the i5 11600K. The 11900K we have actually has less cores than the 10900K comparing it more to the 9900K or more as a binned i7 11700K. Other than that you now get PCIe 4 which is not new so what else? Well memory has been bumped up from 2933 to 3200. You now get 2 memory settings “gear 1” and “gear 2”, the ‘Gear 2″ setting, downshifts the  memory controller so that it operates at half the frequency of the memory. This setting trades higher memory latency (reduced performance in single-threaded work) for improved bandwidth, which can benefit a narrow selection of multi-threaded workloads. Only the i9 11900K/F run at Gear 1 DDR4-3200 as default; all the other CPUs run at DDR4-3200 Gear 2, meaning the data transfer rate of the RAM for other CPUs will be 800Mhz. 

Specs11900K10900K9900K11700K10700K
Core count810888
Thread Count1620161616
Base clock3.5GHz3.7GHz3.6GHz3.6GHz3.8GHz
Boost Clock5.3GHz5.3GHz5.0GHz5.0GHz5.1GHz
TDP125W125W95W125W125W
Cache16MB20MB16MB16MB16MB
Memory TypesDDR4-3200DDR4-2933DDR4-2666DDR4-3200DDR4-2933
Onboard graphicsUHD 750UHD 630UHD 630UHD 750UHD 630
Price$539$499$499$399$384

Also using gear 1 on other CPUs is considered overclocking and that will void your warranty, but it’s been the same with XMP for years now. To get a bit more details about this we recommend Gamers Nexus video that was specifically about the gear 1 and gear 2 settings and how they perform.

But what do the actual benchmarks show? Today we will put this CPU to the test and compare it to its older brother the 9900K. Like I mentioned before we would have a 10900K but it sadly didn’t want to work at all and also unfortunately no Ryzen CPUs with this video.

Okay so now that’s out of the way, we used the Gigabyte Z590 Master motherboard for our testing. Now we know Steve from gamers nexus didn’t want to use the gigabyte, cause gigabyte ignores the power restrictions set up by Intel for the CPUs. We are planning to do overclocks anyway so we didn’t really care about restrictions. We also like the board manufacturers that push the CPUs to their true potential, and think it’s beneficial to us as the consumer.

Like mentioned before we really struggled to get a good OC on the CPU, we tried pushing for 5,3GHz as that would have been good even though it has 2 less cores, but to no avail, when we did sometimes get a OC to run, it kept switching the core clocks back down to 4,7GHZ, we even tested it on 2x Z590 board. Finally we just settled for a 5GHz OC which ran stable, we however managed to get a 5.1GHz OC running, but for some reason the scores were even lower than the 5GHz OC. That’s way we wanted to see what overclocks other reviews were able to get, and the majority did not show it as it was also too unstable for them. But 1 or 2 was able to get up to 5.2Ghz so there are definitely way too many inconsistencies here.

We also used 32GB of memory @4000MHz on gear 1 and a gigabyte RTX 3080 vision.

Benchmarks

So first up is the games we benchmarked. We will do the CPU as standard and then overclock it as well. 

First up Siege , the 9900k did very well, but the OC didn’t do much to the frames, only giving the 9900K barely a 1% increase. The 11900K didnt do too well against its 2 year older sibling either. On stock it was only a 4% difference between old and new and the results were the same for the OC on both CPUs. Not a great start for the new 11th gen so far. 

We used the AI benchmark on Civilizations 6 as well, the results were basically the same for both CPUs only real difference was with both CPUs on stock. The 11900K took 7 seconds per turn and the 9900K was 7.3 seconds

Far Cry New Dawn was the first game we really saw a difference between the 2 CPUs but it was also marginally. With stock settings the 11900K was 8% ahead of the 9900K and both on OC it was 13% difference.

With assassins creed Valhalla there was little to no difference, basically coming down to margin of error. With our OC applied there was only a 1 frame increase from the stock settings. On stock the 11900K only managed 3 frames more than the 9900K on stock.

Horizon zero dawn was also very close, with the 11900K on stock tied with the 9900K with the OC applied. And we saw an increase of 5% from stock on the 11900K to the 5GHz OC.

That’s it for the games as we can see the 11900K didn’t do too great over the much older 9900K. We did see that the 1 percentile has improved dramatically though. On siege with the OC results it was a 79% increase over the 9900K which is remarkable. So even though the average frames didn’t increase that much you would still at least get a better gaming experience over all. 

We tested cinebench R15/20 and 23 and blender classroom, Gooseberry, Corona benchmark and a project on Premiere Pro that we will test in seconds taken to finish. We took some scores off of Tom’s hardware just for comparison to our tests, we marked them as TH on the charts. So here you can see more or less what some of the other CPUs scored against the 11900K. We know it won’t be accurate as these were different tests systems used, but it is purely for reference. 

Our first cinebench to test was R23 on stock settings with the multi core test the 11900K managed to beat the 9900K with a whopping 41%. On single core the difference was almost the same with a 40% difference. Both with their OCs applied we got a 30% difference, and because our OC was set to 5GHz on all cores the single core couldn’t boost to 5,3 GHz it scored lower than the stock settings. Here the difference was about 21%. Now unfortunately we didn’t have any AMD chips to compare the 11900K against

With Cinebench R20 the results for stock was 44% over the 9900K on multi core and 38% on single core. With the OC applied we got a 29% difference for the 11900K and single core was 21% again.

The oldest one here is Cinebench R15, results for stock CPU settings were as follows. Multicore the 11900K beat the 9900K with 33% and on single core another 33%. With our OC applied the 11900K beat the 9900K with 27% on multi core and single core with 18%.

For blender In classroom with stock settings it took the 11900K 483 seconds and the 9900K 557 seconds that’s about 15% faster, with the OC applied the 11900K ran even further away taking only 414 seconds against the 9900Ks 503 seconds with a gap of 21%

For Gooseberry the results for the 11900K were 1141 seconds on stock and 930 with our OC, the 9900k took 1164 seconds on stock and 1087 with the OC.  That’s roughly 9% faster than the 9900K. With the OC applied, the improvement on the 11900K from stock was big as well, a total of 23%. 

The strangely named Corona benchmark is another test that’s measured in time taken to complete. 

On stock settings the 11900K took 93 seconds and the 9900k took 104 seconds, with our OC the 11900K took only 85 seconds and the 9900K 100 seconds, that’s 11% faster. 

Now to test premiere pro out we took one of our project files that’s roughly 14 minutes long and exported it in 4K and tested how long it took each time to render. On the stock settings the 11900K took 719 seconds and the 9900k took 734 seconds. With the OC applied the 11900K took 607 seconds and the 9900K 704 seconds. That’s 16% faster than the 9900K and with the OC a 18% improvement on the stock settings of the 11900K.

So for the production side the 11900K is definitely faster than the 9900K, but that’s a 2 year old CPU and the gap isn’t that big. The 10900K would have been right on the 11900Ks tail and probably have beat it in a lot of tests thanks to the 2 more cores. The sad thing is that the 11900K was supposed to be a really good CPU, but with results like this it’s better to just opt for the 10900K or the much cheaper i7 11700K. 

Even compared to some of the other CPUs the 11900K did very well on rendering, we got some results of toms hardware and on cinebench R23 the 11900K did extremely well, coming in third place behind the Ryzen 9 5950X and 5900X on multicore, Also beating both of them with single core performance. 

Temperature/Power

Now as for thermals and power usage, they were relatively decent. We saw a max power draw of around 240W with our OC applied, now do keep in mind that this is a 125W TDP CPU. So that is almost double what Intels restrictions would allow. Depending on which motherboard you use that could be locked at 125W if they followed the restrictions put in place by Intel. 

Now thermals were a bit all over the place with our Corsair H115i AIO, but we did see a max temp of around 92 degrees celsius on a AIDA 64 stress test, average was around 62 degrees and idle temps were around 35 degrees.

Conclusion

So then is the 11900K worthy upgrade from the 10900K, definitely not. Not even if you have a 9900K. The only reason I would say to upgrade is for PCIe 4 and that only if you need it, which most wont. I will say that I really think Intels next 12th gen might be the CPUs we really want with rumoured to feature DDR5 as well as PCIe 5. These are also believed to come out on intel’s new 10nm chips. So im not dropping Intel entirely and hope they come back with a bang as these last few years against Ryzen wasn’t too good.

For content creation it didn’t perform too bad, but it wasn’t what we expected it too be, especially considering the $600 price tag, watching other reviewers we could see that for gaming the 11600K was a phenomenal CPU and that’s around $260, that’s half the 11900K and with a OC applied it was almost just as good as the 11900K without an OC. So that’s definitely the CPU too get for gaming. For a well balanced CPU I would unfortunately have to go with team red here, The Ryzen 9 5900X is about $100 cheaper than this and would beat it in 95% of the games and other benchmarks. But yet again there isn’t stock available, and that’s the unfortunate reality right now. 

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Written by Ruan Bronkhorst

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