Intel Core i5-11600K vs Intel Core i9-11900K

Intel Core i5 11600K vs Intel Core i9 11900K

Intel Core i5-11600K

Today we will introduce you to two new processors from Intel, two from the K range with overclocking capabilities through processor unlock for overclocking completely configurable by the user, but they are also the most powerful processors that we can buy within the new range of Core i5 processors and Intel’s 11th Gen Core i9.

The Core i5-11600k that inherits the price range and basic features of the Core i5-10600k has been one of the best processors for gamers in recent months, although less than a year ago. its launch to the market.

It is a processor with the same cores, six, and the same threads, twelve, and the same 125w TDP, but there are changes in its architecture that make it a faster processor, around 20% of IPC according to Intel, and with really important connective improvements that put Intel in the new generation of PCI Express 4.0 components.

Intel Core i9-11900K

Intel’s top-of-the-line has had a hard time over the last year, first defending itself against the Ryzen 3000 and then the Ryzen 5000 with major improvements in their performance per cycle thanks to the introduction of AMD’s Zen3 architecture. Now Intel responds with a processor, the Core i9-11900K in this review, which still takes advantage of a 14nm manufacturing process, but with significant performance improvements per cycle, but curiously with loss of cores compared to the same model of the previous generation.

This is a bit difficult to understand but it seems that Intel’s goal, at least even depending on this manufacturing process, is not to compete with AMD in the number of cores in this domestic LGA1200 socket range but it seems that the goal is to take advantage of everything. possible in TDP of these processors to achieve higher stable working frequencies that translate into higher overall performance that can compete with and outperform the best AMD options currently on the market. 

Today’s review will be dedicated exclusively to analyzing Intel Core i5-11600K vs Intel Core i9-11900K.

Pros and Cons

A major performance improvement per cycleExcellent performance improvement per cycle
Finally PCI Express 4.0 in Intel’s mid-rangeUnbeatable gaming performance
Good turbo frequency management with your own means
Low overclocking capability at temperatures above ambientWe lose two cores, although we will hardly miss them.
It requires new motherboards to develop its PCI Express 4.0 capability.
A processor that requires a good ventilation system

General Info

Intel Core i5 11600KIntel Core i9 11900K
CPU ModelBX8070811600KBX8070811900K
Manufacturing Process14 nm14 nm
Maximum CPU Configuration1S1S
Number of PCIe Lanes20 (Revision 4.0)20 (Revision 4.0)
Release dateMarch 2021March 2021


Unlike the previous generation, these new next-generation models use a power and connectivity system similar to the previous ones, which has allowed Intel to maintain compatibility with the LGA1200 socket and these processors can be mounted both on current motherboards (with Z490 or H470 chipset) with fourth-generation chipsets such as the new fifth-generation chipsets that also introduce interesting connective improvements for users of these new processors.

Among the new chipsets, we can find the new Z590 and H560, as well as other lower-end ones such as the B560, and all of them will be necessary if we want to have a PCI Express signal for the rest of our components. If you keep the old chipset you will not have this connective capacity and you will have to stick to PCI Express 3.0 speeds even though the processor can provide more bandwidth.

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The only chipset that maintains all the capabilities of the processor, such as the configurable internal multiplier, is still the Z variant, although now in the H and B series we will also have memory overclocking capacity, up to more than 4GHz according to Intel, which is something that newer processors can do even dynamically.

The new Intel Z590 chipset has interesting improvements over the Z490, but perhaps less than we might expect. For example, it is still a PCI Express 3.0 chipset, with 24 lines like the Z490, but adds other improvements such as USB connectivity that now allows you to have 3 USB 3.2 Gen2 2×2 ports of 20Gbps of bandwidth.

The chipset maintains the 8x DMI 3.0 bus (8GTs of bandwidth towards the processor) for communication with the processor, it also maintains integration support for CNVi and 2.5GbE and Wifi-6E LAN networks with chipsets as powerful as the new one. Intel Wifi-AX210 triple band. It also maintains the same support for six SATA connectors with RAID modes, the 10 USB 3.1 Gen2 2×1 10Gbps ports, the 10 USB 3.2 Gen1 5Gbps ports and the 14 USB 2.0 type ports. The TDP also remains at 6 watts allowing Intel to continue to maintain fully passive support for its high-end chipsets for these home processors.


These processors feature 2 0 direct-controlled PCI Express 4.0 lanes and a revamped memory controller that now supports higher overclocking frequencies as well as real-time dynamic frequency adjustments. This will also now be accessible in mid-range chipsets such as the H570 and the B560, which make their debut in RAM memory overclocking.

The new chipsets, however, do not differ greatly from the previous generation. We continue with 24 PCI Express 3.0 lanes or the 8x DMI 3.0 bus that produces 8GTs of bandwidth to the processor. However, it lays the foundations for superior peripheral connectivity by adding 3 USB 3.2 Gen2 2×2 ports of 20Gbps of bandwidth and also supporting other technologies such as Thunderbolt 4.0 or USB 4.0.

Another thing that remains the same is the integration support for CNVi and 2.5GbE and Wifi-6E LAN networks with chipsets as powerful as the new Intel Wifi-AX210 triple band. It also maintains the same support for six SATA connectors with RAID modes, the 10 USB 3.1 Gen2 2×1 10Gbps ports, the 10 USB 3.2 Gen1 5Gbps ports and the 14 USB 2.0 type ports. The TDP also remains at 6 watts allowing Intel to continue to maintain fully passive support for its high-end chipsets for these home processors.

This processor that we tested today can be mounted on your Z490 motherboard without the slightest problem, the only important deficiency will be found at the level that you will not be able to take advantage of the full potential of the new generations of graphics and storage units with PCI Express 4.0 interface.

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Number of Cores6 Cores8 Cores
CPU Threads1216
CPU Clock Rate3900MHz3500MHz
Maximum Boost Speed1.3 GHz1.3 GHz
L3 Cache12 MB16MB
CPU Turbo Clock Rate4900MHz5300MHz


Intel has already been in 14nm for so many generations that I have already lost count. This means that these processors are not going to bring us great improvements in frequencies or in overclocking capacity and they are still processors at the limit of their capacities with high working temperatures if we do not place the appropriate means to contain them.

The Core i5s are still the little brothers of the range and do not have access to the more elaborate turbo modes that we can find, for example, in the i9 range that enjoys Turbo Boost 3.0 modes and also TVB (Thermal Velocity Boost) technology. that allows the Core i9 to increase its frequency to 5.3GHz if the thermal situation of the processor and its load allow it.

Apart from this, they do keep all the rest of the great extended features of this generation. We can find, for example, compatibility with the new AI coprocessors integrated in this generation, they also have Hyperthreading technology, support for DDR4 memory overclocking, next-generation graphics based on Intel’s Xe architecture, the new QuickSync Video modes with support. for HDR and ultra high definition in high quality formats such as HEVC / VP9.

But as for the changes between generations, entering the pure and hard data, the most important change between generations will be found in the support for the PCI Express 4.0 interface . These new processors not only double the connective capacity by means of this standard, but also go from 16 lines supported by the processor to a total of 20, which allows to have a graphic in 16x mode and a fully supported 4x high-speed storage unit. by the processor itself regardless of the capabilities of the chipset.

Another important difference, which is not so much in models like these that are intended to be accompanied by a dedicated graphic (if you can get hold of a moderately modern one), is the integrated graphics card that improves substantially with support for Vulkan in its latest versions and also DirectX 12.1 with up to 32 processing units and support also for OpenCL 3.0.

After these important changes, and the extensions for AI and Deeplearning introduced in this generation, in the real day to day the differences are blurred. Both the Core i5-10600k and the Core i5-11600k have 6 cores with 12 threads and the same TDP configurable between 95 and 125w.

The frequency differences are also minimal with a base frequency of 4.1GHz on the Core i5-10600k and 3.9GHz on the new Core i5-11600k. The turbo frequencies do fall on the side of the new one with a maximum of 4.9GHz compared to the 4.8GHz of the Core i5-10600k. Both also support a maximum of 128GB of RAM, but the new one does so with faster memories of 3200MHz, compared to 2933MHz of the previous one, and with real-time overclocking modes that allow you to adjust the memory frequency according to the needs and load of the system in real time.

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The Core i5-11600k the differences between the new and the previous model were clear and were mainly in the improvements of performance per cycle (IPC) and in the connective capacity. The same number of cores, identical TDP, very similar working frequencies, sister processors to which big changes differ, but not in the main numbers that we are used to quickly measure if one processor is faster than another.

With the Core i9-11900k we find ourselves in a somewhat different situation. Both are the highest-end models of their generation, they have similar frequencies and the same TDP. The changes between generation are also the same, with more PCI Express lanes, and now twice as fast, with new more capable and modern graphics and with new Deep Learning and AI capabilities integrated into the processor.

They even have similar operating frequencies and the same turbo features available that include Intel’s Turbo Boost 3.0 technology in addition to TVB (Thermal Velocity Boost) technology that makes both models have a maximum turbo speed, for a few cores. , up to 5.3GHz .

But there is a big difference between these two generations and that is that the tenth generation, the Core i9-10900k has 10 cores and 20 processing threads and Intel has decided to maintain a maximum configuration of 8 cores and 16 processing threads for this generation. With this drop in cores, we also lose 4MB of third-level cache, going from 20MB to 16MB.

On paper, in applications capable of taking advantage of this parallel processing capacity, with a simple rule of three and applying the promised 20% improvement in IPC, we are facing two processors with very similar performance in this type of application.

Memory Support

Maximum Capacity128 GB128 GB
PCIe version4.04.0
ECC MemoryNoNo
Channel ArchitectureDual-ChannelDual-Channel
Maximum Memory Bandwidth50 GB/s50 GB/s

Integrated Graphics

Graphics ChipsetIntel UHD Graphics 750Intel UHD Graphics 750
Maximum Resolution Support5120 x 3200 at 60 Hz5120 x 3200 at 60 Hz
Supported APIsDirectX: 12
OpenGL: 4.6
DirectX: 12
OpenGL: 4.5
Output SupportDisplayPort, HDMIDisplayPort, HDMI
Number of Displays22



Intel has improved a lot, and without the need to change the manufacturing process. This generation adds many new features, some highly anticipated such as PCI Express 4.0, and it does it in the right way.

Their prices should be better, the performance leap between AMD and Intel has been completely reduced to practically nothing, although it depends on the benchmark we use, and AMD currently has a serious problem of availability of its microphones, perhaps now it will be solved because it is clear that in the medium term they will lose sales in favor of Intel unless they have a price adjustment plan or the introduction of new models in the short term.

Be that as it may, Intel now has a Core i5-11600k that is really competitive and that once again encourages the market for home-range processors. This brings benefits for the user and we are sure that we are also beginning to see cheaper PCI Express 4.0 storage units thanks to a higher demand since now both AMD and Intel support this technology in the domestic market. I invite you to also read our review of Intel’s new high-end, the powerful Core i9-11900K .


The Core i9-11900k is a strange processor because the trend is not to go to fewer cores but quite the opposite, although it is also true that the escalation of cores right now has suffered a small stop where manufacturers take advantage of again to try to increase performance per clock cycle.

This architecture has an important improvement in this sense and it is seen in the results, but it also loses two cores that are also felt in applications that are capable of taking advantage of them. If we are going to play then this is an important improvement, if not to think about changing one processor for the other. Be that as it may, Intel has a great processor here for gamers, without a doubt.

The improvement in PCI Express 4.0 connectivity also opens up a new range of high-performance storage units and also provides compatibility with the most modern graphics on the market, if we can get one at a reasonable price. Intel finally has these features, and other important improvements, that do make this generation a much more profound change than in the previous two.