On March 30th, 2021 Intel unleased the press and we were able to bring you our reviews of the new Intel 11th Gen Core Desktop Processors 11th Gen Rocket Lake. We brought you our full Intel Core i9-11900K CPU Review. In that review, we covered a lot of synthetic benchmarks, games, and tested in multi-threading and single-threading performance. We also included results showing Intel Adaptive Boost both enabled and disabled on the Intel Core i9-11900K CPU. Be sure to check out that review and be sure to read our 11th Gen Core Desktop Processor information article.
In today’s review, we now bring you our full Intel Core i5-11600K CPU review. This CPU is geared more for the mainstream. Whereas RCP pricing on the Core i9-11900K is $539 the Intel Core i5-11600K has an RCP of just $262. This is the CPU that is going to appeal mostly to the mainstream performance user who still needs and wants more than a 4 core CPU with integrated graphics.
Intel Core i5-11600K Specifications
Before we dive into performance, let’s do a brief recap of the specifications. The Intel Core i5-11600K CPU is a 6 core/12 thread CPU. Therefore, it offers more than 4 cores and only two less than the i9 series. This is a good middle ground of performance. The base clock frequency is 3.9GHz but it supports Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0. This allows it to boost up to 4.9GHz. The Intel All Core Turbo Frequency is quoted at 4.6GHz.
It has 12MB of cache and a Thermal Design Power of 125W. Yes, that is quite a high-power limit for this CPU, but that is done to attain the higher peak and all core frequency with this architecture. The “K” version is also unlocked for overclocking.
It does support DDR4-3200 Gear 2 officially; however, you can actually set the RAM in the BIOS of the motherboard to operate at Gear 1 and 3200MHz. It works, we tried it. Otherwise, officially DDR4-2933 runs at Gear 1. It also contains the new Intel Xe UDH Graphics 750. With the new integrated Intel Xe graphics from Tiger Lake, it will be appealing to computer builds that don’t need discrete graphics.
When looking at the comparative CPU from the competition we have to look at the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X. That CPU also has a 6 core/12 thread configuration and it is priced at $299. Therefore, pricing will be close between the CPUs in a normal pricing environment. In fact, the Intel i5-11600K should actually have the price advantage and be priced cheaper.
Intel provided us with a full retail ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XIII HERO Z590 motherboard. This motherboard is based on the new Intel Z590 chipset so we have fully support for every new feature and the best chance of attaining the most performance possible. We did update our BIOS prior to testing, Intel provided press with BIOS version 0610 which had microcode updates.
Installation of the CPU went flawlessly. You can see ours is labeled INTEL CORE i5-11600K SRKNU 3.90GHZ X052L718. The CPU looks just like the previous generation on the outside. It has the same LGA 1200 socket and pins. The cooling solution we are using is an NZXT Kraken X63 280mm AIO.
Default CPU Frequency
Before we begin to show you performance, let us show you what we experienced in terms of all-core frequency.
You can see here that all cores are boosting to 4.6GHz at full-load. This is the quoted Intel All Core Turbo Frequency, so it appears to be working just as advertised.
We also tried single-threading to see what one core would boost at. We found it maxed out at 4.85GHz on a single-core. That is right at the quoted 4.9GHz single-core boost.
You can see above that we are running at 3200MHz DDR4 speed at Gear 1, 1:1 ratio of system bus and memory bus.