Intel Core i9-11900K Review: The Best Intel Core i9 CPU Ever?

3 min read

Intel's Rocket Lake 11th-generation desktop CPUs are the chip giant's latest attempt to compete with AMD's Ryzen 5000 series in high-end gaming and productivity. 

The 11900K has 125 W TDP, 16 MB L3 cache, and 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes. But does it work well with the best Intel Core i9 in real life and justify its $539 price? This review will compare the 11900K to AMD and Intel's previous-generation competitors in benchmarks and games.

Specifications and Features

The 11900K leverages Rocket Lake architecture and backported 10 nm Sunny Cove cores from Ice Lake mobile processors. The 11900K had a greater IPC than the 10th-generation Comet Lake CPUs, which employed 14 nm Skylake cores. Intel claims a 19% IPC gain, which boosts performance at the same clock speed. The 11900K features 8 cores instead of the 10900K's ten due to the backporting process limiting the amount of cores on the 14 nm device.

The 11900K has a new integrated graphics unit, Intel UHD Graphics 750, based on Tiger Lake mobile GPUs' Xe architecture. The 10900K's UHD 630 is much slower than the UHD 750's 32 execution units and 1.3 GHz clock speed. The 11900K's integrated graphics performance isn't awe-inspiring because most gamers and enthusiasts will use a standalone graphics card.

PCIe 4.0 speeds up data flow between the CPU, GPU, and SSDs in the 11900K. The 11900K offers 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes, 16 for graphics cards and 4 for storage. The 11900K can use the latest PCIe 4.0 SSDs, including the Samsung 980 Pro, which can read and write at 7,000 and 5,000 MB/s. PCIe 4.0 requires a motherboard with the Z590 or B560 chipset.

The 11900K, like the 10900K and Ryzen 5000 series, supports DDR4-3200 memory. The 11900K's dual-channel memory controller limits bandwidth to 51.2 GB/s, compared to Ryzen Threadripper CPUs' quad-channel controllers, which can reach 102.4 GB/s. The 11900K supports Intel Optane Memory, which caches the primary HDD with a tiny SSD, increasing system loading and speed.

Turbo Boost Max 3.0, Thermal Velocity Boost, and Adaptive Boost target overclockers and enthusiasts in the 11900K. These technologies let the CPU enhance its clock speed beyond the rated specs based on workload, temperature, and power. 

Turbo Boost Max 3.0 enhances the two best-performing CPU cores to 5.3 GHz, while Thermal Velocity Boost boosts all cores to 5.1 GHz if the CPU temperature is below 70 °C. The new Adaptive enhance technology can enhance the all-core boost to 5.2 GHz with suitable power headroom and cooling capacity. These features increase CPU power consumption and heat production, requiring a robust power supply and high-end cooling.

Benchmarks and Performance

To test the performance of the 11900K, we used the following system configuration:

  • CPU: Intel Core i9-11900K
  • Motherboard: Asus ROG Maximus XIII Hero
  • Memory: 32 GB (2x16 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
  • SSD: Samsung 980 Pro 1 TB
  • PSU: Corsair RM850x 850 W
  • Cooler: Noctua NH-D15
  • OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit


Buy Intel Core i9 as it is the finest Intel Core i9 CPU ever, but not for everyone. For the best gaming and single-core performance, use the 11900K. The AMD Ryzen 9 5900X may be ideal if you want a more balanced and adaptable CPU that can handle gaming and productivity duties.

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Shantnu Singh 20
Hi there! This is Shantnu Singh. I am a Freelancer. I love to Blogging. I would love to connect with everyone here. On a relaxing Sunday afternoon you will find...
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