Intel Core i9 11900K vs 10900K

April 22, 2021 By:
Intel Core i9 11900K vs 10900K


Intel’s new flagship processor, the 11900k, has been recently released and seeks to improve its previous generation of processors. This new processor also seeks to compete with its major rival, the AMD Ryzen 9 5900x.

This article will compare and review two Intel processors, the 10th gen vs. 11th Gen taking all the relevant statistics and performance benchmarks, which are crucial in processor consideration. This review will look at both the workstation and gaming performance of the processors.

11th generation of intel processors

Intel vs. AMD

In the processor industry, Intel and AMD have been at the forefront and hold the largest share of the market. Since time immemorial, Intel has AMD has taken turns holding the top spot in the processor game.

Intel 11th vs. AMD ryzen

The new release of the i9 11900k provides a new opportunity for Intel to challenge the new Ryzen 5900x. This processor from AMD’s Ryzen-5000 series has recently interrupted Intel’s recent dominant reign in the CPU gaming market. Despite its impressive performances, Apple Silicon is restricted to the Apple ecosystem, making direct comparisons on performance difficult. Could this be the beginning of Intel’s inevitable comeback?

Since its release in 2020, the Intel i9 10900k was considered one of its most powerful processors to date. Being confirmed as Intel’s flagship product, comparisons between the two processors need to be made. The following are the comparisons between the specifications of the 10900k, 11900k, and the AMD Ryzen 9 5900x.

11900K vs. 10900K Specifications

Intel Core i9-10900K Desktop Processor 10 Cores up to 5.3 GHz Unlocked  LGA1200 (Intel 400 Series...
492 Reviews
Intel Core i9-10900K Desktop Processor 10 Cores up to 5.3 GHz Unlocked  LGA1200 (Intel 400 Series...
  • 10 Cores / 20 Threads
  • Socket type LGA 1200
  • Up to 5. 3 GHz unlocked
  • Compatible with Intel 400 series chipset based motherboards
Intel Core i9-11900K Desktop Processor 8 Cores up to 5.3 GHz Unlocked LGA1200 (Intel 500 Series &...
10 Reviews
Intel Core i9-11900K Desktop Processor 8 Cores up to 5.3 GHz Unlocked LGA1200 (Intel 500 Series &...
  • Compatible with Intel 500 series & select Intel 400 series chipset based motherboards
  • Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 Support
  • Intel Optane Memory Support
  • PCIe Gen 4.0 Support
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 12-core, 24-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor
670 Reviews
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 12-core, 24-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor
  • The world's best gaming desktop processor, with 12 cores and 24 processing threads
  • Can deliver elite 100+ FPS performance in the world's most popular games
  • Cooler not included, high-performance cooler recommended
  • 4.8 GHz Max Boost, unlocked for overclocking, 70 MB of cache, DDR-3200 support
Specs Intel i9-10900K Intel i9-11900K AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
Speed (Boost) 3.70 GHz (5.30 GHz) 3.50 GHz (5.30 GHz) 3.70 GHz (4.80 GHz)
Cores (Threads) 10 (20) 8 (16) 12 (24)
L3 Cache 20 MB 16 MB 64 MB
L2 Cache (per core) 256 KB 512 KB 512 KB
L1 Cache (per core) 64 KB 96 KB 64 KB
TDP 125 W 125 W 105W
process size 14 nm 14 nm 7nm
RRP $488 $539 $549
11900K vs. 10900K Specifications

Clock Speed

Clock speed is one of the most crucial factors that determine gaming performance. However, the lack of improvement in clock speeds from the previous generation is among the first things that come to mind when comparing the two processors. The base clock of the 10900k is 3.7 GHz and boosts up to 5.3 GHz under heavy workloads. This is faster than the base clock of the 11900k, which is only 3.5GHz.

The 11900k has a base clock of 3.5 GHz and a boost clock of 5.3 GHz. This is especially a sweet spot for gaming, but the lack of improvement might hint at Intel prioritizing what sells their processors, gaming. The 11900k, like all new generation processors, rely on architectural improvements, such as cache, as the major driving force behind performance improvements.

Both CPUs, though, guarantee an advantage over opponents with the fast response times and seamless gameplay, even with increased game pacing and CPU loads.

Intel has also packaged a new Thermal Boost technology meaning overclockers can stretch the performance of the processor. This, however, should be taken with a grain of salt as overclocking should always be done at the risk of damaging your processor.

intel core processor 1

Cores and Threads

More cores mean increased performance for applications that depend on multi-core performance such as 3-d rendering, video editing, and music production in terms of computer performance. Games are also using more cores, but this still lags behind clock speed in gaming performance.

Both these CPUs are equipped with hyper-thread technology. A single core is essentially split into virtual cores, which are then used to increase the core’s processing power. These virtual cores provide double the processing power allowing them to run multiple applications in the same core without a drop in performance.

The 10th Gen processor saw a significant improvement in multi-core performance, with the basic models being equipped with more threads than the flagship processor of the previous generation. The 10900k has 10 cores and 20 threads, more than enough to handle most gaming tasks. It also has additional power for those heavy workstation tasks. The 11900k has 2 fewer cores and 4 fewer threads. This is a shift in Intel’s strategy opting for efficiency in designing and use of their chips. This is because most games don’t even use the full core count of the 10900k.

As a result, the 10900k is the preferred option for workstations due to a larger core and thread count. While better gaming performance and energy consumption are the selling point for the 11900k, having more cores future-proofs your computer saving you the need to upgrade your setup after only a few years.

intel core processor 2

CPU Architecture

After 5 years of arguably stagnant architecture from Intel, the new 11900k saw the debut of Intel’s new rocket lake architecture. This new architecture saw the introduction of the new PCIe 4.0 connection, which is also backward compatible. This means it can work with the older LGA 1200 socket or the new X590 chipset, which is still developing. This makes it also able to support the newer DDR-3200 RAM. Double Data Rate RAM allows for sending signals to the memory twice in a clock cycle, making processing faster. This is similar to AMD Ryzen, which supports the same features.

The chip is built using 14 nm chips, offering improvement from the previous 10900k with two extra cores and faster clock speeds. The new chip also supports DDR4-2933 RAM.

intel 11th gen architecture

The amount of L3 cache is lower in the new chip than the 10900k, but despite this, the amount allocated to each core is essentially the same due to the reduced number of cores. The amount of L2 cache memory was increased by 1005 in the newer 11900k to 512Kb, and Level 1 Cache increased to 96kb. This was compared to 256Kb and 64Kb in the 10900k for level 2 and 1 cache, respectively. This is to make gameplay much smoother due to increased minimums. The Xe architecture also delivers 50% greater integrated graphics power.

Performance Benchmarks

The reduced core count of 11900k compared to the 10900k makes it disadvantageous at most workstation tasks. These applications rely on multicore performance, which is where the reduced core count comes to bite it. The i9-11900k, when benchmarked, fell short of both the 10900k and AMD’s Ryzen CPU. It was 4% less effective than the 10900k and 28% less effective than AMD’s CPU. The processor also shows significantly slower render time in ADOBE 4K and blender. This processor, although excelled in processes requiring single-core performance.

intel i9-11900k vs 10900k performance Benchmarks

The specs before launch suggested that the newer 11900k had a 32% greater efficiency compared to the 10900k. The new 11900k underperforms the older generation chips in some of the tests ran. Lower FPS was seen in games such as Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Counter-Strike: GO. It, however, narrowly produces higher FPS in Far cry 5.

Given how new the chip is, this could be the result of compatibility issues. Further BIOS and firmware updates could, in theory, unlock the true potential of this chip.


At the time of writing from the results, it depends on the consumer’s needs. If you do some lite gaming on your computer but need raw horsepower, there is no need to shift from the older 10900k. This is because the higher number of cores and threads favor workstation applications dependent on CPU parallel processing. However, if you are looking for a gaming experience, given how new the chip is, my advice is to wait until firmware and BIOS updates reveal the chip’s potential.

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