Intel Core i9 11900K vs 10900K: Which is Better for You?

Are you in the market for a top-tier CPU and find yourself torn between the Intel Core i9 11900K and the 10900K? You’re not alone. These two powerhouses represent the pinnacle of Intel’s CPU technology, offering exceptional performance for gamers, creators, and professionals alike. In this introduction, we’ll dive into the ultimate CPU showdown: the Intel Core i9 11900K versus the 10900K. We aim to provide you with a clear comparison, helping you decide which CPU best fits your specific needs and computing demands. Whether you’re looking for raw power, efficiency, or the best value for your money, we’ve got you covered. Join us as we explore the capabilities, features, and performance metrics of these two formidable processors.

Intel’s new flagship processor, the 11900k has been recently released and aims to improve on its prior generation of processors.

This new processor also seeks to compete with its direct competitor the AMD Ryzen 9 5900x.

This article will compare and review two Intel processors the 10th Generation vs. 11th Generation taking all the relevant statistics and performance benchmarks that are all so 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 are both at the front and take center stage in terms of the largest market shares. Since time immemorial, Intel has AMD have each 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 industry.

Apple Silicon, despite its impressive performances, 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 has been regarded as one of their 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...
  • 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...
  • The processor features Socket LGA-1200 socket for installation on the PCB
  • 16 MB of L3 cache rapidly retrieves the most used data available to improve system performance
  • 14 nm design offers great efficiency for computing, delivers nimble processing with balanced cost,...
  • To boost graphics and visual quality, the chipset has a built in Intel UHD Graphics 750 controller. Supports...
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 significant 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 deal for the gaming community but the minimalization on improvement might hint at Intel prioritizing what sells their processors, gaming. The 11900k, like all new-generation processors, relies on architectural improvements, such as cache, as the major driving force behind performance improvements.

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

Intel has also packaged a new Thermal Boost technology meaning that the overclockers can stretch the processor’s performance.

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

In terms of computer performance, more cores mean increased performance for applications that depend on multiple-core performance such as 3-D rendering, video editing, and music production.

Games are also using more cores but this still lags behind clock speed when it comes to gaming performance.

Both these CPUs are packaged with hyper-thread technology. A single core is split into virtual cores which are then used to increase the processing power of the core.

These virtual cores manage to double the processing power allowing them to run multiple applications in the same core without the risk of a performance drop.

The 10th-generation processor saw a significant improvement in multi-core performance, with the basic models being packaged with more threads than the flagship processor of the previous generation.

The 10900k has 10 cores and 20 threads, these are sufficient 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 require the full core count of 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 is 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 launch of Intel’s new rocket lake architecture.

This new architecture saw 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 in development. 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 a much faster clock speed. The new chip also supports DDR4-2933 RAM.

intel 11th gen architecture

The amount of L3 cache is lower in the new chip as compared to the 10900k, but despite this, the amount allocated to each core is 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 the increased minimums. The Xe architecture also delivers 50% greater integrated graphics power.

Performance Benchmarks

The reduced core count of the 11900k as compared to the 10900k makes it disadvantageous to a great majority of workstation tasks. These applications rely on a multicore performance and this is where the reduced core count comes to bite it.

The i9-11900k when benchmarked ranked below both the 10900k as well as AMD’s Ryzen CPU. It was 4% less effective in comparison to the 10900k and 28% less efficient than AMD’s CPU.

The processor also shows significantly reduced and slower render time in the ADOBE 4K and blender. This processor 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 as compared to the 10900k. However, the new 11900k underperforms the previous generation chips in a few tests.

Lower FPS was seen in games such as The Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Counter-Strike: GO. It, however, narrowly produces a higher FPS in Far Cry 5.

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


At the time of this writing, the assessment is that it all depends on the needs of the consumer.

If you are someone who just does some light gaming on your computer but needs the raw horsepower, then there is no need to shift from the older 10900k. This is because the higher number of cores and threads favor workstation applications that depend on CPU parallel processing.

If you are however looking for a gaming experience, given how new the chip is, my advice is to wait until firmware and BIOS updates reveal the potential of the chip.

About harry

Meet Harry, the "Tech Jester," who combines his passion for PC components and building with an unrivaled sense of humor. Harry has a knack for making even the most complicated technical topics accessible and entertaining. Legend has it that he once managed to build an entire PC using only chopsticks and a roll of duct tape. When he's not busy crafting the perfect punchline or deciphering the latest tech jargon, Harry can be found attempting to beat the world record for the most RGB lights in a single computer case. With Harry on board, you're guaranteed a laugh and a learning experience in every article.

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