The Intel Core i7-11700K (£399 MSRP), is the desktop CPU with eight cores and 16 threads that the Core i9-11900K should be. Although the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X beats it in performance, the Core i7-11700K is still a good choice. The Core i7-11700K’s reasonable pricing (especially if it can be found at a discount) prevents the contest from becoming a runaway.
The Core i7-11700K is clear of the many BIOS issues we encountered while testing the Core i9-11900K, but it shows that Intel has some platform maturity and can still compete with other desktop processors. It is a difficult task to compare the Intel Core i7-11700K with the Editors Choice award-winning Ryzen 7-5800X. The AMD processor is superior to the Core i7-11700K except for price and single-core boost limits.
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This includes a 105-watt TDP (versus Core i7’s 125-watt rating), a 32MB L3 cache and compatibility to AMD’s venerable Socket AMD4 (although motherboard support is less reliable with 5000 Series CPUs than the cheaper 3000 Series). If you are looking for a gaming processor and have a limited budget, the Intel Core i5-11400F is a good choice.
The processor doesn’t come with its own GPU so it must be paired up with a graphics card. This saves money over the standard i5-11400. Although we have not reviewed this processor, the specs indicate that it offers the greatest proportional jump in performance among the 11th Gen desktop series. It is also compatible with most high-end graphics cards, such as the Nvidia RTX 3080, which can be used to play most games.
A PS150 CPU can be used with a GPU for as low as PS649 to PS2000 depending on when and where you are looking. Hardcore PC gamers will disagree. This is because the Intel Core i4-11400F processor is not unlocked, so it can’t be properly overclocked. It’s still a great buy for many. Core i7 chipsets are more powerful than Core i5 series. The Core i9 chipsets, as you can guess, are more powerful than the i7s.
The Intel Core i7-11700K processor is $399 and fits into Intel’s Rocket Lake product line at a price that’s comparable to two AMD Ryzen 5000 processors. Although the 11700K’s price should make it attractive if you are looking for the best performance from an Intel platform without spending a lot, it is up against the AMD chips that dominate our list of Best CPUs (at retail).
The first new architecture of desktop PC chips from Intel in six years is Cypress Cove. This gives the Rocket Lake chips an IPC increase of 19% in most workloads. The Cypress Cove, which was originally designed for 10nm, has a major drawback: Rocket Lake is still etched onto the 14nm process. It can run on eight cores and 16 threads.
This is a significant step down from the 10-core Comet Lake I9 models, and pales in comparison with AMD’s 16-core Ryzen9 5950X flagship. Rocket Lake’s 19% IPC increase largely offsets performance losses from the reduced core count. However, it left Intel in a difficult spot as it carved out its product stack into Core i9 or Core i7 families. Both series are able to use the same eight cores.
The Core i7-11700K, at $399, is a lower-end Core i9-11900K that has the same eight cores (16 threads) as the flagship Core i9-11900K. You can also save money by choosing the graphics-less Core I7-11700KF, which is identical in all other aspects and costs $374. This leaves a $75 difference between the Ryzen 7 5800X and the 11700K, which doesn’t include an integrated graphics engine.
Intel has always either updated the microarchitecture or upgraded the process node technology in previous generations. This process is known as Tick-Tock. Initial plans were for Intel to perform a normal “Tick” after Kaby Lake. Cannon Lake would then have the same Skylake microarchitecture move up to 10nm. Cannon Lake was only a laptop processor that could run graphics on a few notebooks in China, and it was a mess.
Intel decided to refocus its 10nm processors for notebooks in the hope that the same advances would be available to desktop. However, the company had to make minor updates to desktop products from Coffee Lake onwards in order to maintain the product line. Intel realized that it would need to incorporate both a new architecture as well as a new process node leap into one product cycle.
Intel realized, however, that the point of intercept with a new microarchitecture was not the same as the jump for desktop to 10nm. This was at a moment when Intel’s main competitor started to talk about a new product which could achieve parity in single core performance. These important product lines would need to continue to exist, so drastic measures were necessary.
We believe that Intel decided to take the 10nm Ice Lake core microarchitecture design, which was not able to reach high frequencies under desktop power, as well as repackage it for the 14nm node, which can reach the required absolute performance numbers. This is called a “backport”. The quad-core SoC Intel Core i7-1165G7 was designed for sleeker laptops.
In September 2020, the Tiger Lake-UP3 processor went on sale. It has four Hyper-Threading-enabled Willow Cove cores running at 2.8 GHz (base clock speed @ 28 W TDP) Boosting up to 4.7 GHz (single-core Boost frequency). The frequency of the all-core Boost frequency in this model is 4.1 GHz. At launch, the i7 was second fastest in the TGL-UP3 lineup. Core i7-1185G7 is more expensive.
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Its base clock speed and Boost clock speeds are 200 MHz faster, while its iGPU Iris Xe G7 iGPU runs at 1,350 MHz. The brand-new Gen 12 architecture is used to create the Iris Xe Graphics G7 (96 EUs). It’s much faster than the Iris Plus G7 (Ice Lake), and even the UHD Graphics 620(Comet Lake). Core i7’s Xe GPU runs at 400 MHz to 1300 MHz.
The 96 EU Xe iGPUs can drive up 4 monitors simultaneously at resolutions up to SUHD 4320p. Additionally, the integrated video decoder can handle AVC, HEVC and VP9 video streams. Gaming performance is comparable with entry-level discrete GPU cards like the Nvidia GeForce MX350. This surpasses anything we have seen so far on an AMD APU.
The Core i7-11700KF and i7-11700KF are different from the i9-11900K/KF due to slightly lower clock speeds, and the absence of Thermal Velocity Boost or Adaptive Boost. Thermal Velocity Boost, which is essentially an extra Turbo multiplier, but Adaptive Boost, which was noted in our i9-11900K Review, unlocks additional boost bins across any workload thread-count, particularly higher-threaded ones.
You still have the Core i9’s overclocking capabilities, but the i7-11700KF has not been unlocked. Intel has been releasing SKUs in the retail channel with the “F” brand extension for the past few generations. We’re currently reviewing the i7-11700KF.