After the first initial batch of leaks coming from Chinese websites and YouTube channels, Intel has gone ahead and made a pre-announcement for their new 11th generation CPUs and Z590 motherboards that are set to release by the end of the first quarter of 2021.
From what we’ve seen, it appears that Intel is primed to double-down on creating a single-core optimized and gaming-focused processor, instead of trying to compete with AMD in creating an all-around powerful CPU. So, a pretty disappointing generation of CPUs for workstation PC-builders, from both Intel and AMD, but an exciting time for PC gamers. The real question is: Are the upgrades significant enough to warrant waiting for the release of this new model, in comparison to existing CPUs of the same price? Well, let’s take a look at some of the leaked benchmarks and find out.
Firstly, the i7-11700K is likely to have the same number of cores as its super i9-11900K, which will also rock eight Cypress Cove cores and 16 threads. According to ChaoWanke and ChipHell, the i9-11900K will show a 20% increase in single-core performance in comparison with its last generation equivalent, and 9% when compared to AMD’s Ryzen 9 5900X. Now, rumors are that the i7-11700K will, naturally, have slightly lower clock speeds than the i9-11900K, at 3.4 GHz (elsewhere rumored to be 3.5 GHz) and 5 GHz (single core OC) – versus the 3.5 GHz and 5.3 GHz frequencies of the i9-11900K. Of course, these values are not the most reliable, considering that the i7-10700K has a base frequency of 3.8 GHz and a turbo frequency of 5.1 GHz. The i7-10700K will most likely have an equivalently high 125 W TDP, but will be able to – finally – support 3,200 MHz DDR4 memory types.
In terms of benchmarks, we have the Greekbench 4 results which show the i7-11700K achieving a single-core score of 7,857 and a multi-core score of 42,011. This is 27% faster than the 6,186 score of the i7-10700K in single-core speed, and 22% faster than its 34,267 multi-core speed. Then again, this is only an 8% increase in single-core speed when compared to the Ryzen 7 5800X’s single-core score, and a 0.07% faster multi-core score.
When it comes to PassMark single-thread performance, the i7-11700K achieves a score of 3,548, which again is only 1% faster than the Ryzen 7 5800X, though 15% faster than the previous generation i7-10700K.
All in all, the generational leap is substantial, as the i7-11700K does outperform its i7-10700K heavily, but when compared to AMD’s Zen 3 Ryzen 5,000 Series CPUs, the differences are ultimately nominal. However, what would make the i7-11700K desirable, would be a competitive price and good availability. Despite it being months after the release of AMD’s new processors, they are still hard to find, which Intel can potentially capitalize on. It is important to note, that when it comes to the price, AMD may also be releasing a Ryzen 7 5700X model that would be priced in between the Ryzen 5 5600X and the Ryzen 7 5800X – and chances are it would have a 65 W TDP. Because the i7-10700K still carries the 125 W TDP of its predecessor, it may end up being more expensive, in the long run, than the initial cost-difference between it the Ryzen 7 5700X, or Ryzen 5 5600X.
So, the price reveal of the new generation of Intel CPUs is definitely worth the wait, especially given the scarcity of Zen 3 processors – which will make the hold compulsory for most, either way.