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Intel Core i5-11600K Review: Overkill CPU Power For Most Gamers?
If we look at the history of gaming CPUs, Intel tops the charts. However, the competition has stiffened in the last few years with the Ryzen series of CPUs coming into the picture. Nonetheless, Intel still offers CPUs with higher clock speeds and the best single-core performance, which is more important for gaming.
- Best-in-class single core performance
- Supports 20 PICe Gen4 lanes
- Peak CPU clock speed of 4.9GHz
- Still uses last gen integrated graphics
We recently reviewed the Intel Core i9-11900K, which is one of the most powerful consumer-grade gaming CPUs. Today, we are checking out the Intel Core i5-11600K, a mid-range CPU, which retails for Rs. 24,400 at the time of drafting this review.
Say you are building a mid-range gaming RIG, does the Intel Core i5-11600K offers sufficient CPU performance, or do you need to step up your game and get a Core i7/Core i9 or even something from the 3rd Gen Ryzen? Here is the review of the Intel Core i5-11600K, which should give you an idea about the capabilities of this new desktop CPU from Intel.
Intel Core i5-11600K Specifications
- Number Of Cores: 6
- Number of Threads: 12
- Base Clock Speed: 3.90GHz
- Boost Clock Speed: 4.90GHz
- Total L3 Cache: 12MB
- PCI Express Version: PCIe 4.0
- CMOS: 14nm
- Package: FCLGA1200
- TDP: 125W
The 11th Gen Rocket Lake Intel Core i5-11600K replaces the 10th Gen Comet Lake Intel Core i5-10600K. It maintains the same core count (six) and is based on the same 14nm fabrication. Intel has lowered the base clock speed of the 11th Gen CPU from 4.1GHz to 3.9GHz. However, the Core i5-11600K offers a boost clock speed of 4.9GHz, which makes it 100MHz faster than the Core i5-10600K.
The processor has a TDP of 125W and it can be configured down to 95W, which does lower down the base clock speed to 3.6GHz instead of the regular 3.9GHz. Next, Intel has upgraded the dedicated GPU on the Core i5-11600K, which now packs the Intel UHD Graphics 750 with a max graphics frequency of 1.3GHz.
It still supports up to 128GB DDR4 RAM, now with up to 3200MT/s.
Lastly, it also gets PCIe Gen4 support with up to 20 PICe lanes, which helps to use the latest SSDs and graphics cards at their maximum memory bandwidth.
By looking at the changes Intel has brought in, it is pretty evident that the company has made the Core i5-11600K a more efficient CPU, as it consumes less power while operating at the base clock speed. Similarly, the CPU can operate at a higher clock speed while gaming and other intensive tasks.
In this generational upgrade, Intel seems to have worked on optimizing the product rather than offering on-paper specs bump just for the name's sake. We definitely like the direction that Intel is going. However, the company should have switched to a 10nm or even 7nm fabrication like the AMD counterpart to make this CPU more efficient.
Intel Core i5-11600K Vs AMD Ryzen 5 3500
Both Intel and AMD have a range of CPUs with similar capabilities. One of AMD's offerings that can give tough competition to the Intel Core i5-11600K is the AMD Ryzen 5 3500, which is also a six-core CPU. However, unlike the Core i5-11600K, the Ryzen 5 3500 does not support hyperthreading, which means, it is not as good as Intel's offering when it comes to tasks that depend on multi-threading.
On Geekbench 5 CPU benchmark test, the Intel Core i5-11600K is a clear winner in both single-core and multi-core CPU tests. The same goes for the Cinebench benchmark as well, where Intel's offering comes out as a clear winner when compared to the Ryzen 5 3500.
On Geekbench 5, the Intel Core i5-11600K scores 1587 points while the Ryzen 5 3500 scores 1137 points. Similarly, on the multi-core benchmark the Ryzen 5 3500 scores 4656 points while the Core i5-11600K scores 7537 points, which is almost double that of the AMD's offering.
When we compared the price to specs ratio, the Ryzen 5 3500 is around Rs. 7,000 to Rs. 8,000 cheaper than the Intel Core i5-11600K. However, there is definitely around 30 percent performance difference, which makes Intel's offering a good choice in the mid-range CPU space.
Intel Core i5-11600K Vs Intel Core i9-11900K
Though it is not fair to compare a top-of-the-line product that costs almost thrice the Core i5-11600K's price, we just want to give our users an idea of the performance difference between these two CPUs. Even before running these benchmarks, we already knew that the Core i9-11900K was superior. However, as said before, that's not the point of this comparison.
On the single-core Geekbench 5 test, the Intel Core i5-11600K scores 1587, and the scores go up to 7537 on the multi-core test on the same benchmark. Similarly, the Intel Core i9-11900K scores 1796 points and 9764 points on the same Geekbench 5 single-core and multi-core tests. These results confirm that there is a little over 20 percent price difference between these two CPUs.
The same applies to the other benchmarks like CPU-Z and the Cinebench R23. These results confirm that the Intel Core i5-11600K is plenty powerful for most users. However, there are definitely some users, who might want that extra 20 percent performance, for which they have to pay the premium price associated with that product.
Intel Core i5-11600K Synthetic Benchmark
Our test bench for the Intel Core i9-11900K and the Core i5-11600K was identical with the same motherboard (Asus ROG Maximum XIII Hero), the same amount of RAM (16GB DDR4), same memory (256GB NVMe SSD), and the same graphics card (RTX 2060 Super). Benchmark platforms like 3DMark and PCMark should also give us a hint of how powerful is the Core i5-11600K and the performance difference between the two.
On PCMark 10, the Intel Core i5-11600K posted an overall score of 7432, which is just a few points less than the score posted by the Core i9-11900K. On various tasks like essential, productivity, and content creation, the scores posted by the Core i5-11600K are pretty much close to the Core i9-11900K.
Intel Core i5-11600K Synthetic Benchmark
On the 3D Mark Time Spy test, the Intel Core i5-11600K logged an overall score of 8507 points, again, almost similar to the Core i9-11900K, where the Core i9-11900K is leading the chart with just a few points. The benchmark also confirms that the CPU can easily handle games like Battlefield 5 at 1440p with an average fps of 80.
Intel Core i5-11600K Gaming Performance
If you are considering buying the Core i5-11600K, then you might be thinking about gaming, right? We feel that the Core i5-11900K is an excellent CPU for gaming, and the gaming benchmark can back up our claim. On Superposition 4K benchmark test, the system posts 6643 points with an average FPS of 50.
Do note that, in this case, the RTX 2060 Super is the actual bottleneck and not the Intel Core i5-11600K. We also ran the built-in benchmark on the Shadow of the tomb raider, where it offered an average FPS of 72, which is exactly identical to the average FPS from the same gaming setup, equipped with the Intel Core i9-11900K.
Lastly, on GTA: 5, the computer did offer over 90fps at 1080p resolution. These numbers do indicate that the Intel Core i5-11600K is a pretty powerful CPU for gamers, who plan to play games at 1080p or 1440p with a graphics card similar to the RTX 2060 Super or even the RTX 3060.
However, if you plan on getting a GPU like the RTX 3080, 3080 Ti, or even the RTX 3090, then going with the Intel Core i9-11900K makes a lot more sense. One should get more information on the same when we publish the review of the RTX 3080 Ti, which will be tested along with the Core i5-11600K and the Core i9-11900K.
Verdict: Most Versatile CPU For Most Users
The Intel Core i5-11600K is a processor that is made for the masses. This processor can offer enough performance at a competitive price, where, you definitely won't notice any slowdown while playing games or doing intensive tasks. However, this might not impress enthusiasts, who might want to get top-tier performance and top the benchmark charts.
Building a good 1440p capable RIG with a budget of under Rs. 75,000 to 1,00,000 is where the Intel Core i5-11600K comes into play. You spend a quarter of your budget on the CPU, half of the budget on a GPU like the RTX 3060 or the 3060 Ti, and the rest of the budget on other components like motherboard, RAM, storage, case, and power supply.
Pair this CPU with the RTX 3060/3060 Ti or even the RX 6700, where, you will have a great machine that can easily offer over 60fps on most AAA titles with medium to high graphics settings. The Intel Core i5-11600K is definitely a value-for-money mid-range CPU that most gamers might want.