Intel Core i5-11600Ok overview: putting again at AMD’s Ryzen 5 5600X

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After their 10th Gen Comet Lake CPUs bought effectively and actually whomped by AMD’s Ryzen 5000 collection on the finish of final 12 months, Intel have come again preventing with the launch of their 11th Gen Rocket Lake CPUs. With correct PCIe 4.zero assist throughout the board, reminiscence overclocking out there on extra motherboard chipsets than ever earlier than, in addition to some welcome enhancements to its directions per clock efficiency, Rocket Lake lastly looks like an Intel platform that is value upgrading to – particularly when the continued {hardware} shortages have put fairly the premium on their Ryzen rivals. Certainly, with Ryzen 5 5600X costs at present hovering across the £350 / $375 mark, the £250 / $270 Intel Core i5-11600Ok actually seems a heck of much more engaging by comparability for brand spanking new PC builders in the meanwhile.

Nonetheless, very like their 10th Gen Comet Lake counterparts earlier than them, Rocket Lake nonetheless looks like one thing of a midway home for Intel, as they’re additionally resulting from be launching their much more superior 12th Gen Alder Lake chips within the second half of this 12 months.

These will lastly transfer Intel onto their a lot anticipated 10nm manufacturing course of (Rocket Lake continues to be successfully utilizing a form of 14nm course of, utilizing the identical 10nm design as their 10th Gen Sunny Cove laptop computer CPUs, however back-ported to 14nm), bringing with it much more efficiency and have enhancements than what we have got right here with Rocket Lake. The latter is broadly anticipated to incorporate DDR5 RAM assist, in addition to the even quicker PCIe 5.zero commonplace, however it could additionally see the introduction of one more new motherboard socket in consequence, making it much less simple to improve should you purchase in now.


In equity, with widespread assist for PCIe 4.zero nonetheless in its early phases in the meanwhile, it’s going to most likely be couple of years but earlier than Alder Lake’s alleged characteristic set actually comes into its personal (to not point out DDR5 RAM and PCIe 5.zero SSD costs turning into even vaguely reasonably priced). From a characteristic set / future-proofing standpoint, then, it is most likely nonetheless pretty much as good a time as any to improve your motherboard and CPU should you really feel like your PC might do with a little bit of a refresh, significantly now that Rocket Lake is lastly on a stage enjoying area with AMD’s Ryzen 5000 collection.

For most individuals, that new CPU improve will probably be Intel’s Core i5-11600Ok, the most recent model of their overclockable mid-range gaming chip. Just like the Core i5-10600Ok earlier than it, it is a 6-core, 12-thread processor with a excessive TDP (or thermal design energy) of 125W, so you will want to use respectable cooling to get essentially the most out of it. The Core i5-11600Ok has a barely decrease base clock pace of three.9GHz in comparison with the 4.1GHz beginning pace of the 10th Gen 10600Ok, however Intel have raised its most Turbo Enhance clock pace to 4.9GHz, giving it an additional 100MHz to play with over its predecessor.

Which may not sound like a lot on paper, however Rocket Lake’s architectural enhancements have introduced some fairly spectacular beneficial properties to its normal on a regular basis desktop efficiency. Within the single core check of Cinebench R20, for instance, the Core i5-11600Ok’s rating of 578 was 19% quicker than its 10th Gen predecessor, whereas its multicore rating of 4093 was 17% quicker. These beneficial properties solely widened after I enabled my RAM’s 4000MHz XMP profile, too, with its single core efficiency rising to 21% quicker than the 10600Ok, reaching a rating of 593, whereas its multicore speeds rose to 19% quicker at 4246.


A graph showing how Intel's 11th Gen Rocket Lake CPUs compare against AMD's Ryzen 5000 CPUs and Intel's 10th Gen Comet Lake CPUs in Cinebench's single core benchmark

A graph showing how Intel's 11th Gen Rocket Lake CPUs compare against AMD's Ryzen 5000 CPUs and Intel's 10th Gen Comet Lake CPUs in Cinebench's multicore benchmark

That is fairly good going, all issues thought of, however while you examine these scores to AMD’s Ryzen 5 5600X, that stop-gap feeling begins to rear its head once more. Certainly, when the Ryzen 5 5600X can handle respective scores of 595 and 4289 with out the help of my RAM’s 4000MHz XMP profile, the Core i5-11600Ok has solely actually closed the hole that was created by AMD on the finish of final 12 months, slightly than surpassing it.

This turns into all of the extra obvious while you have a look at the Core i5-11600Ok’s gaming efficiency, too. With that 4000MHz XMP profile enabled, the 11600Ok was in a position to match the Ryzen 5 5600X just about beat for beat in each recreation in my testing suite, each at 1080p the place your PC is most certainly to be CPU restricted, and at greater resolutions comparable to 1440p and 4K. I’ve solely included my 1080p outcomes for the aim of this overview, although, as that is the place your CPU makes the largest distinction. At greater resolutions, it is your graphics card that is going to be the limiting consider your PC’s gaming efficiency, and even the would possibly of Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Ti nonetheless makes any graph simply be one huge straight line of equivalent outcomes throughout the board.


A graph showing how Intel's 11th Gen Rocket Lake CPUs compare against AMD's Ryzen 5000 CPUs and Intel's 10th Gen Comet Lake CPUs at 1920x1080, at a RAM speed of 4000MHz

A graph showing how Intel's 11th Gen Rocket Lake CPUs compare against AMD's Ryzen 5000 CPUs and Intel's 10th Gen Comet Lake CPUs at 1920x1080, at a RAM speed of 4000MHz

With out that XMP profile, nonetheless, the Core i5-11600Ok fell behind its Ryzen rival, and infrequently wasn’t a lot quicker than its 10th Gen predecessor. The Ryzen 5 5600X, alternatively, carried out kind of equally effectively no matter RAM pace, and its decrease TDP of simply 65W means it would not want such aggressive cooling to hit the identical form of efficiency ranges, both. Certainly, all of the Ryzen 5 5600X outcomes talked about on this overview had been obtained utilizing its commonplace AMD Wraith Stealth cooler that comes within the field. My Intel outcomes, alternatively, had been carried out utilizing my slightly beefy Corsair iCue H150i RGB Professional XT water cooler.


A graph showing how Intel's 11th Gen Rocket Lake CPUs compare against AMD's Ryzen 5000 CPUs and Intel's 10th Gen Comet Lake CPUs at 1920x1080, at a RAM speed of 2133MHz

A graph showing how Intel's 11th Gen Rocket Lake CPUs compare against AMD's Ryzen 5000 CPUs and Intel's 10th Gen Comet Lake CPUs at 1920x1080, at a RAM speed of 2133MHz

On this gentle, the Core i5-11600Ok seems a tad disappointing. Whereas it actually rises to the problem of assembly the kind of gaming efficiency provided by our present finest CPU for gaming choose, the Ryzen 5 5600X, it is solely ready to take action by consuming considerably extra energy, and by pairing it with quicker, costlier RAM and a beefier (and in addition costlier) cooling answer. In fact, the Intel Core i5-11600Ok does have the added benefit of at present being £100 / $100 cheaper than the Ryzen 5 5600X proper now, which for some will little question be sufficient to make its ‘equal’ efficiency value siding with.

It is actually not a nasty selection per se, and I am certain that these of you in want of an improve proper this second might be completely happy with what it has to supply. Nonetheless, with Alder Lake looming on the horizon within the latter half of this 12 months and the continued {hardware} shortages making any form of full next-gen improve nigh on unattainable in the meanwhile, it is nonetheless sufficient to present you pause over whether or not it is actually value making the bounce proper now. If you happen to can cling on for one more six to 9 months, I would strongly suggest doing so, as we’ll have a a lot better concept of what Alder Lake has to supply by then, in addition to what AMD have gotten deliberate for his or her inevitable Ryzen 6000 CPUs. {Hardware} costs could have hopefully returned to regular once more by the tip of the 12 months as effectively, making it a a lot better time to start out excited about a correct next-gen improve.

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