Intel Core i5-11600K Review

Mid-range Desktop processor released in 2021 with 6 cores and 12 threads. With base clock at 3.8GHz, max speed at 4.5GHz, and a 125W power rating. Core i5-11600K is based on the Rocket Lake 14nm family and part of the Core i5 series.
Price 60.6%
Speed 90%
Productivity 79%
Gaming 95%
Category Desktop
Target mid-range
Socket Compatibility LGA 1200
Integrated Graphics
Cooler Included No
Overclock Potential 1 %
Year 2021 Model
Price 262 USD
Number of Cores 6 Cores
Number of Threads 12 Threads
Core Frequency 3.8 GHz
Boost Frequency 4.5 GHz
Max Stable Overclock 4.5 GHz
Power Consumption 125 W
Manufacturing Process 14 nm
L3 Cache 12 MB
Maximum Supported Memory 128 GB
Price-Value Score 60.6 %
Speed Score 90 %
Productivity Score 79 %
Gaming Score 95 %
Max 1080p Bottleneck 11.2 %
Max 1440p Bottleneck 5.6 %
Max 4K Bottleneck 2.8 %
Overall Score 53/100

The Core i5-11600K is one of Intel's mid-range Desktop processors. It was released in 2021 with 6 cores and 12 threads. With base clock at 3.8GHz, max speed at 4.5GHz, and a 125W power rating. The Core i5-11600K is based on the Rocket Lake 14nm family and is part of the Core i5 series.

Core i5-11600K is also the successor of Intel's last gen Core i5-10600K processor that was based on the Comet Lake and 14nm process and was released in 2020.

In our mind, the best processors are the ones that deliver outstanding performance at a reasonable price point. And, the Core i5-11600K absolutely nails this concept.

Speaking of which, if you want a high-end desktop (HEDT) 8-core processor that can compete with the Intel Core i5-11600K, you’re going to have to drop quite a bit more cash and get something like the $399 AMD Ryzen 7 5800X. And, even if you do go with this AMD chip, you won’t necessarily end up with the same level of performance.

That something is the Core i5-11600K. Intel cranks the TDP dial up to 125W on this 6-core 12-thread chip, making it the high-performance counterpart to the 65W Core i5-11500, which is basically the same 14nm chip built with the Rocket Lake microarchitecture, but with a lower TDP rating. That chip came away from our first look at the Rocket Lake series with an Editor's Choice award, going toe-to-toe with AMD's Ryzen 5 5600X, so it's fair to say we have high hopes for the higher-performance model. Intel still hasn't sampled the chip to the press, so we bought one at retail to put it under the microscope.

As the higher-priced version of the Core i5-11500, the Core i5-11600K has higher base and Boost frequencies of 3.8 and 4.5 GHz, respectively. That's an increase in base frequency and a bump to boost clocks, but the real advantage should lay in the higher Package Power Tracking (PPT) envelope, which is a measurement of the maximum amount of power delivered to the socket. The Core i5-11500's PPT tops out at 65W, while the motherboard can pump up to 142W to the Core i5-11600K at peak performance. That opens up much more aggressive boost behavior, on both single and multiple cores, that could widen the performance gap beyond what we see on the spec sheet.

What this all means is that the Intel Core i5-11600K is an absolute beast when it comes to multi-threaded workloads, especially at this price point. If you're counting on doing some video editing or compiling one hell of an Excel spreadsheet, you're going to see firsthand a performance boost with the Core i5-11600K.

The Intel Core i5-11600K is another impressive release from Intel and its 11 Generation of Core i5 chips. With it, you’re getting 6-cores and 12-threads, with a boost clock of 4.5GHz. It may not be the strongest contender ever made on paper, but when you see and feel the actual performance gains it offers, you’re certainly getting a lot of bang for your $262 buck.

If you're mostly playing games on your PC, you will be happy buying either processor. Both proved to be solid options and are evenly matched with a slight advantage to the AMD chip if you don't tune up the Ryzen 5 processor. The base performance we showed for the Core i5-11600K can be achieved with $90 memory, while the Ryzen 5 5600X will require $110 - $120 memory in order to enable the frame rates shown here. It’s not a big cost difference and right now with anything less than an RTX 2070 or Vega 64 you’ll more than likely become GPU limited.

For a 6-core processor, Intel’s $262 flagship Core i5-11600K processor seems downright cheap. On paper, the cost of those 0 extra cores is almost an afterthought when you stack it up against its direct competitor, the $299 6-core AMD Ryzen 5 5600X.

That said, Intel still lags behind in frequency when the Ryzen 7 5800X operates at 4GHz at any given moment and 4.8GHz when push comes to shove.

If extended overclocking and boost frequencies are trivial matters to you, Intel also offers the Core i5-11500 at $192. It’s still outfitted with 6-cores and 12-threads, but clocks in at a slower 3GHz and maxes out at only 4.3GHz.

Now the biggest question is can Intel’s Core i5 processor play games? The answer is simply yes as it got a respectable gaming score of 95% in our benchmarks.

Regardless of those external factors, the Core i5-11600K proves it has the chops to be your main gaming system and a just as effective media creation platform – two things that are becoming intrinsically connected in this age of live-streaming, eSports and uploading gameplay videos.

Which GPU to Pick for Intel Core i5-11600K

Below is a comparison of all graphics cards average FPS performance (using an average of 80+ games at ultra quality settings), combined with the Intel Core i5-11600K.

Graphics Card Price Cost Per Frame Avg 1080p Avg 1440p Avg 4K
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 24GB $ 1,499 $ 5.5 273.7 FPS
214.7 FPS
131.9 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT 16GB $ 999 $ 3.9 256.5 FPS
202.4 FPS
122.3 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT 16GB $ 649 $ 2.7 241.5 FPS
190.6 FPS
115.1 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 20GB $ 799 $ 3.3 238.6 FPS
190.9 FPS
121.6 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 10GB $ 699 $ 2.9 238.5 FPS
187.1 FPS
114.9 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti 10GB $ 599 $ 2.9 204.6 FPS
161.8 FPS
101.2 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 6800 16GB $ 579 $ 3 191.3 FPS
150.9 FPS
91.2 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 8GB $ 499 $ 2.7 182.4 FPS
143.2 FPS
87.9 FPS
NVIDIA TITAN RTX 24GB $ 2,499 $ 14.9 167.5 FPS
135.7 FPS
83.9 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB $ 1,299 $ 8 163.1 FPS
132.2 FPS
81.6 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT 12GB $ 479 $ 3 161 FPS
128 FPS
76.2 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 8GB $ 399 $ 2.7 149.5 FPS
120.4 FPS
75.4 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER 8GB $ 699 $ 4.7 148 FPS
118.7 FPS
73 FPS
NVIDIA TITAN V 12GB $ 2,999 $ 21.1 141.9 FPS
115 FPS
72.5 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 8GB $ 699 $ 5 139.9 FPS
111.1 FPS
67.7 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB $ 759 $ 5.8 131.1 FPS
105.9 FPS
65.1 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER 8GB $ 499 $ 3.8 130.3 FPS
102.3 FPS
62.7 FPS
NVIDIA TITAN Xp 12GB $ 1,199 $ 9.3 128.6 FPS
102.3 FPS
64.3 FPS
AMD Radeon VII 16GB $ 699 $ 5.4 128.6 FPS
101.5 FPS
61.3 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT 8GB $ 399 $ 3.2 125.2 FPS
98.8 FPS
59.6 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 8GB $ 499 $ 4 123.5 FPS
95.6 FPS
59.4 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 12GB $ 329 $ 2.7 122.6 FPS
96.5 FPS
59.8 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER 8GB $ 400 $ 3.4 116.9 FPS
88.9 FPS
54.3 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 5700 8GB $ 349 $ 3 114.7 FPS
90.6 FPS
54.6 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB $ 499 $ 4.5 111.4 FPS
86.6 FPS
52.4 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB $ 350 $ 3.2 110 FPS
81.8 FPS
49 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT 6GB $ 279 $ 2.6 108.2 FPS
84.8 FPS
51 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 295X2 4GB $ 1,499 $ 14.4 104.4 FPS
80 FPS
51.5 FPS
AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 8GB $ 499 $ 4.8 104.1 FPS
82.2 FPS
49.5 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti 8GB $ 409 $ 4 103.2 FPS
80.2 FPS
48.4 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti 6GB $ 249 $ 2.5 100.9 FPS
77.9 FPS
47.8 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X 12GB $ 999 $ 10 100.3 FPS
77.1 FPS
46.5 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB $ 279 $ 2.8 98.2 FPS
76.4 FPS
46 FPS
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 8GB $ 399 $ 4.1 97.6 FPS
76.9 FPS
46.3 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB $ 399 $ 4.2 95 FPS
73.2 FPS
43.8 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER 6GB $ 229 $ 2.5 92.5 FPS
72.1 FPS
43.5 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB $ 649 $ 7.4 87.3 FPS
67.5 FPS
40.7 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 6GB $ 220 $ 2.5 87.1 FPS
67.8 FPS
40.8 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 590 8GB $ 279 $ 3.4 82.7 FPS
62.4 FPS
36.8 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 FURY X 4GB $ 649 $ 8.2 79.3 FPS
64.2 FPS
39.7 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER 4GB $ 160 $ 2.1 75.9 FPS
58.8 FPS
35.4 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB 8GB $ 199 $ 2.6 75.2 FPS
56.7 FPS
33.4 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 4GB $ 549 $ 7.3 74.9 FPS
57.3 FPS
34.8 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB $ 229 $ 3.1 73.3 FPS
55.3 FPS
32.4 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 Nano 4GB $ 649 $ 9 72.1 FPS
57.4 FPS
35.3 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN BLACK 6GB $ 999 $ 14.3 70 FPS
53.1 FPS
33.6 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 FURY 4GB $ 549 $ 8 68.2 FPS
54 FPS
32.8 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB 6GB $ 254 $ 3.7 68 FPS
51.7 FPS
31.2 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB 4GB $ 169 $ 2.5 67.4 FPS
51 FPS
29.9 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 390X 8GB $ 429 $ 6.5 65.6 FPS
51.8 FPS
31.6 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB 3GB $ 170 $ 2.6 64.5 FPS
49.2 FPS
29.7 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 4GB $ 329 $ 5.2 63.4 FPS
47.8 FPS
30 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB $ 400 $ 6.5 61.7 FPS
48.2 FPS
29.8 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 390 8GB $ 329 $ 5.4 61.3 FPS
47.3 FPS
27.2 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 570 4GB $ 169 $ 2.8 60.5 FPS
46.7 FPS
27.5 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB $ 149 $ 2.6 57.8 FPS
44.6 FPS
26.8 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 470 4GB $ 179 $ 3.3 54 FPS
41.9 FPS
25.2 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 380X 4GB $ 229 $ 5 45.4 FPS
34.8 FPS
21.4 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 285 2GB $ 249 $ 6.1 40.7 FPS
31.4 FPS
18.1 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 380 2GB $ 199 $ 4.9 40.5 FPS
31 FPS
18.1 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB $ 169 $ 4.2 39.9 FPS
30.7 FPS
18.5 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 280 3GB $ 279 $ 7.1 39.5 FPS
30.6 FPS
17.4 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 2GB $ 199 $ 5.1 39 FPS
29.8 FPS
17.7 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 3GB $ 169 $ 5 33.9 FPS
25.9 FPS
15.3 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 560 4GB $ 99 $ 3.2 31.4 FPS
23.7 FPS
14 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 2GB $ 159 $ 5.2 30.8 FPS
23.2 FPS
14.3 FPS
AMD Radeon R7 370 2GB $ 149 $ 4.9 30.2 FPS
21.8 FPS
13.5 FPS
AMD Radeon R7 265 2GB $ 149 $ 5 30 FPS
21.1 FPS
13.1 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 460 4GB $ 140 $ 5.1 27.7 FPS
21 FPS
12.5 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB $ 149 $ 5.6 26.7 FPS
18 FPS
11.2 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 550 2GB $ 79 $ 3.6 21.9 FPS
16.7 FPS
9.8 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 2GB $ 79 $ 3.8 20.9 FPS
15.8 FPS
9.1 FPS
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