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Intel Core i7-11700K gaming review — Making a case for existing

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Intel is back with its 11th generation desktop CPU, codenamed Rocket Lake. While it is based on the same 14nm manufacturing process node as the last five generations, the company has achieved more performance year after year. It’s certainly a respectable effort considering that AMD’s Ryzen 5000 series is based on a 7nm process. But can Intel remain competitive while AMD introduces huge performance gains from one generation to the next? We had a chance to test the Intel 11700K for its gaming performance, but is it worth it at the $ 399 MSRP?

This is one of the most important generations of Intel in years when it comes to decision making, there is no doubt about that. As already mentioned, Intel has been trying to get every last bit of performance out of its aged 14nm process and the performance has come at the cost of efficiency. Each successive generation has required more power, and the 11th generation processors are by far the most power hungry without offering many performance improvements. Some of this has to do with the fact that Rocket Lake is the latest of Intel’s mainstream desktop efforts at 14nm and is actually a backport of the 10nm design for Alder Lake, due to launch later this year. Yes, there is something much better on the horizon. So what is the point of having this generation?

Simply put, the 11700K comes at a very interesting time. Demand for PC gaming hardware is through the roof right now, and many likely won’t want to wait for Intel’s eventual Alder Lake reveal. Other than that, we don’t know what the Alder Lake supply will eventually look like, and the Ryzen 5000 series stocks are still recovering. But Rocket Lake is available for MSRP today. More importantly, most games are GPU-locked these days, as using ultra settings or playing at high resolutions simply can’t reach the frame rates these high-frequency CPUs drive in the first place. Even if you manage to find a suitable GPU for your needs, modern Intel CPUs already manage high-refresh 1080p games, and that will suffice for most.

There are reasons to consider the 11700K, as it is actually quite a solid CPU for gaming. Those who want to do things like live streaming or content creation can benefit from the extra cores and threads granted by the jump from the i5 or any other six-core CPU, and the clock speeds help drive high refresh 1080p performance. simultaneously. Intel has also added some additional features to this generation that the 10th generation lacked.

11700K specs at a glance

The 11700K has a lot in common with the previous generation i7. However, according to Intel, it features 19% IPC (instructions per cycle / clock) gain, improved memory support up to 3200MHz from the latest generation 2993MHz, and PCIe 4.0 support plus four additional PCIe lanes. And that’s it for the simple fact of keeping things simple. These improvements are enough to provide some small fps increases, but the performance improvements are modest and sometimes even situational.

Process 14 nm
Plug LGA 1200
# of cores 8
# of threads sixteen
Base frequency 3.6
Max turbo frequency 5.0
Cache 16 MB
TDP 125 W *
Memory support DDR4-3200
PCIe specification 4.0
# of PCIe lanes twenty
PCIe configuration Up to 1 × 16 + 1 × 4, 2 × 8 + 1 × 4, 1 × 8 + 3 × 4

There is a common misconception about the 11700K that needs to be addressed, and this is how its specs translate to gaming performance. Those who compare the 11700K to the previous generation i7s will note that the frequencies are not very impressive. Compared to the 10700K, the base frequency of 11700K is reduced by 200MHz while the Max Turbo frequency is reduced by 100MHz. The improved IPC is meant to make up for that difference, and the true operating frequency of any CPU constantly fluctuates between those values ​​while under load. Numbers on spec sheets simply cannot be taken at face value.

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