When we took a look at the Core i9-11900K we were a little disappointed, mainly for the fact that it just could not compete against AMD and really did not feel like a flagship product. With the mid-range Core i5-11600K Intel can redeem themselves at least a little bit. Getting straight to performance the Core i5-11600K is a nice improvement over the Core i5-10600K (as it should be), but still falls behind AMD’s Ryzen 5 5600X in most of our tests. Again, when we see an Intel launch (after an AMD launch) we expect to see Intel come out on top and that is not the case here.
Honestly the performance difference is not all that much between AMD and Intel here and in most cases really wouldn’t be all that noticeable. Both chips are 6-core, 12-thread parts, but AMD is still able to beat it out, even though its boost clock is 300 MHz slower. It definitely shows that AMD has done a lot with their Zen 3 architecture. When it comes to gaming performance is very close, but in titles like Borderlands 3 and Far Cry New Dawn Intel processors were are the top of our charts.
Overclocking the Core i5-11600K is quite easy as temperatures are much more manageable than the Core i9-11900K. Intel’s Extreme Tuning Utility (XTU) makes overclocking a breeze with the Speed Optimizer (1-click overclocking). This was actually the first time we did all of our overclocking with XTU and it worked out pretty well. We were able to achieve an all-core overclock of 4.9 GHz and if we spent more time fiddling with voltages / settings I’m sure we could have got to 5 GHz all-core.
Intel is finally updating their platform with PCI-Express 4.0, although the lanes themselves are coming from the processor. So new Z590 boards you’ll get Gen4 speeds on your top PCI-Express slot and top M.2 slot, but it won’t be across the board like you get on X570.
At least Intel is not pricing on parity with AMD as the Core i5-11600K can be found online for $254.99, while the Ryzen 5 5600X is around $350. So at $100 cheaper you really can say that the Core i5-11600K provides a very good value. It would be an excellent processor for anyone who is upgrading or building a new PC.
– 6-core, 12-thread
– Great performance over its predecessor
– Overclocking and thermals are much more manageable
– PCI-Express 4.0
– Not on par with AMD’s equivalent
– No CPU cooler included