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AMD Ryzen 7 5800X vs Intel Core i7-11700K: The Eight-Core Faceoff

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X vs Intel Core i7-11700K

(Image credit: Shutterstock, Future)

The Intel Core i7-11700K vs AMD Ryzen 7 5800X rivalry is a heated battle for supremacy at the ~$400 price point. These two chips jockey for positioning on our CPU Benchmark hierarchy to score a spot on the list of Best CPUs, but they both come with their own eccentricities.

With the emergence of the Ryzen 5000 family, AMD shifted to premium pricing for its admittedly premium products. That's a sound business decision, but it hasn't been particularly popular with enthusiasts. AMD also left a glaring gap in its product stack that exacerbates the issue — there's a massive $150 gulf between the six-core $299 Ryzen 5 5600X and the eight-core 16-thread $449 Ryzen 7 5800X. As a result, you either have to settle for a six-core or pay up big time to jump to an eight-core. Odder still, you can step up to the 12-core Ryzen 9 5900X for a mere $100 more.

To make matters worse, the global pandemic and unprecedented demand conspired to create chip shortages that led to unavailability and scalper pricing for the 5800X, making an otherwise stellar processor, well, not so stellar.

Luckily some of these issues have subsided over time, and the Ryzen 7 5800X is now widely available and often sells for $30 below its recommended pricing. At $420, the Ryzen 7 5800X is hard to beat if you need an eight-core chip, but there's still room for a cheaper competitor.

Enter Intel's Core i7-11700K. Intel's new chip strides into the ring with eight cores and 16 threads, the Cypress Cove architecture that grants a 19% increase in IPC,  a friendlier $399 price tag, and broad availability. However, Intel's Rocket Lake family remains on the 14nm process, which means the 11700K consumes far more power than the 5800X, requiring a more expensive cooler and robust motherboard power circuitry to extract the best the silicon has to offer.

However, the 11700K can more than hold its own where the rubber meets the road in our benchmarks, setting up a pitched battle in the $400 price range.

We put the Core i7-11700K up against the Ryzen 7 5800X in a six-round faceoff to see which chip takes the crown in our gaming and application benchmarks, along with other key criteria like power consumption and pricing. Let's see how the chips stack up. 

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X vs Core i7-11700K Features and Specifications

Intel Rocket Lake Core i7-11700K vs AMD Zen 3 Ryzen 7 5800X Specifications and Pricing
Suggested PriceCores / ThreadsBase (GHz)Peak Boost (Dual/All Core)TDPArchitectureiGPUL3
RKL-S Core i7-11700K (KF)$399 (K) - $374 (KF)8 / 163.65.0 / 4.6125WCypress CoveUHD Graphics 750 Xe 32EU16MB
Ryzen 7 5800X$4498 / 163.84.7105WZen 3N/A32MB (1x32

The eight-core 16-thread Ryzen 7 5800X comes with a 3.8 GHz base and 4.7 GHz boost clock paired with a beefy 32MB of L3 cache. AMD specs the chip with a 105W TDP, but bear in mind that it isn't comparable to the 11700K's TDP rating because both chipmakers use different measurement criteria.

Intel's Core i7-11700K also arrives with eight cores and 16-threads, but Intel etches those cores on the 14nm process. That means this chip undoubtedly consumes far more power than its peak 125W rating, especially if you allow the motherboard to ignore the power limits (which most do by default). We'll have power testing below to suss out the most efficient chip, but it's a given that AMD's Zen 3-powered 7nm chips hold the advantage over Intel's competing chips.

Neither chip comes with a cooler and both support PCIe 4.0, though it is noteworthy that Intel's chipset doesn't support the speedier interface. Instead, devices connected to Intel's chipset operate at PCIe 3.0 speeds. Unfortunately, that means you'll only have support for one PCIe 4.0 m.2 SSD port on your motherboard. In contrast, AMD's chipset is fully PCIe 4.0-enabled, providing you with more connectivity options for faster devices.

Both chips support two channels of DDR4-3200 memory, but Intel's new Gear memory feature does involve a few tradeoffs. The Core i7-11700K supports DDR4-2933 in Gear 1 mode at stock settings, which provides the best latency and performance for most tasks, like gaming. On the other hand, you'll have to operate the chip in Gear 2 mode for warrantied DDR4-3200 support. That results in performance penalties in some latency-sensitive apps, like gaming, which you can read about here.

For some users, the 11700K does have an insurmountable advantage over the Ryzen 7 5800X: The 11700K comes with the UHD Graphics 750 engine that comes armed with 32 EUs based on the Xe graphics engine, while all Ryzen 5000 processors come without integrated graphics. That means Intel wins by default if you don't plan on using a discrete GPU.

Notably, you could also buy Intel's i7-11700KF to save some cash. This chip comes with disabled integrated graphics, saving you $25 off the suggested price. That's a decent discount if you plan on using a discrete graphics card and don't need Intel's Quick Sync functionality. 

Winner: Tie

The AMD Ryzen 7 5800X vs Intel Core i7-11700K battle is close if boiled down to the spec sheet alone, so this category lands as a tie. Both chips come with the same number of cores and threads and ship without a cooler. AMD's support for DDR4-3200 memory without the need for a separate gear mode is a plus, but the Core i7-11700K also has the advantage of integrated graphics, so it wins by default if you don't plan to use a discrete GPU.

Conversely, you can go with the Core i7-11700KF and sacrifice the graphics to save some cash. Unfortunately, AMD's high-end Ryzen 5000 chips don't come with integrated graphics, though that will change in August when the Ryzen 5000 Cezanne APUs arrive. 

Gaming Performance on Core i7-11700K vs Ryzen 7 5800X

Below you can see the geometric mean of our gaming tests at 1080p and 1440p, with each resolution split into its own chart to give us a decent overall view of the Core i7-11700K vs Ryzen 7 5800X battle.

As per usual, we're testing with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 to reduce GPU-imposed bottlenecks as much as possible, and differences between test subjects will shrink with lesser cards or higher resolutions. These are cumulative metrics, so individual wins vary on a per-title basis. We don't include the synthetic benchmarks in our overall performance measurements (first four slides). We tested the stock Core i7-11700K with the power limits lifted, which is a warrantied configuration. You'll find test configurations at the bottom of the article and more fine-grained setup details (including performance with enforced power limits) in our Intel Core i7-11700K review

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AMD Ryzen 5 5800X vs Core i7-11700K

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AMD Ryzen 5 5800X vs Core i7-11700K

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AMD Ryzen 5 5800X vs Core i7-11700K

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Our faceoff covers the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X vs Core i7-11700K, but the Ryzen 5 5600X is the elephant in the room due to its exceptional gaming performance and lower price point. If you're only interested in gaming, the Ryzen 5 5600X is hands-down the best chip for the job, provided you can find it near its recommended pricing. Keep that in mind as you flip through the test results.

At 1080p, the stock Ryzen 7 5800X is 5% faster in our selection of tests than the stock Core i7-10700K. After overclocking, the 5800X is 2.5% faster, but the differences here can vary based on the silicon lottery.

The deltas between the two chips shrink to the imperceptible range at 1440p: The stock Ryzen 7 5800X leads by 2%, but the overclocked 11700K takes a 2fps lead. Both of these results are largely meaningless — you would be hard-pressed to notice the difference during a normal gaming session.

The chips offer similar 99th percentile measurements at stock settings, but the 11700K opens up a 3.4% lead after overclocking. We didn't detect any noticeable difference in smoothness between the two chips, and these measurements can vary based on overclockability (silicon lottery).

The extra $50 you pay for the 5800X buys you essentially the same gaming performance as the Ryzen 5 5600X, both at stock and overclocked settings at 1080p and 1440p, along with an additional two cores that help out if you're after more than just gaming. Given the 5800X's big markup over the 5600X, it remains a tough sell for the gaming-focused, though.

We can say the same thing about the Core i7-11700K — it offers solid performance in our gaming test suite, but you should look to less expensive alternatives, like the Ryzen 5 5600X or Core i5-11400, if gaming is your primary goal.

Winner: AMD

AMD wins this round. Be aware that the leader in the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X vs Intel Core i7-11700K gaming battle can swing wildly based on the title that you play. As you'll see in the album above, Intel and AMD processors often clump together at the top or bottom of the chart for any given game, showing that different game code could favor either processor. However, when taken as a cumulative measure, the Ryzen 7 5800X comes out on top.

That said, unless you specifically need an extra two cores, we don't recommend either of these chips if you're building a system for gaming only; the six-core Ryzen 5 5600X is the hands-down champ at the $300 price point, while the Core i5-11400 is the uncontested value champ in the sub-$200 market. 

Application Performance of AMD Ryzen 7 5800X vs Intel Core i7-11700K

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Intel Core i7-11700K vs AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

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Intel Core i7-11700K vs AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

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We can boil down productivity application performance into two broad categories: single- and multi-threaded. The first slide in the above album has a geometric mean of performance in several of our single-threaded tests. As with all cumulative measurements, use this as a general guide and be aware that performance will vary based on workload.

The stock Core i7-11700K is 1.5% faster than the Ryzen 7 5800X in our cumulative measure of lightly-threaded work. The Ryzen 5 5600X is a competitor here, but the Core i7-11700K is 5.7% faster. Tuning the Zen 3 silicon gives the Ryzen 7 5800X a slight advantage, but the Ryzen 5 5600X can't match the 11700K in any configuration. 

You would need to step up to the Core i9-11900K if you wanted a substantial/noticeable increase in single-threaded performance over the 5800X, 11700K, or 5600X. The 11900K comes with a much steeper price tag for what is arguably a small return. Rocket Lake's higher single-thread performance in applications doesn't seem to translate to increased gaming performance as much as we've seen in the past, and differences could be tough to spot in typical applications.

The Core i7-11700K trails the Ryzen 7 5800X in our LAME tests at stock settings, but the overclocked 11700K suffers an odd tendency to drop into its AVX offset during a few single-threaded tests, like the LAME and FLAC encoders. That causes the chip to actually run slower after overclocking. 

Web browsers are the quintessential example of lightly-threaded work, and the Core i7-11700K is surprisingly strong in these tests — it even beats the Core i9-11900K in Speedometer. The 11700K sweeps the Ryzen competition, with the lone AMD win coming from the overclocked Ryzen 7 5800X in WebXPRT 3. 

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Intel Core i7-11700K vs AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

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Intel Core i7-11700K vs AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

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The geometric mean of our threaded applications finds the Core i7-11700K offering a slight boost over the stock and overclocked Ryzen 7 5800X, but it accomplishes that feat in its stock configuration. The 11700K is 5.7% faster than the 5800X after overclocking, but we'd consider the two chips very closely matched at stock settings.

The Ryzen 5 5600X has two fewer cores, so it trails by quite a bit more — the 11700K is ~31% faster at stock settings and 22% faster after we overclock both chips.

The Core i7-11700K is competitive with the Ryzen 7 5800X, though as you can see in the slides, that does vary based on the type of application. The 5800X leads in a broader spate of threaded rendering applications, like Corona, Cinebench, and Blender. Overclocking the 11700K either significantly reduces the deltas in those applications or grants it the lead, as we see in V-Ray, two of the Blender renders, and Cinebench.

The Core i7-11700K and Ryzen 7 5800X tie in the HandBrake x264 workload at stock settings, but the 5800X is noticeably faster in the x265 test that has a heavier distribution of AVX instructions. The Core i7-11700K beats the Ryzen 7 5800X in the timed LLVM compilation workload by decent margins at both stock and overclocked settings. The Ryzen 7 5800X turns the tables in the NAMD test, a highly parallelized benchmark that serves as the gold standard for quantifying the performance of simulation code.

Winner: Intel

The Core i7-11700K comes with a slightly more forgiving price tag than the Ryzen 7 5800X and carves out a decent lead in lightly-threaded apps while maintaining a slight edge in our cumulative measure of threaded workloads. That gives the Core i7-11700K the win, but only because we measure by the absolute best performance available.

Looking through the full gamut of our tests shows that the best performer varies based on workload, and the differences between the two chips can be slight. As a result, you should examine benchmarks for your specific workload if you're most concerned about performance in specific creativity and productivity applications.

Overclocking AMD Ryzen 7 5800X vs Intel Core i7-11700K

We have reached the land of diminishing returns for overclocking the highest-end chips from both AMD and Intel, largely because both companies are engaged in a dogfight for superiority. As a result, much of the overclocking frequency headroom is rolled into standard stock performance, leaving little room for tuners, making memory and fabric overclocking all the more important. However, those limits are typically the most restrictive with the highest-end chips, while mid-range and low-end silicon still have room for pushing the voltage and extracting a bit more performance. Just bear in mind that your mileage will vary.

Intel has long restricted overclocking to its pricey K-series models, while AMD freely allows overclocking with all SKUs on almost any platform, earning plenty of cachet with enthusiasts. Intel's new paradigm of Gear 1 and Gear 2 modes does reduce the value of memory overclocking, which you can read more about here, but Intel's chips still offer the highest attainable all-core frequencies. Of course, how that translates to performance can vary by application, and we do see a diminishing point of returns as we climb up the frequency/voltage curve. Additionally, you'll need an exceptionally robust cooler to push the limits.

AMD's Ryzen 5000 chips come with innovative boost technology that largely consumes most of the available frequency headroom, so there is precious little room for bleeding-edge all-core overclocks. As a result, all-core overclocking with AMD's chips is lackluster; you're often better off using its auto-overclocking Precision Boost Overdrive 2 (PBO2) feature that boosts multi-threaded performance. AMD also has plenty of Curve Optimization features that leverage undervolting to increase boost activity.

However, as we can see in our performance results, AMD's Ryzen 7 5800X still has some room on the table for additional performance via automated overclocking, so you'll get a solid return from the automated features when combined with a basic memory overclock.

Speaking of which, Ryzen 5000's improved fabric overclocking, which allows you to tune in higher memory overclocks, is vastly improved over the prior-gen Ryzen models. We hit a 1900 MHz fabric speed on our chip, allowing us to run the memory in a 1:1 mode at a higher DDR4-3800 memory speed than the DDR4-3600 we could pull off with the 11700K with the same 1:1 ratio. Naturally, that could vary by chip.

It also isn't uncommon to see enthusiasts hit DDR4-4000 in 1:1 mode with Ryzen 5000 processors. There's no doubt that Intel's new Gear 1 and 2 memory setup isn't that refined — you can adjust the 5800X's fabric ratio to expand the 1:1 window to higher frequencies, while Intel does not have a comparable adjustable parameter.

Winner: Tie

The Intel Core i7-11700K and Ryzen 7 5800X both come with unlocked multipliers and have more overclocking headroom than their flagship counterparts. There's also still room for a sizeable performance boost from overclocking the core, fabric, and memory. Both platforms have their respective overclocking advantages and a suite of auto-overclocking and software utilities, meaning this contest will often boil down to personal preference.

Power Consumption, Efficiency, and Cooling of Intel Core i7-11700K vs Ryzen 7 5800X

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AMD Ryzen 7 5800X vs Intel Core i7-11700K

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The winner of this category will be no surprise to enthusiasts familiar with the Intel vs AMD landscape. AMD tends to score an easy win here due to the benefits of its Zen 3 architecture paired with the 7nm process. On the other hand, Intel's Rocket Lake comes with the Cypress Cove architecture (originally designed for 10nm) etched on the now-ancient 14nm process, equating to higher power consumption.

The Intel Core i7-11700K comes with the same 125W TDP rating as its predecessor, but that rating is a rough approximation of power consumption during long-duration workloads. To improve performance in shorter-term workloads, Intel increased the PL2 rating (boost) to 251W, a 27W increase over the previous-gen 10700K. As usual, Intel allows its motherboard partners to exceed those power limit recommendations and remain within warranty, so it isn't uncommon to see Intel chips exceed those values during peak activity — even at stock settings. For example, we recorded a peak of 207W during extended workloads, well over the 125W rating.  

Heat and power consumption are interrelated, so you'll have to accommodate Intel's increased power consumption with a robust cooler. The Core i7-11700K ran fine with our 280mm liquid cooler, and we recommend you budget for an equivalent or better cooler.

The Ryzen 7 5800X is downright green in comparison, reaching a maximum of 118W at stock settings. In fact, a quick look at the renders-per-day charts reveals that AMD's Ryzen 7 5800X is in another league in terms of power efficiency — you get far more performance per watt consumed, resulting in lower power consumption and heat generation. Due to the lower power requirements, the Ryzen 7 5800X isn't as demanding in terms of cooling, though you should plan for a 280mm liquid cooler or greater if you plan on overclocking.

Winner: AMD

AMD wins this round easily with lower power consumption, higher efficiency, and less thermal output. In stark contrast, Intel has turned the power up to the extreme to stay competitive with AMD's 7nm Ryzen 5000 chips, and as a result, the Core i7-11700K pulls more power and generates more heat than the Ryzen 7 5800X.

Pricing and Value of Intel Core i7-11700K and AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

We're in the midst of a global chip shortage, so pricing is volatile and can change hourly. As such, you'll need to make sure to check current pricing for the most up-to-date information.

We don't like the Ryzen 7 5800X's suggested pricing — at launch, its $449 suggested price was $150 more than the six-core 5600X and only $100 less than the 12-core 5900X, meaning you could score a far better value by moving either up or down the Ryzen product stack. It also left the door open for competitors, not to mention the addition of a crushing shortage and scalper pricing that made the 5800X a tough sell.

Since then, things have changed a bit, though, and now we regularly see the Ryzen 7 5800X sell below its suggested pricing — you can often score the chip for $420.

Intel Core i7-11700K vs AMD Ryzen 7 5800X Pricing
Suggested PriceCurrentPrice Per Core
Core i7-11700K$400 to $409$389 to $419~$48
Ryzen 7 5800X$449$421 to $449~$53
Core i7-11700KF$374 to $384$429 to $459~$54

That does a lot to assuage our pricing concerns, but the Core i7-11700K still lands with a lower $400 tray price. In fact, you can find it at retailers for ~$390, a solid deal for an eight-core chip. 

However, while the 11700K's lower retail price is a factor, we also have to take platform pricing into account. You'll need a motherboard with robust power circuitry to take full advantage of the 11700K and attain the results you see in our tests. Given the current pricing deltas between Intel and AMD motherboards, that largely levels the playing field. You'll also need to plan for a capable cooler to grapple with the 11700K's prodigious power draw. 

Finally, although it isn't normally a huge concern for most buyers, platform upgradeability is an important aspect in the Core i7-11700K vs Ryzen 7 5800X battle. You can step up to 12- or 16-core Ryzen 5000 models in the future with 400- and 500-series motherboards, while the only option for a Rocket Lake upgrade consists of moving up to the 11900K, an overpriced piece of silicon that comes with the same eight cores as the 11700K.

Additionally, though AMD hasn't confirmed that it would bring its new 3D V-Cache processors to existing platforms, the company has confirmed that Zen 3 Ryzen processors with 3D V-Cache will enter production later this year. These chips come with an additional 64MB of 7nm SRAM cache (called 3D V-Cache) stacked vertically atop the core complex die (CCD) to triple the L3 cache. This tech enables up to a whopping 192MB of L3 cache on a single Ryzen chip, delivering up to a 15% improvement in gaming.

AMD demoed a Ryzen 9 5900X prototype with 3D V-Cache bolted on, and it had the standard AM4-compatible design. All these things mean that it's rational to think we'll see chips with 3D V-Cache come to AM4 platforms, but that remains unconfirmed. 

Winner: Tie

AMD's Ryzen 7 5800X currently comes with a street price of $420. That's $30 more than the lowest-priced Core i7-11700K we could find, but the difference in broader platform pricing largely levels the playing field. As a result of its higher power consumption, the Core i7-11700K requires motherboards with more robust power circuitry and a more powerful cooler than you'll need for the Ryzen 7 5800X, meaning the chips are pretty closely matched in terms of overall platform costs.

AMD also has a clear-cut upgrade path to 12- or 16-core Ryzen 5000 models, while Intel's only upgrade path consists of the 11900K with the same number of cores, and thus a comparatively small performance increase. 

Bottom Line

Intel Core i7-11700KAMD Ryzen 7 5800X
Features and Specificationsxx
Gamingx
Application Performancex
Overclockingxx
Power Consumption, Efficiency, and Coolingx
Pricing and Value Propositionxx
Total45

Here's the tale of the tape: The AMD Ryzen 7 5800X vs Intel Core i7-11700K battle boils down to a four-to-five victory in favor of the Ryzen 7 5800X, but that win comes with plenty of caveats. 

Our faceoff considers these two chips as your only buying options, but given proper availability of alternatives, we typically recommend that you consider stepping up or down the product stack from either of these chips. For example, if you're looking for a gaming-only rig, the Ryzen 5 5600X is the hands-down best chip (if you can find it near recommended pricing). Additionally, for the productivity-minded, the Ryzen 9 5900X offers a superior price-to-performance ratio over competing chips (including the Ryzen 7 5800X).

These aren't normal times, though. We're in the unforgiving grip of the global chip shortage, so the alternative AMD chips suffer from spotty supply and price gouging. Unfortunately, that means the chip that you actually can buy often wins by default.

The Ryzen 7 5800X and Core i7-11700K are both good all-rounder chips and have been widely available over the last month, often below suggested pricing. Assuming you can find it at reasonable pricing, the Ryzen 7 5800X is the better chip.

The Ryzen 7 5800X is slightly more expensive than the Core i7-11700K, but it's worth it. The 5800X is faster in gaming and offers close-enough performance in the full span of our application test suite. Additionally, you'll also benefit from the advantages of the Ryzen 7 5800X's lower power consumption, like the ability to extract the full performance of the chip from less expensive motherboards. Not to mention that its lower power consumption results in a cooler and quieter system. 

The Ryzen 7 5800X also drops into the same AM4 sockets that support the 12-core Ryzen 9 5900X and 16-core Ryzen 9 5950X, leaving room for a future upgrade. There's a chance that current-gen AMD motherboards could support future AMD 3D V-Cache chips, but that shouldn't influence your purchasing decision unless AMD makes it official.

Intel's 500-series motherboards leave your only upgrade option as the eight-core Core i9-11900K that comes with the same eight cores as the 11700K. That isn't an attractive option, as you'll pay much more cash for a slim performance upgrade. But, as usual, Intel is the only option if you need an eight-core chip with integrated graphics. AMD looks to correct that issue with the Ryzen 7 5700G 'Cezanne' APUs that will come to market in August.

Overall, the Ryzen 7 5800X provides the best blend of overall platform costs, performance, and power consumption, winning the Core i7-11700K vs Ryzen 7 5800X battle.

Intel Core i7-11700K vs AMD Ryzen 7 5800X Test System Configurations
Intel Socket 1200 (Z590)Core i9-11900K, Core i5-11600K, Core i7-11700KCore i5-10600K, Core i7-10700K, Core i9-10850K
ASUS Maximus XIII Hero
2x 8GB Trident Z Royal DDR4-3600 - 10th-Gen: Stock: DDR4-2933, OC: DDR4-4000, 11th-Gen varies, outlined above (Gear 1)
AMD Socket AM4 (X570)AMD Ryzen 9 5900X, Ryzen 7 5800X, Ryzen 5 5600X

MSI MEG X570 Godlike
2x 8GB Trident Z Royal DDR4-3600 - Stock: DDR4-3200, OC: DDR4-4000, DDR4-3600
All SystemsGigabyte GeForce RTX 3090 Eagle - Gaming and ProViz applications
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FE - Application tests

2TB Intel DC4510 SSD

EVGA Supernova 1600 T2, 1600W
Open Benchtable

Windows 10 Pro version 2004 (build 19041.450)
CoolingCorsair H115i, Custom loop
Paul Alcorn

Paul Alcorn is the Deputy Managing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage and enterprise hardware.