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Intel Core i9-11900K Spotted at 5.3Ghz, Beating Zen 3 in Single-Core Performance

Core i9-11900K Preview
(Image credit: Intel)

Hardware detective APISAK spotted Intel's Rocket Lake Core i9-11900K running full blast at 5.3Ghz (single-core) in Geekbench 5 and PassMark. Surprisingly, the chip manages to beat all of AMD's Zen 3 parts in the single-threaded tests. This somewhat verifies what we saw at CES 2021 where Intel showed its 11900K beating a Ryzen 9 5900X by roughly 5% in pure single-threaded workloads, portending a shakeup to our CPU Benchmarks Hierarchy.

PassMark Single-Threaded Scores:

  • Core i9-11900K - 3764
  • Core i7-11700K - 3548
  • Ryzen 7 5800X - 3511
  • Ryzen 9 5900X - 3500
  • Ryzen 9 5950X - 3493
  • Ryzen 5 5600X - 3386
  • Core i9-10900K - 3173
  • Core i7-10700K - 3083

The i9-11900K scored 3764 points in Passmark, with the closest rival, the i7-11700K, landing at 3548 points. Meanwhile, the Ryzen 7 5800X weighs in with 3511 points. (Strangely, the higher-clocked Ryzen 9 5900X and 5950X scored lower than the 5800X.) 

If we compare the best of Team Blue to Team Red, the 11900K is 6% faster than the 5800X -- and even less if we compare it to the 11700K.

GeekBench 5 Scores:

Single Threaded Scores:

  • Core i9-11900K - 1892
  • Ryzen 9 5950X - 1682
  • Ryzen 7 5800X - 1669
  • Ryzen 9 5900X - 1664

Multi-Threaded Scores:

  • Ryzen 9 5950X - 16726
  • Ryzen 9 5900X - 14061
  • Core i9-11900K - 10934
  • Ryzen 7 5800X - 10427

Moving over to the Geekbench 5 results, the 11900K maintains its single-threaded performance lead, beating the 5950X by 12% (which in Geekbench is on top of the single-threaded chart for AMD). 

But, of course, Rocket Lake's higher frequency and backported cores won't give the 11900K an advantage in the multi-core race, where the 5900X and 5950X easily beat Intel's best. But if we compare just the eight-core models, the 11900K does come out
4% faster than the 5800X.

Conclusion:

If any of these benchmarks are representative of the Core i9-11900K's real-world performance (spoiler alert, these benchmarks generally are not), then Intel will have beaten AMD in the single-threaded race and re-claimed that crown once again. But when it comes to multi-threaded performance, the Core i9-11900K really gets hit hard from being downgraded to eight cores.

We'll have to see how this all plays out once Rocket Lake fully releases and we get our hands on these chips ourselves to benchmark. If the story for Rocket Lake is similar to the story here, Intel will have to price the 11900K aggressively to keep it competitive against AMD's Ryzen 9 parts.