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Intel i9 11900K benchmarks are both better and worse than the i9 10900K

It's swings and roundabouts with new Intel i9 11900K benchmarks

Intel Comet Lake S

When Intel i9 11900K benchmarks first leaked last year, we saw the upcoming flagship processor eclipse the frame rates of its predecessor in Ashes of the Singularity, but it fell short of AMD’s monster 32-thread Ryzen 9 5950X by around 11.1%. It might not be as clear cut as this, however, as new Geekbench 5 tests show that the 11900K actually outclasses AMD’s top gaming CPU by over 8% in single-core performance, despite faring up to 64% worse in multi-core scores.

It’s a mixed bag when comparing the forthcoming processor to the i9 10900K, too. While the 11900K sees a healthy 32% jump in single-core scores, as you’d expect from a generational leap, the 10900K still has the advantage in multi-core performance being an average of 5% better than its replacement.

Much like with Ashes of the Singularity, it’s worth noting that Geekbench isn’t exactly the best measurement of CPU performance. There are fewer tests to truly compare the average scores of a processor that isn’t available yet and is only expected to release in March, there could be outliers, and there’s no telling whether the benchmarks are running the base or boost clock, meaning the tests are far from scientific or representative of real-world performance

Currently, the 11900K benchmarks have a lot more in common with the eight-core AMD Ryzen 5800X, which isn’t too surprising given it also has an eight-core design – which is fewer than the ten-core, 20-thread design of the 10900K. The 11th generation is also based on the same 14nm process that’s been around for over five years, while AMD Ryzen 5800X range halves that with 7nm Zen 3 architecture. This will change when Intel launches its 12th gen Alder Lake CPUs later in 2021.

While the jury is still out on whether the potential i9-11900K can stand its ground against AMD’s latest offering, or even whether these leaks are trustworthy and accurate, Intel still has a chance at taking the crown for best gaming CPU once again. Average scores are regularly shifting as new tests are being discovered all the time, after all, with two Geekbench results from unnamed Asus systems appearing today alone.

It’s worth noting that the chip’s performance is likely to improve between now and release, and the performance from both AMD and Intel chips will vary in real-world applications depending on system configurations.