Whenever you are shopping for a new Intel CPU, you will come across multiple variants of the same processor tier, be it Core i5, i7, or i9. Of these, the K (and KF) variants are considered the “premium option” for each line. The F variants are considerably lower in rice even though they are the same CPU type.

The Core i5 series has gained popularity among mid-range gamers and content creators alike. Mainly due to its respectable performance figures for a price that is not too outrageous. This only became more evident after the launch of Team Blue’s 10 th and 11 th Series processor Gen. With hyperthreading now enabled on all SKUs; Rocket Late’s 6-core, 12-thread Core i5 series is particularly attractive to consumers. Especially since Ryzen 5000 is so hard to come by.

Therefore, if you have a limited budget and are looking for the best 11 th Processor Gen i5 to fit your workload; You might be wondering if it’s worth spending more on a Core i5 11600K rather than sticking with the lower-tier Core i5 11400F. We’ll put the mid-range brothers face-to-face to find out that!

Specs

MODELCORE I5 11600KCORE I5 11400F
DesignIntel Core i5 11400FIntel Core i5 11400F
Cores / Threads6/126/12
Base clock3.9 GHz2.6 GHz
Boost the clock4.9 GHz4.4 GHz
TDP95W65W
Refrigerator includedNoneIntel Stock Cooler
MSRP$ 262$ 157

On paper, the only similarities these two CPUs have is the number of cores and threads. The Core i5 11600K appears to be more powerful than the 11400F in almost every way. Of course, it is also more than a hundred dollars more expensive than its little brother.

The 11600K, like all other Intel K-series processors; it does not come with a common refrigerator. However, the 11400F does. You may want to take that into account if you are on a tight budget.

But does the Core i5 11600K really justify its higher price than the 11400F? Let’s see what the performance results have to say:

1080p gaming – Core i5 11400F

QUALIFICATIONCORE I5 11600KCORE I5 11400F
Watch Dogs Legion115111
F1 20202462. 3. 4
Horizon zero dawn157156
Death stranded198177
Star Wars: Squads249233
Rainbow six siege445402
Shadow of the Tomb Raider147145
Hitman 2139137

In one word; If you’re primarily gambling, spending more than a hundred dollars for the Core i5 11600K seems counterintuitive. The Core i5 11400F delivers exemplary fighting in games and manages to keep up with its higher speed sibling. The biggest difference observed was in Rainbow Six Siege, where the 11600K hit 43 frames per second over the 11400F. But this is a borderline case scenario where the game was heavily CPU bound, with frame rates well above 400. The rest of the results paint the same picture; with the much cheaper Blue Team offering working admirably against its more expensive counterpart.

READ: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 vs Intel Core i5-9400F: Everything You Need To Know

But if gaming isn’t the only thing you’ll do on your system, it’s worth looking at the productivity results to see how the Core i5 11400F fares against its faster rival.

Productivity – Core i5 11600K

In the Cinebench R20 multi-core workload, the Intel Core i5 11600K scored 4327, while the lower clocked 11400F scored 3954. On the single-core benchmark, the 11600K was 11% faster than the 11400F with scores of 602 and 541 respectively. There’s no surprise here, as the 11600K’s faster base clock coupled with its higher thermal design power means it has the ability to push higher than the 11400F.

In the 7-Zip compression test, the Core i5 11600K achieved a score of 63428 while the 11400F scored a lower score at 59002. The decompression test follows suit, with the 11600K scoring 70108 while the 11400F got a score of 64461.

SiSoft Sandra Cryptography’s multi-threaded performance test results showed that the Core i5 11600K had a speed of 20.4 GB / s, while the 11400F only managed 18.2 GB / s.

Chromium Code Compile results below show that the 11600K managed to complete the test in 7223 seconds, while the 11400F took longer, at 7995 seconds.

The DaVinci Resolve Studio 16 4K performance test result gave the 11600K another victory with a score of 1001 compared to the 11400F’s score of 969.

To no one’s surprise, the Adobe Premiere Pro 2020 benchmark is again stronger in the Core i5 1160K, with a score of 739. And the 11400F lagged behind with a score of 677. Similarly, the Adobe benchmark results Photoshop 2020 awarded the 11600K with 1098 points while the 11400F received 1017.

Finally, the Blender Open Data rendering on the Core i5 11600K only took 1127 seconds, while the same test on the 11400F took a little over 1233 seconds.

There’s no way to avoid it; The Core i5 11600K is faster and more robust when it comes to CPU-intensive tasks than the 11400F. For those who primarily want a mid-range workstation with high CPU performance, the 11600K is the way to go.

Power consumption

The Thermal Design Power Rating or TDP of the Core i5 11600K is higher than that of the 11400F, with 95W and 65W respectively. But in actual use, these numbers are much higher. But does the K variant really draw much more power than the 11400F?

Actually, the total system power consumption of the two processors is quite close. For example, during Blender Open Data rendering, the 11400F only consumed 181W. Meanwhile, the 11600K drew 217W, which is a bit higher but with quite a noticeable increase in performance as well. Both processors aren’t particularly power-hungry monsters (unlike the Core i9 11900K), so those of you who want a small form factor setup can rest easy with either of these CPUs.


Compatibility

Both the Core i5 11600K like Intel 11400F are 11 th Generation Rocket Lake processors. This means that these two SKUs run on the LGA 1200 socket and will be the last generation of processors to do so. If you want time to upgrade from Intel 11 th Series Gen; You will have to prepare for a new motherboard that supports LGA 1700. With DDR5 and other new technologies on the horizon, a full platform upgrade is inevitable regardless of the modern CPU you buy.


Verdict

The launch of 11th processors Intel Gen Rocket Lake were received more or less monotonous applause. But the alignment of the midrange of 11th Gen Core i5 processors has actually been regarded as some of the best profitable CPUs you could buy in 2021. With the absence of processors aimed at the budget and midrange AMD due to shortage, Intel is in a market that is practically abandoned.

So if you are planning to buy a new CPU for your gaming system, look no further than the Core i5 11400F. Its 6 cores and 12 threads are fast enough to run the latest triple-A titles at high frames almost equal to the more expensive 11600K. but if you plan to do something heavier with your system, the 11600K will be the best option for you. Its faster clock speeds and higher thermal headroom mean it will be useful for heavy workstation users, as well as being fast and efficient.

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