The Intel Core i9-11900K has been tested alongside an Intel Core i9-10900K and an AMD Ryzen 7 5800X in a barrage of Unreal Engine benchmarks. The Comet Lake part and Zen 3 chip performed well in the game engine tests, but the Rocket Lake i9-11900K simply appeared to be on the verge of obsolescence here.
Puget Systems has published a very thorough series of Unreal Engine tests involving the new unlocked “K” Rocket Lake-S chips from Intel. The 11th Gen processors were set against their 10th Gen Comet Lake counterparts and the Ryzen 5000 Vermeer series from AMD. As pointed out by the tester, Unreal Engine is ideal for multi-core workload testing, so while the i9-11900K and Ryzen 7 5800X can rely on eight cores each, the 10-core i9-10900K has an advantage here. The same source also mentions that Z490 motherboards were used as no Z590 boards were available at the time of testing.
Because of the similar prices and/or core counts for the parts, it’s interesting to see how the Intel Core i9-11900K (8C/US$539), Intel Core i9-10900K (10C/US$488), and AMD Ryzen 7 5800X (8C/US$449) fared against each other. Puget also included heavy hitters like the Ryzen 9 5900X (12 cores) and Ryzen 9 5950X (16 cores), which performed extremely well with the help of their higher core counts. In the three non-FPS related Unreal Engine benchmark tests the i9-11900K lost out to the Ryzen 7 5800X, although on one occasion it was only by a single second. But when it came to compiling source code or shaders, the new Rocket Lake processor was also outpaced by its Comet Lake predecessor.
While there were hopes that the Intel Core i9-11900K was going to be at least a major single-core performer, based on various leaked benchmark results, unimpressive multi-core performance and high power consumption will work against justifying the price of the new 8-core chip. Our Rocket Lake-S review praised the PCIe 4.0 support and gaming prowess, although as demonstrated in our tests and those of Puget and even Gamers Nexus, it appears to be the i5-11600K (US$262) that could be the best choice for gamers, especially considering it costs less than half the price of the i9-11900K.
The PugetBench for Unreal chart leaves the Intel Core i9-11900K on 609 points, allowing the i9-10900K a +5.09% difference on 640 points and a damning +14.61% for the Ryzen 7 5800X on 698 points. This is not just reflective of the respective CPUs’ performances on Unreal Engine though; Gamers Nexus described the i9-11900K as “functionally vaporware”. While availability is key for any chip’s success on the market right now, a desktop DIYer might want to check out the i9-10900K or i5-11600K if they can’t find a Ryzen 7 5800X, because the i9-11900K is already facing obsolescence at its current price point.
Daniel R Deakin, 2021-03-31 (Update: 2021-03-31)