Like every other desktop platform launched since Skylake back in 2015, the Intel Core i9-11900K is based on the Rocket Lake-S architecture – which is manufactured on a 14nm process. However, unlike Comet Lake, Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake before it, this isn’t just another iteration of Skylake itself.
Rather, Intel took the core design of its 10nm Ice Lake processors, which are primarily found in laptops, and backported it to the 14nm manufacturing process. Intel claims that this lets it push clock speeds higher than its 10nm process would allow, which is important for gaming. However, when combined with the Intel Xe graphics present on the die, there is less room on the chip for CPU cores, which means that the Intel Core i9-11900K has just 8 CPU cores, down from the 10-core design of the Intel Core i9-10900K.
That sounds bad, but this new Cypress Cove core does allow Intel to not only push clock speeds slightly higher – up to 5.3GHz on a single core – but also allows for a pretty substantial 19% boost in Instructions Per Cycle (IPC) performance.
However, it looks like a pretty big part of the improvement that comes with Cypress Cove results in higher power consumption and, with it, higher temperatures.
During heavy workloads, particularly those like Blender, the Intel Core i9-11900K can reach up to a whopping 203W of power consumption, and that’s with disabling the Multi-Core enhancement that the Asus ROG Maximus XIII Hero enabled by default. Having that option enabled pushed power consumption all the way up to around 230W, which is more than a lot of modern graphics cards will use.
With power consumption this high, temperatures can also jump up considerably. With all stock settings, the Intel Core i9-11900K can reach up to 82°C, a pretty considerable jump over the 76°C that the Intel Core i9-10900K reaches under the same conditions. We’re not using a lightweight CPU cooler either – this is with a 360mm AIO cooler, so if you’re thinking about grabbing this processor, consider grabbing a robust cooler as well.