We have with us the Core i7-11700KF processor. When Intel debuted its 11th Gen Core “Rocket Lake” desktop processor lineup in March, much of the attention was grabbed by the Core i9-11900K and Core i5-11600K. It was only weeks later we caught up with the brilliantly priced Core i5-11400F, and we are now looking at the Core i7—a brand that represented the top-end from Intel until as recently as the Core i7-8700K. Intel introduced the Core i9 moniker to the mainstream-desktop segment to better tackle the AMD Ryzen 7 series.
Intel had until now differentiated the Core i7 and Core i9 parts using core/thread counts. The i7-9700K was an 8-core/8-thread processor, while the i9-9900K was 8-core/16-thread, and the i7-10700K was an 8-core/16-thread part, while the i9-10900K was 10-core/20-thread. With “Rocket Lake,” and its new higher-IPC “Cypress Cove” CPU cores being built on existing 14 nm process, Intel can no longer cram more than eight of the larger cores plus an iGPU into the LGA1200 package. The company hence settled on 8-core/16-thread for even its top i9-11900K part, hoping that the claimed 19% IPC gain would see the chip through. Here, the company hit the problem of how to carve out the Core i7 part. In the end, the company chose to keep the exact same core configuration as for the i9-11900K—8-core/16-thread.
What sets the Core i7-11700K and i7-11700KF apart from the i9-11900K/KF is a combination of slightly lower clock speeds and the lack of Thermal Velocity Boost and Adaptive Boost. While Thermal Velocity Boost is essentially an additional Turbo multiplier when thermals allow, Adaptive Boost was in our i9-11900K review noted to be an interesting feature that unlocks additional boost bins across all workload thread-counts, especially higher-threaded ones. The i7-11700KF is still unlocked, and you get the same overclocking capabilities as the Core i9. For the past couple of generations, Intel has released SKUs with the “F” brand extension in the retail channel, like the i7-11700KF we’re reviewing here. These chips come with disabled iGPUs, letting Intel utilize dies with faulty graphics cores and price them about $10–$20 lower. These make for a nice deal for gamers who rely on graphics cards. Technically, the iGPU is still part of the silicon die,and takes up space; it’s just sitting there, disabled permanently.
The 11th Gen Core processors debut the “Rocket Lake” microarchitecture. Although built on the same 14 nm silicon fabrication process, it innovates in four key areas. First, it packs up to eight “Cypress Cove” CPU cores. These are a back-port of “Sunny Cove” to the 14 nm node, and Intel claims they come with an IPC gain of up to 19%. Next up is the new Gen12 Xe LP integrated graphics available on non-F SKUs, which are claimed to be up to 50% faster than the previous Gen9.5 cores. The third key area is the I/O, with Intel introducing PCI-Express 4.0 support. In addition to a PCI-Express 4.0 x16 slot, these chips put out one processor-attached M.2 NVMe slot with the Gen 4 x4 interface. The DMI chipset bus has doubled in bandwidth when paired with Z590 or H570 chipsets, too. Lastly, as we’ll detail in the following pages, the processors introduce many new ways of overclocking.
The Core i7-11700KF then is an 8-core/16-thread processor that lacks integrated graphics, but features an unlocked multiplier. It otherwise has the same clock speeds as the i7-11700K, with 3.60 GHz base frequency and 5.00 GHz maximum Turbo. Each of the eight cores comes with 512 KB of dedicated L2 cache, and they share 16 MB of L3 cache. The lack of integrated graphics has Intel price the i7-11700KF about $25 lower than the i7-11700K. It’s also a staggering $140 cheaper than the i9-11900KF and $170 cheaper than the i9-11900K flagship. In this review, we figure out if you could potentially save yourself $170–$180 by opting for the i7-11700KF over the i9-11900K, a price-difference that makes your motherboard “free.”
|Price||Cores / |
|Ryzen 3 3300X||$200||4 / 8||3.8 GHz||4.3 GHz||16 MB||65 W||Zen 2||7 nm||AM4|
|Core i3-10300||$180||4 / 8||3.7 GHz||4.4 GHz||8 MB||65 W||Comet Lake||14 nm||LGA 1200|
|Core i5-9400F||$150||6 / 6||2.9 GHz||4.1 GHz||9 MB||65 W||Coffee Lake||14 nm||LGA 1151|
|Core i5-10400F||$150||6 / 12||2.9 GHz||4.3 GHz||12 MB||65 W||Comet Lake||14 nm||LGA 1200|
|Core i5-10500||$215||6 / 12||3.1 GHz||4.5 GHz||12 MB||65 W||Comet Lake||14 nm||LGA 1200|
|Core i5-11400F||$170||6 / 12||2.6 GHz||4.4 GHz||12 MB||65 W||Rocket Lake||14 nm||LGA 1200|
|Ryzen 5 3600||$200||6 / 12||3.6 GHz||4.2 GHz||32 MB||65 W||Zen 2||7 nm||AM4|
|Core i5-9600K||$215||6 / 6||3.7 GHz||4.6 GHz||9 MB||95 W||Coffee Lake||14 nm||LGA 1151|
|Core i5-10600K||$230||6 / 12||4.1 GHz||4.8 GHz||12 MB||125 W||Comet Lake||14 nm||LGA 1200|
|Core i5-11600K||$275||6 / 12||3.9 GHz||4.9 GHz||12 MB||125 W||Rocket Lake||14 nm||LGA 1200|
|Ryzen 5 3600X||$250||6 / 12||3.8 GHz||4.4 GHz||32 MB||95 W||Zen 2||7 nm||AM4|
|Ryzen 5 5600X||$350||6 / 12||3.7 GHz||4.6 GHz||32 MB||65 W||Zen 3||7 nm||AM4|
|Core i7-9700K||$290||8 / 8||3.6 GHz||4.9 GHz||12 MB||95 W||Coffee Lake||14 nm||LGA 1151|
|Core i7-10700K||$320||8 / 16||3.8 GHz||5.1 GHz||16 MB||125 W||Comet Lake||14 nm||LGA 1200|
|Core i7-11700KF||$390||8 / 16||3.6 GHz||5.0 GHz||16 MB||125 W||Rocket Lake||14 nm||LGA 1200|
|Core i7-11700K||$420||8 / 16||3.6 GHz||5.0 GHz||16 MB||125 W||Rocket Lake||14 nm||LGA 1200|
|Ryzen 7 3700X||$330||8 / 16||3.6 GHz||4.4 GHz||32 MB||65 W||Zen 2||7 nm||AM4|
|Ryzen 7 3800XT||$450||8 / 16||3.9 GHz||4.7 GHz||32 MB||105 W||Zen 2||7 nm||AM4|
|Ryzen 7 5800X||$450||8 / 16||3.8 GHz||4.7 GHz||32 MB||105 W||Zen 3||7 nm||AM4|
|Core i9-10850K||$385||10 / 20||3.6 GHz||5.2 GHz||20 MB||125 W||Comet Lake||14 nm||LGA 1200|
|Core i9-10900||$400||10 / 20||2.8 GHz||5.2 GHz||20 MB||65 W||Comet Lake||14 nm||LGA 1200|
|Ryzen 9 3900X||$485||12 / 24||3.8 GHz||4.6 GHz||64 MB||105 W||Zen 2||7 nm||AM4|
|Ryzen 9 5900X||$550||12 / 24||3.7 GHz||4.8 GHz||64 MB||105 W||Zen 3||7 nm||AM4|
|Core i9-9900K||$370||8 / 16||3.6 GHz||5.0 GHz||16 MB||95 W||Coffee Lake||14 nm||LGA 1151|
|Core i9-10900K||$470||10 / 20||3.7 GHz||5.3 GHz||20 MB||125 W||Comet Lake||14 nm||LGA 1200|
|Core i9-11900K||$550||8 / 16||3.5 GHz||5.3 GHz||16 MB||125 W||Rocket Lake||14 nm||LGA 1200|