We recently compared the Ryzen 7 5800X and Core i7-11700K with the Radeon RX 6900 XT in 32 games at 1080p, 1440p and 4K. At the end of that shootout, we noted that we might want to run all of the benchmarks again to include the cheaper Core i7-10700K, which is similar, still widely available, and can bring you about $ 100 in savings. So here we are.
The idea of the original benchmark test was to see how the latest and greatest AMD and Intel 8-core / 16-thread processors compare to each other and where each company stands in terms of gaming performance. That's not to say that we recommend that you go ahead and buy one of these CPUs right away. In fact, in our latest update to the top 5 best CPUs, we chose the Core i7-10700 series as the best choice for gamers on a budget.
At the time of writing, the Ryzen 7 5800X is $ 430 and the Core i7-11700K is $ 400. However, the older Core i7-10700K is ~ 20% cheaper at $ 330, and there is also the locked version, the 10700F, for just $ 270 – most importantly, the performance is practically identical out of the box. For most builders, I'd recommend the F-SKU, but for this comparison, the 10700K makes more sense as it competes against the 11700K and 5800X.
At the end of this review, we will discuss the value and pricing in more detail after seeing how each CPU compares to the others. For testing we used the 32 GB TridentZ Neo DDR4-3800 CL14 memory from G.Skill and for the Radeon 6900 XT.
For the AM4 platform we tested the MSI X570 Unify and for the LGA1200 platform the Gigabyte Z590 Aorus Master, which runs the latest BIOS in both cases and of course the latest display drivers and the available Windows 10 version.
We tested a total of 32 games at 1080p, 1440p and 4K and looked at the data for about a dozen titles and then went into the usual data breakdown. So let's do it …
Starting with the Horizon Zero Dawn, we see that 10700K is slightly slower than 11700K at 1080p. We're talking about a 4% drop in performance, although that was enough to boost the Ryzen 7 5800X by 7%.
Certainly not a big difference and, as expected, they are further reduced as the resolution is increased. The 11700K is only 3% faster at 1440p, while the 5800X was 6% faster.
Then for those who play at 4K, it really doesn't matter which of these CPUs you are using, the experience will be the same.
Moving on to Watch Dogs: Legion, we find a similar situation where the 10700K is slightly slower than the 11700K and therefore lags behind the 5800X. The margins are small though, for example the 5800X was 7% faster at 1080p and 6% faster at 1440p, although interestingly, a 5% margin was maintained at 4K, although we're only talking about a 3% difference here.
Metro Exodus Enhanced plays just as well with any of these CPUs, so we're in no way CPU-limited here with these 8-core / 16-thread processors. If you're using either of these architectures, you'll likely have to shut down to 4c / 8t to see performance degradation, even though there aren't any quad-core processors from Cypress Cove or Zen 3 at this point.
Next up we have Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 and previously we found that the Ryzen 7 5800X and Core i7-11700K are very even with the Radeon RX 6900 XT in the section of the game we tested, the Sydney Airport landing challenge in Australia.
The test with the 10700K shows very similar performance under these test conditions. In fact, the 10th generation CPU was 4% faster than the newer AMD and Intel models at 1080p and 2% faster at 1440p. We're talking narrow margins, so the overall experience with each of these processors should be similar.
Tests at 1080p in Cyberpunk 2077 previously showed the 11700K to be a bit faster than the 5800X, and with the 10700K we found it to be a bit faster again. We're talking about a small advantage of 4% in favor of the 10th generation part at 1080p. This margin is cleared once you play at 1440p.
Once again we find that it doesn't matter which of these 8-core processors you use for gaming, the performance will be similar, although of course the reason for retesting is because the 10700K / 10700F is available for less.
The results of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order are interesting and a little strange, given that the 10700K is up to 7% faster than the 11700K and 5800X at 1440p. Even stranger, while the average frame rate is 7% higher, the 1% low drops 7%, potentially resulting in less consistent performance.
In CoD Warzone, the 11th generation 8-core processor is slightly faster than the 10th generation model and delivers 3% more frames at 1080p and 1440p. The 5800X was up to 6% faster than the 10700K.
The 11700K and 10700K deliver practically identical performance in Death Stranding and that means the 5800X is ~ 8% faster at 1080p and 7% faster at 1440p. This is a reasonable advantage for the Ryzen 7 processor, although the frame rates were already too high even at 1440p.
Resident Evil Village results are similar to what we just saw in Death Stranding, and that means the 5800X offers a performance advantage at 1080p, where it was up to 12% faster. That margin was reduced to almost nothing at 1440p, though the 1% low performance was still a bit better.
We had previously determined that Ryzen does particularly well in Rainbow Six Siege, and in this case even the older 10th Gen series beats its newer generation. The 10700K is 14% faster than the 11700K at 1080p and that meant that the older 10th generation part was only 3% slower than the 5800X. Then we see that this margin is completely eliminated at 1440p and 4K.
We're testing War Thunder with the Tank Battle CPU benchmark and for some reason the Intel CPUs are a major bottleneck in this test, resulting in almost the same performance across all three resolutions tested. This meant the 5800X was up to 25% faster than the 10700K, not a margin you would normally expect.
The Intel CPUs also lagged behind in World War Z, at least compared to the 5800X, which was up to 27% faster than the 10700K. The margin was reduced at 1440p and then neutralized at 4K, but still when the CPU is limited, AMD is much faster for this title.
Now here's a look at all 32 games we tested starting with the 1080p data …
But before we dive into the new data, here's a quick summary for the Ryzen 7 5800X vs. Core i7-11700K comparison: previously we saw that the 5800X was 2% slower than the 11700K at worst, which for us is a negligible difference is margins of 5% or less than a tie.
This means that for 75% of the games tested, the margins were meaningless as both CPUs enabled the same gaming experience. That leaves 8 games where the AMD processor offered significant increases in performance, although you will have to evaluate each title individually as in some cases we are talking about hundreds of FPS in a single player title, such as World War Z for example.
Keep in mind that these edges were seen at 1080p with a Radeon RX 6900 XT. For those who play at 1440p, margins are shrinking in most of these games, with World War Z and War Thunder being the only real exceptions. Overall, the Ryzen 7 5800X is only 3% faster on average, so you can expect nearly identical performance for the vast majority of games.
How does the 5800X compare to the 10700K? Well, about as good as against the 11700K, which means they're about the same. The Ryzen 7 processor is only 5% faster on average.
The margin at 1440p drops to only 3% in favor of the Ryzen processor. Again, World War Z and War Thunder are the only outliers.
There were 10 games where the performance was the same and then another 8 games where the margin was 2% or less. With a high-end GPU at 1440p, we could find practically no difference in performance in more than half of the tested games.
For those of you wondering how the new 11700K fares versus the old 10700K, it looks like this. There are some decent wins for both chips, but when you put them all together the difference is about 1% in favor of the 11700K.
In other words, they are the same for PC gaming and that is what we noticed in our first review when we compared the 11900K and 10700K. In this 10-game sample with RTX 3090 and dual-rank / dual-channel DDR4-3200 CL14 memory, the 11900K was only 4% faster.
At 1440p we find it's a tie, the 11700K was up to 6% faster but also up to 7% slower. The newer 11th generation architecture improves performance in some areas, while the increased latency affects performance in other areas.
Which CPU is better?
When we previously compared the Core i7-11700K and Ryzen 7 5800X, we wanted to go home: when gaming, it doesn't matter which processor you use, the experience will be exactly the same for the most part. But if you went beyond the frames per second, there was a clear winner with the 5800X. Big wins for AMD include better power efficiency and a superior platform backed by a better selection of affordable motherboards and an upgrade path to 12- and even 16-core processors.
But when we look beyond the latest generation of 8-core processors, it's hard to ignore the Core i7-10700 series. After all, the Ryzen costs 30% more than the 10700K and around 60% more than the 10700F. Both Intel CPUs can be paired with an MSI Z490-A Pro for $ 180 for maximum performance.
Similar quality AMD B550 boards are available for just $ 120, which makes the Intel Z490 option more expensive, but it hurts. So the $ 100+ you save on the 10700K or 10700F isn't as meaningful when you need to spend more on the motherboard.
For builders on a tight budget, we recommend grabbing a B560 board instead, although, as we recently discovered, this can be a tricky endeavor in itself. That said, after extensive testing, we found that the Asus TUF Gaming B560M-Plus is a decent motherboard that allows you to get the most out of a part like the Core i7-10700K without breaking the performance limits, it's full Steam ahead out of the box.
That makes the 10700K / B560 combo ~ 10% cheaper, or more if you choose the 10700F. If you only care about gaming FPS performance, choosing Intel is easy to justify. But if you put a lot of emphasis on future upgrades, like the ability to increase 16 cores on the same motherboard, then it might be worth spending the extra $ 60 on the 5800X / B550 combo.
It's worth noting that the Ryzen 5 5600X offers the same gaming performance in all of the games available today, so at $ 300 it may be a better alternative to the 10700 series as you still get that great power efficiency and upgrade path.
Then of course you can opt for the much cheaper Core i5-10400 for $ 170. Sure, it's a bit slower than the 5600X, but it's also almost half the price and offers maximum performance on any B560 motherboard, although entry-level boards could limit your future upgrade options.
Ultimately, there isn't the best option for all gamers as it depends on your preferences and priorities, for example: how much CPU power do you actually need, when and to what are you likely to upgrade in the future, and most importantly, how much is yours Budget? Prices can also vary from region to region. We always rely on US prices as they translate well to most other markets and of course most of our readers are US based.
But if prices for the 10700K and 5800X are closer to your region, the Ryzen option would be the more obvious choice, and if prices go the other way, it would be easier to justify the savings with Intel. Of course, don't forget to factor in the cost of the motherboard as it can make up or break the deal.
Personally, my current favorite combination would be the Core i7-10700F for only $ 270, which delivers practically the same performance as the 10700K ex works, so all results shown here can be applied to the cheaper F variant.
- Intel Core i7-10700F at Amazon
- Intel Core i7-10700K at Amazon
- Intel Core i7-11700K at Amazon
- AMD Ryzen 7 5800X on Amazon
- AMD Ryzen 9 5900X on Amazon
- Intel Z590 motherboards on Amazon
- AMD X570 motherboards on Amazon