Intel unveiled its powerful 12th generation lineup of CPUs in January 2022, and then later in October of the same year, its latest 13th generation.
The Rocket Lake (Desktop) and Tiger Lake (Mobile), or 11th generation CPUs from 2021, have become overshadowed by the mighty 12th and 13th generation intel processors since they’re much more recent, and thus, these 11th gen CPUs have unfortunately escaped the radar for most people looking for powerful processors.
It would be a crime to forget that the 11th generation offered many processors that are insanely powerful and highly power efficient to date, featuring some of the best processors ever made on the 14 nm fabrication process.
Since the 12th and 13th generations of Intel processors are made with the new 10 nm transistors, the resulting price drop for the 11th generation CPUs, especially for the 14 nm desktop processors, has become a blessing for us consumers that often goes unnoticed.
The price-to-performance ratios you can get with older 11th-generation CPUs is mind-boggling! If you’re in the market for a new processor for your PC, or if you need a new laptop and are unsure about which processor to pick for maximizing the bang for your buck, we highly recommend looking into the 11th generation of Intel CPUs.
In a hurry? We care about your time! Have a look at our top 3 favorite picks when it comes to the best 11th-Gen Intel CPUs for gaming in 2023!
How We Selected Our Top Picks
Each processor in a lineup is designed and tuned for specific tasks, and not each good processor is good for everything. For example, Intel’s 11th Generation Xeon processors might be really good if you want to build a server, but not so much for gaming.
Even among the Core i series, not each processor will be great for gaming since many of these are designed for low power consumption as well as low operating temperatures. So, for our list, we selected only those processors that are built to be gaming tanks!
The main things to look out for when selecting a gaming CPU are high clock speeds, large and efficient cache storage, and hyper-threading technology that enables 2 threads per core of the CPU, allowing games to utilize their multithreaded rendering capabilities.
Gaming CPUs Can Be Great For Editing As Well!
A lot of people who need PCs for video editing often get a gaming rig since video editing and gaming require very similar hardware.
If you’re on the lookout for processors capable of handling video editing alongside gaming sessions, you’re in the right place too.
We’ve divided the processors up for best gaming, best video editing, and best for everything you can throw at them, so you’ll definitely find something for yourself here!
While any CPU that’s good for video editing will be great for gaming, you don’t actually need as many cores for gaming as you do for speedy video editing since not many games will be able to make use of the extra cores.
If gaming is the only task you want to throw at your system, then it’s better to cut the cost of the cores and go for higher clock speeds or save up the extra cash for a GPU that wouldn’t bottleneck your powerful CPU!
If you don’t mind the added cost, though, the CPUs for video editing will be amazing to game on, especially when you run other applications in the background.
So without wasting any more time, let’s get right into our list of the 7 best CPUs from Intel’s Rocket and Tiger Lake lineups for gaming and other intensive tasks.
These are the 7 CPUs that, in our opinion, truly highlight just how amazing the 11th generation was and what it is capable of even today.
1. Intel Core i5 11400F – Best Desktop CPU For Budget Gaming
The i5 11400F was hailed as the ultimate budget gaming CPU when it first launched. The reason was pretty obvious: You get insane performance for what you pay.
With 11th Gen processor prices lower than ever, you can get your hands on the i5 11400F for cheaper than ever at around $150 on Amazon in 2023!
This 6-core, 12-thread processor at 65W TDP has a base clock of 2.6 GHz that goes up to 4.4 GHz with Intel’s Turbo Boost Technology.
The processor comes with a 12 MB cache and supports up to 128 GB of DDR4 3200 MHz RAM. For $150, this is an insane gaming package, and looking at the spec sheet, the only complaint one can have is that it doesn’t offer 3600 MHz of RAM speed like the latest CPUs.
Considering the price, though, that’s a non-issue since you usually find these same specs in processors costing hundreds of dollars more, and 3200 MHz RAM is more than good enough for the latest AAA titles.
Intel manages to offer this extremely high-performing CPU at such a low cost because it doesn’t come with integrated graphics and is a CPU only.
Thus, you will obviously need a GPU to have any visuals whatsoever. This makes it a great deal for those looking to incorporate a low-cost processor into a gaming rig!
While we’re on the topic of incorporating the processor into a gaming rig, many might have doubts about how far a budget processor from the past would go, considering the high performance of recent GPUs.
Paired with the RTX 4070 Ti, this processor will output a consistent 55 to 60 FPS on ultra settings in a game as demanding as Cyberpunk 2077, and that’s with the settings maxed out and RTX set to on!
It’s almost as if the processor hasn’t aged at all since its release because of how it can still run with the latest GPUs without holding them back. The i5 11400F is still one of the strongest budget processors you can buy on the market in 2023.
- Great performance for the price
- Ideal for gaming and everyday tasks
- Compatibility with older motherboards
- Efficient in energy consumption
- Weak stock cooler
- Incompatibility with certain motherboards
2. Intel Core i7 1195G7 – Best Laptop CPU For Gaming
The highest-end i7 in the 11th generation Tiger Lake mobile processors is the i7 1195G7. This is a quad-core SoC with a base clock of 1.3 GHz for efficient power and a longer battery that can jump up to 5.0 GHz for all your gaming needs!
It has a TDP range of 12W to 28W and supports both DDR4 3200 MHz and LPDDR4X 4267 MHz.
The quad-core CPU doesn’t score the best in multi-core performance benchmarks, but it is a single-core performance beast, and single-core performance is what truly matters for most gaming purposes.
The integrated graphics solution is one of the most powerful ones out there in the market, even today: Intel Iris Xe graphics G7!
Can you imagine a laptop that can run Cyberpunk 2077 at a playable 30 FPS without a dedicated graphics card? As it turns out, the core i7 1195G7 can actually do it!
At 1080p and the lowest graphics settings, you can run one of the heaviest AAA titles in recent years on a playable framerate without the need for a GPU!
Albeit an impressive feat, 30 FPS still won’t satisfy most players that demand at least 60 FPS.
Of course, for that, you’re gonna need a dedicated GPU. MSI has released several laptops featuring the i7 1195G7, pairing it up with NVIDIA’s 1650 Max Q and RTX 3050 Mobile.
Even with the conservative GTX 1650, AAA titles like Shadow of the Tomb Raider can be run from medium to high settings with a consistent 60 FPS at 1080p.
If you drive the settings all the way up to max, you can expect about 47 FPS, but that’s because of the GPU bottleneck (34.7%). With the RTX 3050 Mobile, you can expect much higher FPS!
Cyberpunk 2077 can be played at a consistent 60 FPS on high settings when the i7 1165G7 is paired up with the RTX 3050 Mobile.
Overall, the i7 1195G7 is a high-performing CPU that even some of the best GPUs struggle to keep up with in graphics-intensive tasks like gaming.
It is a bit disappointing that, except for MSI and a few handheld gaming machines, most manufacturers chose not to use the 1195G7 in their gaming laptops and instead chose the lower-powered 1165G7.
3. Intel Core i5 11600K – Best Desktop CPU For Gaming
The i5 11600K is an unlocked mid-range processor that is perfect for all levels of play. Don’t let the mid-range price tag fool you, though, because this is a monster of a CPU!
The Intel i5 11600K costs only $180 with a 5% additional effective speed over the costlier AMD Ryzen 5 5600X! The processor boasts superb single-core performance and pretty decent multi-core performance.
The i5 11600K is once again a hexacore desktop processor with 2 threads per core but with a bigger 16 MB cache.
The base clock speed is a whopping 3.9 GHz with a boost clock speed of 4.9 GHz! These speeds are achieved by default without any overclocking, but this processor can easily go over 5 GHz since it is factory-unlocked for overclocking.
You might need a larger PSU for this one, especially if you overclock it since it has a TDP rating of 125W. 128GB of DDR4 3200 MHz RAM is supported alongside PCIe 4.0 lanes.
Intel’s integrated graphics will not be enough for gaming, and you will want to pair this up with a really good GPU for high-end gaming.
With the included Intel UHD 750 graphics, you can get close to 60 FPS in lighter titles like F1 racing on low settings, but that too at 720p. The processor can be used alongside most GPUs without a bottleneck, especially at higher resolutions.
For 4K gaming, the i5 11600K can be paired with the NVIDIA RTX 4070 Ti with a minuscule 2.8% bottleneck. At lower resolutions, the 11600K will bottleneck the RTX 4070 Ti a lot, so the RTX 3080 will be a better option for 1440p gaming and the RTX 4060 Ti for 1080p gaming, each with less than a 5% bottleneck.
With the RTX 3080, the i5 11600K can smoothly run the heaviest AAA games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider at their highest presets at 1440p.
For Shadow of the Tomb Raider, you can expect to get an average of over 140 FPS with 1% lows of around 120 FPS, which is insane considering the price of the 11600K.
These FPS can be driven further up by overclocking since this is a K series unlocked processor and very easy to overclock!
- Beast of a CPU, perfect for gaming
- Easy to overclock to high speeds
- Reliable processor manufacturer
- Great performance in games
- Works well with high-end components
- Heat issues under heavy load
- Packaging issues during delivery
Looking for more gaming equipment? Have a look at these:
4. Intel Core i7 11800H – Best Laptop CPU For Gaming And Video Editing
Intel’s H series features its high-powered 45W mobile CPUs that aren’t meant for great battery life and are geared for one thing, and one thing only: The best possible performance on a laptop without worrying about the battery!
The i7 11800H is the mid-range 11th Gen H series mobile processor and has seen a lot of success in popular gaming laptops like the Lenovo Legion 7i and Acer Nitro 5 that pair it up with an NVIDIA RTX 3060 Mobile.
The i7 11800H has 8 cores and 16 threads, which are both double the amount compared to the usual quad cores we see in consumer laptops.
It has a fixed turbo frequency of 4.6 GHz and houses a huge 24 MB cache! Although the processor comes with Intel’s UHD graphics that are much weaker than the Iris Xe G7 graphics we see on the i7 1195G7, most gaming laptops will rock this beast alongside a dedicated graphics card.
The benefit of more cores isn’t as apparent in gaming alone, but when playing games while running other heavy tasks in the background or video editing, especially at high resolutions like 4K, the higher core count makes things much smoother!
This is because a higher core count means more tasks can be performed simultaneously, and even hexa-core processors can struggle with the intensive tasks that a CPU is faced with when editing a 4K video, causing unpleasant lags.
The NVIDIA RTX 3060 Mobile is the most common GPU that is paired with this CPU in laptops, and even the RTX 3060 bottlenecks the i7 11800H by about 13%.
With this combo, you can take on tough titles like Horizon Zero Dawn with an average of nearly 70 FPS and 1% lows of 55 FPS, with the settings driven all the way up to ultra at 1080p! This performance on a laptop is amazing, even in 2023, 2 years after the release of the i7 11800H.
5. Intel Core i7 11700K – Best Desktop CPU For Gaming And Video Editing
The i5 11600K is an excellent gaming option, no doubt about it. But when you want more than just the single-core performance, the i5 can start to seem a bit lacking.
Multi-core performance helps games that support multithreaded rendering and can really help speed up video editing tasks.
The single-core performance of the i7 11700K is only slightly better than the i5, but when it comes to multi-core performance, the i7 blows the i5 away.
The i7 11700K is an octa-core, 16-thread processor with a 3.6 GHz base clock and a boost clock of 5 GHz!
This makes the i7 11700K the 2nd fastest processor in the Rocket Lake lineup, and the 2 extra cores really make a performance difference that’s easy to see with the likes of Premier Pro, DaVinci Resolve, and After Effects.
Apart from the higher core count, more threads, and higher clock speeds, the specs of the i7 and i5 are not much different.
Not all games will make good use of all 8 cores on the i7. Thus, for most games, you won’t see more than a 10 FPS difference from the i5.
While a 10 FPS difference is still noticeable, it’s not enough to justify the price tag of the i7. This processor costs just below $350 on Amazon in 2023, and that is a huge jump from the $180 i5.
But the i7 truly shines in games like Red Dead Redemption 2, which perform better with higher core counts, and that explains the jump in price a lot better.
That is a huge difference, but this is not all: The higher core count will be more useful when running background applications while gaming, and even games that don’t use all cores will see performance gains with the i7 when multitasking. Video Editing will also be much faster.
Overall, we would still recommend the i5 for most gamers. But for those who need a more future-proof CPU, want better performance in games that use multiple cores, or are looking to get more multitasking or video editing performance, the i7 will be worth the additional cost!
- Great performance for gaming and professional tasks
- Handles photo editing and video rendering without issues
- Easy installation on compatible motherboards
- Satisfied with the overall functionality
- Good value for the price
- Long delivery time in some cases
- Lack of included fan or heatsink
6. Intel Core i9 11980HK – Best Laptop CPU For Everything
We saw earlier how well Intel’s mid-range 11th Gen H series processor can perform, and now it’s time for the premium 11th Gen H series processor to take the stage.
The i9 11980HK is the higher-end octa-core 16-thread sibling of the i7 11800H and is built for the best gaming experience on a laptop.
The i9 has a higher TDP of 65W and runs at a single turbo frequency of 5 GHz. It exceeds the i7 across both single-core and multi-core performance, meaning whatever you use it for, it will definitely do it better than the i7!
It is also part of the K series, which means that despite being a laptop processor, it is unlocked and ready for overclocking.
The Dell Alienware x17 gaming laptop pairs the i9 11980HK with an NVIDIA RTX 3080, which can give an average of 60 FPS on Cyberpunk 2077 with all settings maxed out and ray tracing on! Horizon Zero Dawn runs at an astounding average of 125 FPS with ultra presets.
The i9 11980HK is clearly an insanely high-performance laptop CPU, as shown by the Dell Alienware x17. This high performance does come at a cost, though.
The Dell Alienware x17, for example, costs over $2300 with the i9 11980HK and RTX 3080 configuration even in 2023.
This does mean that the 11th Gen i9 gaming laptops aren’t for everyone, but If you can afford these i9 11980HK laptops, they will serve you with some of the smoothest portable gaming experiences, even with upcoming AAA titles!
7. Intel Core i9 11900K – Best Desktop CPU For Everything
Enter the flagship of Intel’s 11th Generation lineup of CPUs: The i9 11900K. Like the i7 11700K, the i9 11900K is an 8-core, 16-thread processor, but this time around, we get to see a base clock of 3.5 GHz and a boost clock of 5.3 GHz using Intel’s Turbo Boost 3.0 Technology!
That Turbo Boost clock is higher than what you can get with any other 11th generation processor, even after overclocking.
This is the fastest Intel 11th Gen processor in terms of both single-core and multi-core performance, but it is also the most expensive one.
Fortunately, the prices have declined, and the previous $540 price tag has now dropped to $360. The performance and pricing both reflect how close this CPU performs to the i7 11700K, which sells for $350 on Amazon.
Apart from clock speeds, the i9 11900K and i7 11700K have pretty much the same specs and are both top-tier CPUs that you can’t go wrong with, but the extra performance on the i9 does make it the number 1 CPU in the 11th generation lineup.
With only a $10 difference on Amazon, it might just be more worth it to get the i9 instead of the i7 if you want the absolute best.
When these CPUs were released, things were different, and the i9 was much more expensive compared to the i7, which made it tough to recommend. But in 2023, it might just be the more lucrative option.
Read on and decide for yourself whether the slight performance boost is worth the extra ten dollars!
Testing these CPUs head-to-head in many titles, it’s clear that when gaming at 1080p, the i9 consistently pumps out around 5 to 10 FPS more than the i7.
As expected from the spec sheets, this gap shrinks when gaming at 1440p, with the FPS difference either non-existent or only about 2 to 4 FPS.
This is because as resolution increases, games become more GPU bound, and the GPU performance starts to play a bigger role than the CPU. When tested using the same GPU, the difference shrinks as resolution increases, and the GPU starts to bottleneck.
Since the price difference in 2023 is tiny, both CPUs are excellent choices. But for 1080p gaming, the extra ten dollars on the i9 can really be worth it, and you also get the satisfaction of owning a flagship processor! This i9 11900K can definitely handle whatever you throw its way.
- Excellent performance for demanding tasks and gaming
- Easy installation and compatible with updated motherboards
- Capable of maximizing processor resources
- Good value for the price
- Provides a noticeable performance boost
- Tends to heat up and requires a good cooling system
- Mixed satisfaction with the packaging