In addition to discussing the number of cores in the 11900K, this article will discuss recommendations for compatible motherboards, CPU coolers, and memory.
Intel's Core i9-11900K CPUs have 8 cores.
Check out our Recommended Motherboards for the 11th Gen 11900K below.
The Intel Core i9-11900K has 16 threads.
For Intel's 11th gen processors, Hyper-Threading is available for each core. Hyper-Threading provides two threads for each of the 8 cores on the 11900K.
The processor has a 3.50 GHz base frequency and supports a 5.30 GHz max turbo frequency.
|Processor Name Suffix||Meaning|
|K||"K" means it's an unlocked CPU. Unlocked CPUs have configurable frequencies and thus support overclocking. Your "motherboard" must support overclocking to overclock unlocked CPUs. Motherboards with Z-series chipsets typically support overclocking. Learn more about what each chipset supports in my article Which Chipsets Work With Intel's Core i9-11900K CPU?.|
The 11900K model name doesn't have an F suffix. Non-F CPUs contain integrated graphics, and a separate graphics card isn't required if your motherboard includes video-output connectors (e.g., HDMI).
The 11900K model name has a K suffix. K-suffixed CPUs can be overclocked with a compatible motherboard.
Motherboards with a Z-series chipset typically support overclocking. For example, motherboards with the Z590 chipset usually support overclocking Intel's 11th Gen Core CPUs. Learn more about what each chipset supports in my article Which Chipsets Work With Intel's Core i9-11900K CPU?.
A CPU cooler's TDP (Thermal Design Power) rating indicates how much heat it can dissipate in watts. If the cooler can't keep your CPU cool enough, your CPU may throttle (slow down), and your cooler will constantly run at full speed.
Intel CPU specifications indicate this power dissipation number as "Processor Base Power."
The Core i9-11900K has a TDP of 125 watts.
A CPU cooler can still work with a lower TDP rating than the TDP of a CPU. However, the CPU will eventually throttle itself to a lower frequency to allow itself to cool.
The CPU may not achieve or maintain maximum turbo speeds without adequate cooling.
Learn more in Choosing the Best CPU Cooler for Intel's Core i9-11900K.
For Intel's 11th generation Core i9 11900K processor, you'll need a motherboard with an LGA 1200 socket and a compatible 500-series or 400-series chipset.
Motherboards for Intel processors are made with chipsets provided by Intel. Each chipset offers a unique set of capabilities. However, motherboards must explicitly support features and capabilities for you to use them. Verify that a motherboard supports the features and capabilities you desire.
The "K" in the model name 11900K means it's an unlocked processor that supports overclocking. You will need a motherboard with the Z590 or Z490 chipset to support CPU overclocking.
For compatiblity with Intel's 11th generation Core processors, you can use any of the 500-series chipsets: Z590, H570, B560, H510. These are roughly sorted from most to least functionality. The W580 and Q570 chipsets are also compatible, but are intended for workstation and business use cases; their availability in stand-alone motherboards is limited.
While the budget-friendly 400-series B460 and H410 won't work with the 11th generation Core processors, the Z490 and H470 400-series chipsets are compatible. However, these chipsets were originally designed for the 10th generations Core processors, and will limit the capabilities of your system. The W480 and Q470 chipsets are also compatible, but are intended for workstation and business use cases; their availability in stand-alone motherboards is limited.
For a detailed comparison of these chipsets, check out my article Which Chipsets Work With Intel's Core i9-11900K CPU?.
Find Z590 Chipset 11th Gen Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
Find H570 Chipset 11th Gen Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
Find B560 Chipset 11th Gen Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
Find H510 Chipset 11th Gen Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
Find Z490 Chipset 10th Gen Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
Find H470 Chipset 10th Gen Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
Best Feature Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero
- Our recommended feature-rich motherboard to pair with the Core i9-11900K is ASUS's ROG Maximus XIII Hero:
- Four NVMe M.2 slots, which is great! (two @ PCIe 4.0 speeds, two @ PCIe 3.0 speeds).
- This board includes various headers for accessories, including 3 ARGB headers for lighting control and separate liquid pump header.
- Audio noise canceling and an optical audio output port
- Z590 chipset supports overclocking for K-prefixed CPUs.
- PCIe 4.0 support
- Wi-Fi 6E makes it easy to reach the fastest speeds and future-proof your Wi-Fi system.
- Bluetooth 5.2 is great for streaming music to Bluetooth headphones.
- Two 2.5 Gb Ethernet ports are faster than most Internet speeds with room to spare for file transfers.
- USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 offers 20 Gbps USB speeds!
- Check the latest price of the ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero on Amazon (affiliate link).
Best Value Motherboard: ASUS TUF Gaming Z590-Plus WiFi
- Our recommended value motherboard to pair with the Core i9-11900K is the ASUS TUF Gaming Z590-Plus WiFi motherboard:
- Three NVMe M.2 slots, which is excellent (one @ PCIe 4.0 speeds, two @ PCIe 3.0 speeds).
- PCIe 4.0 support
- Wi-Fi 6 makes it easy to reach the fastest speeds and future-proof your Wi-Fi system.
- One 2.5 Gb Ethernet port, which is faster than most Internet speeds with room to spare for file transfers.
- USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 offers 20 Gbps USB speeds!
- Check the latest price of the ASUS TUF Gaming Z590-Plus WiFi on Amazon (affiliate link).
Best AIO Liquid Cooler: Enermax Liqmax III 360
- This Enermax liquid cooler has an excellent cooling capability with a 360-watt TDP (Thermal Design Power).
- Supports a variety of CPU sockets, including Intel LGA 2066, 2011-3, 2011, 1700, 1200, 1366, 1156, 1155, 1151, 1150 and AMD AM4, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2, FM2+, FM2, FM1.
- Quiet operation at 14-27 dBA.
- Make sure your computer case dimensions support this, as it will take up a decent amount of space!
Best Dual-Fan Air CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15
- Dual 140 mm fans provide 220-watt TDP (183 NSPR) of cooling capability.
- Supports a variety of CPU sockets, including Intel LGA 1700, 1200, 1156, 1155, 1151, 1150, 2011, 2066 and AMD AM4, AM3, AM3+, AM2, AM2+, FM2, FM2+.
- Quiet operation at 24.6 dBA.
Runner Up - Dual-Fan Air CPU Cooler: Thermaltake TOUGHAIR 510
- This CPU cooler doesn't have any fancy LED lights, but the dual 120 mm fans do a great job of cooling LGA 1200 CPUs.
- Suppose you think this cooler will take up too much space. In that case, Thermaltake has a few single-fan TOUGHAIR variants which use different orientations.
- This CPU cooler has a 2000 RPM max speed for optimal cooling.
- 180-watt TDP (Thermal Design Power).
Before purchasing memory, review your motherboard specification to verify which speeds are supported. For example, if a DDR4 motherboard stated that it supports "DDR4 3400(O.C.) / 3333(O.C.) / 3300(O.C.) / 3200 / 3000," that would mean that it could support DDR4-3400, DDR4-3333, and DDR4-3300 with memory overclocking, and DDR4-3200 and DDR4-3000 at stock speeds. Motherboard specifications also indicate the maximum capacity per stick of RAM (DIMM) and across all slots.
Recommended Stock-Speed DDR4
- At an effective frequency of 3200 MHz, this memory hits the fastest DDR4 speed supported by Intel's Core i9 11900K CPU without overclocking.
- The low-profile form factor ensures that the heat spreaders don't get in the way of other devices, including your CPU heatsink.
Recommended DDR4 for Overclockers
- This DDR4 memory is designed for overclocking to an effective frequency of 3600 MHz.
- Supports XMP 2.0.
- Compact heat spreaders avoid conflicting with a CPU cooler.
- Which Chipsets Work With Intel's Core i9-11900K CPU?
- Choosing the Best CPU Cooler for Intel's Core i9-11900K
- Choosing the Best Power Supply for Intel's Core i9-11900K
- Is the Core i9-11900K CPU Good for Gaming?
- Choosing the Best RAM for Intel's Core i9-11900K CPU
- Choosing the Best Motherboard for Intel's Core i9-11900K
- How Many Cores Do Intel Core i9-11900K CPUs Have?
- What Is the TDP of the Core i9-11900K CPU?
You can find detailed 11900K specifications on Intel's site.
Want to brush up on other new technologies to consider when building a computer? Check out these articles:
- CPU Coolers:
- Graphics Cards:
- Power Supplies: