The Intel Core i7 11700K is a very strong processor for gaming, inheriting the same huge single-core uptick as other 11th-gen processors while offering eight cores and sixteen threads, the exact same count as the flagship Core i9 11900K. That means nearly flagship-level performance for a much lower price - and now an Ebay seller is offering the 11700K at £60 off its normal price, just £279. That's a deal worth knowing about, so here's the link - and a little more on what makes the 11700K a suitable choice for your next PC build.
Core i7 CPUs have had a weird few years. Initially, they were the fastest possible CPUs compared to the slower and fewer-cored Core i3 and Core i5 classes, but that changed with the ninth generation as Intel added the Core i9 9900K - likely as a way to push back against what was then a rapidly-improving competitor in AMD's Ryzen. We then had a couple of generations with the Core i7 offering fewer cores and lower frequencies than the flagship Core i9, but with 11th-gen the Core i7 option looks a lot more promising once again.
As alluded to in the introduction, the Core i9 this year has the same eight-core, sixteen-thread layout as the Core i7, so the only reason to go for the more expensive i9 is a unique feature called Adaptive Boost Technology that pushes frequency higher when temperature allows. That doesn't result in a massive uptick in gaming performance, so the Core i7 11700K feels like the much better value option!
Compared to the similarly eight-core Ryzen 7 5800X processors, the Core i7 11700K is around the same speed in most games, but a little faster when overclocked according to Tom's Hardware. This does depend on which game you're playing, but in general either is a fine choice - and the 5800X costs significantly more, at £346 at Amazon.
The Core i7 11700K will work on Intel 400-series or 500-series motherboards, e.g. the Z490 and Z590, with the former normally requiring a BIOS upgrade to add support for the CPU as it was released later.
If you already have a Core i5 10400 or similar, this would be a strong upgrade. Otherwise we recommend this chip for those currently using a significantly older Intel or AMD CPU (e.g. first or second-gen Ryzen, or seventh-gen Intel Core), as this will ensure a big enough performance leap to make the decision to get a new motherboard and potentially new RAM worthwhile!