Intel’s 11th Gen Core i9 processor boosts Microsoft Flight Simulator by 20 percent

I built a new gaming PC in September to play new games like Microsoft Flight Simulator, Cyberpunk 2077, and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. I figured that picking Intel’s Core i9-10900K and Nvidia’s RTX 3090 would make this machine last for years and offer top tier performance in demanding titles like Microsoft Flight Simulator. I was wrong. Microsoft Flight Simulator is a notorious beast of a game and is quickly becoming the new Crysis test for PCs.
It has struggled to run smoothly above 30fps with all settings maxed out at 1440p on my PC, and even AMD’s Intel-beating Ryzen 9 5950X only improved the situation slightly for some.
Intel’s latest 11th Gen processor arrives with a big promise of up to 19 percent IPC (instructions per cycle) improvements over the existing i9-10900K, and more specifically the lure of 14 percent more performance at 1080p in Microsoft Flight Simulator with high settings. This piqued my curiosity, so I’ve been testing the i9-11900K over the past few days to see what it can offer for Microsoft Flight Simulator specifically.
It’s less than a year after the i9-10900K release, and I’m already considering upgrading to Intel’s new i9-11900K because I’ve found it boosts Microsoft Flight Simulator by 20 percent.

The Verge doesn’t typically review processors, so we don’t own dedicated hardware testing rigs or multiple CPUs and systems to offer all of the benchmarks and comparisons you’d typically find in CPU reviews. For those, we’re going to recommend you visit the excellent folks at Tom’s Hardware, KitGuru, or Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry.
Intel’s new Core i9-11900K ships with eight cores, 16 threads, and boosted clock speeds up to 5.3GHz. On paper, that sounds like it would be less powerful than the 10900K with its 10 cores, 20 threads, and boosted clock speeds up to 5.3GHz, but the reality is far more complicated thanks to how games and apps are designed. Most of Flight Simulator currently runs in a main thread that’s often limited by how well your CPU can run single-threaded applications and games.

Intel Core i9-11900K

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Intel’s new Core i9-11900K desktop processor is its latest top-of-the-line consumer grade chip. It has eight cores, 16 threads, and a top boost clock speed of 5.3GHz.