Intel paperlaunches Rocket Lake-S today

Posted on Tuesday, March 16 2021 @ 16:26 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Intel logo
Today is Rocket Lake-S paperlaunch day. Intel just officially unwrapped its 11th Gen Core series, including the new Core i9-11900K flagship processor which should retail for around $550. Not a lot of surprises here as we've already seen plenty of leaks over the past couple of weeks and months.

10nm features on a 14nm process

Rocket Lake-S is best described as a 14nm backport of a 10nm architecture. Intel struggled massively with making its 10nm node ready for production, which caused major shifts in the product roadmaps. Intel chips made on 10nm should have been mainstream years ago but due to massive technical issues with the node, and poor yields, the company is still using refined versions of 14nm as its main workhorse.

The 11th Gen Core series features several novelties. You get a maximum of eight Cypress Cove based cores, integrated graphics based on Xe-LP, and PCI Express 4.0 support. Rocket Lake-S is the final processor on Intel's LGA1200 -- towards the end of this year, we'll see the LGA1700 Alder Lake-S processors.

Sixth-gen Skylake for Core i3 and Pentium

With Rocket Lake, Intel is focussing on Core i5 and up. There are no Core i3 or below parts. To serve the lower end of the market, Intel has a Comet Lake Refresh for its Core i3 and Pentium series. It's kinda hard to believe, but Core i3 and Pentium are basically getting sixth-generation Skylake.

To use Rocket Lake-S you will need a motherboard with a supported 400-series chipset or 500-series chipset. The Z590, B560, H510, Z490, Q470, and H470 should support Rocket Lake-S after a BIOS update. There will be no support for the B460 or H410.

When it ships?

It's a paperlaunch so Rocket Lake-S will not be available until March 30, 2021. Reviews are expected by the end of the month too. At the moment, various sites already have reviews of parts that were sold a bit too early in some parts of the world. Initial indications are that Rocket Lake-S isn't that great -- but it's likely to sell well because better alternatives from AMD have supply issues.

Rocket Lake-S specification list

Below is an overview of the new Rocket Lake-S Core i5, Core i7 and Core i9 processors:

Intel Rocket Lake S specifications

Comet Lake Refresh specifications list

And next we also have the specifications of the new Comet Lake Refresh Core i3 and Pentium processors:
Intel Comet Lake Refresh specs
The 11th Gen Intel® Core™ S-series desktop processors (code-named "Rocket Lake-S") launched worldwide today, led by the flagship Intel® Core™ i9-11900K. Reaching speeds of up to 5.3GHz with Intel® Thermal Velocity Boost, the Intel Core i9-11900K delivers even more performance to gamers and PC enthusiasts.

Engineered on the new Cypress Cove architecture, 11th Gen Intel Core S-series desktop processors are designed to transform hardware and software efficiency and increase raw gaming performance. The new architecture brings up to 19% gen-over-gen instructions per cycle (IPC) improvement for the highest frequency cores and adds Intel® UHD graphics featuring the Intel® Xe graphics architecture for rich media and intelligent graphics capabilities. That matters because games and most applications continue to depend on high-frequency cores to drive high frame rates and low latency.

Designed to Game: With its new 11th Gen desktop processors, Intel continues to push desktop gaming performance to the limits and deliver the most amazing immersive experiences for players everywhere.

At the top of the stack is the 11th Gen Intel Core i9-11900K, featuring unmatched performance with up to 5.3 gigahertz, eight cores, 16 threads and 16 megabytes of Intel® Smart Cache. The unlocked 11th Gen Intel Core desktop processor supports fast memory speeds with DDR4-3200 to help enable smooth gameplay and seamless multitasking on this platform.

Improvements in this generation include:
  • Up to 19% gen-over-gen IPC performance improvement.
  • Up to 50% better integrated graphics performance with Intel UHD graphics featuring Intel Xe graphics architecture.
  • Intel® Deep Learning Boost and Vector Neural Network Instructions support to accelerate artificial intelligence (AI) inference — vastly improving performance for deep learning workloads.
  • Enhanced overclocking tools and features for flexible overclocking and tuning performance and experience.
Through close collaboration with more than 200 of the top game developers, Intel brings a host of game, engine, middleware and rendering optimizations to applications so they can take advantage of 11th Gen Intel® Core™ S-series processors to deliver exciting gaming experiences.

Superior Tuning and Stability: 11th Gen Intel Core desktop processors introduce new overclocking tools and features for more flexible tuning to achieve unmatched speeds and superior game performance. This generation includes real-time memory overclocking which enables changes to DDR4 frequency in real time, extending memory overclocking support for H570 and B560 chipsets allowing users to experience overclocking, Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX) 2 and AVX-512 voltage guard band override, and an all new integrated memory controller with wider timings and Gear 2 support (in addition to Gear 1 support).

Media and Streaming Features for Days: The new 11th Gen Intel Core S-series delivers rich media experiences, from AAA gaming to high-definition streaming with additional features including DDR4-3200 MHz support, 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes, Intel Quick Sync Video, enhanced media (10bit AV1/12bit high-efficiency video coding decode and end-to-end compression), enhanced display (Integrated HDMI 2.0, HBR3), and discrete Thunderbolt™ 4 and Intel Wi-Fi 6E support. -- Intel

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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