We’re taking an early look at the 11th-generation Rocket Lake-S platform, where Intel has made its final touches for the desktop market.
AMD made an ambitious breakthrough with the new Zen 3 micro architecture and Ryzen 5000 series CPUs. The red team aims to take the lead in terms of multi-core, single core and game performance with these processors. Intel plans to respond with 11th generation Rocket Lake series processors.
With the new platform, we expect significant changes and breakthroughs on the Intel side. Now, let’s put the data we have on the table.
The Rocket Lake-S family will likely be based on Intel’s refined 14nm manufacturing process. The blue team has a long experience above 14nm and we are likely to see quite high frequency speeds. In fact, values such as 5.5 GHz were mentioned in a leak. It was also said that the unnamed CPU outperformed the Ryzen 9 5950X in single-core tests.
On the other hand, it should be noted that Intel has just started to produce 10nm SuperFin. So it can be difficult for them to produce bulky and the capacity may not be enough for Rocket Lake-S desktop chips.
Most hardware enthusiasts can react like “again 14nm”. However, Intel is preparing to make important architectural changes this time. The Skylake architecture, used since the 6th generation processors, is now obsolete. Intel had come this time with small IPC gains and frequency increases.
Now we will see Cypress Cove cores in new processors. These cores are said to be a backport of Willow Cove cores based on 10nm production. So we can call it adaptation for desktop platform and refined 14nm.
However, significant IPC gains were confirmed in new processors. Every processor will get at least double digit IPC improvement and we expect this value to extend up to 20%.
Xe Integrated Graphics
We talked about Xe graphics architecture in 11th generation Tiger Lake mobile processors. Moreover, we have seen this graphics architecture in external GPUs under the name Iris Xe Max.
As we mentioned before, 12th generation Xe graphics will also be used in Rocket Lake processors, with graphical performance increases of up to 50%. This architecture allows for screen resolutions up to 4K60, while offering support for high-end video decoders such as 4: 4: 4 HEVC and VP9.
PCIe 4.0 Support
Rocket Lake-S will be an architecture that supports PCIe 4.0. In this context, let’s remind you once again that some Z490 chipsets currently on sale come with PCIe 4.0 support. Support on motherboards will be available with new processors.
As you know, the AMD side has been using PCIe 4.0 technology in its motherboards for a long time. Note that the new chips will include 20 CPU-based PCIe 4.0 lanes. Thus, an important shortcoming of Intel will be closed.
DDR4 Memory Support
Until now, we’ve been seeing Intel processors with local memory support at low frequencies. So much so that this is not an obstacle for the use of high frequency RAM. However, the frequency support officially listed by Intel was low.
Now the integrated memory controller built into the processors will natively support speeds up to DDR4-3200 without any overclocking.
LGA1200 Socket and Motherboard Support
Note that Rocket Lake-S CPUs will continue to use the LGA1200 socket type and will provide backward compatibility with Z490 motherboards. Additionally, chipsets such as the H410 or B460 are early to speak of, but likely the same support will be available.
In the meantime, we mentioned that H410 motherboards may offer limited support for the 11th generation series.
11th Generation Rocket Lake-S Features
With its new architecture, Intel will offer Deep Learning Boost and VNNI support, which are expected to provide significant pluses in artificial intelligence workloads.
In addition, it is also among the information that the USB 3.2 Gen 2 × 2 standard will be used for high USB speeds.
Finally, let’s look at some unofficial details based on some leaks:
- PCI-e Gen 4.0 support.
- Higher AVX-512 performance, but gets very hot under 8 cores and consumes higher power.
- There was an increase in both L1 and L2 cache sizes. L1 32 KB and L2 256 KB in 10 generation, L1 48 KB / L2 512 KB in 11 generation.
- General summary: Although 11th generation processors are in 14nm production, there is a considerable increase in performance.
- Game performance has increased with the new architecture. It is stated to be much more powerful than 10th generation processors. However, Cinebench R20 and R15 are still behind AMD in multi-threaded tests.
- It is quite easy to reach 5 GHz on all cores.
- Compatibility with PCIe 4.0 supported Z490 motherboards with required hardware integration.
- VRMs on Z490 motherboards are sufficient for overclocking in the 11th generation.