Persistent problems getting a working 10-nanometer technology have meant that enthusiasts for five years have had to make do with the architecture Skylake from Intel. Now, a full five and a half years after the launch of the Core i7-6700K, it’s time for some real news on the processor front from Intel. The code name is Rocket Lake, the architecture is Cypress Cove and the top model is called – Core i9-11900K.
The architecture Cypress Cove is the same as Sunny Cove for the processor family Ice Lake at 10 nanometers, but here ported over to 14 nanometers. With this, no less than 19 percent higher performance per clock frequency (IPC) is promised over aging Skylake, which with clock frequencies above 5.0 GHz guarantees a real single-wire performance boost.
The flagship Core i9-11900K houses eight Cypress Cove cores with support for the multi-thread technology Hyperthreading. There are two cores less than today’s Skylake-based Core i9-10900K, something that may be offset by the higher performance per core. According to Intel, the model has a maximum clock frequency of 5.3 GHz with one core and 4.8 GHz with all.
New on the architectural front is the graphics part that takes the step to Xe. In the case of Rocket Lake, the purpose of the integrated graphics component is not game performance, but increased support for media features and acceleration. The memory controller is also a new creation and means that Rocket Lake has official support for DDR4 memory in 3,200 MHz, on a par with AMD’s Ryzen 5000 processors.
Another big news is that Intel is taking the step over to PCI Express 4.0, where the number of available channels is 20. How these are used is up to motherboard manufacturers and users, but the main idea from Intel’s side is PCI Express 4.0 x16 for a graphics card and PCI Express 4.0 x4 for the latest cutting edge SSDs.
Intel Rocket Lake is flanked by a new 500-series control circuit that integrates USB 3.2 Gen 2 × 2 (20 Gbps). For the first time in a long time, the number of channels for the DMI bus, which is used to communicate with the processor, is also doubled. The step from the previous four to eight pieces gives a theoretical bandwidth of 32 GB / s.
Forward and backward compatibility
Core 10000 “Comet Lake”
Core 11000 “Rocket Lake”
The new control circuits are paired with today’s socket LGA 1200 which is used with the Core 10000 series. This means that the new Core 11000 series with i9-11900K at the forefront will be backwards compatible with today’s motherboards, but only those with control circuits Z490, Q470 and H470. Motherboards with B460 and H410 do not support the new processors.
Promises higher gaming performance than AMD
When AMD launched the Ryzen 5000 series in the autumn of 2020 with the architecture Zen 3, it meant for the first time in over a decade that they definitely snatched the performance crown from Intel. This is because in most cases offering higher single-wire performance, while the consumer-oriented models go all the way up to 16 cores.
With Rocket Lake, Intel stays at 8 cores Cypress Cove, which is expected to outperform AMD’s Zen 3. With this, Intel promises to once again deliver higher performance in games. One of the examples that stands out is CD Projekt RED’s latest big game Cyberpunk 2077, where the company’s Core i9-11900K is said to offer 4 percent more frames per second (FPS) than AMD’s 12-core Ryzen 9 5900X.
In terms of multi-threaded performance, however, it is clear that Intel will continue to be sterned by AMD, which in its lineup of Ryzen 5000 processors offers up to 16 cores with 32 threads.
The launch of the Intel “Rocket Lake” Core 11000 series with associated motherboards will take place sometime during the first quarter of the year.
Have you been looking forward to a new architecture from Intel? Does Rocket Lake sound interesting or are you more attracted to AMD’s Ryzen 5000 series with more cores?
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