Intel has finally decided to reveal some more details about their upcoming Intel Rocket Lake CPUs giving us a better look at what to expect when they release early next year. One of the biggest differences, when compared to recent leaks, is that the chips will feature Cypress Cove cores over the expected Willow Cove.
We now have a clearer snapshot of what the upcoming Intel Rocket Lake CPUs will look like. They will come with 8 cores and 50% more integrated graphics power and will be based on the 14nm process. Unlike previous generations though, they will feature a freshly revamped architecture called Cypress Cove, based on the Sunny Cove (Ice Lake) architecture. Basically, it’s a backport of 10nm to 14nm along with added PCIe 4.0 support and Xe 12 generation graphics to boot.
We also learned that Rocket Lake S will feature 20 CPU-based PCIe 4.0 lanes – making it 4 more than the previous generation, something that has really been lacking from the company’s lineup until now, and the first mainstream Intel architecture to support the PCIe 4.0.
This is all great news for enthusiasts because Rocket Lake will be the first major new architecture in a very long time. But, finding out that the CPUs will be based on Cypress Cove instead of Willow Cover means we may not see the 25%+ IPC we were expecting, but Intel confirmed that it will still be double digits – so we shall have to wait and see. With the 5.0GHz boost clock and new architecture, we are getting the best possible combination for an Intel performance upgrade in a long time.
After Intel released the official, top-level details of the new Rocket Lake CPUs, not too long after, some unofficial benchmarks appeared thanks to our favorite source of leaks – TUM_APISAK. The leak shows one of the 11th gen RKL chips is listed with 8 cores, 16 threads, a 3.4GHz base, and a 4.2 GHz boost – lower than what has been hinted at by Intel. Intel has claimed that the new CPUs will come in Core i9, Core i7, and Core i5 varieties and boast frequencies beyond 5GHz. So, a 4.2 GHz boost is not even close to what we are expecting the final retail variants to carry when they launch.
The other interesting thing about this leaked benchmark is that it was run on a Z590 motherboard (an MSI Z590-A PRO-12VO to be precise). This particular motherboard comes with the LGA 1200 socket which will support both the 10th and 11th gen Intel CPUs before they transition to the new LGA 1700 socket in Q3 2021. Finally, the setup also included 32GB of DDR4-2667 memory and a 160 GB WD Blue HD. Based on what we know, we’re predicting this to be either the Core i9-11900K or Core i7-11700K.
In the benchmark, the CPU scores 179 points in 1-Core, 368 points in 2-Core, 682 points in 4-Core, 1115 points in 8-Core, and a total of 1623 points in 64-Core tests.
According to the benchmarks we’ve seen (above), the new CPU performs up to 21% faster than the Core i7-10700K, even though it’s predecessor has the same amount of cores and threads within single-core benchmarks. The Core i7-10700K also has a clock advantage of 5.1GHz compared to the 4.2Ghz here – a 21% faster clock. Taking this into account, we can only imagine how much the 11th-gen chips will outperform their predecessors when we see the full 5GHz+ Rocket Lakes next year.
When we dive into multi-core tests though, things begin to change. Despite having a significantly lower all-core boost rate than the 10th Gen Core i& and Core i9 CPUs (which come in at 5GHz+), the Rocket Lake CPU still comes out ahead of the 10700K by 7% in 8-core and 4% in 64-core tests. This does help to convince us of Intel’s claims that performance increases will hit those double-digits, but really, we still need more evidence before we feel confident that this is what we’ll see.
Looking outside of Intel’s own chips, if we see the performance increases we expect, we can probably see Rocket Lake CPUs help Intel beat AMD’s Ryzen 5000 Zen 3 family when it comes to single-core performance, despite their impressive speed.