Last updated on March 9, 2021
What was previously just a rumor is now officially confirmed: Intel has announced that the next generation of desktop CPUs will receive an improved micro-architecture. The chips developed as Rocket Lake S are expected to grow in the double-digit percentage range, and they will go on sale as the 11th Gen Core.
According to Intel, the Rocket Lake S will have up to eight CPU cores, whereas the current Comet Lake S like the Core i9-10900K (test) will have up to ten cores. This difference should be compensated for by high frequencies and, above all, the increased output per cycle (IPC): Cypress Cove instead of Skylake would be faster in the “double digit” area. In principle, this could mean anything between 11 percent and 99 percent.
According to unconfirmed information, Cypress Cove is a derivative of Sunny Cove. This microarchitecture is used with 10 nm chips such as the Ice Lake Y / U and should be used in an adapted form for Rocket Lake S with 14 nm. For Sunny Cove, Intel states an increase of 18 percent compared to Skylake, so it should be similar for Cypress Cove. The deep learning boost is new, including at least the VNNI (Vector Neural Network Instructions) for the AVX-512 instruction set expansion, Intel said nothing about the GNA (Gaussian Neural Accelerator).
Presentation on Rocket Lake S with Cypress Cove (Image: Intel)
In addition, Intel said that the Rocket Lake S has a root controller for 20 PCIe Gen4 lanes, while the Comet Lake S only has 16 PCIe Gen3 lanes. This means that with the 11th Gen Core it will be possible to connect a fast NVMe SSD directly to the processor, as has been the case with Ryzen CPUs from AMD for years. The 500 chipset series for the LGA 1200 socket – this is retained with Rocket Lake S – should also natively support USB 3.2 Gen2x2 (20 GBit / s) .
In addition to the Cypress Cove cores, the Rocket Lake S also has a Xe-LP graphics unit. According to Intel’s own benchmarks, this should be 50 percent faster than the Gen9.5 graphics in Comet Lake S. The 3DMark Night Raid was used for the comparison. With an expected 48 EUs, the Xe-LP in Rocket Lake S should only be sufficient for casual gaming, there is AV1 decoding / encoding. For screens, it remains at Displayport 1.4 and HDMI 2.0b, so 4K with 120 Hz is only possible via DP connection.
According to Intel, Rocket Lake S will be released in the first quarter of 2021 . Competitor AMD will bring the Ryzen 5000 (Vermeer) on the market on November 5, 2020, which should be the new benchmark for apps and games for a few months.