Spending 5 generations on the identical base microarchitecture is a very long time. The thrill will be sustained by optimizing a course of node, including cores, and extracting each drop of frequency, however sooner or later the bottom design turns into the bottleneck and it’s time to transfer on. Intel’s fanatic desktop market has been ready for an replace for a few generations, and whereas the brand new 11th Gen Core Rocket Lake doesn’t migrate off of the 14nm course of node, we’re no less than getting a brand new microarchitecture that guarantees (in response to Intel) a 19% IPC enchancment. Promising a Q1 launch, Intel lifted the lid slightly on its subsequent client flagship, the Core i9-11900K.
We already know that Rocket Lake is processor that’s plugging the hole whereas Intel continues to allow 10nm for high-performance desktop use. Rocket Lake is constructed upon Cypress Cove, the reimagining of Sunny Cove ‘backported’ to Intel’s 14nm course of. The purpose right here was to allow Sunny Cove efficiency and instruction help, resembling AVX-512, on client 14nm, albeit with the bigger core measurement and any associated energy and effectivity modifications. Rocket Lake additionally makes use of Intel’s new Xe Graphics, additionally re-designed for 14nm. Intel noticed match to construct Rocket Lake, which wasn’t in its unique plans, because of the delays on 10nm, and now it appears prepared to debate its productization.
Changing Comet Lake (5th technology of Skylake), because of the elevated measurement of the core, Intel’s flagship strikes down from the ten cores of Comet to eight cores of Rocket, however positive aspects each AVX-512 directions, a brand new cache hierarchy (+50% L1-D, +100% L2), and as much as 19% directions per clock enchancment. Intel’s particulars about its upcoming Core i9-11900K is that it’ll hit the identical turbo frequencies as the present Core i9-10900K, which implies we are going to see 5.3 GHz with one core, in addition to 4.8 GHz all-core turbo. No phrase on the die measurement distinction, and likewise no direct phrase on TDP, nevertheless within the footnotes we see that the Intel Rocket Lake Core i9-11900K is ready to have a TDP/PL1 of 125 W and a PL2 turbo energy restrict of 250 W, with a turbo time of 56 seconds.
The brand new Core i9-11900K will even use DDR4-3200, enabling Intel to achieve parity with AMD, in addition to 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes from the processor to produce bandwidth to a full GPU in addition to a PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe storage drive. Maybe one of many greatest updates would be the connection to the chipset, with Intel doubling the DMI hyperlink from x4 to x8, doubling the bandwidth from gadgets related to the chipset (like drives or networking) to the processor. Intel’s DMI hyperlink is usually equated to PCIe 3.0, which implies we’re at a PCIe 3.0 x8 equal hyperlink right here. The chipset additionally positive aspects help for USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 which is a 20 Gbps connectivity velocity.
One other function on the GPU facet, together with enhanced efficiency shifting to Xe graphics, is AV1 decode help, in addition to always-on Fast Sync Video. With Rocket Lake, Intel is enabling each the built-in graphics and the discrete graphics to produce compute concurrently, permitting customers to allow their discrete graphics for gaming and the built-in graphics for stream encoding. This will probably be managed by extra software program, resembling that discovered on twin graphics laptops, that allow pointing particular software program to totally different gadgets.
Together with the brand new set of processors, motherboard distributors will probably be launching quite a lot of 500-series chipset based mostly motherboards for Rocket Lake, and these motherboards will even help present technology Comet Lake processors. These new chipsets have an x8 DMI hyperlink to the CPU, until a Comet Lake is put in, then it is just x4. Equally, Rocket Lake will even work in 400-series chipsets, and the Z490 motherboards which might be marketed with PCIe 4.0 help ought to have this enabled by a BIOS replace. There’s one small caveat – Rocket Lake won’t work in H410 and B460 motherboards as these use 22nm chipsets. There seems to be some incompatibility right here.
For efficiency, Intel is claiming a +2% to +9% achieve in common body charges in quite a lot of fashionable video games (Gears of Struggle 5, Cyberpunk 2077, Watchdogs Legion, Farcry New Daybreak) at 1080p in both Excessive or Extremely settings. Intel additionally promotes that on account of AVX-512, the brand new processors will allow DLBoost, accelerating machine studying. Primarily something that Ice Lake cellular helps, Rocket Lake will as effectively. Intel has acknowledged that the brand new Core 11th Gen desktop processors may have new overclocking options and capabilities, nevertheless no particulars got.
We could hear extra efficiency numbers throughout Intel’s presentation as we speak at CES.
This week we’re not anticipating to listen to way more in regards to the Rocket Lake processors themselves, though we’ve got quite a lot of motherboard bulletins from all the foremost gamers, with Z590, B560, and H510 motherboard data already circling round. Intel has acknowledged that extra particulars on Rocket Lake will come throughout the quarter, whereas the official launch of the product would look like within the late March timeframe in response to quite a lot of experiences.