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Intel details its 11th-gen 'Rocket Lake' processors with new core architecture

Intel Rocket Lake in retail packaging

After months of teasing and even being forced to tip its hand on a release date, Intel is finally detailing its 11th-generation desktop processors, codenamed Rocket Lake-S. While they're still built on a 14nm node, there's quite a bit that's new, including a new architecture with up to 19% IPC (instructions per clock cycle) improvement.

They also come with all-new integrated graphics. Called UHD Graphics 750 but using Iris Xe architecture, Intel is promising up to a 50% boost over the previous generation. The family is also getting new AI features with Intel Deep Learning Boost.

That's not all though, and we can go straight down the list of new features. Rocket Lake-S will support up to 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes, whereas its predecessor only had support for PCIe 3.0, which had half the bandwidth. There's support for faster DDR4-3200 memory, integrated HDMI 2.0, support for 10-bit AV1 and 12-bit HEVC, and more overclocking features.

Intel 11th-gen Core Desktop Processor text with diagram

While Rocket Lake-S uses the same LGA 1200 socket as Comet Lake-S did, it does use the new 500 series chipset (some older motherboards are supported via a firmware update). The chipset comes with built-in support for Thunderbolt 4, Wi-Fi 6E, 20Gbps USB 3.2 Gen 2x2, and more.

At 1080p settings, the Core i9-11900K beat out its predecessor in Total War: Three Kingdoms by 13%, Gears 5 by 9%, Grid 2019 by 8%, and Microsoft Flight Simulator by 14%. But probably more importantly, it compared the Core i9-11900K to the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X, and it was ahead by 10% with Total War: Three Kingdoms, 3% on Gears 5, 6% on Grid 2019, and 11% on Microsoft Flight Simulator.

And as mentioned earlier, there are more overclocking features. It supports memory overclocking on H570 and B560 chipsets, integrated memory controller with Gear 2 and wider timings, and more.

The processors will be shipping this month, and they max out at $539 for the flagship Core i9-11900K. Of course, the prices go down from there, all the way down to the lowest-end model, the Pentium Gold 6405T for $64.

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