from the I-see-what-you-did-there dept.
Gigabyte has confirmed that Intel will launch its Rocket Lake CPU refresh in March, as part of an announcement touting its own PCIe 4.0 support. Gigabyte announced today that if you own a Z490 motherboard, you'll be getting a UEFI update to support Rocket Lake CPUs with full PCIe 4.0 support.
The rest of the PR goes into detail on how Gigabyte engineered their motherboards to handle the higher heat output of PCIe 4.0, and the fact that addressable BAR support is coming to the company's motherboards as well. Addressable BAR is the same feature AMD debuted as Smart Access Memory earlier this year.
The March 2021 date confirms what we've heard previously — late March is more likely than early March. It's going to be genuinely interesting to see how Cypress Cove performs against AMD's Zen 3. Generally speaking, based on leaked benchmarks and early data, we're looking at impressive gains for Intel in single-thread performance. Multi-thread performance estimates for the Core i9-11900K have varied. In some cases, the 11900K is almost a match for the 10-core Core i9-10900K. In a few leaked results, it's actually been faster on eight cores than Comet Lake was on 10.
Are any of my fellow Soylentils doing PC builds right now, and if so what are you building? Let us know in the comments!
takyon writes: Intel announced more details about Rocket Lake at CES 2021. While dropping the top core count from 10 to 8, Intel estimates a 19% IPC increase for Rocket Lake-S. It also adds AVX-512 and "Deep Learning Boost" support. The integrated graphics should be about 50% faster, and can be used for stream encoding while discrete graphics is being used for gaming. AV1 video decode is supported. New Z590, B560, and H510 motherboards will support both Rocket Lake and Comet Lake. Intel's comparison of the 8-core i9-11900K to AMD's 12-core Ryzen 9 5900X shows the former performing 2-8% faster at several games at 1080p.
Intel's next-generation "Rocket Lake" CPUs will be some of Intel's last desktop models on a "14nm" node, and include "backported" Willow Cove cores (referred to as "Cypress Cove") from "10nm" Tiger Lake mobile CPUs, with improved instructions per clock. Notably, the lineup only goes up to 8 cores, instead of 10 cores for the previous Core i9. The review embargo ends on the launch date, March 30th, but some retailers have been selling the CPUs early. AnandTech obtained an 8-core i7-11700K and wrote a review of it. The results were not great.
Power consumption of the 125 W TDP chip peaked at 224.56 W when running an AVX2 workload, compared to 204.79 W for its i7-10700K "Comet Lake" predecessor and 141.45 W for AMD's Ryzen 7 5800X. The i7-11700K reached 291.68 W with an AVX-512 workload.
The i7-11700K not only failed to beat the 5800X in many benchmarks, but trailed the previous-gen i7-10700K in some cases. The major exception is performance in AVX-512 workloads. Gaming performance of the i7-11700K was particularly bad, in part due to an increase in L3 cache and core-to-core latency.
It's possible that there will be some improvements from a final microcode update before launch. There's also models like the Core i9-11900K, which have the same 8 cores but can clock up to 300 MHz higher.
Intel this week announced plans to discontinue its higher-end 11th Generation Core 'Rocket Lake' processors, which are made using its 14nm-class process technology. The CPUs will still be available to Intel's partners for a while, but their days are now numbered. Intel also said it will phase out its 400 and 500-series chipsets for processors in LGA1200 packaging.
[...] Intel's Rocket Lake processors for desktops have always been somewhat controversial: On one hand, they're based on the Cypress Cove microarchitecture (which derives from Sunny Cove microarchitecture) and are equipped with an Xe-powered integrated GPU, just like Intel's 10nm Ice Lake and Tiger Lake CPUs for mobile PCs and compact desktops. On the other hand — unlike Ice Lake and Tiger Lake processors — Rocket Lake chips are made using a refined 14nm-class process technology.
Because Rocket Lake chips feature backported general-purpose cores, Intel had to reduce the core count of these CPUs from 10 (in the case of Comet Lake) to eight. The new chips still offered better performance than their predecessors in loads of applications, but those who needed higher core count preferred AMD's Ryzen 9 3900-series CPUs with 12 or 16 cores, or even Intel's 10th Generation Comet Lake processors.
It's unlikely that Intel's 11th Generation Core Rocket Lake CPUs will be missed all that much, as Intel has since released two 10nm-based product families for desktops featuring competitive microarchitectures. But for those who would like to upgrade their LGA1200 machines, Rocket Lake chips will continue to be available for a while — but not forever.