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Intel 11th Gen Core i5, i7 and i9 Rocket Lake-S Desktop Processors Launched.

  • The Intel 11th Gen Rocket Lake-S desktop processors are headlined by the Core i9-11900K.

  • The new processors are based on an older 14nm design but with new Cypress Cove microarchitecture.

  • Intel claims its 11th gen processors are ready for offering better gaming performance than predecessors.

There are five new Core i9 models including the new flagship Core i9-11900K, five new Core i7 models, and nine new Core i5 models. Along with these, Intel is rolling out new 500-series chipsets although the CPUs are technically backward compatible with current-gen 400-series chipset-based motherboards. The company has also announced new refreshed 10th Gen Core i3 and Pentium Gold desktop CPUs to round out the lower end of the market.

Intel claims that despite the track-back on cores, the new Rocket Lake-S Intel 11th gen processors represent better gaming performance.

Despite fewer cores, Intel claims that the 11th gen Rocket Lake-S processors will improve overall gaming performance, along with 19 percent faster instructions per cycle (IPC) for the highest frequency turbo cores on its processors. The range of new processors also support DDR4 RAM modules running at faster 3200MHz frequencies, and include new generation integrated graphics – with the Intel Xe architecture-based Intel UHD 750 chips. Intel justifies its configuration decision by underlining that “games and most applications continue to depend on high-frequency cores to drive high frame rates and low latency.”

At the top of the range sits the Intel Core i9-11900K, which features eight cores in comparison to the Core i9-10900K (10th gen)’s 10-core design. However, peak clock speed is boosted to 5.3GHz, which includes other benefits such as support for PCIe 4.0, enhanced media and display throughput, and support for Thunderbolt 4.0 and Wi-Fi 6E, among others. Intel claims that despite the track-back on cores, the new Rocket Lake-S Intel 11th gen processors represent better gaming performance. It can support three 4K HDR 60Hz displays, along with 12-bit HEVC decode and E2E compression, plus 10-bit AV1 codec decoding to play up simultaneous background performance. It also brings in Intel Deep Learning Boost and Vector Neural Network for deep learning based tasks.

Alongside, Intel has also announced refreshed Core i3 processors still based on the 10th gen Comet Lake-R architecture. Intel has also focused on optimisations such as unlocked memory overclocking with entry-level B- and H-series motherboards. This means that the new Intel 11th gen processors will be compatible the older generation 400-series motherboards, barring the basic B460 and H410 series boards. They will, of course, work best on the newer, 500-series motherboards – which is also what will support the new support for 20 lanes of PCIe 4.0 connectivity.

All 11th Gen 'Rocket Lake' CPUs will be compatible with previous-gen 400-series chipsets except the low-end B460 and H410, and all 10th Gen 'Comet Lake' CPUs will continue to work with new 500-series motherboards. You'll need a 500-series motherboard to harness PCIe 4.0, integrated USB 3.2 Gen 2x2, and faster DMI interconnect with the latest CPUs. Interestingly, Intel now allows memory overclocking on even mid-range 500-series motherboards.

These CPUs are expected to launch towards the end of 2021.


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