Intel takes on AMD’s Ryzen with Rocket Lake S and the Core i9-11900K

Intel debuted its next-generation Eleventh-gen “Rocket Lake S” desktop Core chips at CES 2021 on Monday, boasting that its flagship Core i9-11900K processor gives a 19 % efficiency enchancment over the prior technology, and with gaming efficiency that rivals AMD’s strongest Ryzen chip.

Intel’s Core i9-11900K does take a step again: Intel’s 10th-gen Core i9-10900K supplied 10 cores and 20 threads. The brand new i9-11900K wields simply 8 cores and 16 threads as a substitute, at turbo speeds as much as 5.3 GHz (single core) and a slower 4.8GHz (all cores) than the i9-10900K supplied. It’s additionally a 14-nanometer chip. However there are delicate, important enhancements, too: a brand new, wider, 8-lane DMI interface between the processor and chipset, and an elevated 20 lanes of PCIe 4.0 off the CPU for GPUs and SSD storage, matching the PCIe 4.0 capabilities that AMD has supplied for the final two Ryzen generations. All instructed, Intel’s promising as much as a 19 % IPC (instruction per clock) enchancment and a 50 % increase in built-in graphics efficiency, because of the brand new, built-in Xe GPU core.

Intel mentioned that the Core i9-11900K will likely be obtainable later this quarter, at an undisclosed worth. Fortuitously, although a brand new 500-series motherboard chipset will likely be launched alongside it, the i9-11900K will likely be backwards-compatible with present 400-series motherboards. 

Intel 11th gen desktop Intel

A abstract of Intel’s new Rocket Lake-S platform.

Intel’s Gregory Bryant, govt vice chairman and common supervisor of Intel’s Consumer Computing Group, additionally confirmed off a short sneak preview of the next-generation Alder Lake hybrid chip, too. Alder Lake will mix “Golden Cove” Core cores and Gracemont Atom cores in a hybrid design. Bryant additionally mentioned that it’ll debut on an “enhanced” 10nm SuperFin course of.

Rocket Lake…however in 14nm

Lots of the options of Rocket Lake-S have been recognized since final October, when Intel confirmed the existence of Rocket Lake and its new CPU structure, code-named Cypress Cove. What we didn’t know was whether or not the brand new chip would embrace Intel’s newest 10nm course of or be manufactured on the comparatively historic 14nm line. Properly, now we all know: it’s a 14nm chip, which additionally explains the drop in core rely, acknowledged Brandt Guttridge, Intel’s senior director of the Desktop Merchandise Group. The Cypress Cove CPU core initially designed for 10nm was backported to the 14nm know-how, he mentioned.

“I believe one of many questions lots of you may need straight away is, Why are you going from ten to eight cores? “ Guttridge mentioned. “The reply to that query actually goes again to…our focus was on maximizing actual world efficiency, which is a mixture of frequency and IPC [instructions per clock]. In order we seemed on the microarchitecture, we ported the 10nm design for each the CPU and the graphics again to the 14nm manufacturing node. Because the 10nm design has smaller transistors and the 14nm is a bit bigger set, the utmost core rely we might match on Rocket Lake was eight.”

Intel core i9 11900k overview Intel

That is as a lot as we all know of the main points of the Core i9-11900K.

The opposite issue influencing Intel’s alternative was that shifting to 14nm allowed the corporate to make the most of the SuperFIN transistor that Intel added to Tiger Lake. Final 12 months, Ruth Mind, an Intel fellow specializing in know-how improvement and interconnects, mentioned the sum complete of all of the intranode enhancements made within the 14nm generations could be equaled by the one intranode efficiency improve from Ice Lake to Tiger Lake, through SuperFIN. 

“That commerce off we acquired was that 19 % IPC achieve… and the 50 % graphics enchancment,” Guttridge mentioned. “So once more, the main target right here was on maximizing efficiency for for the tip customers in the actual world.” 

Intel didn’t specify whether or not Rocket Lake S formally contains DMI 4.0, although Guttridge confirmed that the interface now doubles the obtainable lanes from 4 to eight. The Direct Media Interface connects the CPU and north bridge of the chipset to the PCH or south bridge. Intel’s Skylake processor, outfitted with DMI 3.0, was the primary to incorporate a complete of 4 lanes. Guttridge confirmed that Rocket Lake S offers eight lanes, doubling the bandwidth, which implies that Intel has saved the hyperlink velocity fixed. 

intel core i9 11900k gaming Intel

Intel believes that the Core i9-11900K will give AMD’s Ryzen a run for its cash. At press time, the configuration of the system Intel utilized in making ready this take a look at wasn’t obtainable. 

When it comes to gaming efficiency, Intel claims that Rocket Lake-S ought to enhance efficiency by about 7 % on IO Interactive’s unreleased Hitman 3, operating on high of the sport’s built-in benchmark. Intel additionally claimed that the Core i9-11900K barely outperformed the AMD Ryzen 5900X on a number of top-tier video games, from Complete Battle: Three Kingdoms to Cyberpunk 2077 to Watch Canine: Legion to Murderer’s Creed: Valhalla, all operating at 1080p and Excessive settings or above. Nevertheless, Intel didn’t publish the configurations of its gaming checks by press time.

As a result of the Core i9-11900K is extra of an introduction, reasonably than a launch, we do not have the same old “speeds and feeds” matrix describing the bottom clock speeds and turbo clock speeds are at numerous ranges, and so forth. We additionally do not know what number of EUs are a part of the 11900K, both. 

Guttridge did clarify some extra of the selections Intel made on selecting the Rocket Lake S options that Intel had beforehand revealed. Clients had requested for sooner reminiscence, prompting Intel to maneuver from DDR4-2933 on “Comet Lake” to the DDR4-3200 reminiscence utilized by Rocket Lake S. Shifting from 16 lanes of PCI Categorical 3.0 to twenty lanes of PCI Categorical 4.0 additionally allowed sufficient lanes for each a 4-lane PCIe SSD, in addition to the 16 lanes utilized by the most recent GPU. Rocket Lake-S additionally contains {hardware} decode help for AV1 (and movies saved within the AVIF file format) which compresses information 50 % extra effectively than the x254 major profile, decreasing bandwidth wants for many who use it. USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 will increase the obtainable USB bandwidth from 10Gbps to 20Gbps total.

Rocket Lake-S additionally contains always-on Intel Fast Sync Video, which Guttridge says now works concurrently with the built-in GPU. Beforehand, just one desktop GPU (both the built-in GPU or the discrete GPU) may very well be on at a single time. Now, each will be lively, permitting the discrete GPU to be wholly purposed on rendering a sport, for instance, whereas the built-in GPU encodes the output for streaming video.

What we don’t know: chipset particulars, overclocking 

What we don’t know contains what Intel is doing particularly with overclocking in thoughts. Guttridge promised Intel would have extra to share on overclocking capabilities nearer to launch, as the corporate plans to “push the boundaries on delivering customization tunability and optimizations to our finish customers.”

We additionally don’t have official, particular particulars on the brand new 500-series motherboard chipsets that can launch with Rocket Lake-S, although the chip will be capable to be used with the older 400-series chipsets—at the very least theoretically.  Guttridge really useful that consumers contact motherboard distributors and ensure that “PCI Categorical 4.0-ready” motherboards can have the aptitude turned on and the correct BIOS put in. Guttridge mentioned that the change within the DMI interface received’t have an effect on the backwards compatibility of the Rocket Lake-S chip.

Board makers, nonetheless, have begun spilling the beans. We all know that there will likely be at the very least three chipsets: the Z590, H570, B560 and H510. Asus mentioned that the ROG Maximus XIII Z590 board will embrace a pair of Thunderbolt 4 ports, one of many few specs we all know in the intervening time.

One processor that Intel didn’t evaluate itself to was Apple’s M1, the ARM chip that can change the Core i7 and Core i9 contained in the MacBook and different units. Ryan Shrout of Intel’s aggressive efficiency staff summed up Intel’s stance: “I’d say, you recognize, Apple did a superb job on their processor.”

Nonetheless, Shrout added, there’s room for Intel to compete. “The reality is that our testing reveals there are a lot of areas of management for our Eleventh-gen Tiger Lake merchandise throughout productiveness, content material creation, and particularly gaming,” he mentioned.

Up to date at 2:57 PM with further particulars of Intel’s 500-series chipsets.

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