Intel reveals Rocket Lake-S features but no SKUs

Intel subtly dropped a newsletter, vaguely detailing its upcoming 11th generation ‘Rocket Lake-S’ CPUs. These LGA 1200 socketed processors are expected to arrive during the 1H 2021 and will use the Cypress Cove.

CPU-specific support- double-digit IPC, PCIe 4.0 lanes

The chipmaker needs to double up its efforts with its CPUs to compete with current and very near future Ryzen offerings. So the news of double-digit Instruction-Per-Clock manages to stand out in features. But we’ll just have to see how it translates to actual performance when it comes out. Some other features were also mentioned, showing Intel attempting to provide the best possible options. The Rocket Lake-S will be the first to provide PCIe 4.0 lanes. There’s a total of 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes on the CPU, providing the bandwidth for the M.2 SSDs and discrete GPUs. But the Rocket Lake-S retains the max DDR4 support of 3200MHz.

On-chip graphics support

Intel also mentioned the Intel Xe on-chip graphics, saying that it is projected to provide 50% performance boost over the previous Gen 9. There’s also the inclusion of new media encoders, supporting up to 3x 5K60 display and including HDMI 2.0b and DP 1.4a outputs.

Other functions and a minor concern

Other features such as Deep Learning Boost, VNNI, Quick Sync and overclocking tuning is included. But what’s concerning is the 8-core/ 16-thread count with 125 watts in PL1 and 250w in PL2, according to its specs. The Core i9-10900K is a 10-core/ 20-thread CPU with 125-W in PL1 and 250W in PL2. Unless Intel isn’t really ready with 10-core variants, the Cypress Cove is likely to be much hotter.

No. Benchmarks!

There are no SKUs mentioned by Intel, let alone benchmarks. Two system configurations and a couple of benchmarks were listed. Even if there was, it would take with a bag of salt. Probably the Principled Technologies fiasco is keeping them away from it. We do not know about its performance and power draw. But we know what Intel is planning to provide in these chips. It is just a matter of time when we see at what cost.

The Rocket Lake-S is scheduled to be the last of the two generations to use LGA-1200 sockets. This will be succeeded by LGA-1700 Alder Lake-S. Intel really to do some serious catching up to AMD. Just like AMD, Intel is readying its CPU and Xe GPU. There are realistic expectations with Intel’s first discrete graphics family. But a lot would expect not to repeat its mistakes and oversights on the CPU.

Intel did promise that it will concentrate on doing what it does best. It was just a few weeks ago Intel sold its NAND business to use its time and investment to good use, hopefully!

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