Intel is hoping to steal some of the thunder of the Ryzen 5000 series from AMD with a few early teasers about its own next-generation CPU architecture used for the 11th generation Core CPU series due in the first quarter of 2021 should come on the market. Codenamed ‘Rocket Lake’ The 11th generation Core i9, Core i7, Core i5, and Core i3 families will be a major break with previous generations of Intel, which are all just iterative updates to the 14nm Skylake 6th generation architecture. Intel has had to deal with numerous delays and disappointments in developing smaller 10nm CPUs, resulting in an unprecedented longevity of 14nm, while AMD has been shipping 7nm chips for over a year.
Rocket Lake will also be a 14nm line of products, but the new architecture it will use will be code-named “Cypress Cove”. This is essentially a 14nm backport of the more modern 10nm core ‘Sunny Cove’ architecture that formed the basis for last year’s 10th generation ‘Ice Lake’ laptop CPUs. Rocket Lake will also feature an implementation of Intel’s brand new integrated Xe graphics hardware, although it’s not clear if that means Intel will again offer integrated graphics on all desktop CPUs.
Intel touts a “double-digit percentage improvement in IPC performance” compared to the 10th generation and refers to instructions per clock cycle as a measure of efficiency. The graphics performance should be 50 percent higher than current offers. Absolute performance metrics and benchmark results are yet to be announced.
Top-end Rocket Lake models will have a maximum of 8 cores with Hyper-Threading, while AMD currently offers up to 16 cores in its mainstream product range. Even Intel’s current 10th generation Core i9-10900K has 10 cores.
Further specifications and changes at platform level include support for up to DDR4-3200 RAM, up to 20 PCIe 4.0 CPU lanes, more flexible overclocking parameters, VNNI acceleration for deep learning applications, native USB 3.2×2 (20 Gbit / s) and improved media encoder logic. New motherboards with Intel 500 chipsets ship with 11th generation Core desktop CPUs, but should also be backward compatible with existing 400 series motherboards.
AMD’s Ryzen 5000 series, including the top-of-the-line 16-core Ryzen 5 5950X, is slated to go on sale worldwide on November 5th. Based on the new Zen 3 architecture, these CPUs promise an increase in IPC of 19 percent compared to the predecessor to 26 percent better performance in games.
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