Tuesday, February 23rd 2021

"Rocket Lake" Offers 11% Higher PCIe Gen4 NVMe Storage Performance: Intel

Intel claims that its upcoming 11th Gen Core "Rocket Lake-S" desktop processors offer up to 11% higher storage performance than competing AMD Ryzen 5000 processors, when using the CPU-attached M.2 NVMe slot. A performance slide released by Intel's Ryan Shrout shows a Samsung 980 PRO 1 TB PCI-Express 4.0 x4 M.2 NVMe SSD performance on a machine powered by a Core i9-11900K processor, compared to one powered by an AMD Ryzen 9 5950X. PCMark 10 Quick System Drive Benchmark is used to evaluate storage performance on both machines. On both machines a separate drive is used as the OS/boot drive, and the Samsung 980 PRO is used as a test drive, free from any OS role.

The backup page for the slide provides details of the system configurations used for both machines. What it doesn't mention, however, is whether on the AMD machine, the 980 PRO was installed on the CPU-attached M.2 NVMe slot, or one that's attached to the AMD X570 chipset. Unlike the Intel Z590, the AMD X570 puts out downstream PCI-Express 4.0, which motherboard designers can use to put out additional NVMe Gen 4 slots. On the Intel Z590 motherboard, the M.2 NVMe Gen 4 slot the drive was tested on is guaranteed to be the CPU-attached one, as the Z590 PCH puts out PCIe Gen 3 downstream lanes. A PCI-Express 4.0 x4 link is used as chipset bus on the AMD X570, offering comparable bandwidth to the DMI 3.0 x8 (PCI-Express 3.0 x8) employed on the Intel Z590. A drive capable of attaining 7 GB/s sequential transfers should be in a sub-optimal situation on a chipset-attached M.2 slot. It would be nice if Intel clears this up in an update to its backup.

Update 02:51 UTC: In response to a specific question on Twitter, on whether the drives were tested on CPU-attached M.2 slots on both platforms, Ryan Shrout stated that a PCI-Express AIC riser card was used on both platforms to ensure that the drives are CPU-attached. 11% is a significant storage performance uplift on offer.
Source: Ryan Shrout (Twitter)
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41 Comments on "Rocket Lake" Offers 11% Higher PCIe Gen4 NVMe Storage Performance: Intel

#1
tabascosauz
Ahhhh yes.

✓ Ryan Shill Shrout, the salaried marketing bot
✓ Zero attempt to use an actual storage benchmark to make storage performance claims
✓ Ah yes my NVMe doesn't perform in MB/s or IOPS, it performs in relative performance ratio
✓ Wrong motherboard name for the X570 C8H (Rampage? really?)
✓ No clarification on slots; that said it really shouldn't be a noticeable difference on most X570s, unless they overload the PCH with peripheral controllers
✓ 5950X's "PL1 105W" hahahaha what is this even supposed to refer to, either TDP 105W or PPT 142W
✓ C8H using a BIOS that Asus pulled and is no longer available

The irony of Ryan treating consumers like imbeciles is that the man himself is hardly the best and brightest in any room. If Rocket Lake actually has excellent storage performance, it'll be lost on the moronic way that it's been conveyed on these slides.

If Gelsinger really wants to turn Intel around, Ryan should be first in line for a pink slip
Posted on Reply
#2
Crackong
1. We all know there is a 225W PL2 behind it.
2. Who does storage benchmark in relative figure when everybody else use exact numbers ......
Posted on Reply
#3
_Flare
AMD PL1 ... mmm NO
Poor Intel used a ancient 760p where the new 670p should be in-house
Poor intel has no exact data to share with us
Poor intel only has Ryan Shrout, who is more a marketing-populist that gets easily overwhelmed by real benchmarks and numbers
Posted on Reply
#4
1d10t
edited:
Ryan Shrout stated that a PCI-Express AIC riser card was used on both platforms to ensure that the drives are CPU-attached. 11% is a significant storage performance uplift on offer.
Such feisty attempt to make snake oil sell.
Posted on Reply
#5
watzupken
I can't recollect, but I think PCI-E 4.0 is only available on their Z490/ 590 series board. So I guess most Intel users will still be left out whether its faster or not.
Posted on Reply
#6
TheLostSwede
watzupken
I can't recollect, but I think PCI-E 4.0 is only available on their Z490/ 590 series board. So I guess most Intel users will still be left out whether its faster or not.
And only if you get an i5 Rocket Lake CPU or better. The i3's and below don't get any PCIe 4.0 support.
Posted on Reply
#7
R0H1T
TheLostSwede
And only if you get an i5 Rocket Lake CPU or better. The i3's and below don't get any PCIe 4.0 support.
What :wtf::nutkick:
Posted on Reply
#8
tabascosauz
R0H1T
What :wtf::nutkick:
The rumors say that the i3s and Pentiums are a Comet Lake refresh, and that Rocket Lake is really just like Broadwell-S was to Haswell Refresh - a small family of new midrange and high end CPUs with the new arch and features, slotting into the same socket as the rest of the stack that's just refreshed and remains unchanged (Comet Lake). Only difference is that they should all share the 11th gen moniker and 11xxx naming.

To be fair to Intel, AMD's stack is also pretty heterogeneous. Upper mid-range to high end occupied by Vermeer, low end to midrange (plus old high end) served by last-gen Matisse, APUs officially still handled by 2.5-generations old Picasso, ultra low end occupied by 3.5-generations old Raven Ridge. I guess neither company saw fit in the last year of DDR4 and their existing sockets to revamp the entire lineup.
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#9
Lionheart
More performance is always welcomed but even if this is true I can't help to just laugh @ Ryan Shrout.
Posted on Reply
#10
Patriot
If intel wants to rebuild any sort of credibility, they have to let ryan go. He got caught, shoving Intel marketing numbers into his pcper reviews... he is forever tainted and has no credibility.
Posted on Reply
#11
Mussels
Moderprator
The fact they used a riser card totally negates any use of their statement
Posted on Reply
#12
BArms
Why would they need a riser? There is a slot on both platforms that is CPU attached, it's a little weird and possibly suspcious that the performance claim disappears when the M.2 is used, like virtually everyone will be doing in the real world.

Which also begs the question, does an M.2 SSD really perform better sometimes when it's actually running on a PCIe 4.0 x16 slot? Why, if the controller limits it to x4 anyway?
Posted on Reply
#13
Crackong
- > PCI-Express AIC riser

ok end of story
Posted on Reply
#14
evernessince
Just for reference, from PCMark's website:

"The Quick System Drive Benchmark is a shorter test with a smaller set of less demanding real-world traces. It subjects the device to 23 GB of writes."

In addition, this test typically outputs a score and not a relative performance number.

Changing that to relative is almost certainly intentional on Intel's part to hide the scores, it doesn't make sense to take the extra effort unless you have something to hide. For all we know, Intel just kept running that short benchmark until it gave them good numbers or AMD bad ones and they hid that fact by changing score to performance index. If they had provided the scores, it would have been easy to compare to AMD's actual PCIe 4.0 performance.

Why Intel has not fired Ryan yet and the entire CPU marketing team is beyond me. Everytime I see something like this, the less likely I'm going to want to buy their upcoming CPUs.
Posted on Reply
#15
john_
Ryan Shrout.
Do I have to comment more?

Allyn is another Intel fun from PCPer, but I have to give credit to that guy. He knew about storage.
Posted on Reply
#16
TumbleGeorge
From long time ago interfaces on Intel motherboards has practical speed more closer to theoretical maximum than implementation of interfaces on AMD motherboards. That maybe is myth or maybe is reality. No words about MB's with what class chipset: budget, middle or high class err...HX10/HX70, BX60 , ZX70/ZX90? No words where is problem if exist problem of AMD. Maybe old internal I/O tech, maybe crap BIOS/Drivers? This is not approved comment just feelings.
Posted on Reply
#17
Vya Domus
Crackong
2. Who does storage benchmark in relative figure when everybody else use exact numbers ......
Anyone who is desperate and needs to emphasize that their product is better than somebody else's.
Posted on Reply
#18
B-Real
So in a generation where Intel sacrificed core count in order just to reclaim the gaming king crown by the small margin in special circumstances (w/ high end GPU in FHD) just like Zen3 has over Comet Lake or Comet Lake had over Zen2, etc., Intel is marketing that CPU by being 11% faster using PCI Gen4 NVMe SSDs, which has ZERO relevance in games, as a 550 MB/s SATA3 SSD loads games as fast as an NVMe SSD. This is ingenious!
Posted on Reply
#19
ZoneDymo
lol at that graph, just hilarious, imma make one as well:
Posted on Reply
#20
TumbleGeorge
B-Real
as a 550 MB/s SATA3 SSD loads games as fast as an NVMe SSD
What? How?
Posted on Reply
#21
Vya Domus
TumbleGeorge
What? How?
Because games don't need to load several GB/s all the time despite what some people might think. What really matters is the latency which is roughly going to be the same between SATA3 and NVMe SSDs.
Posted on Reply
#22
TumbleGeorge
Vya Domus
Because games don't need to load several GB/s all the time despite what some people might think. What really matters is the latency which is roughly going to be the same between SATA3 and NVMe SSDs.
Which latency has matter for game load times from SSD? I think that random read speed of small(program) files is matter. This is most important parameter.
Posted on Reply
#23
chris.london
tabascosauz
Ahhhh yes.

✓ Ryan Shill Shrout, the salaried marketing bot
✓ Zero attempt to use an actual storage benchmark to make storage performance claims
✓ Ah yes my NVMe doesn't perform in MB/s or IOPS, it performs in relative performance ratio
✓ Wrong motherboard name for the X570 C8H (Rampage? really?)
✓ No clarification on slots; that said it really shouldn't be a noticeable difference on most X570s, unless they overload the PCH with peripheral controllers
✓ 5950X's "PL1 105W" hahahaha what is this even supposed to refer to, either TDP 105W or PPT 142W
✓ C8H using a BIOS that Asus pulled and is no longer available

The irony of Ryan treating consumers like imbeciles is that the man himself is hardly the best and brightest in any room. If Rocket Lake actually has excellent storage performance, it'll be lost on the moronic way that it's been conveyed on these slides.

If Gelsinger really wants to turn Intel around, Ryan should be first in line for a pink slip
I completely agree with your post.

By the way the BIOS used on the Intel board is dated 17 February. Intel could have easily used version 3204 on the AMD board, which has been out since the end of January, instead of the pulled BIOS. I am sure they had a good reason to use a buggy version. smh
Posted on Reply
#24
Mussels
Moderprator
TumbleGeorge
What? How?
most games are optimised for mechanical drives with heavy compression to compensate, thus they're often CPU limited for load speeds (and sometimes single threaded at that, ugh)

Games now are a little more optimised, with DirectStorage and RTX IO coming along to fix the issue next gen
Posted on Reply
#25
watzupken
TheLostSwede
And only if you get an i5 Rocket Lake CPU or better. The i3's and below don't get any PCIe 4.0 support.
Typical Intel behavior. They will charge you for every single added feature. So should not come as a surprise. I think they did the same in the past for some features like Optane support, and to use SSD as a cache. So in this case, even if the PCI-E 4.0 is faster, I don't think many will get to enjoy it.
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