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Intel Starts Production of "Ice Lake" Xeons, Ships 11th Gen Core "Rocket Lake-S"

Intel in its FY 2020 + Q4 2020 earnings release revealed two important development milestones from its two core businesses. As part of its Q4 2020 business highlights disclosures, the company revealed that it has commenced mass-production of its next-generation Xeon Scalable "Ice Lake-SP" enterprise processors. These chips implement the "Ice Lake" microarchitecture, with "Sunny Cove" CPU cores that offer higher IPC over "Cascade Lake," and are built on the company's 10 nm silicon fabrication node. Our older article details the 10 nm "Ice Lake-SP" silicon, where each die offers up to 28 cores, and enables Intel to build processors with up to 56 cores using two such dies on multi-chip modules.

Next up, the company states that it has "started shipping" its 11th Gen Core "Rocket Lake-S" desktop processors. "Shipping" in this context could even mean commencement of mass-production, and transfer of inventory down the supply chain, in the build up to a market availability date. At its digital keynote address on the sidelines of the 2021 International CES, Intel revealed many more details of "Rocket Lake-S," including its flagship Core i9-11900K 8-core processor, which it claims retakes the gaming performance lead that the company recently lost to AMD's Ryzen 5000 series. Multiple sources confirmed that these processors should be available only after mid-March, 2021.

Intel Rocket Lake-S Processors European Pricing Leaked

Pricing for Intel's upcoming Rocket Lake-S series of desktop processors has recently been leaked by a Dutch computer store. The 11th Generation Intel Core i5, i7, and i9 processors will feature the new Comet Lake CPU architecture while the lower-end Intel Core i3, and Intel Pentium processors will retain the older Cypress Cove CPU architecture. The new Intel Core i9 processors have returned to an 8 core 16 thread design down from the 10 core 20 thread design found in 10th generation processors.

The Intel 11th Generation Core i9 series will be approximately 6.6% cheaper than their predecessors but with 2 fewer cores and 4 fewer threads. The other new processors all see price increases from their 10th generation versions with an average increase of 6.5%. The new Comet Lake CPU architecture is expected to bring significant IPC improvements which may allow them to regain the title of best gaming CPU.

Intel 11th Gen Core "Rocket Lake-S" Processor Detailed Some More

Intel at a January 11, 2021 online media event (which we live-blogged here) revealed more information about its 11th Generation Core "Rocket Lake-S" desktop processor family. These chips succeed the 10th Gen Core "Comet Lake-S," and are built on the same Socket LGA1200 package, retaining backwards compatibility with Intel 400-series chipset motherboards with firmware updates; and native support with the upcoming Intel 500-series chipset motherboards. Intel in its media event confirmed that the top Core i9-11900K is an 8-core/16-thread processor, which will deliver the highest PC gaming performance possible when it comes out.

In its media event, Intel revealed a side-by-side comparison of the i9-11900K with a machine powered by the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 12-core processor, where it's shown offering a mostly mid-single-digit-percentage performance lead over the AMD chip. In the "Metro Exodus" benchmark prominently highlighted in the Intel event, the i9-11900K is shown offering an average frame-rate of 156.54 FPS compared to 147.43 FPS of the 5900X (a 6.17% gain). VideoCardz tweeted a leaked Intel presentation slide with many more game test results where Intel compared the two chips. Intel's play with marketing "Rocket Lake-S" to gamers and PC enthusiasts will hence ride on the back of gaming performance leadership, and future-proofing against the new wave of productivity apps that leverage AI deep-learning, as "Rocket Lake-S" features DLBoost VNNI extensions that accelerate deep-learning neural-net building, training, and AI inference performance.

Intel Announces Four New Processor Families

In a world where computing is pervasive and intelligence is distributed across every surface - from the cloud to the network to the intelligent edge - Intel today at CES 2021 highlighted how it is driving technology leadership to define the future of computing for people, business and society. To help people navigate through this extraordinary time, Intel introduced new processors for business, education, mobile and gaming computing platforms - all designed to offer the premium PC experiences people deserve, with the most choices and no limits.

"Only Intel has the breadth of products spanning multiple architectures; the large, open ecosystem; sheer scale of manufacturing footprint; and deep technical expertise customers need to unlock opportunities in this era of distributed intelligence," said Intel Executive Vice President Gregory Bryant. "With an intense focus on execution for our core products and across our broader portfolio, we're introducing a series of leadership products at CES with more following throughout the year."

Intel Core i7-11700K PassMark Score Surfaces: Trades Blows with Ryzen 7 5800X

Hot on the heels of its Geekbench score leak, we have PassMark numbers for the upcoming Core i7-11700K "Rocket Lake-S" desktop processor, leaked to the web. The PassMark online score database lists performance obtained from a single i7-11700K sample, where it's shown to be trading blows with the Ryzen 7 5800X (score averaged from over 600 samples). The Intel chip scores 3548 points single-thread rating, compared to 3509 (average) of the 5800X, while its multi-threaded score of 54255 points falls short of the 54458 points of the 5800X (average). Both these chips are 8-core/16-thread.

The Core i7-11700K has the same core configuration as the top i9-11900K part, but with lower rumored clock speeds. The Core i7 ticks at 3.60 GHz base, with up to 5.00 GHz boost, and the same 125 W TDP rating as its 10th Gen predecessor. The "Rocket Lake-S" desktop processor family sees Intel's first IPC uplift to the client-desktop platform in 5 years, on the backs of new "Cypress Cove" CPU cores. While we haven't seen evidence of core-counts above 8 for these processors, Intel's play will be to restore gaming performance leadership that it lost to AMD's Ryzen 5000 "Zen 3" processors. Plagued by scalping and limited availability to genuine customers, AMD stares at its performance leadership not translating into brand equity before Intel's next-gen parts flood the market.

Intel Core i9-11900K CPU-Z Benchmark Score Leaks

Intel is preparing to launch their latest generation Rocket Lake-S processors in the coming weeks. We recently saw some leaked Geekbench 5 scores for the eight-core Intel Core i7-11700K showing it beating the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X in single-core performance. We have recently received some new benchmarks for the i9-11900K and i7-11700K this time in CPU-Z showing them once again best AMD in single-core performance.

The Cypress Cove core design found in these upcoming processors is expected to bring double-digit IPC gains over Skylake and this is reflected in these scores. Take all these benchmarks with a healthy dose of skepticism as we have no way of confirming these numbers until we can test the chips ourselves. The Intel Core i9-11900K gets a single thread score of 695.4 and a multi-thread score of 6522.1 which puts it 19% ahead of the i9-10900K and 3% ahead of the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X in single-threaded performance. The processor still falls far behind the Ryzen 9 5950X in multi-threaded performance due to it having half the number of cores.

Intel 11th Gen Core "Rocket Lake" Desktop TDP Values Surface

Intel's 11th Gen Core "Rocket Lake-S" desktop processors could feature similar TDP values to their 10th Gen "Comet Lake-S" predecessors, according to Momomo_us. Intel is preparing to give the Unlocked "K" and "KF" SKUs a TDP rating of 125 W, while the locked non-K models feature 65 W rating. The lineup is led by the 8-core/16-thread Core i9-11900K, followed by the locked i9-11900 and iGPU-devoid i9-11900F; the slightly slower 8-core/16-thread Core i7-11700K, followed by the i7-11700KF, i7-11700, and i7-11700F; and the 6-core/12-thread i5-10600K and its derivatives.

The 11th Gen Core desktop processor series arrives in Q1 2021, and is based on the 14 nm "Rocket Lake-S" silicon, and built into the Socket LGA1200 package, with backwards compatibility with Intel's 400-series chipset motherboards, and native support for the Intel 500-series. The "Rocket Lake-S" die is rumored to feature up to 8 "Cypress Cove" CPU cores, a dual-channel DDR4 memory controller, a 24-lane PCI-Express 4.0 root complex, and an updated Gen12 iGPU based on the Xe LP graphics architecture. The "Cypress Cove" CPU cores are reportedly 14 nm back-ports of the "Willow Cove" cores, and feature a double-digit percent IPC increase over the "Skylake" cores.

Intel Core i9-11900K "Rocket Lake" Boosts Up To 5.30 GHz, Say Rumored Specs

Intel's upcoming 11th Generation Core i9-11900K processor boosts up to 5.30 GHz, according to rumored specs of various 11th Gen Core "Rocket Lake-S" desktop processors, sourced by Harukaze5719. According to this specs-sheet, both the Core i9-11900K and the Core i7-11700K (i7-10700K successor) are 8-core/16-thread parts, and clock-speeds appear to be the only apparent product segmentation between the two. The i9-11900K has a maximum single-core boost frequency of 5.30 GHz, and 4.80 GHz all-core boost. The i7-11700K, on the other hand, has an all-core boost of 4.60 GHz, and 5.00 GHz single-core boost. This time around, even the Core i7 part gets Thermal Velocity Boost.

11th Gen Core i5 continues to be 6-core/12-thread, with Intel allegedly readying an unlocked Core i5-11600K, and a locked i5-11400. Both parts lack TVB. The i5-11600K ticks up to 4.90 GHz single-core, and 4.70 GHz all-core; while the i5-11400 does 4.20 GHz single-core, and 4.40 GHz all-core. The secret-sauce with "Rocket Lake-S" is the introduction of the new "Cypress Cove" CPU cores, which Intel claims offer a double-digit percent IPC gain over the current-gen "Comet Lake," an improved dual-channel DDR4 memory controller with native support for DDR4-3200, a PCI-Express Gen 4 root-complex, and a Gen12 Xe-LP iGPU. The "Cypress Cove" CPU cores also feature VNNI and DLBoost, which accelerate AI DNN; as well as limited AVX-512 instructions. The 11th Gen core processors will also introduce a CPU-attached M.2 NVMe slot, similar to AMD Ryzen. Intel is expected to launch its first "Rocket Lake-S" processors before Q2-2021.

Intel Core i9-11900K "Rocket Lake" AotS Benchmark Numbers Surface

An alleged Ashes of the Singularity (AotS) benchmark results page for the top 11th Gen Core "Rocket Lake" processor leaked to the web courtesy TUM_APISAK. It's official now that Intel will keep its lengthy processor model number schemes, with the top part being the Core i9-11900K, a successor to the i9-10900K. It also confirms that the "Rocket Lake" silicon caps out at 8-core/16-thread, with performance on virtue of the IPC gains from the new "Cypress Cove" CPU cores."Cypress Cove" is believed to be a back-port of "Willow Cove" to the 14 nm silicon fabrication process that "Rocket Lake-S" is built on.

The screenshot also confirms the nominal clocks (base frequency) of the i9-11900K to be 3.50 GHz, as Intel tends to put base frequency in the name-string of its processors. Paired with a GeForce RTX 3080 and 32 GB of RAM, the i9-11900K-powered machine yielded 62.7 FPS CPU frame-rate at 1440p resolution, and 64.7 FPS CPU frame-rate at 1080p (a mere 3.18% drop in frame-rates from the increase in resolution). These numbers put the i9-11900K in the same league as the Ryzen 7 5800X in CPU frame-rates tested under similar conditions.
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