What you need to know
- According to Gigabyte, Intel's upcoming Rocket Lake-S CPUs will be making their debut in March.
- Existing Gigabyte Z490 series motherboards with PCIe 4.0 will be fully compatible with Rocket Lake designs following a BIOS update.
- Leaked scores of the eight-core Core i7-11700K shows it edging out the flagship Core i9-10900K.
Intel announced at the end of last year that the first wave of Rocket Lake-S desktop CPUs will be unveiled in Q1 2021. We now have a better understanding of when the CPUs will be making their debut thanks to Gigabyte.
In a press release, the motherboard brand has revealed that the Rocket Lake-S designs will be introduced in March 2021:
In the meantime, leaked Geekbench scores of the eight-core Core i7-11700K have surfaced on Twitter, with a single-core score of 7,857 points handily outmatching the Core i9-10900K and even the Ryzen 5950X, which netted 6,438 and 7,198 (courtesy of AnandTech). The 11700K also posted a multi-core score of 42,011 points, which is again more than what the Core i9-10900K managed (41,663).
Intel promised double-digit IPC gains with the Rocket Lake-S designs, and it looks like that may indeed be the case. We'll have much more to talk about the Rocket Lake architecture as we get closer to the launch date, so stay tuned.
The Core i9-10900K is still the best Intel CPU today, delivering outstanding gaming performance. That may not be the case once Rocket Lake shows up, but if you need a high-end CPU right now and aren't willing to wait until later in the year, the 10900K continues to be a solid option.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia for Android Central, Windows Central's sister site. When not reviewing phones, he's testing PC hardware, including video cards, motherboards, gaming accessories, and keyboards.