Intel's Rocket Lake-S CPUs could debut in March with huge performance gains

Intel Core i9-10900K review
Intel Core i9-10900K review (Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central)

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:

The latest 11th Gen. Intel Core processors will be launched on March 2021. The new processors keep the same architecture as the previous generation but they enable the PCIe 4.0 support.GIGABYTE's R&D team is speeding up on the verification of more Z490 motherboards for a full-fledged support to the 11th Gen. Intel Core processors. The updated BIOS files will be uploaded to the GIGABYTE official website, so please check it out regularly.

Core i7-11700K

Source: Primate Labs (Image credit: Source: Primate Labs)

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.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

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.

  • Competition is great! AMD and Intel pushing each other, and we as consumers win.
  • For a more modern comparison this processor scored 1813 single core and 11287 multi core on Geekbench 5.
  • So, in other words ... compared with Apple's M1 chip, the very latest i7 processor on single core scores a little better than a Mac mini (1707), and on multi core isn't even 60% as powerful as the same Mac mini (19091)?
  • Exactly! Supposedly the next M1 variant, due later this year, will jump from 4 to 8 performance cores and should come close to doubling the multi core performance. It wouldn’t surprise me if this article chose the Geek Bench 4 numbers to make direct (and somewhat embarrassing) comparisons difficult.
  • Umm not sure where you got your data from but for Geekbench 5, the apple Mac mini late 2020 M1 scores 1707 in single core and 7388 in multicore. So no it is not faster than the upcoming rocket lake in multicore performance. But apple does have certain accelerators that it built into its silicon like h.265 hardware encode/decode as well as the neural engine. And Apple’s chip sips far far less power than rocket lake will. So Apple’s performance and performance-per-watt is mighty impressive.
  • You are absolutely correct. I read the wrong multi core number from the Geekbench site. So, Rocket Lake i7 = 1813 single core and 11287 multi core
    and Apple M1 = 1707 single core (6% slower) and 7388 multi core (35% slower) And yeah, for Apple's first low-end desktop chip to be within pitching distance of Intel's latest high-end (though not highest-end) chip, that doesn't bode well for Intel.
  • It would help the reporting on processors a lot if you mentioned wattage and intended usage, like "45W desktop" or something. Someone has to translate the Intel product branding for us.