Intel’s 11th generation Rocket Lake Desktop CPUs will be the first to support the PCIe Gen 4.0 protocol and this support has been shown in a leaked entry noted by TUM_APISAK at the SiSoftware database. The Rocket Lake CPUs will also be the last generation of CPUs using the 14nm process node.
Intel 11th Generation Rocket Lake CPU spotted alongside a Gen 4.0 PCIe NVMe SSD, matching AMD’s mainstream platform feature set just a year late
Intel Rocket Lake CPUs are expected to launch late this year, but we’ve also heard a launch around CES 2021. The Intel Rocket Lake CPUs, branded under the 11th Generation family, will offer an all-new core architecture that will be based on a 14nm process node. We have seen a series of technical examples with up to 8 cores and 16 threads running at speeds of 5.0 GHz. The Rocket Lake CPUs are also supported by the LGA 1200 socket currently used on the Z490 motherboards.
One of the main features of Z490 motherboards is support for PCIe Gen 4.0 devices, but the current Comet Lake-S Desktop CPU setup does not support the Gen 4.0 protocol. It should only be enabled when Z490 motherboards are paired with Rocket Lake-S desktop CPUs. All major board manufacturers have at least some form of PCIe Gen 4.0 support on their Z490 boards with MSI, Gigabyte and ASRock with the most hardware features on their boards to ensure that when Rocket Lake-S Desktop CPUs land, users have no problem by connecting a PCIe Gen 4.0 device and accessing higher transfer rates provided by the protocol.
The latest Rocket Lake Desktop CPU entry shows just that, along with a few other interesting details. First, the Rocket Lake-S Desktop CP was tested with an unnamed PCIe SSD with 1 TB capacity and running in PCIe 4×4 mode. The device had a bandwidth of up to 1.2 GB / s and I / O speeds of 45,000 IOPS. This confirms that Rocket Lake-S Desktop CPUs will be the first platform on Intel’s side to offer PCIe Gen 4.0 support. At the same time, since last year, AMD has been providing support for Gen 4.0 on its X570 platform.
While there are no details for this particular chip, it does include a 32 EU Gen 12 ‘Xe’ GPU. The 32 EUs make up a total of 256 cores. The GPU is clocked at 1150 MHz, which is a standard clock and not much different from the 1300 MHz clocks we’ve seen on Tiger Lake’s mobility components. The GPUs on Tiger Lake CPUs can be expanded to 96 EUs for a total of 768 cores. That’s it for this particular ES CPU.
Intel’s Z490 platform is fully prepared to support the 11th generation of desktop CPU line-ups, but there is still some doubt among board makers whether Intel will openly support two platforms at once such as the Z370 and Z390, or whether the Z490 and Z590 would be limited to only one generation of CPUs (Z490 for Comet Lake and Z590 for Rocket Lake). We have already said that it would be a very bad decision by Intel to shut down Rocket Lake to Z590 platforms only, provided the Z490 has already been labeled by several board manufacturers to support the next generation of CPUs.
We also recently discussed how 11th generation desktop CPUs get higher power ratings across the board and may require the use of more expensive and expensive motherboards.
Here’s everything we know about the 11th generation of Rocket Lake Desktop CPUs
Intel’s Rocket Lake-S desktop CPU platform is expected to support the LGA 1200 socket, which will make its debut with Comet Lake-S CPUs, although on 400 series motherboards. The Intel Rocket Lake-S processors will launch alongside the 500 series motherboards, but it has since been confirmed that LGA 1200 motherboards will support Rocket Lake-S CPUs, especially considering that PCIe Gen 4.0 is a prominent feature of the Z490 motherboards that would only power on using Rocket Lake-S desktop CPUs.
The main features of Intel’s Rocket Lake Desktop CPUs are:
- Improved performance with new processor core architecture
- New Xe graphic architecture
- Increased DDR4 speeds
- CPU PCIe 4.0 jobs
- Improved display (integrated HDMI 2.0, HBR3)
- X4 CPU PCIe lanes added = 20 total CPU PCIe 4.0 lanes
- Improved media (12 bit AV1 / HVEC, E2E compression)
- CPU storage or Intel Optane memory
- New overclocking features and capabilities
- USB Audio offload
- Integrated CNVi & Wireless-AX
- Integrated USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (20G)
- 2.5 Gb Ethernet discrete LAN
- DIscrete Intel Thunderbolt 4 (USB4 compatible)
The architecture for Rocket Lake CPUs is said to be a hybrid between Sunny Cove and Willow Cove design, but will include Xe Gen 12 GPU architecture. We have also been told that the Z590 motherboard series with Thunderbolt 4.0 support will be announced later this year, so expect more information about Rocket Lake CPUs once Intel releases its 11th generation Tiger Lake, mobility family.
Comparison of Intel Desktop CPU generations:
|Intel CPU family||Processor process||Processors Cores (Max)||TDPs||Platform chipset||Platform||Memory support||PCIe support||Launch|
|Sandy Bridge||32nm||4/8||35-95W||6 series||LGA 1155||DDR3||PCIe Gen 2.0||2011|
|Ivy Bridge||22nm||4/8||35-77W||7 series||LGA 1155||DDR3||PCIe Gen 3.0||2012|
|Haswell||22nm||4/8||35-84W||8 series||LGA 1150||DDR3||PCIe Gen 3.0||2013-2014|
|Broadwell||14nm||4/8||65-65W||9 series||LGA 1150||DDR3||PCIe Gen 3.0||2015|
|Skylake||14nm||4/8||35-91W||100 series||LGA 1151||DDR4 / DDR3L||PCIe Gen 3.0||2015|
|Kaby Lake||14nm||4/8||35-91W||200 series||LGA 1151||DDR4 / DDR3L||PCIe Gen 3.0||2017|
|Coffee Lake||14nm||6/12||35-95W||300 series||LGA 1151||DDR4||PCIe Gen 3.0||2017|
|Coffee Lake||14nm||8/16||35-95W||300 series||LGA 1151||DDR4||PCIe Gen 3.0||2018|
|Comet Lake||14nm||10/20||35-125W||400 series||LGA 1200||DDR4||PCIe Gen 3.0||2020|
|Rocket Lake||14nm||8/16?||TBA||400/500 series?||LGA 1200||DDR4||PCIe Gen 4.0||2020?|
|Els Lake||10nm?||16/32?||TBA||TBA||LGA 1700||DDR5?||PCIe Gen 4.0?||2021?|
|Meteor Lake||7nm?||TBA||TBA||TBA||TBA||DDR5?||PCIe Gen 4.0?||2022?|