Intel Releases 11th-Generation Core Desktop Processors

Posted on March 16, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, PC gaming with 15 Comments

Intel today announced the availability of its 11th-generation “Rocket Lake” Core S-series processors for desktop PCs. The big news this time around is a new microarchitecture, codenamed “Cypress Cove,” which replaces the old Skylake core that Intel has used since 2015.

“11th Gen Intel Core S-series desktop processors are designed to transform hardware and software efficiency and increase raw gaming performance,” the Intel announcement notes​. “The new architecture adds Intel UHD graphics featuring the Intel Xe graphics architecture for rich media and intelligent graphics capabilities. That matters because games and most applications continue to depend on high-frequency cores to drive high frame rates and low latency.”

The new chipsets are built on Intel’s well-worn 14-nanometer manufacturing process, but the firm claims 8 to 19 percent performance improvements over the previous-generation Core desktop chips and a 3 to 11 percent improvement over the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X. The graphics are up to 50 percent faster than previous-gen chipsets.

The most impressive chipset in this family is the Intel Core i9-11900K, which runs at up to 5.3 gigahertz and features eight processor cores, 16 threads, and 16 megabytes of Intel Smart Cache. This chip is unlocked and can be paired with fast DDR4-3200 RAM for the best gameplay experience, Intel says.

You can learn more about this chipset from the Intel website.

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Comments (15)

15 responses to “Intel Releases 11th-Generation Core Desktop Processors”

  1. tallguyse

    This will be king of the hill until Apple releases Macs with the M1X (or whatever they end up calling it). Then Intel will release a carefully curated series of benchmarks to show that the lifestyle company isn’t really all that impressive. Except that they will be.

    Also - STILL 14nm?!?!

  2. b6gd

    They can heat a barn in the winter as well!

  3. tallguyse

    In reply to lvthunder:

    More a comment on the state of their manufacturing technology than anything. Although the top end SKU is 8 core vs 10 for the previous generation. And a 125W TDP will likely be a good bit higher than the competition.

  4. JH_Radio

    My desktop is a broadwell chip, (I think that was the last one that was 22NM before it went to 14?)

  5. garythornberry

    Has anybody heard when the Pluton security feature will be in Intel chips? Pluton was the Microsoft security effort to reduce the hacking of Windows PCs.

  6. winbookxl2

    I will be following this. Our PC desktops are Skylake based machines. We were going to deploy AMD units this summer but depending on how this chipset and CPU goes we may plan to deploy 11th gen this in the fall.

  7. RobertJasiek

    What about security? Have Meltdown, Spectre & Co been fixed?

  8. wright_is

    In reply to lvthunder:

    For efficiency and heat output, definitely. The smaller the parts, the quicker they work or they require less power to achieve the same performance - physics at work. If they had managed to get Cypress Cover advancements over Skylake and reduce it to the 5nm or 8nm that the other manufacturers use, it would have been even faster. Just shrinking Skylake down to 5nm would show a marked improvement, but they have failed since 2016 to get 10nm working, the rest of the world has moved onto 5nm with 3nm coming sometime this year.

  9. ghostrider

    Because Intel's 10nm process is still unreliable with low yields, Intel took the odd decision to backport this 10nm design to 14nm, which has resulted is enough heat and power usage to run a small house. Seriously, in initial benchmarks, while single core performance is better and on par with the Ryzen 5000 series, Ryzen still cleans up in multi-core, so Intel 11xxx series chips are still nothing to write home about. I'd still take a Ryzen over this any day of the week - Intel are on the back foot and it shows.

  10. north of 49th

    With the chip shortage, I think Intel may luck out on selling more of these than they would in other years if they can produce this chip at volume.

  11. Stokkolm

    Here's Anandtech's summary:

    Our results clearly show that Intel’s performance, while substantial, still trails its main competitor, AMD. In a core-for-core comparison, Intel is slightly slower and a lot more inefficient. The smart money would be to get the AMD processor.

    I'll be sticking with AMD for my desktop machine.

  12. glenn8878

    Skylake's original problems ruined Intel's relationship with Apple. I'm ready to buy 11th generation Rocket Lake in a few months.

  13. waethorn

    How many “tocks” is this now?

  14. 2ilent8cho

    Is it called Rocket Lake because it gives off the heat of a rocket and makes your computer sound like blast off when you do anything intense on it?

  15. melinau

    Intel rested on its laurels for too long & AMD is currently the "go to" CPU supplier.

    Their chiplet designs & TMC manufacturing process has left Intel floundering. This looks like it might be good news for Intel and for us consumers, as Intel must now try to innovate in order to catch-up, let alone overtake AMD. I think we can expect AMD to continue to refine its architectures. TMC & Samsung (an AMD partner in some areas) will also further improve & refine their Process. This should lead to better performance & less expensive CPUs for customers - us enthusiasts.