Intel’s new 11th-gen desktop processors (code-named Rocket Lake-S) include a new “Cyprus Cove” architecture which the company says brings up to a 19-percent improvement in instructions-per-cycle for the highest frequency CPU cores. But the bigger change may be the inclusion of Intel Xe-LP integrated graphics, which could bring up to a 50-percent boost in GPU performance for systems that don’t have a discrete graphics card.

There are 19 different Rocket Lake-S chips at launch, ranging from the 6-core, 12-thread, 35 watt Intel Core i5-11400T processor near the bottom of the list to the 125 watt Core i9-11990K processor with 8 cores, 16 threads, and support for single-core speeds as high as 5.3 GHz.

Intel Rocket Lake-S

As first detailed in October, Intel says all of the new processors feature Intel UHD graphics with Intel Xe GPu technology, which means there’s support for HDMI 2.0 output allowing you to connect up to two 5K 60 Hz displays or up to three 4K 60 Hz displays without the need for a discrete GPU.

Interestingly, even high-performance chips like the Core i7-11700K seem to only feature 32 a GPU with execution units, compared with up to 96 for 11th-gen Intel “Tiger Lake” chips for laptops. So it’s likely that gamers and graphic design or video professionals may still want to opt for a discrete graphics card.

Other key Rocket Lake-S features include:

  • Support for up to DDR4-3200 memory
  • Support for up to 20 CPU PCIe 4.0 lanes
  • Integrated USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (20 Gbps) support
  • Compliant with Thunderbolt 4
  • 12-bit HEVC/VPN decoding
  • 10-bit AV1 decoding
  • Compatible with WiFi 6E

Interestingly, while Intel has largely moved to a 10nm process for its mobile processors, the company’s latest desktop processors are manufactured using a 14nm process. But the new 14nm Cyprus Cove architecture features technology that’s been backported from the Sunny Cove architecture used in 10th-gen Ice Lake mobile processors.

Also interesting? There are no Core i3 or lower chips in the 11th-gen desktop processor family yet. Instead Intel is refreshing its 10th-gen Comet Lake lineup with the introduction of some new 2-core/4-thread Pentium Gold and 4-core/8-thread Core i3 chips. These processors lack some of the newer features including Intel Xe graphics, but they’re a lot cheaper.

Intel says the new processors will be available starting March 30, and PC makers are already starting to announce new desktop computers powered by Rocket Lake-S processors.

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6 replies on “Intel’s 11th-gen desktop chips arrive with a boost in CPU performance, bigger boost in graphics (Rocket Lake-S)”

  1. I am more concerned with 10-bit HEVC 4:2:2 than 12-bit HEVC 4:2:2.
    Apple A1 and M1 chips have the codec built in.

  2. Someone wishing to build a PC might hope the graphics are good enough to be a holdover until the graphics cards come back (we’re looking at a year from now, if not forever) and that the taboo against intel still holds off demand enough for the scalpers to leave it alone (yeah, as if they would when the price of everything could very well quintuple).
    But I wouldn’t predict anything good happening ever again, really.

    1. Regrettably, they only settled for 32 EUs compared to Tiger Lake’s 96 so you are much better off with Ryzen 4000G Renoir or 3000G Picasso processors.

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