With Rocket Lake-S, Intel is introducing new cores on its 11th generation of desktop chips, but retaining a bedridden 14nm engraving process. Tested in advance by the specialized site AnandTech, the Core i7-11700K pays dearly for this strategy against AMD and its latest Ryzen 5000 chips.
Wear a new design on an old engraving process… This is Intel’s bet with its new generation of “Rocket Lake-S” consumer desktop processors, which benefits from new “Cypress Cove” cores, but engraved according to the archaic 14 nm engraving process. A process that the Californian giant continues to exploit to the core because it is not ready to switch to 10 nm on its desktop chips. If this technological bias allows Intel’s new CPUs to improve performance, it comes at the cost of decaying energy efficiency.
In any case, this is what we remember from the test of the Core i7-11700K, carried out a little ahead of time by AnandTech, who managed to get their hands on a unit of the chip sold before the time by a complacent dealer.
Shy performance increase …
The specialized site confirms the promises made by Intel when the Rocket Lake-S chips were made official in October. Compared to the 10th generation “Comet Lake-S” chips, the use of Cypress Cove cores (themselves redesigned from Sunny Cove cores, designed for 10nm) allows a noticeable increase in power, enough to pull 19%. performance in addition to the 14 nm engraving. At least on paper, because if technically Intel’s statements are correct, AnandTech explains that this is only the case if we take into account the performance in floating point (“floating point”). If we go to an integer, the gain is limited this time to 13% performance in single-threaded computation and only 7.3% more in multi-threaded.
Figures already a little less flattering. Especially in real conditions of use, the Core i7-11700K is placed either at the same level as its predecessor the Core i7-10700K, or slightly ahead depending on the software used (Dolphin, Blender, POV-Ray, Agisoft, Handbrake…). A slight increase in range which is also rarely reflected in the game, where AnandTech explains that it has not observed a change of paradigm. Worse, in some cases, the American media explains that it obtained poorer results than with Comet Lake-S chips, following regressions in terms of memory latency profiles. “Spoofed” to suit 14nm, Cypress Cove cores appear to be less efficient in some games than older generation cores.
Rocket Lake-S : Intel reste « slightly slower and much more inefficient » qu’AMD
This mixed report is complemented by an overdue energy efficiency, with a consumption peak of almost 224.56 W for the Core i7-11700K under AVX2, against 204.79 W maximum for the Core i7-10700K on the same instruction set.
For AnandTech, the overall results of the test are therefore final. “Our results clearly show that Intel’s performance, while substantial, still lags behind that of its main competitor, AMD. In a heart-to-heart comparison, Intel is slightly slower and much more inefficient“, Asserts the specialized site, which advises the purchase of the Zen 3 chips from AMD (Ryzen 5000), but stressing that at the small game of the supply Intel has a card to play… the processors of AMD being regularly victims of inflated prices for lack of sufficient stocks. AMD favors for the moment commercial contracts with companies to sell its new chips.
The launch of the Intel Rocket Lake-S processors is anyway set for March 30.