Intel Core i9-11900K Rocket Lake Assessment: 14nm’s Ultimate Burn


Intel’s new Rocket Lake desktop platform has arrived at a vital second for the corporate. Simply weeks in the past, the CPU production large unveiled a plan to overtake its production trade, open a shopper foundry trade, construct new fabs, and strike deeper partnerships with rival foundries like Samsung and TSMC. Those projects are all a part of new CEO Pat Gelsinger’s purpose of reclaiming production management over the following 4 to 5 years.

Just like the IDM 2.0 plans Intel unveiled previous in March, Rocket Lake represents a basic smash from the previous. The 2011-day reign of Skylake is over. For the primary time in 5 and a part years, Intel has a brand new desktop microarchitecture. One can consider Intel engineers breaking out the champagne when Rocket Lake taped out, purely for the enjoyment of establishing one thing else.

Rocket Lake, in a nutshell.

In contrast to Skylake, Kaby Lake, Espresso Lake, Whiskey Lake, and Comet Lake, Intel’s Rocket Lake SoC makes use of the Cypress Cove microarchitecture. Cypress Cove is a backport of Intel’s 2019 Sunny Cove CPU design. Sunny Cove was once constructed on 10nm and wasn’t able to achieving top clocks. Backporting the design to 14nm allowed Intel to get well the clock it misplaced within the 14nm – 10nm transition.

Intel has promised Cypress Cove delivers a 1.19x IPC growth in comparison to the tenth Gen Core circle of relatives. Different new options debuting with Rocket Lake come with a brand new, Xe-based GPU core (now not one thing we’re discussing on this piece), reinforce for the AVX-512 instruction set, an progressed reminiscence controller with reinforce for higher-clocked DRAM, and an extra 4 lanes of CPU-attached PCIe 4.0 garage relative to what’s to be had at the Core i9-10900K. Rocket Lake additionally makes use of an x8 PCIe 3.0 chipset hyperlink if paired with a 500-series chipset. tenth Gen CPUs put in in the similar forums use x4 hyperlinks.

The Core i9-11900K makes use of an LGA1200 motherboard socket, which it stocks with the tenth Gen CPU circle of relatives. There’s some cross-compatibility between Intel’s 400-series motherboards and eleventh Gen CPUs; test this text for main points.

Aggressive Positioning

Word: All references to MSRPs all the way through this tale are strictly hypothetical. AMD’s Ryzen 5000 CPUs are nonetheless wearing a top class and eleventh Gen is just too new to make any judgments about availability.

After stepping as much as 10 cores ultimate 12 months with the Core i9-10900K, Intel is backing down to 8 over again with the Core i9-11900K. All over our briefing, the corporate attempted to assert it was once pressured to scale back its CPU core counts as a result of 8 cores represented “probably the most lets have compatibility.” That is ridiculous twaddle.

Whilst we don’t have the precise die dimension of the Core i9-11900K, the 10-core Intel Core i9-10900K has a 206.1mm sq die. Again within the 22nm days, Intel’s Xeon Phi had a 705mm sq die, and the corporate hasn’t torn out its large-die production apparatus, so experiences of a intended die dimension restriction are nonsensical. Our effects counsel Intel dropped again to 8 CPU cores as a result of Cypress Cove’s persistent intake on 14nm made greater than {that a} unhealthy thought, now not as it couldn’t construct a bigger chip. It’s advantageous to mention {that a} given core rely represented the most productive total design level.

The Core i9-11900K enters this battle hemmed in on each and every aspect. AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X is theoretically more economical, at $450. Intel selected to value the Core i9-11900K at $539 the place it competes in opposition to the 12-core Ryzen 9 5900X at $549. Decrease within the stack there are very well-positioned chips such because the Core i5-11600K, however we’ll be taking into consideration that CPU in a separate article.

The Core i9-11900K wishes to compare or exceed the functionality of its predecessor and justify its value top class over the Ryzen 7 5800X. Preferably, it could raise the battle to the Ryzen 9 5900X, however asking an eight-core chip to overcome a 12-core is so much and Intel traditionally costs their CPUs at a top class in comparison with AMD.

Assessments and Gadget Configuration

We’ve ported our CPU effects over to the similar graphing engine we debuted for the 6700 XT release ultimate week. Our effects are subsequently arranged a bit of otherwise. The tabs within the graph under will show a special set of benchmark effects relying on which possibility you choose. You’ll click on at the colour buttons to take away a outcome for those who’d like to check particular answers.

Utility and game-specific configuration main points are given under:

Blender Benchmark 2.0.5: We show the entire wall-clock render time for a couple of Blender scenes, together with BMW, Fishy_Cat, Koro, Study room, Pavilion, and Victor. This can be a standalone benchmark software equipped via Blender that any one can use. Rendering instances are reported in mins.

Cinbench R20 and R23 Cinebench R20 and R23 are an older and a more moderen model of the similar benchmark. Maxon, the developer of Cinema4D, has created Cinebench to function a easy rendering check for his or her greater software. Rendering time is reported in ratings and better ratings are sooner.

Corona Render 1.3: Corona Render is an independent, bodily founded renderer with plugins to be had for packages like 3ds Max. Render instances are reported in mins.

Handbrake 1.33: We’ve quickly reintroduced Handbrake as a video transcoding benchmark. We convert the 4K movie Tears of Metal the usage of the Speedy 1080p30 preset, however we altered the preset to retain the supply video’s body fee. Efficiency is reported in each H.264 and H.265.

IndigoBench: IndigoBench exams IndigoRenderer, every other independent, photorealistic GPU and CPU rendering bundle. Efficiency is reported in Msamples/sec and better ratings are sooner.

V-Ray: V-ray, because the title implies, is a versatile ray tracing answer deployed around the 3-D business. We measure CPU functionality in vsamples/sec, with larger ratings indicating larger functionality.

y-cruncher: We use y-cruncher to calculate the primary 5 billion digits of Pi and document the wall-clock time required. We use an optimized executable similar to every CPU’s microarchitecture. The 11900K is examined with AVX-512 enabled, each Zen 5000 CPUs run Zen 2-optimized code, and the Core i9-10900K makes use of an executable optimized for Broadwell and Skylake. There’s no Zen 3-optimized model (but).

Subsequent up, video games:

Murderer’s Creed: Origins: Extremely Element, DX11.

Borderlands 3: Extremely Element, DX12.

A long way Cry 5: Extremely Element, Top Element Textures enabled, DX11.

Metro Exodus: Excessive Element, Hairworks and complex physics disabled, DX12.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Examined at Top Element, with SMAATx2 enabled. Makes use of DX12.

Ordinary Brigade: Extremely Element, Vulkan.

All programs had been examined with an MSI RTX 3080 Suprim X the usage of Nvidia’s 461.92 driving force sequence. The Core i9-11900K was once examined on an Asus motherboard, whilst the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X and Ryzen 9 5900X had been each examined in an MSI X570 Godlike motherboard. Each the Intel and the AMD programs had been configured with 32GB of The most important Ballistix DDR4-3600 RAM in 4 slots.

We had no steadiness issues of our Asus ROG Maximus XIII Hero past a useless M.2 slot. We opted to check the board the usage of a PCIe 3.0 riser card. This labored however blocked our skill to check PCIe 4.0 southbridge reinforce.

Efficiency Research:

Our functionality information displays that the Core i9-11900K most commonly fits the multi-threaded functionality of the Core i9-10900K, whilst considerably exceeding it in single-threaded exams. In some instances, the Cypress Cove-powered Rocket Lake is even sooner than its 10-core predecessor. Unmarried-threaded functionality is set 5 p.c larger than AMD in exams like Cinebench and a minimum of 20 p.c and 23 p.c larger than the Core i9-10900K. Unmarried-threaded workloads are a minority of duties at the moment, however the uplift right here may be very actual.

Intel is normally sooner than the 5800X, although there are exceptions, like NeatBench 5 and 7zip’s compression check. Whilst the 11900K is able to besting the Ryzen 7 5800X, it’s were given no likelihood in opposition to the Ryzen 9 5900X. Sadly for Intel, the 5900X is in reality its closest value fit. The Core i9-11900K can’t fit the Ryzen 9 5900X in any of our multi-threaded software exams.

Let’s flip our consideration to gaming:

The 5900X doesn’t be offering a lot uplift in gaming in comparison with CPUs such because the Core i9-10900K. In 1080p, it leads the Ryzen 7 5800X via about 4.6 p.c and the Ryzen 9 5900X via 2.6 p.c. In 4K, there’s a 6 p.c hole between the 5800X and the 11900K and a 4.5 p.c hole between it and the 5900X.

As for persistent intake, right here’s how those 4 CPUs evaluate. Energy intake is larger right here than you may even see in different opinions as a result of we’re the usage of an MSI RTX 3080 Suprim X. This actual RTX 3080 is tuned for optimum functionality and its persistent intake figures replicate it.

Intel’s Energy Intake: Up, Up, and Outré

We’ve measured persistent in y-cruncher, the usage of a binary tuned for every CPU. This implies AVX-512 for Core i9-11900K, Broadwell/Skylake tuning for the 10900K, and Zen 2 improvements for the AMD CPUs. There isn’t a Zen 3-optimized executable but.

“Rocket Lake” is a shockingly suitable title for this SoC. Whilst we’re reporting wall persistent and now not CPU-specific persistent intake, y-cruncher has a textual content GUI and no graphical UI. The Core i9-11900K attracts 1.73x extra persistent than the 5800X and 1.25x greater than the Core i9-10900K, despite the fact that it has fewer CPU cores. If we had been the usage of AMD’s extra power-efficient X470 platform we may be able to have compatibility two Ryzen 7 5800X’s into the similar persistent envelope as one Core i9-11900K.

The adaptation between the Core i9-11900K and the Ryzen 7 5800X is big sufficient to make a distinction on your once a year persistent invoice, relying on how a lot you employ the chip. For those who ran each CPUs all-out for 4 hours in keeping with day and became them off at different instances, you’d pay $70.08 in keeping with 12 months for the 11900K and $38.16 for the AMD CPU. If we think 24/7 steady operation at $0.12 in keeping with kilowatt-hour, the Core i9-11900K would run $420.48 in keeping with 12 months in opposition to the AMD 5800X at $229.08. Neither determine accounts for the greater HVAC prices all the way through the summer time or the possible relief in heating prices all the way through the wintry weather.

Conclusion: The Core i9-11900K Is Intel’s FX-9590 Second

The Core i9-11900K’s marketplace place jogs my memory of AMD’s FX-9590 release. Consider it or now not, I imply that as a praise.

The FX-9590 was once an AMD Piledriver CPU with a 4.7GHz base clock and a 5GHz spice up. AMD introduced it within the spring of 2013 to provide its customers a top(er)-performance selection to the FX-8350. AMD couldn’t problem Intel’s absolute functionality or persistent potency on the time, nevertheless it nonetheless made up our minds to send the highest-performing CPU it would as an possibility for its personal lovers. I praised AMD for catering to its personal lovers in 2013 and I’m giving Intel a nod for doing the similar factor right here.

The Core i9-11900K does some issues proper. It units a brand new top mark for single-threaded desktop CPU functionality, holds an edge in gaming, and modestly leads the Ryzen 7 5800X in quite a few our CPU exams. It provides PCIe 4.0 and reinforce for AVX-512. We’re satisfied to look the latter rolling out in additional programs, because it will increase the risk of wider instrument reinforce.

Those strengths, sadly, don’t outweigh the CPU’s strategic weaknesses. Out of doors 1T functionality, the Core i9-11900K is a sidegrade from the Core i9-10900K. Intel consumers nonetheless the usage of 4-6 core CPUs would see a lot greater functionality enhancements, however AMD’s Ryzen circle of relatives provides 12 cores in the similar value band the place Intel sells 8. The Core i9-11900K can’t fit the multi-threading functionality of the Ryzen 9 5900X or 5950X and it can’t fit the facility potency of the Ryzen 7 5800X. Just like the FX-9590, the Core i9-11900K has been driven a long way out of its metaphorical convenience zone to offer most functionality at most TDP. Just like the FX-9590, its attraction is restricted to the fanatic devoted relatively than the overall marketplace.

It sort of feels not going that the existing incarnation of Rocket Lake is what Intel was once hoping for when it made up our minds to backport the Sunny Cove microarchitecture to 14nm. The staff effectively introduced Ice Lake’s IPC enhancements backward a era, and so they did it with handiest minimum tweaks to top-end clocks, however the persistent intake trade-off being made here’s unpleasant.

The Core i5-11600K is successful reward for its value and positioning relative to AMD’s 5600X and we intend to take a gander at each cores within the close to long term, however the Core i9-11900K we’ve reviewed right here nowadays is tricky to counsel. Multi-threaded functionality in opposition to the Core i9-10900K is flattish to quite down. Recreation functionality uplift is within the mid-single digits. CPUs just like the Ryzen 9 5900X outperform the Core i9-11900K in each and every multi-threaded non-gaming workload.

Neither AM4 nor LGA1200 are anticipated to be long-lived platforms at this level, however AMD nonetheless has a bonus over Intel the place upgrades are involved. Even though Ryzen 5000 was once the ultimate AM4 product AMD ever introduced — and it most likely gained’t be — somebody who buys an eight-core Ryzen 7 5800X nowadays has the approach to step as much as a 16-core Ryzen 9 5950X in the future someday. By contrast, the Core i9-11900K is the quickest Rocket Lake CPU we’ll ever see.

Rocket Lake (desktop) and Tiger Lake (cell) will each be succeeded via Alder Lake, Intel’s upcoming hybrid structure that pairs small, energy-efficient Atom cores with greater big-core chips. For now, we’re presuming that Intel will release on cell first in past due 2021 after which follow-up with a desktop refresh in 2022. We nonetheless assume that is the in all probability end result, however the Core i9-11900K’s persistent potency issues make the speculation of a quick alternative cycle extra believable.

Something Rocket Lake does shed light on: Intel’s 14nm node is definitely and in reality tapped. There are not more pluses to wring out, no spare potency caught among the sofa cushions. Intel fans who’re nonetheless again on slower CPUs with decrease core counts might in finding the Core i9-11900K’s top IPC and 5GHz+ spice up frequencies sexy, equipped they’ve were given coolers that may maintain the warmth. Someone who isn’t particularly in search of an Intel processor might in finding they’re higher served via an AMD Ryzen 5000 CPU, assuming one can also be discovered at MSRP.

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