Published in PC Hardware

Rocket Lake-S a bit of a yawn for reviewers

by on31 March 2021

Tests do not match the marketing claims

Retail availability for Intel's 2021 gaming CPU lineup, codenamed Rocket Lake-S has started and it is fair to say that the reviewers are not impressed.

Some of that is due to the fact that Rocket Lake-S is still stuck on Intel's venerable 14 nm process with features backported from newer 10 nm designs. Most benchmarks show Rocket Lake-S underperforming last year's Comet Lake and not close to AMD Ryzen CPUs.

But reviewers are complaining that their hands-on test results did not seem to match up with Intel's marketing claims of up to 19 per cent gen-on-gen IPC (Instructions Per Clock cycle) improvement over its 10th-generation parts.

Some of it is obvious.  The Core i9-11900K underperforms last year's Core i9-10900K in many multithreaded tests because this year's model only offers eight cores to the previous year's ten.

This year's Core i5 makes a much better showing than the Core i9. In Cinebench R20, Core i5-11600K almost catches up with Ryzen 5 5600X, and it easily dominates last year's Comet Lake i5 equivalent.

It doesn't catch up to its Ryzen competitor in Passmark or Geekbench multithreaded tests, but it outpaces last year's model which is less embarrassing.

Last modified on 31 March 2021
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