The upcoming desktop CPUs feature PCIe 4.0 support.

What you need to know

  • Intel has announced that its 11th Gen Rocket Lake desktop CPUs will be introduced in the first quarter of 2021.
  • The CPUs will support PCIe 4.0, unlike the 10th Gen Comet Lake S designs.
  • Intel is still leveraging the 14nm node, but it is switching to a new Willow Cover architecture.

Intel’s 10th Gen Comet Lake S desktop CPUs debuted earlier this year, with the Core i9-10900K in particular offering sizeable gains in gaming performance from the previous generation. The mid-range Core i7-10700K and Core i5-10600K also come with exciting gains in a lot of areas, but one downside is that the 10th Gen designs don’t support PCIe 4.0, unlike their AMD counterparts.

Intel is aiming to fix that with the 11th Gen Rocket Lake series. The chip manufacturer has confirmed that the 11th Gen Rocket Lake series will make its debut in Q1 2021, and that it will include PCIe 4.0 support.

Intel didn’t go into architectural details on Rocket Lake, but recent leaks give us a high-level overview of the platform. The Rocket Lake S desktop designs will be based on a 14nm node — much like Intel’s last four generations — but Intel is introducing a new Willow Cove architecture that should deliver decent gains over the current 10th Gen platform.

In particular, Rocket Lake will deliver significant IPC gains thanks to the switch to Willow Cove, with Intel once again able to leverage 5.0GHz boost frequencies because of the mature 14nm platform.

John Bonini, Intel’s VP and GM of Client Computing Group Desktop, Workstations and Gaming, talked about Intel’s collaboration with leading game studios and publishers to optimize the latest games, including the likes of Marvel’s Avengers, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, Gears Tactics, and more:

We are excited about how hardware helps bring amazing software titles to life. Our work with OEMs creates a hardware environment where game developers and publishers can deliver the immersive experiences that they intend. We like to be in the digital trenches with game developers to help them squeeze as much performance out of the hardware as possible so what you see on screen is as faithful to their vision as possible.

Intel Core i5-10600K

$304 at Amazon
$300 at B&H Photo
$310 at Newegg

With outstanding gaming performance, the Core i5-10600K is an outstanding choice in Intel’s Comet Lake S portfolio. For $300, you won’t find another chip that offers the same level of performance.