AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) has gone from underdog to having to the fastest processors available for gaming and content creators, but there are signs Intel has something fast in the works. It’s 11th Gen desktop processors, which are expected to land on shelves in the next month or two, are beating AMD’s fastest Zen 3 Ryzen 5000 processors in the PassMark benchmark.
The above tells us two things. Firstly, that Intel’s new processors are likely to be faster in single-threaded and lightly-threaded applications than AMD’s latest Ryzen CPUs. This is significant as it means that the work Intel has done to include an improved architecture as well as slightly higher frequencies has had a noticeable impact. The Rocket Lake-S CPUs you can see at the top of the chart – the Core i9-11900K and Core i7-11700K – aren’t just a frequency boost. They sport a new architecture and that’s significant. Intel is still using a 14nm manufacturing process here, but improvements in performance can come from areas other than lithography and frequency.
Secondly, we get more of an idea about these improvements looking at the results from Intel’s 10th Gen CPUs lower in the graph such as the Core i9-10900K. This scores 3,174 points while the new Core i9-11900K scores 3,764. That’s a sizable 19 percent performance boost and at frequencies that are only slightly higher than the previous generation. This indicates a big shift in performance that could be mirrored in multi-threaded workloads too as there seems to be much more going on here that just frequency-induced performance increases.
Along with 11th Gen CPUs, Rocket Lake-S will bring PCIe 4.0 support to current generation motherboards such as those that use the Z490 chipset, and also a new chipset – Z590. Motherboards using the Z590 chipset will see wide use of Thunderbolt 4 as well as native USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 support. However, The Core i9-11900K will only offer eight cores, while the Core i9-10900K had 10 cores. This means that AMD will retain a significant lead in multi-threaded performance on the mainstream desktop PC and it remains to be seen if Intel will counter this with future architectures or a renewed high-end desktop platform later this year.
I’’ll be reviewing Intel’s new CPUs when they arrivce as well as looking at some of the interesting new Z590 motherboards so follow me here at Forbes, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Reddit for more PC hardware news and reviews.