Z590 motherboards feature PCIe Gen 4.0 compatibility only with 11th Generation Intel Rocket Lake Core i9, Core i7, and Core i5 CPUs

Two weeks from now, Intel and its board partners will introduce the new Z590 (500 Series) motherboards that will fully support the 11th generation of Rocket Lake desktop CPUs. The main feature of these boards along with support for the next generation of CPU is advanced I / O features and full support for the PCIe Gen 4.0 protocol.

Intel Z590 motherboards provide PCIe Gen 4.0 compatibility only when running 11th Gen Rocket Lake Core i9, Core i7, and Core i5 desktop CPUs, not supported by Comet Lake Refresh Core i3 CPUs

The information is included on several Z590 chipset-based motherboards that we started receiving from board partners prior to the January 11 announcement. Each motherboard has a label on the top PCIe slot indicating that the Gen 4.0 protocol will be supported by Intel’s Rocket Lake desktop CPUs.

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According to previously leaked information that covered all Intel Rocket Lake SKUs, the lineup will consist of Core i9, Core i7 and Core i5 chipsets. The rest of the lineup that includes the Core i3 series, Pentium and Celeron series will not offer PCIe Gen 4.0 support and will maintain Gen 3.0 compatibility since it is part of the Comet Lake family. Intel’s Rocket Lake CPUs only have the necessary architecture upgrades to support PCIe Gen 4.0.

The PCIe Gen 4.0 protocol wasn’t a big deal on GPUs as it was with PCIe-based storage devices. Next generation SSDs with PCIe 4.0 demonstrated massive performance improvements and with technologies like NVIDIA RTX IO and Microsoft DirectStorage for desktop computers will definitely use the interconnection protocol to allow for faster performance and access times.

Here’s everything we know about the 11th generation Rocket Lake desktop CPUs

Intel Rocket Lake-S desktop CPU platform Will show support on the LGA 1200 socket that debuted with 10th Gen Comet Lake-S CPUs despite their running Motherboard 400 series. Intel Rocket Lake-S processors will be launched primarily for 500 Series motherboards but it has been confirmed that LGA 1200 motherboards will offer support for Rocket Lake-S CPUs, especially considering the fact that PCIe Gen 4.0 is a standout feature of Z490 motherboards that It will only be enabled with Rocket Lake-S Desktop CPUs.

Motherboard makers, especially ASUS, will pay extra attention to integrating hardware-level integration of PCIe Gen 4 onto their Z590 motherboard lineup against their Z490 lineup We have indicated here.

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Key features of Intel’s Rocket Lake Desktop CPUs include:

  • Increase performance with the new Cypress Cove infrastructure
  • Up to 8 cores and 16 pins (double-digit IPC gain over Skylake)
  • New Xe graphics architecture (up to 50% more performance than Gen9)
  • Increased support for DDR4 3200MHz
  • CPU PCIe 4.0 lanes (available on Z490 and Z590 motherboards)
  • Enhanced Screen (Integrated HDMI 2.0b, DP1.4a, HBR3)
  • Added x4 CPU PCIe lanes = 20 total CPU PCIe 4.0 lanes
  • Enhanced media (12-bit AV1 / HVEC, E2E compression)
  • Storage attached to CPU or Intel Optane memory
  • New overclocking features and capabilities
  • USB Audio offload
  • CNVi & Wireless-AX integrated
  • Built-in USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (20G)
  • 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet separate LAN
  • Intel Thunderbolt 4 discrete port (USB4 compatible)

Here are the main Rocket Lake Desktop processors we can expect within the 11th generation family:

  • Core i9-11900K
  • Core i9-11900
  • Core i9-11900T
  • Core i7-11700K
  • Core i7-11700
  • Core i7-11700T
  • Core i5-11600K
  • Core i5-11600
  • Core i5-11600T
  • Core i5-11500
  • Core i5-11500T
  • Core i5-11400
  • Core i5-11400T

Intel 11th Generation Rocket Lake Desktop CPU Lineup Specifications (Preliminary):

CPU name Cores / Filaments The basic hour Boost Clock (1-Core) Boost Clock (all cores) cache Graphics TDP (PL1)
Core i9-11900K 8/16 3.50 GHz 5.30 GHz 4.80 GHz 16 MB Intel Xe 32 EU (256 colors) 125 watts
Core i9-11900 8/16 1.80 GHz 4.50 GHz 4.00 GHz 16 MB Intel Xe 32 EU (256 colors) 65 watts
Core i9-11900T 8/16 TBC TBC TBC 16 MB Intel Xe 32 EU (256 colors) 35W
Core i7-11700K 8/16 3.60 GHz 5.00 GHz 4.60 GHz 16 MB Intel Xe 32 EU (256 colors) 125 watts
Core i7-11700 8/16 2.50 GHz 4.90 GHz TBC 16 MB Intel Xe 32 EU (256 colors) 65 watts
Core i7-11700T 8/16 TBC TBC 16 MB Intel Xe 32 EU (256 colors) 35W
Core i5-11600K 6/12 TBC 4.90 GHz 4.60 GHz 12 MB Intel Xe 32 EU (256 colors) 125 watts
Core i5-11600 6/12 TBC TBC TBC 12 MB Intel Xe 32 EU (256 colors) 65 watts
Core i5-11600T 6/12 TBC TBC TBC 12 MB Intel Xe 32 EU (256 colors) 35W
Core i5-11500 6/12 TBC TBC TBC 12 MB Intel Xe 32 EU (256 colors) 65 watts
Core i5-11500T 6/12 TBC TBC TBC 12 MB Intel Xe 32 EU (256 colors) 35W
Core i5-11400 6/12 2.60 GHz 4.400 GHz 4.20 GHz 12 MB Intel Xe 24 EU (192 colors) 65 watts
Core i5-11400T 6/12 TBC TBC TBC 12 MB Intel Xe 24 EU (192 colors) 35W

Unlocked K-Series SKUs will have a basic PL1 TDP of 125 watts while SKUs without a KK will feature a 65 watt TDP based on a TDP. The ‘T’ series variants will come with lower TDP volumes with a 35W-based TDP. Rocket Lake CPU architecture-based Intel Core i9 and Core i7 CPUs will have 8 cores, 16 threads, and 16MB of L3 cache. Core i5 SKUs will have 6 cores and 12 threads, plus a total of 12MB of L3 cache. All CPUs will feature integrated Intel Xe GPU with 32 EU or 256 cores.

Moving to Comet Lake Refresh, Intel appears to be relocating an optimized Skylake architecture for its flagship and budget class lineup. The assortment will include the following SKUs:

  • Core i3-11100
  • Core i3-11100T
  • Core i3-11300
  • Core i3-11300T
  • Core i3-11320
  • Pentium G6420
  • Pentium G6420T
  • Pentium G6520
  • Pentium G6250T
  • Pentium G6220
  • Celeron G5930
  • Celeron G5930T
  • Celeron G5950

Intel 11th-generation Comet Lake update desktop CPU lineup (preliminary):

CPU name Cores / Filaments The basic hour Boost Clock (1-Core) Boost Clock (all cores) cache Graphics TDP
Core i3-11320 4/8 TBC TBC TBC 8 MB UHD 630 24 EU (192 colors) 65 watts
Core i3-11300 4/8 TBC TBC TBC 8 MB UHD 630 24 EU (192 colors) 65 watts
Core i3-11300T 4/8 TBC TBC TBC 8 MB UHD 630 24 EU (192 colors) 35W
Core i3-11100 4/8 TBC TBC TBC 6 MB UHD 630 24 EU (192 colors) 65 watts
Core i3-11100T 4/8 TBC TBC TBC 6 MB UHD 630 24 EU (192 colors) 35W
Pentium G6420 2/4 TBC Unavailable Unavailable 4 MB UHD 630 24 EU (192 colors) 58 watts
Pentium G6420T 2/4 TBC Unavailable Unavailable 4 MB UHD 630 24 EU (192 colors) 35W
Pentium G6520 2/4 TBC Unavailable Unavailable 4 MB UHD 630 24 EU (192 colors) 58 watts
Pentium G6250T 2/4 TBC Unavailable Unavailable 4 MB UHD 630 24 EU (192 colors) 35W
Pentium G6220 2/4 TBC Unavailable Unavailable 4 MB UHD 630 24 EU (192 colors) 58 watts
Celeron G5930 2/2 TBC Unavailable Unavailable 4 MB UHD 610 12 EU (96 colors) 58 watts
Celeron G5930T 2/2 TBC Unavailable Unavailable 4 MB UHD 610 12 EU (96 colors) 35W
Celeron G5950 2/2 TBC Unavailable Unavailable 4 MB UHD 610 12 EU (96 colors) 58 watts

Core i3 models will have 4 cores and 8 threads, but all variants except for the Core i3-11100 series will have 8MB of L3 cache versus 6MB of L3 cache on said CPUs. The Pentium line processors will have 2 cores, 4 threads, and 4MB of L3 cache while the Celeron lineup will have only 2 cores and no multi-threaded support. These chips will also hold 4MB of L3 cache. The Core i3 and Pentium models will have UHD 630 graphics with 24 ECUs while Celeron SKUs will have UHD 610 graphics with 12 ECUs.

The architecture of Rocket Lake CPUs is said to be Cypress Cove which is said to be a hybrid between Sunny Cove design and Willow Cove but will feature Xe Gen 12 GPU architecture. Intel’s Core i9-11900K will be the flagship CPU offering in the lineup and we expect more information about it soon. As for the launch, motherboards will arrive at retail on January 11-12, while Intel’s 11th generation processors are expected by the end of March.

Comparison of Intel Desktop CPU generations:

Intel CPU family Processor processor Processor Cores (Maximum) TDPs Podium slides platform Memory support PCIe support release
Sandy Bridge (2nd generation) 32nm 4/8 35-95W 6-series LGA 1155 DDR3 PCIe Gen 2.0 2011
Ivy Bridge (3rd generation) 22 nm 4/8 35-77W 7-series LGA 1155 DDR3 PCIe Gen 3.0 2012
Haswell (4th generation) 22 nm 4/8 35-84 watts 8-series LGA 1150 DDR3 PCIe Gen 3.0 2013-2014
Broadwell (5th generation) 14 nm 4/8 65-65 watts 9 series LGA 1150 DDR3 PCIe Gen 3.0 2015
Skylake (6th generation) 14 nm 4/8 35-91W 100 series LGA 1151 DDR4 PCIe Gen 3.0 2015
Lake Kabi (7th generation) 14 nm 4/8 35-91W 200 series LGA 1151 DDR4 PCIe Gen 3.0 2017
Coffee lake (8th generation) 14 nm 6/12 35-95W 300 series LGA 1151 DDR4 PCIe Gen 3.0 2017
Lake Coffee (9th generation) 14 nm 8/16 35-95W 300 series LGA 1151 DDR4 PCIe Gen 3.0 2018
Comet Lake (10th generation) 14 nm 10/20 35-125 watts 400 series LGA 1200 DDR4 PCIe Gen 3.0 2020
Missile lake (eleventh generation) 14 nm 8/16 To be announced 500 series LGA 1200 DDR4 PCIe Gen 4.0 2021
Lake Alder (12th generation) 10 nm? 16/24? To be announced 600 series? LGA 1700 DDR5 PCIe Gen 5.0? 2021
Meteor lake (13th generation) 7nm? To be announced To be announced 700 series? LGA 1700 DDR5 PCIe Gen 5.0? 2022?
Moon lake (14th generation) To be announced To be announced To be announced 800 series? To be announced DDR5 PCIe Gen 5.0? 2023?

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