MSI suggests Intel's next-gen gaming CPUs are launching late March

Intel Rocket Lake 11th Gen logos
(Image credit: Intel)
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Despite support rolling out for Intel's 11th Gen CPUs on a host of motherboards, both old and new, it looks like the new Intel Rocket Lake desktop processors wont be released as early as we expected, with MSI stating they'll actually be around in late March.

This little gem, discovered by harukaze5719 (opens in new tab) on Twitter, exposes a machine translation of a post by the official MSI-CS Innovation Customer Center. 

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Later, MSI went on to update the reply, adding some wavy details to the disclosure.

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Several new motherboard control circuits are getting ready to be announced at CES 2021 (opens in new tab), including the Z590, B560 and H510, all of which are set to support the new 11th gen CPUs. The rumoured Core i9 11900K will utilise an LGA 1200 socket, first seen in 400 series motherboards released for Comet Lake chips, so when Gigabyte confirmed the older Z490 motherboards will support Rocket Lake (opens in new tab) CPUs, we had some confirmation that the PCIe 4.0 support on 400 series mobos was justified (opens in new tab)

When PCIe 4.0 support originally came out, it seemed to make no sense for the current gen, PCIe 3.0 limited Comet Lake processors. Indeed, it was all leading up to this year's Rocket Lake CPUs, but despite initial hopes for an early 2021 launch, it looks like we're going to have to wait a little longer to get a hold of Intel's 11th generation chips.

Board walk

(Image credit: MSI)

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The new Cypress Cove architecture being dropped into Rocket Lake represents a bit of an update from the previous generation Comet Lake-S platforms. And it doesn't just stop at support for PCIe Express 4.0. It's a backport of the Sunny Cove designs used in the 10nm Ice Lake mobile CPUs, retooled for the aging 14nm process, and paired with the same Xe GPU cores as Tiger Lake.

That's likely why Intel has shifted down from the ten-core highs of Comet Lake to an eight-core, 16-thread design with its chonky new 14nm cores. But the new Cypress Cove architecture means we're looking at record-breaking CPU-Z single-core performance performance of over 700 points. The integrated Xe graphics are also projected to produce around 50 per cent better performance than Intel's 9th Generation CPUs, and expect excessive DDR4-3200 memory speeds.

For a more in-depth look, check out the Intel Rocket Lake specs (opens in new tab) here. But, if you want the highlights, all this makes the Core i9 11900K a very sweet chip indeed. One to watch out for, even with AMD's Threadripper stalking (opens in new tab) about in the periphery.

Still, don't rip out your old CPUs in anticipation just yet because we've still got a bit of a wait.

Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been demystifying tech and science—rather sarcastically—for two years since. She can be found admiring AI advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. She's been heading the PCG Steam Deck content hike, while waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.