Aside from the massive up to 19% IPC improvement claim, other features from Rocket Lake-S include native DDR4-3200 support (now at parity with AMD Ryzen CPUs there), as well as an increase in overall PCI Express lanes – from 16 to 20. Oh, and they are PCE Express 4.0 lanes now (more on this shortly).
Backwards compatibility is a welcome sight, as existing 400 Series motherboard owners have an upgrade path, and Intel also mentioned “new overclocking features and capabilities” with Rocket Lake-S.
PCI Express 4.0: Now On Intel
We knew this was coming, but interestingly enough this new Gen4 support is not limited to the new 500 Series chipset boards. We asked Intel about PCI Express 4.0 support on 400 Series chipset boards, and Intel said this is enabled when using Rocket Lake-S on 400 Series chipsets, but ultimately support will come down to individual motherboard support.
We looked at the Z490 Taichi last year – which prominently featured PCIe 4.0 support on the box – and we will be verifying that when we get our hands on a Rocket Lake-S CPU.
Gaming Performance: Intel Back On Top?
While we must of course wait for independent testing to verify this, Intel’s slide shows a lead of up to 8% for the Core i9-11900K vs. the Ryzen 9 5900X in the games they selected, which is obviously a huge win for team blue: