Intel 11th Gen Rocket Lake @ 5GHz: 10% Better Single-Threaded Performance than 10th Gen Comet Lake

A Geekbench score of what is likely the next-gen Core i7 or Core i9 has surfaced and the results are less than overwhelming. The CPU in question is a hyperthreaded octa-core part with a base clock of 3.4GHz and a boost of 5GHz. Considering that 11th Gen Rocket Lake processors will feature a new core architecture (Willow Cove), the primary gains should come from a higher IPC and thereby better single-threaded performance. Let’s have a look:

Interestingly, the cache configuration is the same as Sunny Cove, rather than Willow Cove. There’s a chance that Rocket Lake may feature the former rather than the latter. Intel hasn’t said anything (officially) on the matter as of now.

That’s an approximate increase of 10% in terms of single-threaded performance. Not that great, if you ask me. Looking at the IPC, you’re looking at an approximate gain of 15%. If Zen 3 features an IPC uplift of around 20% while also featuring 200-300MHz higher boost clocks, then Intel’s lead in gaming performance will likely become redundant.

Looking at the single-core performance in more detail, you can see that Rocket Lake features an especially improved AES (encryption) capabilities, with ray-tracing also seeing a significant uplift. Interestingly, the machine learning and speech recognition performance appear to be worse off with Willow Cove. This is likely an anomaly, but overall it seems that the single-threaded performance won’t see any major boost with Rocket Lake.

At the same time, if the Core i9s top out at 8 cores, AMD will take a considerable lead in multi-threaded workloads such as content creation and productivity. Not looking all that bright for Intel. Rocket Lake is slated to launch in Q1 2021.


Computer hardware enthusiast, PC gamer, and almost an engineer. Former co-founder of Techquila (2017-2019), a fairly successful tech outlet. Been working on Hardware Times since 2019, an outlet dedicated to computer hardware and its applications.

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