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New Rocket Lake Chip Matches Zen 3 in Single Core Performance

11th Generation Rocket Lake-S Processor
(Image credit: Intel)

A new member of the Rocket Lake family has been spotted on Geekbench, this time an ultra-low powered variant called the Core i9-11900T. With 8 cores and a 35W TDP, this chip is the most power-efficient Rocket Lake SKU to date. But with performance that might surprise you. As these are unverified results, best to take the data with a pinch of salt.

From what we can tell on Geekbench's spec sheet, the Core i9-11900T features a very low 1.51 GHz base frequency but maintains a surprisingly high 4.9 GHz maximum boost frequency. While 35W may not sound like a lot of power, it seems that Rocket Lake's cores are power efficient enough to run 1 or maybe 2 cores at a boost frequency typically found on higher wattage SKUs.

Looking at the results, the 11900T managed a score of 1717 points in the single-threaded test and 8349 points in the multi-threaded score. The single-threaded score, in particular, is impressive. For comparison, the 11900T stomps on the -- soon to be -- previous gen, Core i9-10900K (with a 1402 score) by a whopping 20%. 

Switching over to Intel's main competitor, AMD, the Ryzen 7 5800X managed to get very close to the 11900T, with the AMD chip being just 2.5% slower and a score of 1674 points.

Core i9-11900T Geekbench 5 Score

(Image credit: Geekbench)

However, in multi-threaded tests, the 11900T's 35W TDP really hampers performance. Comparing Intel's Core i7-10700K from last-gen (not to mention the 10900K); the 10700K managed to be 7% faster than the 11900T. Then compared to the Ryzen 7 5800X, the lead stretches to a 22% difference in performance.

Overall, the Core i9-11900T is an impressive chip, even constrained to just 35W, it can outpace the best Comet Lake-S chips in the single-threaded department and get close to Comet Lake-S' best 8 core CPU, the 10700K in multi-threaded performance.

This will really help expand the chip's capabilities for users that require low powered CPUs. Typically with lower wattage chips like this, you expect major performance penalties. But if these performance numbers are true, then the i9-11900T could legitimately make a nice gaming CPU for ultra-compact/portable gaming systems with its excellent single-threaded numbers.

Hopefully, this kind of performance will be the same once the chip goes live and then we can benchmark the chip for ourselves. We still don't know when the 11900T will be released, usually, Intel delays the launch of its ultra low powered SKUs until well after the launch of its vanilla and overclockable CPUs.

  • ginthegit
    Nice, Just synthetic benchmarks that are based on Imaginary facts. Of course we must take ones word for it.

    This kind of report just makes the Intel fanboi wait longer for a product they will be ultimately be disappointed with. If the TDP goes down and the Multi processor benchmarks suffer, then usually it equates (in a smaller way) to a lesser loss in single thread too.
    Reply
  • CerianK
    I am anxious for a truly competitive product to take some of the pressure off of the AMD CPU supply chain.
    Hopefully Rocket Lake will help... but, I guess, Alder Lake will not.
    Reply
  • thGe17
    That's illogical. Alder Lake with its eight big Golden Cove cores will have even more performance than Rocket Lake (and therefore also Zen3). The only remaining factor is scaling, because as far as it seems: ADL will provide a maximum of eight big cores at best (sufficient for the general/mainstream market including gaming, but it will not compete with the 16 core CPUs, but that's still a niche).

    *) Its architecture is two gens ahead and the clock will be also high. Already Tiger Lake H parts will reach a 5,0 GHz boost in 10nm++, therefore this shouldn't be a problem for ADL, which is going to use 10nm+++ (or in Intel's marketing speech 10nm Enhanced SuperFin).
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    ginthegit said:
    Nice, Just synthetic benchmarks that are based on Imaginary facts. Of course we must take ones word for it.

    This kind of report just makes the Intel fanboi wait longer for a product they will be ultimately be disappointed with. If the TDP goes down and the Multi processor benchmarks suffer, then usually it equates (in a smaller way) to a lesser loss in single thread too.

    Not always. The lower TDP will limit multi core more than single core by far as it takes more power to keep more cores clocked higher than one core clocked really high.

    I can see this performance metric pretty easily. Process is important but so is the uArch. Tweaks and design changes can still boost performance even on an older process.
    Reply
  • CerianK
    thGe17 said:
    That's illogical. Alder Lake with its eight big Golden Cove cores will have even more performance than Rocket Lake (and therefore also Zen3).
    Sure, but any AL variant with mixed big/bigger cores will need to have OS and/or Application support for choosing best performing cores, unless Intel has some hardware-level optimization baked-in (which I have not heard of). Bigger-only variants should be well accepted in the desktop space, which should help even out supply, but pricing will decide.
    Reply
  • Makaveli
    Here are my 5800X Geekbench scores.

    Reply
  • ginthegit
    jimmysmitty said:
    Not always. The lower TDP will limit multi core more than single core by far as it takes more power to keep more cores clocked higher than one core clocked really high.

    I can see this performance metric pretty easily. Process is important but so is the uArch. Tweaks and design changes can still boost performance even on an older process.

    Then it would make the point in having this Chip as a multi core chip pointless. Why not just make a Chip that is Smaller, only two core and clock the hell out of them. Nope they won't Why!?

    1. Because Clock speed may Improve the IPC, but also causes other negative impacts as Thermals are not the only thing that impact the Operation on the clocks of the Chip. This is evident in the Memory clocks on RAM with RAS CAS and TAS. If you run a component over a certain speed, it takes longer to stabilize and wait states are used to allow this settling time. Its one of the reasons they stopped Raising clock speeds over the 5GigHertz. Quantum and Nano Physics starts to take over the dynamics of the Chips, which is part of the reason that Intel struggled with the 10nm node.

    2. It usually takes a change in materials and interconnects on the refresh, without changing the Die to allow the Stability on the increased speeds. This is why the Rare Earth materials are so important.
    AMD changed its interconnects and memory issues using this (including the solder type) and resolved the INTEL advatage in IPC over them in Single thread operations.

    3. It also depends on Software optimizations that were so evident in the 2000's to propel sales for Intel over AMD.

    4. Often the faster refresh involves lesser or more simplified OPcodes on the Chip . This usually increases the speed of the chip at the price of the security elements (hence Spectre bugs et al.

    5. Companies also often are filled with AMD or INTEL fanboi's that optimise codes for benchmarks. Though Intel is less likely to do it, I image it is now considering that AMD wont care too much considering its Own IPC advantages at stock.
    Reply
  • TechyInAZ
    CerianK said:
    Sure, but any AL variant with mixed big/bigger cores will need to have OS and/or Application support for choosing best performing cores, unless Intel has some hardware-level optimization baked-in (which I have not heard of). Bigger-only variants should be well accepted in the desktop space, which should help even out supply, but pricing will decide.

    We'll have to see how this plays out, Intel could go the easy route and give both the big Alder Lake cores and the smaller Atom (skylake IPC) Gracemount cores full access to Windows 10 scheduler.

    Then windows would treat both units like a NUMA node or a dual-socket system, albeit with some modifications to make Windows 10 insure high workloads happen on the Alder cores and not the Atoms.
    Reply
  • cryoburner
    The real question is whether the chip is actually drawing 35 watts during that test. Considering Intel bases their TDP on base clocks these days, not accounting for boost, the answer is almost assuredly "no". I doubt it will draw much less power than their current CPUs when running at its boost clocks, and it could easily draw more.

    For example, the existing i9-10900T and i7-10700T are also supposedly "35 watt" processors, but both have 123 watt power limits when boosting...

    https://pcper.com/2020/06/intel-10th-gen-comet-lake-power-limits/
    They can maintain that boost up to 28 seconds, and on most motherboards will ignore that time limit by default. So it's more accurate to consider those processors as "123 watt" parts, and that will likely apply to this processor as well. And that makes the entire "power efficiency" side of this story wrong. If the chip were configured to actually adhere to a 35 watt power limit, it would be getting a fraction of that performance.
    Reply
  • waltc3
    Kind of interesting that Cinebench 20 single-threaded bench scores--along with many, many other synthetics--are obviously avoided...;) 'nuff said. At least Cinebench is reflective of real-world rendering work--with the Cinebench renderer.
    Reply