The Rocket Lake-S flagship processor Intel Core i9-11900K has recorded a CPU-Z single-thread benchmark score that takes it past AMD’s 16-core Ryzen 9 5950X by 2.7-5.7% depending on the test run. While this will likely make the upcoming chip attractive to some desktop gamers, there’s still bones of contention to be had with multithread performance, power, and postponements.
It wasn’t long ago we reported about a Rocket Lake-S Intel Core i9-11900K managing to score 710 points in CPU-Z’s single-thread benchmark, which is an impressive feat as the current chart is headed by the previous-generation i9-10900K on 584 points. Now we have another sample with an apparent score of 695.4 points for the single-thread run and 6,522.1 points for the multithread component. The Vermeer Ryzen 5000 desktop parts from AMD are currently missing from the CPU-Z table, so it’s important to check out how the 8-core, 16-thread i9-11900K did against its flagship rival, the 16-core, 32-thread AMD Ryzen 9 5950X.
There are a few results for the Ryzen 9 5950X floating around for the single-thread CPU-Z test, with one record stating 658 points and another showing 677 points for the Vermeer Zen 3 part. When put against this new showing by the Intel Core i9-11900K, this gives the Rocket Lake CPU an advantage of 5.68% and 2.72%, respectively, against the powerful competitor. With single-threaded processing still seen as important for gaming, this will make the i9-11900K a tempting choice for desktop PC enthusiasts. But unfortunately for Intel, this benchmark can’t be totally put to bed on a high for Team Blue.
Obviously, the Ryzen 9 5950X obliterates the i9-11900K in the multithread run, by over 89% (6,522.1 points vs. 12,329 points), but this is to be expected as the Vermeer processor has double the core count. But you also have to remember power draw: AMD @105 W TDP vs. Intel @125 W TDP (PL1), with the latter being notorious for going way beyond advertised TDP. There’s also a matter of price, with the Ryzen 9 5950X costing US$799 at launch time in November 2020. The price of the top-end Rocket Lake chip is unconfirmed, but a recent leak suggested around US$450 for an engineering sample. Much cheaper than the Zen 3 chip, but this is comparing an 8-core product with a 16-core product.
Lastly, but crucially, by the time the Intel Core i9-11900K is actually available to buy, which at the moment is rumored to be anywhere around March or April, it could already be heading towards redundancy. It’s still a typically strong single-thread performer, which you would expect from Intel, and if the price is right then the i9-11900K will have plenty of fans. But it still seems likely it will be Intel’s 10 nm Alder Lake desktop processors that really bring the fight back to AMD’s doorstep while Rocket Lake simply fills in the time waiting for the 12th gen to arrive.