Intel’s new Core i9-11900K flagship processor will arrive in early 2021

Intel’s new flagship Core i9-11900K processor will arrive in the first quarter of 2021. The chipmaker has provided the latest preview for its first 11th Gen (Rocket Lake-S) desktop chips at CES today. Headlined by the flagship Core i9-11900K, the new chips are said to bring up to 19 percent higher IPC (instructions per cycle), up to 50 percent better integrated graphics, and better AI performance.

And while Intel isn’t quite ready to take the lid off the full 11th Gen Rocket Lake-S lineup just yet, it did preview the flagship Core i9 model: an eight-core, 16-thread chipset with boosted clock speeds up to a whopping 5.3GHz. The processor also includes support for DDR4 RAM at 3,200MHz, a total of 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes, and even backwards compatibility with Intel’s 400 Series chipsets. Unfortunately, there’s no word on pricing or a release date for the new model just yet.

Despite the 11th Gen moniker, though, the new Rocket Lake-S chips are still technically 14nm chips — they don’t use the 10nm process. However, they do feature Intel’s Cypress Cove cores, which bring improvements from the 10nm core designs back to the 14nm production process, allowing for faster speeds along with Intel’s faster Xe integrated graphics.

According to Intel, the drop in core count compared to last year’s Core i9-10900K (which had 10 cores and 20 threads) is due to that move (the 10nm chips are currently only designed for up to eight cores right now), although it promises that the overall performance on the new 11th Gen model will still be better.

There’s no official release date yet for the upcoming Rocket Lake-S chips, but Intel promises that they’ll be released in the first quarter of 2021.

Update January 11th, 4:47pm ET: Added additional details for Intel’s Cypress Cove cores.

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