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The next Intel processors could adopt one of AMD Ryzen's most important features


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The next Intel processors could adopt one of AMD Ryzen's most important features

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(Image credit: Future)

 

When Intel launched its 10th-generation Comet Lake-S processors, one of the biggest things that held us back from recommending them was the lack of PCIe 4.0 support – but that could be changing. 

 

Some leaked SiSoftware Sandra benchmark results have appeared via VideoCardz, with 11th-generation Rocket Lake-S processors paired with PCIe 4.0 SSDs. If the leaks are real – a pretty big if – it would mean that Rocket Lake would be the first Intel desktop lineup to support the new PCIe standard. 

 

With the PS5 and Xbox Series X both using PCIe 4.0 SSDs, the standard is going to incredibly important for PC gaming going forward, which means Intel really needs to implement support going forward on its premium desktop processors. It's competitor AMD has been offering the technology since July 2019 with the release of the Ryzen 3000 lineup, led by the Ryzen 9 3900X. 

Only time will tell when 11th-generation Intel Rocket Lake processors will actually hit the market at this point, but we've seen previous speculation that it'll be pretty soon. Either way, we'll hear more about Rocket Lake when Intel is ready to share some specific information. Who knows, we may even hear something at Intel's 'big' event on September 2 – though we suspect that will mainly be Tiger Lake

PCIe 4.0 is the future

One of the biggest things stopping the Intel Core i9-10900K from getting our recommendation is the lack of PCIe 4.0 support. As we mentioned earlier, this technology is going to be key to the next generation of games, as even Epic Games' Tim Sweeney has claimed that PC gamers are going to need to adopt a PCIe SSD if they want next-generation performance out of their games

 

 

And it's not like it's some frivolous upgrade either. The difference in speed that the bump up to PCIe 4.0 offers is incredible. Way back when we reviewed the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, we were blown away by the 29% boost in sequential read speeds over something like the Samsung 970 Pro. When you compare that against the speed of SATA-based hard drives and SSDs, we're talking about a whole other world of performance. 

 

 

Plus, with its new DGX A100 deep learning system, Nvidia teamed up with AMD because of the lack of PCIe 4.0 support with Team Blue's processors. And, if Ampere is apparently getting a boost from the standard at the high level, it's a pretty safe bet that will trickle down to the consumer-facing GeForce RTX 3080 when that supposedly releases later this year – if it releases this year. 

 
 

 

If Intel doesn't want to get completely left behind, the inclusion of PCIe 4.0 compatibility across both its mainstream desktop lineup and its HEDT X-series lineups is necessary. Luckily, all the rumors are pointing to 11th-generation desktop silicon supporting it, and many Z490 motherboards are ready for the technology, simply waiting for the greenlight from Intel.

 

 

The next Intel processors could adopt one of AMD Ryzen's most important features

 

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The next Intel processors could adopt one of AMD Ryzen's most important features Rocket Lake may finally support PCIe 4.0 (Image credit: Future)  

Intel 11th Gen Core "Rocket Lake-S" ES Shown Running PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD   Screenshots of a SiSoft SANDRA database submission of an alleged Intel 11th Gen Core "Rocket Lake-S" desktop pr

Intel 11th Gen Core "Rocket Lake-S" ES Shown Running PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD

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Screenshots of a SiSoft SANDRA database submission of an alleged Intel 11th Gen Core "Rocket Lake-S" desktop processor machine confirms that the processor introduces PCI-Express gen 4.0 support to Intel's mainstream desktop platform. PCIe gen 4.0 has been rather limited in Intel's product stack, with only 10th Gen Core "Ice Lake-U" and "Ice Lake-Y" mobile processors supporting it so far. The upcoming 11th Gen "Tiger Lake" mobile processors will support it, too. Intel's HEDT product line, currently led by "Cascade Lake-X," as well as the server side of things, let by "Cooper Lake," are limited to PCIe gen 3.0. The SANDRA screenshot shows the "Rocket Lake-S" powered machine running a PCI-Express 4.0 NVMe SSD.

According to alleged "Rocket Lake-S" + Intel 500-series chipset platform maps leaked to the web by VideoCardz, "Rocket Lake-S" will finally take forward strides in the area of I/O. The CPU socket puts out not just its usual PEG slot (16 lanes meant for PCI-Express graphics cards), but also a CPU-attached M.2 NVMe slot with 4 PCI-Express gen 4.0 lanes, much like Socket AM4 motherboards based on AMD X570 or B550 chipsets. What's more, Intel fattened the chipset bus with 8 lanes. While the bus is still DMI 3.0 (with PCI-Express gen 3.0 physical layer), 8 lanes mean a doubling in bandwidth compared to Intel 400-series chipsets (or older). The 500-series PCH itself will still be PCI-Express gen 3.0 based, putting out only gen 3.0 downstream PCIe lanes, unlike the AMD X570, which puts out gen 4.0 downstream general purpose lanes, and uses a PCI-Express 4.0 x4 pipe to the CPU. Quite a few Intel 400-series chipset motherboards have preparation for PCIe gen 4.0 PEG slot when paired with a "Rocket Lake-S" processor.

 

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Source:  Intel 11th Gen Core "Rocket Lake-S" ES Shown Running PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD  (via TechPowerUp)

 

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