Some of Intel's next-gen processors might be based a refreshed version of Comet Lake-S instead of Rocket Lake-S.
Buyer ʙᴇwᴀʀᴇ, rumᴏʀ hᴀs ɪᴛ thᴀᴛ ɴᴏt ᴀʟʟ ᴏꜰ Intel's ɴᴇxᴛ-generᴀᴛiᴏɴ deskᴛᴏp CPUs ᴡɪʟʟ ʙᴇ bᴀsed ᴏɴ tʜᴇ saᴍᴇ arcʜɪᴛecture, tʜᴇ ᴏɴe thᴀᴛ ɪs sᴜᴘᴘᴏsᴇd ᴛᴏ deʟɪᴠᴇr a ᴅᴏuble-digɪᴛ gaɪɴ ɪɴ IPC (ɪɴstructiᴏɴs per ᴄʟᴏᴄᴋ) perꜰᴏʀmᴀɴce ᴀɴd otʜᴇr ɢᴏoᴅɪᴇs. Tʜᴇy ᴡɪʟʟ, ʜᴏᴡᴇᴠᴇʀ, ᴀʟʟ ʙᴇ laʙᴇʟᴇᴅ ᴀs 11th Gen Cᴏʀe pᴀʀᴛs.
Rocket Lake-S is a brand new architecture that is supposed to shake things up for Intel, and potentially retake the gaming performance crown from AMD (maybe). It is still being built on a 14-nanometer manufacturing process, but is not another variation of Skylake. At the risk of bogging you down with codenames, Rocket Lake-S will feature up to eight Cypress Cove cores (and 16 threads), paired with Intel's Xe graphics.
In addition to delivering double-digit IPC gains, Rocket Lake-S will include PCIe 4.0 support for up to 20 lanes. It will also have new media encoders (HEVC, VP9, AVI up to 4K60), a bolstered memory controller supporting speeds of up to DDR4-3200, a Deep Learning Boost feature for improved AI performance, and a few other things.
According to Expreview, however, Rocket Lake-S will be reserved for Intel's 11th Gen Core i9, Core i7, and Core i5 SKUs. Meanwhile, Core i3 SKUs will be a refresh of Comet Lake-S (as will upcoming Pentium and Celeron models), and will not support PCIe 4.0.
Comet Lake Refresh CPUs will also lack Xe graphics. Instead, some models will be paired with Intel's UHD Graphics 630 solution with 24 execution units, while others will lean on the slower UHD Graphics 610 solution with 12 execution units.Your next upgrade
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I'm really not a fan of this approach. Intel's 'Gen' labeling is already confusing. For example, Intel's 10th Gen Core processors are split between 10nm (Ice Lake) and 14nm (Comet Lake) designs.
It's not just Intel, though. Rumor has it AMD will split is next-gen laptop CPUs between Zen 3 (Cezanne) and Zen 2 (Lucienne). If past leaks are accurate, the upcoming Ryzen 7 5800U will be a Zen 3 part, while the Ryzen 7 5700U will be based on Zen 2. And so it goes on down the line.
What this ultimately means is you will need to pay attention to what you are buying, and do a bit of extra research to ensure you're getting the architecture (and accompanying performance and features) you want.