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Intel unveils Rocket Lake-S, teases Alder Lake CPUs at CES 2021

The CPU giant had lots to show off at CES 2021, including two different CPU series that are scheduled to launch this year.


After a year that saw their main rival AMD dominate the headlines with its Ryzen 5000 series products, Intel is poised to respond in 2021 with multiple new lines of CPUs for consumers. The company made its 11th-gen CPUs (codenamed Rocket Lake-S) official and showed off the flagship chip of the series, the Core i9-11900K. In a bit of a surprise, Intel also teased the release of Rocket Lake’s successor, known as Alder Lake. Intel said it expects to launch those parts by year’s end.

The 11th-gen Intel CPUs will be headlined by the Core i9-11900K, which retains the same 8-core/16-thread configuration of its predecessor, the Core i9-10900K. These new chips will gain an additional 4 PCI-E lanes over the 10th-gen CPUs, bringing the total number of available lanes up to 20. This will be a welcome addition for folks who make use of multiple NVME storage solutions. 

Alongside these new CPUs, Intel will be launching its 500 Series motherboard chipsets, which will include native support for USB 3.2 Gen2x2, which can handle up to 20Gbps of bandwidth and additional power. Hardware-accelerated AV1 decoding is also new, as well as a host of features to make overclocking easier. Finally, DDR4-3200 memory clocks will be supported across all 500 Series motherboards. 400 Series motherboards will be able to make use of the new 11th-gen Rocket Lake-S CPUs via BIOS updates.

The most exciting part of Intel’s CES 2021 reveals was the plan to release CPUs based on their new 10nm architecture later this year. These chips, codenamed Alder Lake, represent the first major design advance in Intel consumer CPUs since the launch of the Core i7-6700K (codename Skylake) way back in 2015. The Alder Lake CPUs are expected to be the first Intel parts to officially support DDR5 memory and will require new motherboards.

Stay tuned for further info on the new Intel CPUs and check out our other CES 2021 coverage for more 2021 technology reveals.

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

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