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Home News Intel Rocket Lake CPUs: Everything we know so far

Intel Rocket Lake CPUs: Everything we know so far

Intel’s 11th-generation Rocket Lake desktop CPUs will be team blue’s answer to AMD’s Zen 3 chips, and they’re going to be an interesting bridge between technologies as Intel continues to iterate on its 14nm process. We’ve got all the details on what Rocket Lake chips will support, potential configurations, cost predictions, and more.

Want to buy the best Intel CPU’s right now? We’ve got a guide for that too.

Availability and pricing

No specific price information is available for Rocket Lake CPUs at this time, but the previous generation of Comet Lake chips is available between $120 and $550, and it’s likely that Rocket Lake won’t stray too far out of that range. Some unique features for the Rocket Lake series (which we will examine below) could affect pricing in unexpected ways, however.

As for a release date, it seemed likely in the beginning that Intel would release Rocket Lake toward the end of 2020, which made sense according to the roadmaps sources had seen. As time has passed, it has become increasingly likely that Intel will wait until early 2021 at the earliest to drop Rocket Lake on the market; a specific release date has not yet appeared.

Manufacturing and architecture

Rocket Lake chips are, once again, based on Intel’s heavily revised 14-nanometer semiconductor manufacturing process, but with some important changes. It features a revamped Willow Cove core, which draws inspiration from the 10nm process (seen in recent-generation Tiger Lake processors).

Rocket Lake is intended to bridge the gap between 10nm and 14nm manufacturing, with backporting used to bring as many new features to the architecture as possible. This lets Intel maximize its experience with the 14nm process to squeeze as much efficiency out of the Rocket Lake series as it can, while still introducing new features. That includes PCIExpress 4.0 (20 lanes), discrete Thunderbolt 4 support, and the latest Xe onboard graphics — along with 12-bit AV1, HEVC, and E2E media compression.

Other predicted specs include 2.5Gb Ethernet LAN, integrated USB 3.2, integrated HDMI 2.0, USB Audio offloading, and support for the latest Wi-Fi 6 protocol. The chip appears to be designed to work with the LGA1200 CPU socket.


So, what does all that data indicate about performance for this 11th-gen CPU? The backporting and hybrid 14nm approach has led to a mix of predictions about this. At the low end, some forecasts say it could have only a 10% IPC improvement from Comet Lake, due mostly to the Willow Cove incorporation.

Frequencies are another matter, though it seems likely that boosting to at least 5.0GHz will be possible thanks to Intel’s experience with the 14nm process. Considering it’s far exceeded that with 10th-generation Comet Lake processors, anything less would be disappointing.

As the last of its 14nm CPUs, Rocket Lake may not be a major upgrade over Comet Lake 10th-generation options, but it will need to offer something substantial if it hopes to compete with AMD’s Zen 3 chips, which are expected to be exceedingly capable.


Intel’s SGX security is expected to not be a part of Rocket Lake. Considering past security issues and potential future threats, this is unusual. It is possible that Intel is updating its security and replacing SGX with a new version that leaks aren’t fully revealing.


Additional leaks have revealed three Rocket Lake S desktop CPU configurations. They aren’t confirmed but do seem likely, with the series including:

  • Intel 11th Gen Core i9 vPRO – 8 Core/16 Thread, 16 MB Cache
  • Intel 11th Gen Core i7 vPRO – 8 Core/12 Thread, 16 MB Cache
  • Intel 11th Gen Core i5 vPRO – 6 Core/12 Thread, 12 MB Cache

Yes, these are lower core and thread numbers than we’ve seen from recent Intel chips, thanks to the hybrid incorporation of the Willow Cove core and overall increased efficiency. The 12-core, 16-thread chip is also intriguing, suggesting that perhaps Intel is looking to maximize single-core performance on some cores, while offering greater multithreaded performance with others.

Motherboard support

The first data leaks indicated that Rocket Lake CPUs would be compatible with the Z490 motherboard series. However, additional leaks added that the chips would also work with entry-level 400-series motherboards, a boon for those looking to build or upgrade their own rigs. It’s not yet clear if all 400-series boards are supported, or only some of them.


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Tello Buyer’s Guide (October 2020)

Just about anyone you’d ask is familiar with the top-tier wireless service providers in Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. What about lesser known, or newer brands?Let’s take a look at a relatively younger carrier, Tello. This guide will serve to help you understand what the MVNO offers and how it competes in the mobile arena.Where can I buy an unlocked phone?Buying an unlocked phone? Consider these questionsTips for buying a used phoneTell me about TelloTello is a newer player in the mobile field and finds itself in the increasingly crowded segment of low-cost, no-frills alternatives. Its service uses Sprint’s network for coverage but it operates with its own plans and features.What are Tello rate plans like?Tello rate plans are no-contract, meaning you can go month-to-month with no long-term agreement, cancellation, or activation fees. As many carriers in this space do, Tello throttles speeds once hitting the data allowance as opposed to charging overage fees.Customers can mix and match rate plans based on personal needs. A lot of users have access to Wi-Fi connections, or don’t make many calls in a month. To that end, it’s possible to dial things up or down to suit tastes; subscribers can change their plan as often as needed.Ready-made PlansThere are four ready-made plans that do a great job of meeting the demands of most users. They cost as low as $10 per month and include unlimited text and calling.$10/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with 1GB of high-speed data$14/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with 2GB of high-speed data$19/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with 4GB of high-speed data$39/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with Unlimited high-speed dataAre there any other Tello features?Tello offers a handful of other options to its customers, including mobile hotspot and international calls. You can use any amount of your data plan to tether other devices. Calls to Mexico, Canada, and China are the same as if you called in the United States.What about international calls and texts?In addition to the aforementioned countries, Tello subscribers can make calls to other India, Cuba, and a host of other countries. Each has its own rate and can be used in a mix-and-match fashion. All one need do is purchase a Pay As You Go credit ahead of time.The credit can also be used for SMS or data, depending on which plan you’re signed up with at the time.Does Tello have a referral program?Yes, they’re called Tello Dollars and the referral program rewards you for signing up friends and family members. Share your referral link, and once your friend places their first successful order, you get $10 Tello Dollars. Your friend also gets $10 Tello Dollars.You can refer as many friends as you like and the money can be used for things like rate plans, phones, and PAYG credits.What kind of phones does Tello offer?Taking a look at the current lineup of phones offered through Tello we find familiar names like LG, Samsung, and Motorola. All told, there are more than two dozen phones to choose from but it’s a real tossup as to what’s available.Buying an unlocked phone? Consider these questionsWhich carrier has the best value at $50 a month?Which major prepaid carrier has the best $40 rate plan?As is the case with prepaid providers or MVNO brands, selection is a mixed bag and leans more toward affordability and not performance.READ: Best phones available at TelloIt’s worth noting that the phones you order from Tello will come in plain generic packaging and may only include the charger and battery. There will be no manual, earbuds, or other accessories.Are there any phone deals with Tello?Indeed, there are plenty of phones with discounts, some ranging as high as $50 off. About half of the current roster is comprised of refurbished phones, which also means lower prices.Can I use my own phone with Tello?Yes, you can use any Sprint-compatible phone just so long as there’s no unpaid balance on another network. You’ll need to ensure it’s unlocked for use outside of Sprint if it was previously used with another carrier.Tello only accepts unlocked CDMA devices or unlocked multi-network phones that incorporate both CDMA and GSM technologies.Head to Tello’s website to check whether your specific model is supported.