Intel Rocket Lake benchmark reveals killer gaming performance — and AMD should be worried

Intel processor chip
(Image credit: Intel)

Intel’s Rocket Lake chips are still a few months away, but a leaked gaming benchmark may have just provided our first glimpse of what these 11th Gen CPUs will be capable of — and it’s not good news for Intel’s arch rival, AMD.

Prolific leaker TUM_APISAK spotted a system running on the Core i9-11900K, likely the very top model in the upcoming Rocket Lake range, having completed the famously demanding Ashes of the Singularity (AotS) benchmark. Twitter user Evan Stenger (@TheMalacor) then replied with another benchmark entry, showing a system with AMD’s broadly equivalent Ryzen 9 5950X scoring lower in the same test.

Specifically, both systems were paired with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics card and ran the benchmark on ‘Crazy 1080p’ setting, with the Intel-based system producing 63 frames per second and the AMD-based system scoring 57 fps. A 6 fps difference isn’t going to be dramatically noticeable, but that is about a 10% advantage in Rocket Lake’s favor. And that's not to be sniffed at if you’re planning a high-end gaming rig.

Gaming performance has been a major focus of both CPU makers in recent generations, resulting in an especially fierce fight last year. 

Intel’s 10th Gen Comet Lake chips impressively established themselves as the best CPUs for gaming before AMD’s Ryzen 5000 series put up competitive performance for a lot less money. If this benchmark leak is any indication, it looks like Intel will once again start off the next generation with a speed advantage.

However, there are some caveats to consider. Firstly, the Core i9-11900K listed in the AotS benchmark result is likely to be an early engineering sample, so won’t necessarily match the final product. Second, we don’t know the conditions in which the benchmark was performed, and it’s possible to fudge or even outright fake results.

As such, you should approach this leak with the customary healthy scepticism. But it's worth noting that the apparent Core i9-11900K is only a handful of frames faster than results posted by the current-gen Core i9-10900K – so it’s not entirely outside the realm of possibility. Either way, we’ll see how well Rocket Lake performs in gaming when the chip family launches in 2021.

James Archer

James is currently Hardware Editor at Rock Paper Shotgun, but before that was Audio Editor at Tom’s Guide, where he covered headphones, speakers, soundbars and anything else that intentionally makes noise. A PC enthusiast, he also wrote computing and gaming news for TG, usually relating to how hard it is to find graphics card stock.