Intel Rocket Lake Core i7 and Core i9 leaks: We've got good news and bad news

Intel Rocket Lake Core i7 disappoint in early leaks
(Image credit: Intel)

Leaked specs for the Intel Core i7-11700K and Core i9-11900K — the desktop Rocket Lake CPUs first announced at CES — have arrived, and it seems Intel has a mixed bag of chips on its hands. The Core i7-11700K is already disappointing some while the Core i9-11900K may point a path to Intel having a puncher's chance against AMD.

First, the good news. The folks at Wccftech shared a huge set of data for the entire Rocket Lake Core i7 and i9 CPU family, which shows the Core i9-11900K as the standout of the bunch. In particular, the single-core Thermal Velocity Boost speed of 5.3GHz and the 8-core Turbo 4.8GHz speeds are worth getting excited over.

These speeds, earned from Intel's 14nm process, "should put an incredible amount of competitive pressure on AMD's Zen 3 lineup," according to that report.

Unfortunately, not all of the news for Intel is good. Andreas Schilling from the German tech site Hardware Luxx put leaked Core i7-11700K Cinebench R20 scores in comparison against the current Ryzen processors.

As you'll see below, the Core i7-11700K's 600 score on the single-threaded test comes up short of the Ryzen 7 5800X and Ryzen 9 5950X (622 and 633, respectively). Then, on the multi-threaded version, the Core i7-11700K netted a 5,749 score: lower than not just the 5800X and 5950X, but the 10th Gen Core i9-10900K score as well.

All that said, take these early scores and numbers as a preview, and not a verdict. As Wccftech's Usman Pirzada notes, "the final variant could potentially be better than this — but not worse," as Intel could push these processors harder. 

But Pirzada's post does note that "Based on leaked benchmarks, we expect the Core i7 family to perform just slightly worse than AMD's Zen 3 based offerings / achieve parity in some cases." 

So, Intel may be catching up to AMD, but not leap-frogging it.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.