Intel Rocket lake i7-11700 CPU in the Dell Vostro system. Is it good?

cagoblex

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Aug 28, 2020
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Today we will be looking at something very special. It is a Dell Vostro SFF PC, but it comes with the 11th generation 14nm++++++++++++++++++++++ Rocket lake-S Processor!


This is a Engineering Sample system and the actual system is scheduled to release in March 2021. It has a blue motherboard, which is what Dell uses for ES motherboards. The production units will have green motherboards. This is a pretty simple board, or to say a cost optimized boards. According to my experience with ES Dell motherboard, it will usually contain more stuff than the production units, so I would assume it would be even more cost optimized when they make the production motherboards This particular board has a PCI-E x1 slot and a missing PCI-E x8 slot. The production unit will most likely be equipped with the PCI-E x8 slot. However I have confirmed with my source that this board will be using PCI-E3.0 although the CPU supports PCI-E 4.0. That means the M.2 slot and the PCI-E slots will be running in PCI-E3.0.
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It has a M.2 2240 slot, which means you won’t be able to install an M.2 2280 SSD into it. For the power supply, it is using the new Intel 12V standard. 12V is the only voltage being fed to the motherboard. It has a 4pin CPU power connector and a 6 pin motherboard connector.

It has LGA1200 socket with B560 chipset. A simple aluminum heatsink covers the chipset. The power delivery for the CPU is pretty simple, it has only 4 phases for CPU core power delivery. It supports 65W maximum TDP, which means it won’t support the K SKU. The heatsink looks pretty slim.

Coming with it is a ES processor. It is supposed to be an ES for 11700. Here we have the processor on the left, and a 10700 on the right. As you can see, the IHS on the 11700 is taller than the 10700, and it’s more of a rectangular shape. This makes it looks a little bit like the Alder lake 12th gen processor. Sorry I can’t show you what it looks like right now...but it’s basically a taller version of 11700. On the back, the capacitor is totally different.

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Here is a CPU-Z screenshot. It is 8 cores and 16 threads, it is a stepping 0 processor, which is 1 stepping before the production units. The production units will be stepping 1. The biggest change for this generation is the added support of AVX512F instruction set. But please note that it’s not the full AVX512 instruction set, it is missing a few instructions. Another big difference is the cache algorithm. It has 12 ways 48KB of L1 DATA cache, compares to 8 way of 32KB on the 10700. It has 512KB 8 way L2 cache, compares to 4 way 256MB of cache on 10700. The L3 cache remains the same. It has a single core boost of 4.4GHz and all core boost of 3.8GHz.

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The current drivers listed on Intel website does not support the B560 chipset or the new iGPU. But luckily I have the driver package for this ES PC. However they are not the latest. I used the drivers that came with the Asus Z590 instead. Yes the Maximus XIII Hero Z590 motherboard has just arrived. I will be publishing a review of the board this weekend. GPU-Z still cannot recognize the iGPU.

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Firstly the CPU performance. The score is very disappointing in CPU-Z Benchmark. It is slower than i7 10700 in both single and multi core testings. It only got 511 points in single single bench and 5120 in multi core bench.

As for Cinebench R15 and R20, things remains the same. It is considerably slower than the 10700. Yeah I know it’s an Engineering Sample with only 1.8GHz clock speed, but Intel processor runs on Turbo boost frequencies anyways, so this shouldn’t be an excuse.

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Next let’s try some Prim95 pressure test. Here we are doing small FFTs, which is the most stressful test. The CPU frequency drops to 2.2GHz all core, and that raised my attention. At first I thought it’s thermal throttling, however after close inspection that is not the reason. The real problem is the TDP limit. With higher IPC and different cache designs, 11th rocket lake CPUs are consuming more powers per core at the same frequency, the voltage is also considerably higher than the 10th gen processor. With that said, the 65W power budget is becoming a problem. Unlike Asus boards that comes with Multi core Enhancement that removes the power limit, the Dell system is strictly following the Intel specs. 65W is nothing for an 8 core chip especially considering it has iGPU as well. Our CPU is being handicapped by the power limit.

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With that discovered, let’s fire up Intel XTU and increase the power limit. Here let’s increase the PL1 to 125W and the Tau to 128 seconds. Let’s run the benchmarks again and see how it goes. The results are pretty self-explanatory. We are seeing a great improvement of 15%-20% in all the benchmarks. With the TDP set to 125W, and upgrading to the new graphics driver that came with the Asus motherboard, the 3D Mark score increased by another 500 points. That makes it about 40% faster than the 10th gen UHD630 iGPU. This is very impressive and that makes me looking forward to the Intel XE graphics card.

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However gaming is not the only improvement. In Geekbench 5 compute tests, the new iGPU is able to achieve 15% increase in both OpenCL and Vulkan.

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It is hard to recommend the actual Vostro system to most of the viewers here on the forum. It is cost optimized, and is not able to use a discrete graphics card. It is built for business users not for gamers. But as for the CPU and the platform, it is actually worth upgrading to. Yes I know the performance figures doesn’t look that impressive here in this review, but spoiler alert, it performs much better on the Asus M13H board. I was able to get anywhere from 10-20% better scores with the Asus board. And again remember, this is just an ES processor with 1.8GHz frequency, 10700 is a processor with 2.9GHz frequency and much higher boost clock. So even a tie here would mean higher IPC and better multi core efficiency for the 11700.

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Please stay tuned for the Asus Maximus XIII Hero Z590 review. I will be comparing it heads to heads with the Asus Maximus XII Hero Z490 motherboards and tell you why you should or shouldn’t buy the new Z590 motherboard. Those are expected to ship in early March so you still got time to sell your current platform if you decide to upgrade. We will be comparing PCI-E performance with 4 Samsung PM9A1 PCI-E 4.0 SSDs in RAID0 mode. You won’t believe the number you are seeing. I will also be doing a lot of gaming benchmarks as well as more 3D rendering tests with an RTX3080. I have a 11900K and a 11900T on the way and I will be testing that as well if it can make it here on time.
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For more details, you can check out the video version on my Youtube channel:


Thanks for reading!
 

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doubletake

Gawd
Joined
Apr 27, 2013
Messages
671
m2. 2242 ... PCIe x8 slot
That's pretty lame, even for just an office system. The PCIe x8 slot can be physically bypassed by cutting open the back of the slot, but not having additional room for something larger than a 42mm m.2 drive, just because of a stupid bracket that's in the way, is goofy. I bet they'll end up limiting that to 2 PCIe lanes as well, making it even more gimped than necessary. Guess they gotta pinch pennies by cutting down as many micrograms of copper as they possibly can...
 

cagoblex

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That's pretty lame, even for just an office system. The PCIe x8 slot can be physically bypassed by cutting open the back of the slot, but not having additional room for something larger than a 42mm m.2 drive, just because of a stupid bracket that's in the way, is goofy. I bet they'll end up limiting that to 2 PCIe lanes as well, making it even more gimped than necessary. Guess they gotta pinch pennies by cutting down as many micrograms of copper as they possibly can...
Yes that's exactly right. And the reason they do not support PCI-E4.0 on this platform is also because of the cost of the motherboard. But to be super honest, I don't think a regular office user will benefit from PCI-E4.0 anyways. So Dell's choice kinda make sense here. Even if you cut open the back of the slot, there won't be enough space for you to install a x16 device because it will interfere with other components on the back of the PCI-E slot.
 

Kdawg

[H]ard|Gawd
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lol gimping a cpu at 65w

i might have to wait for alder lake, if new architecture isn't better than a skylake.
 

cagoblex

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lol gimping a cpu at 65w

i might have to wait for alder lake, if new architecture isn't better than a skylake.
I can't share too much details about Alder lake right now. But let me tell you, it will be available at Q4 this year and the initial testing result are very promising. As for Rocket Lake, this CPU I'm using in the review is a ES2. The QS version actually performs better and there is a decent IPC improvement over Comet lake.

However it's not worth it to upgrade it from Comet lake, unless PCI-E 4.0 is something you absolutely needs. Waiting for Alder lake is a better choice.
 
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I can't share too much details about Alder lake right now. But let me tell you, it will be available at Q4 this year and the initial testing result are very promising. As for Rocket Lake, this CPU I'm using in the review is a ES2. The QS version actually performs better and there is a decent IPC improvement over Comet lake.

However it's not worth it to upgrade it from Comet lake, unless PCI-E 4.0 is something you absolutely needs. Waiting for Alder lake is a better choice.
Alder lake should have some real gains. I kinda feel sorry for anyone wasting money on comet right now.
 

cagoblex

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Alder lake should have some real gains. I kinda feel sorry for anyone wasting money on comet right now.
Yes. The big.little design and DDR5 support really makes some difference. Z690 also has a few improvements. However after testing the Rocket lake with Z590, it might be a good choice too if you can get them for a reasonable price. Better IPC than Zen3 and AVX512 support.
 
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Yes. The big.little design and DDR5 support really makes some difference. Z690 also has a few improvements. However after testing the Rocket lake with Z590, it might be a good choice too if you can get them for a reasonable price. Better IPC than Zen3 and AVX512 support.
That's true, but from what I've seen they actually raised prices on Z590 mobos, so it may be difficult to find a good deal. We'll see how it all shakes out I guess in a month or two.
 

cagoblex

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That's true, but from what I've seen they actually raised prices on Z590 mobos, so it may be difficult to find a good deal. We'll see how it all shakes out I guess in a month or two.
I am finishing up my review for the Z590 motherboard, and the price increase comes for a reason. The implement of PCI-E 4.0 brings some serious increase in cost, as well as the upgraded VRM. For the Maximus XIII Hero I am working on, just the 16 DrMOS costs close to $100. That costs more than some low end Z490 motherboards already.
 

cagoblex

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I don't think that's accurate. Lower IPC, but higher clockspeed to make up the difference.
They trade blows on IPC at the same frequency according to my tests but the difference is within 5%. Plus the frequency for Rocket lake is actually lower than Comet lake. The 11700 for example, I just received the review sample chip and the frequency is 2.5GHz, which is 400MHz lower than 10700. And the 11900T is only 1.5GHz. also 400MHz lower than 10900T. But I am getting about 20% higher IPC on Rocket lake than Comet lake at the same frequency.
 
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I look forward to reading your review. I purchased the Maximus XIII Hero last month as soon as I could because I was afraid it would end-up like the Crosshair Dark Hero. I installed it yesterday evening and everything appears in good working order. I have not tried to overclock the 10700K yet. I thought it was a bit pricey at first when compared to the Maximus XII Hero until I looked at the specifications closely. The Maximus XIII Hero has the new Thunderbolt 4 ports, which an add-on card alone would cost at least $100. The VRM's appear very harder from the specifications as well. A like the looks of the board and like how it compliments a black and white build. The only thing I did not like about the board was it having one fewer PCIe slots than I needed. I tried using a PCIe splitter riser in the 1x port and could not get it to seat properly because of the heatsink next to it. I also look forward to just dropping in an 11700K once they become available.
 

Kdawg

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But I am getting about 20% higher IPC on Rocket lake than Comet lake at the same frequency.

interesting.

i guess i'll be deciding between rocket or alder this fall, depending on price.

I know AMD APU will be a generation behind until summer 2022 with its old vega graphics.
 

cagoblex

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I look forward to reading your review. I purchased the Maximus XIII Hero last month as soon as I could because I was afraid it would end-up like the Crosshair Dark Hero. I installed it yesterday evening and everything appears in good working order. I have not tried to overclock the 10700K yet. I thought it was a bit pricey at first when compared to the Maximus XII Hero until I looked at the specifications closely. The Maximus XIII Hero has the new Thunderbolt 4 ports, which an add-on card alone would cost at least $100. The VRM's appear very harder from the specifications as well. A like the looks of the board and like how it compliments a black and white build. The only thing I did not like about the board was it having one fewer PCIe slots than I needed. I tried using a PCIe splitter riser in the 1x port and could not get it to seat properly because of the heatsink next to it. I also look forward to just dropping in an 11700K once they become available.
I will publish the review here and the video version on Youtube tomorrow. I will drop a link here. So here is a few reason why it's expensive. First of all is the power delivery, it is using a new TI power stage solution that provides 90A of power per phase, just 14 of these would cost close to $100. The PCI-E 4.0 switching chip and the amplifier is also more expensive than PCI-E 3.0. It requires redesign of some PCI-E traces as well as components changes in order to maintain signal integrity.

For PCI-E slots, if you are going the riser option, you can consider adapting one of the first two PCI-E slots to a physical x16 slot. Those are PCI-E 4.0 x4 and directly CPU attached. They offers excellent bandwidth and latency. The only problem is you may need external power for the riser board if you are using a video card, or something that's consuming a lot of power. The Rocket lake CPUs also had a great improvement in cache performance, thanks to the new cache algorithm. Anyways hope you could have a better understanding of the M13H after reading the review :)
 

cagoblex

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interesting.

i guess i'll be deciding between rocket or alder this fall, depending on price.

I know AMD APU will be a generation behind until summer 2022 with its old vega graphics.
Talking about AMD APUs. I have ES Zen3 APU and it's actually pretty good. It's having the same IPC as the 5000 series Ryzen with the only trade off of L3 cache. I'm not sure about the GPU part as there is no WHQL drivers for it yet. But we are looking at 1050 level of performance right now, which is very impressive for a APU. As for Alder lake, the big.little design still needs a lot of optimization on the software side as well as on OS side. So right now it's too early to draw any conclusion, nor could I share any coz I don't want Intel to be on my butt lol. But again, it looks promising. So it's a hard decision for me too, I am still using Cascade-lake E right now for my main rig and considering to upgrade.
 

Kdawg

[H]ard|Gawd
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zen3 apu has last year's gpu with a speed bump.

I know it's faster than intel, but lacks the latest hardware decoders.

that's a big issue for me because the last AMD A6 I gave my mom could only decode 1080p60 h264/avc max.
everything above that was choppy and killed the cpu

then youtube came out with vp8 vp9 at 4k video sizes, and they will be switching over to av1 for higher resolutions, which AMD doesn't support on vega.

I read alder lake gpu will have 50% more EU than rocket lake. That should be enough for HTPC
 

cagoblex

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zen3 apu has last year's gpu with a speed bump.

I know it's faster than intel, but lacks the latest hardware decoders.

that's a big issue for me because the last AMD A6 I gave my mom could only decode 1080p60 h264/avc max.
everything above that was choppy and killed the cpu

then youtube came out with vp8 vp9 at 4k video sizes, and they will be switching over to av1 for higher resolutions, which AMD doesn't support on vega.

I read alder lake gpu will have 50% more EU than rocket lake. That should be enough for HTPC
Exactly on point. That is the problem with AMD datacenter accelerators as well. Without hardware encoding, there is a 20% overhead on virtual desktop applications and that's why most people go with Nvidia Tesla for these kind of applications. Yeah Alder lake is pretty good. So might worth the waiting and just skip Rocket lake.
 

lopoetve

Fully [H]
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Exactly on point. That is the problem with AMD datacenter accelerators as well. Without hardware encoding, there is a 20% overhead on virtual desktop applications and that's why most people go with Nvidia Tesla for these kind of applications. Yeah Alder lake is pretty good. So might worth the waiting and just skip Rocket lake.
WAY more than 20% a lot of the time too, depending on res and what you need it to do.
 
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Nov 18, 2011
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Sorry lol. Just trying to show the difference. You won't feel it if I don't put them side to side.

I’m curious about the real world cooling of these chips. It seems that despite higher wattage, they are cooler than their predecessors and competitors probably due to the larger due and thinner IHS.

Im hoping to get at least 8 cores on my Noctua L12S. Currently, I’m running a stock 8700K with an under volt.
 

kirbyrj

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I’m curious about the real world cooling of these chips. It seems that despite higher wattage, they are cooler than their predecessors and competitors probably due to the larger due and thinner IHS.

Im hoping to get at least 8 cores on my Noctua L12S. Currently, I’m running a stock 8700K with an under volt.

Where do you see that? If anything, from reading above, it sounds like they are so power hungry that when Dell caps it at the "stock" 65W, it only manages 2.2Ghz all core.
 
Joined
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Where do you see that? If anything, from reading above, it sounds like they are so power hungry that when Dell caps it at the "stock" 65W, it only manages 2.2Ghz all core.

https://videocardz.com/newz/intel-c...ing-sample-cpu-preview-posted-ahead-of-launch

ES sample got tested, but I take it with a grain of salt. Im hoping he might have more info.

Im looking at temps more than watts though they usually go hand in hand. However, lower wattage doesn’t necessarily mean it runs cooler. Ivy Bridge ran much hotter than Sandy but used less power.
 

cagoblex

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43
Where do you see that? If anything, from reading above, it sounds like they are so power hungry that when Dell caps it at the "stock" 65W, it only manages 2.2Ghz all core.
That is because I’m running AVX512 workloads. It goes higher when running non-AVX. I wouldn’t say it’s cooler but it’s definitely not hotter than Comet lake. I would need more time to do the temperature/voltage analysis as I’m busy with benchmarking 11700 and 11900T right now...it’s very time consuming
 
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