Intel Rocket Lake release date

In a post on Medium, Intel has that its next desktop processors will arrive in 'Q1 2021'. That's any time during the first three months of the year. 

A leak reported by Spanish site HD Tecnología suggests a March 2021 release date, although this 'exclusive' may not be entirely trustworthy. Videocardz is going one better, suggesting Intel has recently changed the launch window to Week 10 of 2021 - that's 8-14 March. Nothing has been confirmed just yet, but it doesn't seem too far wide of the mark. 

Intel Rocket Lake price

While Tiger Lake processors are only available within particular laptops, it's a different story for the desktop chips. Expect pricing to be roughly in line with how much you pay for current-gen Comet Lake:

  • Core i9-10900K - US$488
  • Core i7-10700K - US$374
  • Core i5-10600K - US$262

However, AMD bumped up the price of all its Ryzen 5000 series processors by US$50, and it may be a similar story if they deliver significant improvements.

Intel Rocket Lake spec rumours

It could be as long as five months before Intel's desktop chips are released, so news is relatively thin on the ground. The only feature that was confirmed in the official Medium post was support for PCIe 4.0, the latest generation of motherboard interface for SSDs, graphics cards and more. However, it was also described as "another fantastic processor for gaming", and we wouldn't expect Intel to rest on its laurels when you consider the strength of the competition.

Unfortunately, it's widely expected that Intel will stick with the 14nm manufacturing process on its desktop chips, despite the AMD Ryzen 5000 series already sporting 7nm. However, Wccftech is reporting that it will be based on the new Willow Cove architecture that debuted alongside the Tiger Lake mobile chips. 

The same Videocardz article mentioned above suggests the new chips will still be compatible with 400-series motherboards, so most people with recent hardware won't have to upgrade. That probably won't stop Intel from launching new motherboards in the form of the 500-series, though. 

As The Verge reports, we're also expecting the Rocket Lake-S processors to come with the new built-in Xe graphics and Thunderbolt 4 support. However, Intel may release two generations of desktop processors in 2021, with the high-end 'Alder Lake' expected to provide the high-end performance that to challenge AMD. 

We'll update this article as soon as we know more. In the meantime, get the full lowdown on Intel's Tiger Lake laptop processors