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Intel Core i9-11900K leak is our first glimpse of Rocket Lake gaming potential

Intel CPU
(Image credit: Future)

Intel’s Core i9-11900K, the incoming Rocket Lake 8-core flagship CPU, has been spotted in a game benchmark.

The Ashes of the Singularity benchmark was highlighted by well-known leaker Tum_Apisak on Twitter, and it shows the flagship chip will seemingly be named the Core i9-11900K (as expected), and that it runs with a base clock of 3.5GHz.

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Okay, so the things to remember here are that firstly, any given leak could be somehow fabricated, and secondly, if this is indeed a genuine 11900K, it’s still an early engineering test sample and will not represent the full performance of the final chip. We don’t know what the Intel CPU was boosting to, here, either.

Bearing that in mind, the 11900K achieved a score 62.7 frames per second (fps) at 1440p resolution, with that creeping up to 64.7 fps at Full HD resolution (on ‘crazy’ graphics details).

Ryzen flagship

In the above Twitter thread, that result is compared to AMD’s top-end Ryzen 9 5950X, its new 16-core flagship which recorded 71.9 fps at Full HD; so the Ryzen effort is 11% faster.

But as ever, there’s only so much we can go on with an engineering chip as mentioned, and just a single benchmark (further remember that Ashes of the Singularity isn’t particularly well-regarded as a game benchmark, to boot – but it’s often a good source of leaks like this one).

All that said, given this result and the previously mentioned caveats on the Intel CPU, we can theorize that the 11900K should hold its ground well enough against the 5800X. And we saw that yesterday when Tum_Apisak discovered a Geekbench 5 result that was very much in the same ballpark for both these Intel and AMD processors. That benchmark also showed the Intel CPU boosting to 5GHz, and it’s expected that the final version of the 8-core flagship could hit up to 5.5GHz.

Obviously it’s too early to be drawing anything like conclusions at this point, but these are interesting glimpses of the kind of performance level the Rocket Lake flagship might deliver.

And if nothing else, the fact that multiple leaked benchmarks are starting to crop up suggests that Rocket Lake might be on track for its rumored March 2021 launch. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Intel can’t afford to hang around getting its next-gen chips out when you look at the strength of Ryzen 5000.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).