Intel’s 11th-generation desktop processors, codenamed Rocket Lake, didn’t impress us much. They were Intel’s sixth processor architecture based on some version of Intel’s 14 nm manufacturing process and the first not to use an iteration of the venerable Skylake core from 2015.
They did improve performance, usually, by backporting features from newer and faster processor architectures. But when you add features without improving the manufacturing process, you get exactly what Rocket Lake delivered: a processor that is a bit faster but also a lot hotter, with much higher power usage than either the 10th-generation Intel CPUs that preceded them or the AMD Ryzen 5000-series CPUs they compete against.
Now, Intel is attempting a course correction in the form of its 12th-generation core CPUs, codenamed Alder Lake. The first six processors in the lineup are available for preorder now and will be available starting November 4.