Intel may not launch new high-end desktop processors in 2020 – or even Rocket Lake CPUs

(Image credit: Future)

Intel unleashed new Comet Lake CPUs recently, but it might not have any plans for introducing fresh high-end desktop (HEDT) processors during 2020, or at least that’s the suggestion from a presentation slide – which further indicates that Rocket Lake next-gen desktop CPUs won’t be out this year, either.

Tom’s Hardware spotted the slide from the recent Intel Partner Connect virtual event over in Asia, drawn from a presentation about how to win over enthusiast PC owners, and it contains a processor roadmap for 2020.

Intel Partner Connect Presentation Slide

(Image credit: Intel)

In that roadmap, the whole of 2020 is one big grey slab of ‘Core X Series’ on Intel’s X299 chipset, suggesting that the existing HEDT processors will be the only products offered this year.

So the suggestion is therefore that new high-end desktop processors could be coming in 2021 – if indeed they are inbound at all in the near future.

As Tom’s Hardware observes, we must remember that Intel squeezing out another generation of HEDT on 14nm, with the aging LGA 2066 socket – which has played host to four generations of high-end desktop chips now – might seem like pushing too far. Certainly, it would seem to make more sense to wait until a whole new motherboard and socket is ready to try and push forward in the HEDT arena.

That said, AMD won’t stand still with its mighty Ryzen Threadripper chips either, of course. Threadripper has pushed the boundaries to 64-cores already, with the Threadripper 3990X – which recently witnessed a chunky price cut – whereas Intel’s Cascade Lake-X chips top out at an 18-core flagship.

Rocket launch

As for Rocket Lake, the next series of mainstream processors to succeed the freshly launched Comet Lake 10th-gen products, it would seem that they aren’t coming this year either. The roadmap clearly shows just Comet Lake CPUs for the remainder of 2020 in the mainstream desktop segment.

That’s not really a surprise, because as we’ve discussed before, the rumors that Rocket Lake might launch this year seem far-fetched, given that this sort of timeframe would put them uncomfortably close to Comet Lake (which was reportedly delayed a fair bit).

A Q1 or Q2 launch in 2021 seems far more likely, and this is another hint that we’re looking at next year for Rocket Lake.

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).