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Microcode manages to improve the performance of Intel Gen 11 CPUs

Intel has decided to bet on two different CPU architectures on desktop PCs and laptops, where the Tiger Lake and Rocket Lake-S architectures seek to compete with the AMD Ryzen based on Zen 2 and Zen 3 in the different spaces. Intel’s bet is the last processor they will perform under their 14nm node, as Tiger Lake and Ice Lake-SP already make use of the 10nm node.

Intel updates the microcode of its Gen 11 CPUs

A few weeks ago there was a great controversy on the network, the Anandtech media had obtained one of the samples of the Intel Core Gen 11 for desktop, specifically the i7-11700K model, and made a review before the official launch date by part of Intel. How had they got it? Using other channels than the usual ones.

The first batch of processors carried a version of the microcode older than the current one, specifically 0x34, while the new version of the microcode is 0x39, which brings some improvements in performance. Actually mild so this microcode for Intel’s Gen 11 is not a spectacular performance leap.

Ian Cutress Gen 11 Microcode

Ian Cutress, who is the one who analyzed the 11700 at Anandtech, has reported on his Twitter account an improvement of 8% in the AVX-512 instructions, but these continue to reach a peak of 277 W of consumption and 103º C of temperature. Overall CPU performance is up just 0.4%. In terms of gaming performance, the new version of the microcode for Gen 11 ranges between -2.8% and 4%.

It must be taken into account that this information is given by Ian Cutress himself and at the moment we do not know with what methods he has obtained these figures and what have been the tools to obtain these measurements. So this information should not be taken as an absolute and objective truth. In addition, Intel could further improve the performance of its Gen 11 desktop CPUs with the release of a new microcode ahead of its launch on March 30.

So we invite you to the review that we will do of Intel’s Gen 11, with which you will have truthful and contrasted information on these new processors.

What is the microcode of a processor?

Cache Microscope

The control units, which are responsible for the data and instructions capture and decoding phases in the instruction cycle, were originally micro-wired hardware and therefore not programmable. From a certain point they began to be microcontrollers embedded in the same processor, executing a microcode when decoding the different instructions.

This allows CPU manufacturers and designers that use a microcode control unit to make small updates to it that allows them to gain more performance even after its launch on the market, either in order to achieve greater speed at the time of execute instructions or lower power consumption.

The development of the microcode of a CPU remains active even after its launch, which means that many times the processors purchased close to the launch date do not have the latest version of the microcode, which is what has happened with the CPUs for Intel Gen 11 desktop.