Intel Alder Lake Desktop CPU Announced, Launch on November 4

Finally, Intel Alder Lake is here at a competitive price

After a long wait, Finally, Intel has announced its 12th Gen Intel Alder Lake CPU at the Intel Innovation event on October 27. At present, only top-end SKUs are available of Core i9, Core i7, and Core i5 with the new Z690 chipset motherboard. 

Intel executives said that the Core i9-12900K will be the “World’s Best Gaming Processors.” Overall, Intel Alder Lake has undergone big architectural changes. Like the use of two different types of the core, namely P-Cores and E-Cores. 

These new chips are reasonably priced compared to AMD Ryzen 5000 series. Unfortunately, we have to wait a little more for the performance chart, which will clear the price aspect. 

What’s New in Intel Alder Lake

For the first time, hybrid architecture is used in the x86 platform with performance core (P-core) and efficient core (E-core). New CPUs use Intel 7 process nodes and require an LGA1200 socket motherboard. 

Intel Alder Lake P-core and E-core
Intel Alder Lake P-core and E-core

Moreover, Intel Thread Director, a core-based solution, monitors and optimizes the Windows 11 OS scheduling for better utilization of hybrid design. Like high-priority tasks (Like gaming) assigned to P-core and background tasks (like cloud sync, updates, etc) run on E-core.

Also, when high-priority tasks start, like an app that required AI, the thread director suggest which existing tasks to reassign to E-cores to make room for the new task on the P-cores

Support for the DDR5 RAM up to 4800MT/s and PCIe 5.0 added. Also, a new Xe architecture-based integrated GPU is supported on a “non-F” variant.     

P-cores, E-cores, Graphics, and memory are overclockable. For the first time, Intel added the “Maximum Turbo Power (PL2)” section in the specification sheet with “Base Power (PL1)”. That shows how much the CPU can consume power at turbo frequency. Previously, only the TDP of the processor was listed.

The “Maximum Turbo Power” tells more about the CPU power consumption. It will not only help to buy a correct CPU cooler but also the power supply

According to Intel guidelines, a turbo time limit (Tau Duration) is approximately 58 seconds. But now that it’s on the motherboard OEMs, if the motherboard can handle it, they can keep it infinite duration for “K” processors.

Infinite Turbo frequency
Infinite Turbo frequency

The thickness of the IHS has increased while reducing the height (Z-axis) of “Silicon Die” and STIM for better thermal dissipation. 

Intel offers XTU (Extreme Tuning Utility) for various functions. That also includes one-click overclocking with Intel Speed Optimizer. Intel Alder Lake provides better overclocking functionality.

Performance 

Select gaming benchmarks from Intel show that the Core i9-12900K is around 15% faster than Ryzen 5950X. Also, it is 56% faster in content creation applications with i9-11900K. 

12th Gen single-thread P-cores performance is 28% faster than 10th Comet Lake-S and 16% faster than 11th Rocket Lake-S. 

Surprisingly, Intel shows that the E-core single-thread performance is equal to the 10th Gen Comet Lake-S CPU.  

AMD Ryzen 5000 CPUs still have better power efficiency against 12th Gen Intel Alder Lake. For Instance, Ryzen 9-5950X has a default TDP of 105W, whereas the Core i9-12900K rated the Base power of 125W and Turbo power of 241W.

It remains to be seen if Intel can become the best CPU for the build. Intel collaborated with Microsoft to build Windows 11 to favor Intel Alder Lake’s hybrid design. We have also the reports that Windows 11 impacted the AMD Ryzen performance significantly. With that said, current Intel’s benchmark may not be taken seriously until an independent review is done.

Intel shared its own benchmark details comparing with both Core i9-11900K and Ryzen 5950X
Intel shared its own benchmark details compared with both Core i9-11900K and Ryzen 5950X
Single thread performance compared with 10th Gen Comet lake-S and 11th Gen Rocket Lake-S
Single thread performance compared with 10th Gen Comet lake-S and 11th Gen Rocket Lake-S

Hybrid Architecture Advantage

Intel showed the effective use of P and E-cores while gaming, streaming, and recording. And also with content creation multitasking between Adobe Lightroom and Premiere Pro. 

The P-Core will be used to run the game, and the E-Core will handle the recording, streaming, and other background tasks. By this only, Core i9-12900K giving 84% more FPS than Core i9-11900K

With Adobe Lightroom and Premiere Pro, by utilizing both P-cores and E-cores, Core i9-12900K is 47% faster than 11900K. 

Of course, hybrid architecture can offer many advantages over time. The example we have already seen with the Apple M1 chip. Now, it depends on Intel and Microsoft how they are implementing things.

Effective usage of P-cores and E-cores for game, stream and record
Effective usage of P-cores and E-cores for game, stream, and record
Combination usage of P-cores and E-cores in content creation
Combination usage of P-cores and E-cores in content creation

Specification 

Core i9-12900K and 12900KF 

It has a total of 16 cores, 8 P-core and 8 E-cores, and P-core supports hyper-threading. Single P-core turbo frequency is 5.1 GHz, whereas Single E-core turbo frequency is up to 3.2 GHz. Intel Turbo Boost Max 3.0 enables the CPU to go up to 5.2 GHz. 

Intel smart L3 cache is 30 MB, and L2 cache is 14 MB. It supports up to DDR5 4800 MT/s and DDR4 3200 MT/s memory. A total of 20 CPU PCIe lanes are supported in that 16 are PCIe 5.0, and 4 are PCIe 4.0.

12900K has Xe-based Intel UHD graphics 770 at up to 1550 MHz. The processor base power (TDP) is 125 W, and the Maximum turbo power is 241 W. 

Core i7-12700K and 12700KF

It has a total of 12 cores, 8 P-core and 4 E-cores, and P-core supports hyper-threading. Single P-core turbo frequency is 4.9 GHz, whereas Single E-core turbo frequency is up to 3.8 GHz. Intel Turbo Boost Max 3.0 enables the CPU to go up to 5.0 GHz. 

Intel smart L3 cache is 25 MB, and L2 cache is 12 MB. It supports up to DDR5 4800 MT/s and DDR4 3200 MT/s memory. A total of 20 CPU PCIe lanes are supported in that 16 are PCIe 5.0, and 4 are PCIe 4.0.

12700K has Xe-based Intel UHD graphics 770 at up to 1500 MHz. The processor base power (TDP) is 125 W, and the Maximum turbo power is 190 W. 

Core i5-12600K and 12600KF

It has a total of 10 cores, 6 P-core and 4 E-cores, and P-core supports hyper-threading. Single P-core turbo frequency is 4.9 GHz, whereas Single E-core turbo frequency is up to 3.6 GHz. 

Intel smart L3 cache is 20 MB, and L2 cache is 9.5 MB. It supports up to DDR5 4800 MT/s and DDR4 3200 MT/s memory. A total of 20 CPU PCIe lanes are supported in that 16 are PCIe 5.0, and 4 are PCIe 4.0.

12600K has Xe-based Intel UHD graphics 770 at up to 1450 MHz. The processor base power (TDP) is 125 W, and the Maximum turbo power is 150 W. 

Z690 Chipset

It supports up to 12x PCIe Gen 4.0 lanes, up to 16x PCIe Gen 3.0, and integrated Intel Wi-Fi 6E (Gig+). New x8 DMI Gen 4.0 connectivity for faster data transfer between chipset and processor.

New LGA1200 socket 600 series motherboards are required to run these CPUs. Currently, only the Z690 chipset motherboard is available, and the H and B-series are scheduled for Q1,2022.

 Price and Availability

Intel ProcessorPrice AMD ProcessorPrice
Core i9-12900K/KF $589 / $564 Ryzen 9-5900X $549
Core i7-12700K/KF $409 / $384 Ryzen 7-5800X $449
Core i5-12600K/KF$289 / $264 Ryzen 5-5600X $299
Price Comparision

The launch date of the processor with the review is November 4. 

Intel has kept the price very competitive to Ryzen 5000 series. We are excited to see the performance numbers of Core i5-12600K (6P+4E) against Ryzen 5-5600X (6 Core) as Core i5 offers more cores at less price. 

Moreover, If we compare the price of F-variants with Ryzen, 12th Gen Intel Alder Lake could make more sense.  

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