Monday, November 22nd 2021

Intel 12th Gen Core "Locked" Processors Arrive Mid-Jan, Possible Specs Surface

Intel debuted its 12th Gen Core "Alder Lake-S" desktop processor family late last month with only the unlocked "K" and "KF" SKUs targeting gamers and PC enthusiasts, alongside only the top Z690 chipset motherboards. The company is preparing to expand the lineup early next year with the addition of at least seven more SKUs (excluding additional "F" variants that lack integrated graphics). These processors could also introduce more value-conscious motherboard chipsets, such as the B660 and H670. momomo_us on Twitter, a reliable source with hardware leaks, predicts specs and a possible mid-January launch date for these chips.

The lineup possibly includes the Core i9-12900 and i9-12900F at the top, followed by the i7-12700 and i7-12700F, and the meaty Core i5 lineup that includes the i5-12600 and i5-12600F; the i5-12500, and the i5-12400/F. At least two Core i3 series SKUs could also be launched. The possible clock-speeds, and L3 cache sizes for the SKUs are tabulated below. What stands out from these SKUs is the specs of the Core i5-12600. We earlier thought it would be based on the larger "C0" silicon, with 6 P-cores and 4 E-cores, but it turns out, that the SKU is based on the smaller "H0" silicon with just 6 P-cores and no E-cores. Read more about the two silicon variants of "Alder Lake-S" in our older article. The i5-12600 will have significantly different performance and energy efficiency numbers than the i5-12600K.
The Core i5 SKUs bound for January, based on the "H0" silicon, physically feature just six "Golden Cove" P-cores, and no E-core clusters. The six cores each feature 1.25 MB of L2 cache, and share 18 MB of L3 cache. The rest of the silicon includes a Gen12 Xe LP iGPU, and DDR5+DDR4 memory interface. A big unknown with the "H0" silicon is PCI-Express Gen 5 support. We hear rumors that the mid-tier B660 chipset lacks Gen 5 PEG support, limiting the PEG interface to Gen 4. It remains to be seen if the PCIe and DMI interfaces of the "H0" silicon are the same as "C0," or if there are some gotchas, such as Gen 4 PEG and 4-lane DMI 4.0.

Another interesting set of SKUs are the 12th Gen Core i3. In the past, Intel segmented its desktop Core i3 processors into two sub-classes, the i3-xx300, and the i3-xx100 series, with the two being differentiated using specs such as the L3 cache size. The truncated rumored specs suggest that even the entry-level i3-12100 could get 12 MB L3 cache, and it's conceivable that both the i3-12100 and i3-12300 are based on the "H0" silicon with two of the four P-cores disabled. Intel probably went with a 4+0 core approach for the 12th Gen Core i3 instead of innovating a third silicon type that has 2 P-cores and 4 E-cores because the entry level userbase probably sticks to older software such as Windows 10, and would run into compatibility or optimization issues. Core i3 could very likely lack exotic I/O such as PCIe Gen 5 PEG, although it may retain DDR5 support for compatibility with LGA1700 motherboards that have DDR5 slots.
Source: momomo_us (Twitter)
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43 Comments on Intel 12th Gen Core "Locked" Processors Arrive Mid-Jan, Possible Specs Surface

#1
spnidel
they ought to drop this locked bullshit, we've gone 4 generations of zen without any restrictions, yet intel's still doing it
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#2
Chaitanya
spnidelthey ought to drop this locked bullshit, we've gone 4 generations of zen without any restrictions, yet intel's still doing it
even on chipsets little to no restriction on non-flagship chipsets.
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#3
defaultluser
So, once-again, I called it:

1. There's no availability of their uncut 8 + 8 + 32 eu big boy at anywhere near MSRP two weeks after launch.

2. Intel's waiting 3 months to release the rest of their more-competitive-priced lineup
, and the wait for those dreamy Core i3s could be twice as long!

It's a lot easier for Intel to supply Tiger Lake 8-core than this; it's a lot smaller die size, and it's a lot harder to sell users on what is obviously a stopgap to Alder Lake Notebook parts a year from now.

I expect those reseller prices to rise even further as we get closer to Christmas, because Intel's Anemic 10nm process still isn't ready for a mainstream consumer launch yet!
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#4
The red spirit
spnidelthey ought to drop this locked bullshit, we've gone 4 generations of zen without any restrictions, yet intel's still doing it
Does it really matter anymore? Those locked parts boost a lot and are so close to K parts. Increase PLs and you will have permanent boost.
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#5
rares495
The red spiritDoes it really matter anymore? Those locked parts boost a lot and are so close to K parts. Increase PLs and you will have permanent boost.
Or they could just...you know...unlock everything.
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#6
spnidel
The red spiritDoes it really matter anymore? Those locked parts boost a lot and are so close to K parts. Increase PLs and you will have permanent boost.
"does it really matter if you're getting a worse deal?"
um... YES?
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#7
Selaya
why are the 12900 and 12700 config'd the same as 12900K and 12700K, but the 12600 drops the E-Cores????????
fuck, why not just call that a 12500 ..................
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#8
defaultluser
Selayawhy are the 12900 and 12700 config'd the same as 12900K and 12700K, but the 12600 drops the E-Cores????????
fuck, why not just call that a 12500 ..................
Because their yields are terrible?
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#9
Wirko
rares495Or they could just...you know...unlock everything.
It's not that simple. Unlocking "everything" would also unlock the price, so you'd have to pay for an i7-11700K even if all you want and need was an i7-11700.
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#10
rares495
WirkoIt's not that simple. Unlocking "everything" would also unlock the price, so you'd have to pay for an i7-11700K even if all you want and need was an i7-11700.
It is absolutely that simple. AMD has been doing it for years. You wouldn't want nor need a locked processor because such a thing wouldn't exist. Cut down on SKUs and unlock all of them, then let the core count be the only reason to shop for high-end parts.

Prices are a different matter altogether. Intel platforms have always been expensive because people blindly buy their products every time. They have no reason to lower the prices and they never will while this trend continues.
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#11
R0H1T
The red spiritDoes it really matter anymore? Those locked parts boost a lot and are so close to K parts. Increase PLs and you will have permanent boost.
Maybe not if the chipsets were basically the same, but Intel still locks the end user out of an effin number of possible combinations & feature set depending on CPU+mobo including RAM speeds! That may have changed with ADL, but knowing the greedy SoB Intel is I doubt that has changed :ohwell:
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#12
The red spirit
rares495Or they could just...you know...unlock everything.
But what's the point of that? If anything, they should do what they did and only raise boost speeds. Boost killed overclocking in Comet Lake days, there was no good point to make for OCing anymore, when chip by itself could reach 5 GHz. It felt very antiquated to actually input voltage and check stability. Take a look at this:
www.techpowerup.com/review/intel-core-i9-10900/

10900 just showed that k parts are just for e-peen and non k parts is where the value is.
spnidel"does it really matter if you're getting a worse deal?"
um... YES?
"does it really matter if I have no idea what I speak about"
um... YES? Seriously, read about PLs and Tau. Don't come back here until you know what they are and why unlocking those chips wouldn't mean anything.
R0H1TMaybe not if the chipsets were basically the same, but Intel still locks the end user out of an effin number of possible combinations & feature set depending on CPU+mobo including RAM speeds! That may have changed with ADL, but knowing the greedy SoB Intel is I doubt that has changed :ohwell:
Imagine such horror, that big corp locks you to cheaper parts, that perform the same and work more reliably. That's literally what Intel does with locking things. Does it matter if you are locked to 2666 MHz DDR4, if your chip doesn't lose performance and performs literally the same as with faster RAM?
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#13
Haile Selassie
Industry insider: I have the i7 12700, however it does not boost to 4.9GHz, at least the samples I have.
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#14
R0H1T
The red spiritImagine such horror, that big corp locks you to cheaper parts, that perform the same and work more reliably. That's literally what Intel does with locking things. Does it matter if you are locked to 2666 MHz DDR4, if your chip doesn't lose performance and performs literally the same as with faster RAM?
It obviously doesn't. The gain can be marginal to substantial depending on your application, even more so with IGP. They also locked out RAID through chipsets IIRC. So it isn't just that one thing!
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#15
The red spirit
Haile SelassieIndustry insider: I have the i7 12700, however it does not boost to 4.9GHz, at least the samples I have.
If they haven't changed how turbo works, maximum turbo speed always indicates highest single core clock speed. That speed wouldn't be reached by all cores.
R0H1TIt obviously doesn't. The gain can be marginal to substantial depending on your application, even more so with IGP. They also locked out RAID through chipsets IIRC. So it isn't just that one thing!
That gain was not substantial and was within measurement error. That's literally what GN benchmarks showed. Only in really rare scenario it was possible to see 5% less performance, but that was massive cherry picking of tasks, in other tasks, there was no real difference. Intel iGPUs are slow anyway, just faster RAM won't fix them and there's not much point in doing that. iGPUs even Ryzen ones are still in e-waste tier. RAID support cut down however sucks, but it seems that they decided that it's H570 feature now. I guess that still sucks a bit, but it's not like RAID is commonly used nowadays either. So that downgrades Intel's B560 to AMD's A520 competitor, which is not great since B560 boards are more expensive. H510 is still garbage tier, since it only has 5 PCIe lane support. So now AMD A520 is officially better than Intel B560. Hopefully, RAID bullshit cut downs won't be seen in Alder Lake. But only RAID argument is valid out of all you said.
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#16
Bruno_O
too late, getting myself a 5800X build this black Friday for 10% less than a 12600KF one (decent Z690 MBs are expensive in this corner of the world)
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#17
caroline.v
Remember the K i3 chips? those were fun to OC... I'm guessing those won't be making a comeback ever again.
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#18
RandallFlagg
Ah, seems like a lot of people here don't know much about power unlocking vs overclocking.

Unless you're going to spend north of $100 on your cooling solution, you don't need nor will see any benefit in a K chip. Having said that, how much benefit you might see with the K chips will pretty rapidly curve off on an exponential cost to cool, but it can be more than 20% yes even in games. You likely need a $300+ cooling solution, $200+ RAM (or $400 if 32GB), and a $400+ motherboard, along with the K chip. You could also settle for +10%, and likely cut that in half.

This may sound extravagant, but keep in mind if you're building a high end rig right now I'd assume you're paying at least $1400 for the GPU.

However if your plan is to use a $100 motherboard with a $30 air cooler and $80 RAM, you don't need a K series chip.
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#19
docnorth
spnidel"does it really matter if you're getting a worse deal?"
um... YES?
Actually Intel’s boost algorithms (and lately AMD’s too) are better than the illusion of overclocking “unlocked” ryzens. Even with Intel K CPUs oc almost isn’t worth it anymore. The real drawback could be RAM speed on non-Z690 motherboards.
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#20
Why_Me
The red spiritDoes it really matter anymore? Those locked parts boost a lot and are so close to K parts. Increase PLs and you will have permanent boost.
Imagine posting on a tech site such as some of the posters who posted above your post that don't have a clue about running those locked cpu's with the power limits turned off in the bios even though TPU did a review on it with their review of the i5 11400F.
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#21
docnorth
@btarunr wrote "What stands out from these SKUs is the specs of the Core i5-12600. We earlier thought it would be based on the larger "C0" silicon, with 6 P-cores and 4 E-cores, but it turns out, that the SKU is based on the smaller "H0" silicon with just 6 P-cores and no E-cores".
Maybe my 'source' of leaks is different, but I made the same comment more than 3 weeks ago (29 Oct) that even 12600 non-K might be based on the smaller die without E-cores. Of course nothing is certain until the final announcement, so please keep digging:pimp:.
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#22
sumludus
rares495Or they could just...you know...unlock everything.
The performance gains from overclocking vs letting the boost algorithm automatically scale are negligible outside of benchmarking. The 12900k review actually saw performance slightly degrade with a 5GHz overclock vs stock.

At this point when you buy a K chip, what you're actually paying for is just a chip binned to overclock. It's become a means to its own end, rather than something that actually makes a positive day-to-day impact.
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#23
Why_Me
RandallFlaggAh, seems like a lot of people here don't know much about power unlocking vs overclocking.

Unless you're going to spend north of $100 on your cooling solution, you don't need nor will see any benefit in a K chip. Having said that, how much benefit you might see with the K chips will pretty rapidly curve off on an exponential cost to cool, but it can be more than 20% yes even in games. You likely need a $300+ cooling solution, $200+ RAM (or $400 if 32GB), and a $400+ motherboard, along with the K chip. You could also settle for +10%, and likely cut that in half.

This may sound extravagant, but keep in mind if you're building a high end rig right now I'd assume you're paying at least $1400 for the GPU.

However if your plan is to use a $100 motherboard with a $30 air cooler and $80 RAM, you don't need a K series chip.
For under $250 USD you can run those locked 11 gen cpu's balls to the wall. I expect the 12 gen locked cpu's to be no different in that regard.

www.amazon.com/MSI-MAG-B560M-Bazooka-Motherboard/dp/B08WBY8Q5V/
MSI MAG B560M Bazooka $139.95

www.amazon.com/Gelid-Solutions-Black-CPU-Cooler/dp/B00BF3LF2I
Gelid Solutions Phantom Black CPU Cooler $39.99

www.amazon.com/TEAMGROUP-T-Force-Vulcan-3200MHz-Desktop/dp/B07T637L7T/
TEAMGROUP T-Force Vulcan Z DDR4 3200MHz 16GB Kit (2x8GB) CL16 $61.97

Total: $242
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#24
droopyRO
12600K is priced right where i live. But the cheapest Z690 mobo is about the price of a good Z590 or X570. When are cheap(er) B660 or similar boards expected ?
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#25
rares495
Why_MeImagine posting on a tech site such as some of the posters who posted above your post that don't have a clue about running those locked cpu's with the power limits turned off in the bios even though TPU did a review on it with their review of the i5 11400F.
Imagine not only having locked CPUs in 2021 but having your brainwashed corporate whiteknights defending & justifying them for free. :roll:

Then trying to question other people's knowledge. :laugh: You guys have become memes at this point. I'm just gonna stay out of Intel topics from now on cuz I feel my IQ dropping a few points already.
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