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

#26
docnorth
Bruno_Otoo 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)
Congrats, you probably got a good deal and an excellent CPU.
droopyRO12600K 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 ?
Good question, probably they will arrive with the non-K CPUs.
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#27
Why_Me
rares495Imagine 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.
How much do you gain from overclocking these days and then figure in the extra cooling cost.
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#28
owen10578
spnidelthey ought to drop this locked bullshit, we've gone 4 generations of zen without any restrictions, yet intel's still doing it
I agree. They have competition now, the locked crap just steers people to AMD at whatever price bracket someone is looking for a CPU at.
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#29
The red spirit
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.
Aye, also telling that to 10400F owner. I personally limit boost wattage. I have PL1 set to 72 watts and PL2 to 76 watts. There's also nuance with boost. My i5 is rated at 4.3 GHz boost, but it boosts to 4GHz on all cores. Intel doesn't disclose what is all core boost for any of their parts. i3 parts typically have quite low boost, since their base speed is relatively high. Also all locked parts usually perform well even with stock settings and that they are wattage limited, doesn't mean that they don't boost. Only that boost on all cores might not be sustainable. Locked parts often boost a lot in games, where they can reach high clock at low wattage (games apparently don't make CPU consume as many amps). Also same turbo boost technology performs differently on each CPU model, due to different maximum boost values, typical core load, core count and etc. Obviously maxing out boost wattage works as brute way to get more performance, but I think that turbo boost is more interesting if actually tweaked for performance/power usage balance. Intel chips tend to gain tons of efficiency, if they run just a bit bellow their maximum boost clock. You can get as much as 30% power usage reduction just by losing top 300 MHz. i9s can be very power efficient if their turbo boost is tweaked well. Way further from sensational media's reported 200-300 watts.
rares495Imagine not only having locked CPUs in 2021 but having your brainwashed corporate whiteknights defending & justifying them for free. :roll:
Imagine not knowing anything about PL1, PL2 and Tau in 2021.
Why_MeHow much do you gain from overclocking these days and then figure in the extra cooling cost.
Also extra VRM cost, since you most likely don't want motherboard to die after 2 years.
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#30
ViperXTR
droopyRO12600K 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 ?
Lucky, 12600K is priced more than 400USD here (roughly similar to 5800X these days), and you are forced to buy the board with them as well, if their stock of boards is not your target then your out of luck :( hate these kind of stores.
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#31
AlwaysHope
I'm looking to upgrade some of my other PCs here atm, (caving into the win11 proposition... :D) but very interested in seeing what B660 brings to the table & whether or not justified in $/performance with bottom end AL cpus.
There are some nice deals gong on in my part of the world with entry level Z590 (best connectivity options compared to B560 etc.. ) & RL i5's atm. The prices are practically match for match with these entry level Z590 boards & mid to high end B560's now.
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#32
Wirko
AlwaysHopeI'm looking to upgrade some of my other PCs here atm, (caving into the win11 proposition... :D) but very interested in seeing what B660 brings to the table & whether or not justified in $/performance with bottom end AL cpus.
There are some nice deals gong on in my part of the world with entry level Z590 (best connectivity options compared to B560 etc.. ) & RL i5's atm. The prices are practically match for match with these entry level Z590 boards & mid to high end B560's now.
H670 too. I see people here often discuss the B660 but ignore the H, with better connectivity than the B (expected, at least).
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#33
Lionheart
Something I was afraid of happening, no E-cores on the 12600.
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#34
The red spirit
WirkoH670 too. I see people here often discuss the B660 but ignore the H, with better connectivity than the B (expected, at least).
I don't really ignore premium home chipset, it's just that it has been obscure since Sandy Bridge. There's almost never decent availability of boards with it. BTW B series chipsets were originally meant to be business chipsets (entry level). There are Q series, which are premium business chipsets. I haven't seen Q series chipset based board since Haswell.
LionheartSomething I was afraid of happening, no E-cores on the 12600.
That's definitely a blow on their value, also really odd. Business tend to use locked chips and sometimes they need more cores, now they can't get locked chips with more cores, only gimped Alder Lake is available for them. I actually expected i3 with 4P-4E config and I though that i3 could become seriously good, but only 4C/8T config is offered and I would stay away from that in 2021. It seems that Intel is again at their "high core count is premium feature" shenanigans again. They need to have their ass whopped again by AMD to finally stop selling cores as premium feature. But AMD stopped being competitive at core count and is now selling very overpriced hexa and octa core chips. AMD became like old Intel and Intel is just being Intel again after being a a bit scared by Ryzen.
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#35
RandallFlagg
The red spiritThat's definitely a blow on their value, also really odd. Business tend to use locked chips and sometimes they need more cores, now they can't get locked chips with more cores, only gimped Alder Lake is available for them. I actually expected i3 with 4P-4E config and I though that i3 could become seriously good, but only 4C/8T config is offered and I would stay away from that in 2021. It seems that Intel is again at their "high core count is premium feature" shenanigans again. They need to have their ass whopped again by AMD to finally stop selling cores as premium feature. But AMD stopped being competitive at core count and is now selling very overpriced hexa and octa core chips. AMD became like old Intel and Intel is just being Intel again after being a a bit scared by Ryzen.
Typical business users just don't need it, they're running nothing that can take advantage of those cores. For that matter, very few people in general use more than a couple of cores. Gamers, content creators in the sense of video and media editing, and a small number of Office power users out there can use them. But in a business, these people tend to be in specialized departments with specific requirements from IT. They aren't 'most' though by a long shot.

In fact, most of what I see in administrative office environments resembles this :

www.dell.com/en-us/work/shop/desktops-all-in-one-pcs/new-optiplex-3090-micro/spd/optiplex-3090-micro/s013do3090mffus
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#37
Wirko
The red spiritI don't really ignore premium home chipset, it's just that it has been obscure since Sandy Bridge. There's almost never decent availability of boards with it. BTW B series chipsets were originally meant to be business chipsets (entry level).
There's a decent assortment of H470 and H570 boards available in the EU at prices between 70 and 140 €, most of them are µATX sized. But yes, the situation was a lot better even in 2016, when I was putting together my Skylake system. Q170 boards were also common, just pricey.
The red spiritAMD became like old Intel and Intel is just being Intel again
Aargh!
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#38
Minus Infinity
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.
Exactly, the K series are basically pointless except for nerds trying to break OC'ing records these days. The power usage skyrockets on Alder Lake when OC'ed. I would definitely buy the non-K version as long as clocks are the same and tinker with memory clocks and timings.
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#39
RandallFlagg
Minus InfinityExactly, the K series are basically pointless except for nerds trying to break OC'ing records these days. The power usage skyrockets on Alder Lake when OC'ed. I would definitely buy the non-K version as long as clocks are the same and tinker with memory clocks and timings.
Agree for most people. But ah, look at the system specs of posters here, few people here do that.... :ohwell:
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#40
Minus Infinity
This basically like people with a car does 0-100 in 3s, spending a fortune to get it down to 2.8s and convincing themselves it makes a huge difference. Our gear is already fast enough, I don't even GPU any more more so when it's a third party card already OC'd. I don't want to use another 100W for 2-5fps.
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#41
AlwaysHope
WirkoH670 too. I see people here often discuss the B660 but ignore the H, with better connectivity than the B (expected, at least).
H570 series boards are virtually impossible to buy from local online retailers here in Australia, only the low end H510 is available from only a few. The shipping costs from overseas for H570 doesn't justify the investment when an entry level Z590 obtained locally will do the job, & they are very cheap atm + the bonus of more connectivity from that chipset.
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#42
seth1911
caroline.vRemember the K i3 chips? those were fun to OC... I'm guessing those won't be making a comeback ever again.
it was useless with the high prices for Z Board. U could get a I5 8600 and H/B Board for the same price.

I times like now i dont wanna buy a K CPU + Z Board, its totally useless. How much can u OC a K against a non K maybe 8% from 5 GHz to 5,4GHz :laugh:
Its cheaper to buy the Non K a good H/B Board and set the Turbo Core to allways on ire the powerlimit to max.


In the past like 775/1156 u did not need a K Cpu u could a 2,4GHz CPU OC to 4GHz via FSB/BCLK.
1156 was an insane Socket with a i5 650 stock 3,2 GHz OC up to 4.9 GHz.
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