Monday, December 6th 2021

Intel Prepares Raptor Lake Designs With 24 Cores and 32 Threads, More E-Cores This Time

With the launch of Intel's Alder Lake processors, Intel has switched from a homogeneous to a heterogeneous design of processors, where smaller, high-efficiency cores are mixed with high-performance cores to create a highly efficient and high-performance processor for all kinds of workloads. And it seems like Intel is not over with adding more E-cores to its future products, as the latest leaks suggest. According to the BAPCO's Crossmark benchmark database, Intel's upcoming Raptor Lake processors will feature more E-cores than the high-performance P-cores in the SoC design. As to why this design choice is present, we are not sure and don't have a definitive answer.

E-Cores are suitable for background tasks, and adding more would potentially leave space for P-cores to do heavier workloads. In the benchmark submission, which is now offline, the samples used were a configuration with eight P-cores and sixteen E-cores. Since the big cores are hyperthreaded, it makes up for a total composition of 24 cores with 32 threads. The platform "RPL-S ADP-S DDR5 UDIMM OC CRB" was used with DDR5-4800 memory, indicating an early stage engineering sample with a probably unfinished memory controller. The Raptor Lake generation will also use LGA 1700 socket, DDR5 memory and be present in the desktop and mobile sector once it launches in Q4 of 2022. It will also use Intel's 7 semiconductor manufacturing process, similar to Alder Lake. The only difference with the next-generation design is the updated Raptor Cove core design that brings a significant IPC uplift.
Sources: Tom's Hardware, KOMACHI_ENSAKA (Twitter), via VideoCardz
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81 Comments on Intel Prepares Raptor Lake Designs With 24 Cores and 32 Threads, More E-Cores This Time

#1
Why_Me
Looks like Intel isn't taking its foot off the gas. Intel already owns the budget and high end consumer market.
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#2
Crackong
For the same 12 ringbus slots I would rather take 12 P-cores.
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#3
Garrus
Why_MeLooks like Intel isn't taking its foot off the gas. Intel already owns the budget and high end consumer market.
Intel has been behind for an entire year now. People literally say (like Dave2D) "too bad this laptop doesn't have AMD, it would have been worth buying". They don't own the market, the 5950x is still faster in productivity for example, AMD just needs a small price drop eventually when stock is more available.

Personally I'm not impressed with the e-cores in my 12700k. I'd rather have more P cores. I don't think the P cores use too much energy at reasonable clock speeds. In fact I was using all cores at 4.5ghz and only 120 watts. Plenty of room for 16 P cores at 250W. I don't find E cores compelling in a desktop. They only work well in the most ideal situations (like Cinebench). As long as E cores are cheap I suppose they make sense, but I'm not paying a lot for them. I don't think the i9 makes any sense. I would have bought a 12 P core i9 though. Not an 8.
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#4
AlwaysHope
Looking forward to raptor lake, glad I didn't go with alder lake when moving from Zen+. Intel are not going to catch me out after my Lynnfield experience with them all those yrs ago again!
In the meantime, my rocket lake system is good enough for my gaming needs. Added benefit of maturing bios for my mobo & I'm finding even more OC headroom for the ram kits I have atm + the ease with which Intel extreme tuning app in windows for rocket lake is a great piece of software imo. The IMC on rocket lake is fantastic if tuned well!
2nd gen DDR5 IMC with raptor lake should be something certainly nice to look forward too in combo with the increase in ipc of its P-cores. :)
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#5
watzupken
If Raptor Lake comes with the same Golden Cove P-Cores, I don't think adding more E-Cores will give it a big boost in performance. In cases where more cores is better, we may see some improvement. So this is more like a product for Intel to fend off AMD's quest to increase more cores. Alder Lake offers very good performance mainly because of the significant improvement from the Golden Cove cores, and those E-cores are just to prop up multicore performance as compared to AMD's Zen 3.
GarrusIntel has been behind for an entire year now. People literally say (like Dave2D) "too bad this laptop doesn't have AMD, it would have been worth buying". They don't own the market, the 5950x is still faster in productivity for example, AMD just needs a small price drop eventually when stock is more available.

Personally I'm not impressed with the e-cores in my 12700k. I'd rather have more P cores. I don't think the P cores use too much energy at reasonable clock speeds. In fact I was using all cores at 4.5ghz and only 120 watts. Plenty of room for 16 P cores at 250W. I don't find E cores compelling in a desktop. They only work well in the most ideal situations (like Cinebench). As long as E cores are cheap I suppose they make sense, but I'm not paying a lot for them. I don't think the i9 makes any sense. I would have bought a 12 P core i9 though. Not an 8.
If you ask me, all of Intel's products over the last few years are ok with power consumption. The problem is Intel is pushing the clockspeed very hard just to try and compete, and/or, retain their performance crown. Unfortunately, this is the same even for Alder Lake.

As to how much power the chip consumes, it really depends on the workload. I believe if you really push the cores hard, the power consumption will increase drastically, especially when you allow the chip to run infinite PL2 under load. I suspect 120W applies when you leave it to the Intel's recommended boost timing.
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#6
TheGuruStud
AlwaysHopeLooking forward to raptor lake, glad I didn't go with alder lake when moving from Zen+. Intel are not going to catch me out after my Lynnfield experience with them all those yrs ago again!
In the meantime, my rocket lake system is good enough for my gaming needs. Added benefit of maturing bios for my mobo & I'm finding even more OC headroom for the ram kits I have atm + the ease with which Intel extreme tuning app in windows for rocket lake is a great piece of software imo. The IMC on rocket lake is fantastic if tuned well!
2nd gen DDR5 IMC with raptor lake should be something certainly nice to look forward too in combo with the increase in ipc of its P-cores. :)
Zen 4 is going to have up to 50% perf increase with the stacked cache models. Intel isn't even on the radar.
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#7
Crackong
GarrusIntel has been behind for an entire year now. People literally say (like Dave2D) "too bad this laptop doesn't have AMD, it would have been worth buying". They don't own the market, the 5950x is still faster in productivity for example, AMD just needs a small price drop eventually when stock is more available.

Personally I'm not impressed with the e-cores in my 12700k. I'd rather have more P cores. I don't think the P cores use too much energy at reasonable clock speeds. In fact I was using all cores at 4.5ghz and only 120 watts. Plenty of room for 16 P cores at 250W. I don't find E cores compelling in a desktop. They only work well in the most ideal situations (like Cinebench). As long as E cores are cheap I suppose they make sense, but I'm not paying a lot for them. I don't think the i9 makes any sense. I would have bought a 12 P core i9 though. Not an 8.
The primary reason they went for P/E-core config is current Intel ringbus architecture maxed out at 12 slots for CPU cores per ring
As demonstrated in the Xeon e5 v4 series.
And exactly the reason why they went for mesh architecture.

So they've made this P/E-core config to get "16 cores" within the architectural limit.
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#8
phanbuey
I like the e cores after having used them. Maybe in the perfect no crapware or background apps bench setups used by reviews they don't make much sense, but for my use case they seem work great.

I've tested my max overclock on the 12600k at 5.4 ghz and 47 ring with e-cores off and my 24/7 5.3 ghz with 43 ring with e-cores on (overclocked to 4.3ghz) and having them on very noticeably eliminates intermittent stutters in cyberpunk and far cry 6. Could be just my setup but they seem to really work (especially because I'm too lazy to shut down all my background stuff).

Also I get 90% of 12700K multithread perf at ~186W which is pretty nice - not something 8 P cores by themselves can do afaik. 12900K with 10P cores would probably get lower multithreaded performance than current 12900k 8p/8e for 100W more draw, and 0 benefit in virtually any current real-world application.
TheGuruStudZen 4 is going to have up to 50% perf increase with the stacked cache models. Intel isn't even on the radar.
This is probably true. Stacked cache looks insane.
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#9
Lionheart
Why_MeLooks like Intel isn't taking its foot off the gas. Intel already owns the budget and high end consumer market.
Lmao no, I'd say maybe the budget market and mobile mindshare.
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#10
Turmania
I do think Intel are on the right path but for now I prefer Ryzen, But I`m not happy how AMD conducted themselves after taking the crown.
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#11
phanbuey
Guy on top is always going to be an @$$h**e.

Hoping they start leap-frogging each other and we get sweet gear for cheap.

If not for AMD coming up would still be sitting on quad cores (maybe 6 cores on the i7), and if not for Intel coming back the 6600X would have been a 6 core zen 4 that cost $450.
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#12
dicktracy
RPL extends the lead and Meteor Lake finishes off red team few months later. To make matters worse AMD has to decide how to make due with Samsung now that they’re getting booted out of TSMC.
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#13
AteXIleR
CrackongFor the same 12 ringbus slots I would rather take 12 P-cores.
Or 10 with additional 12 E-cores(or may even with 'only' 10).
Increase in the quantity of the stronger cores either way would make likely a bigger impact on performance.
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#14
Crackong
AteXIleROr 10 with an additional 12 E-cores(or may even with 'only' 10) Increase in the quantity of the stronger cores either way would make likely a bigger impact on performance.
They put 4 E-cores in a cluster so it will be 10+8 in your config.

Still, I would pick pure P-core config all-day.
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#15
Caring1
You forgot to add Windows Enterprise Edition was used for the testing.
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#16
Bubster
phanbueyI like the e cores after having used them. Maybe in the perfect no crapware or background apps bench setups used by reviews they don't make much sense, but for my use case they seem work great.

I've tested my max overclock on the 12600k at 5.4 ghz and 47 ring with e-cores off and my 24/7 5.3 ghz with 43 ring with e-cores on (overclocked to 4.3ghz) and having them on very noticeably eliminates intermittent stutters in cyberpunk and far cry 6. Could be just my setup but they seem to really work (especially because I'm too lazy to shut down all my background stuff).

Also I get 90% of 12700K multithread perf at ~186W which is pretty nice - not something 8 P cores by themselves can do afaik. 12900K with 10P cores would probably get lower multithreaded performance than current 12900k 8p/8e for 100W more draw, and 0 benefit in virtually any current real-world application.



This is probably true. Stacked cache looks insane.
at what voltage are you getting the 5.4 P 4.3 E?
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#17
londiste
CrackongFor the same 12 ringbus slots I would rather take 12 P-cores.
For what use case? Honestly curious. From what we have seen so far 8 fast cores works well enough for gaming - even more so when there are more cores available (fast or not) - and 16 E-cores are going to be both faster and more efficient than 4 P-cores on well-threaded production applications.
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#18
Bubster
I can't complain (although more P cores would be great), on my 12700kWith intel XTU I was able to get 5.5 Ghz on core 0 / 1- 5.4Ghz on on core 2/3- 5.3 Ghz on 4/5 - and 5.2 Ghz on cores 6/7 and 4.2 Ghz on the E cores, i couldn't get anything higher than 5.2 Ghz P and 4.2 on the E cores stable in the Bios, even with a great AIO cooler and generous voltage, keeping Ring and cache at just 4.5 Ghz. Still messing with it some more hoping to get some more speed out of it with a nice set of great Samsung B Die DDR4 overclocked to 4800 mhz on CL 18.
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#19
dyonoctis
londisteFor what use case? Honestly curious. From what we have seen so far 8 fast cores works well enough for gaming - even more so when there are more cores available (fast or not) - and 16 E-cores are going to be both faster and more efficient than 4 P-cores on well-threaded production applications.
I think that enthusiast are just generally pissed at the idea that they could have more P-core, especially when AMD is around. It doesn't matter If the 12900k can currently fight with the 5950x, they can't get out their head the idea that "it could have been so much faster with 16 P cores" even if the power consumption would have gone up like crazy.
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#20
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
Yay, great, more e cores! :rolleyes: This sucks.

AMD need to give them a good kicking with all-performance cores then Intel will stop with these games.
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#21
Vya Domus
Alder Lake is already catastrophically power inefficient and they've decided the best thing is to add even more cores ?
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#22
stimpy88
I'll take this as confirmation of AMD putting 24 cores on the desktop next year, and Intel only able to answer with CPU cores from 8+ years ago.

24 Zen4 cores up against 8 Intel P cores, no chance. And we all know that AMD could put 32 cores on the desktop if it's needed.

It's also confirmation that Intel can't use more than 8 P cores, due to thermal limits. Oops Intel, looks like your new architecture is a hot bust.

I had to laugh when I saw LTT's Intel 12900 shill chiller video, that CPU was sucking down well over 420 Watts, and was still thermal throttling during the benchmark, whilst using a 3KW Aircon unit to cool it! They only got it to 5.3GHz all P core OC. The crappy E cores were at 4.2GHz I believe. Yes it performs well, but when you look at it, it's an architectural dead end, unless they can get it on a more advanced production node. Too hot, to power hungry.
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#23
Crackong
londisteFor what use case? Honestly curious. From what we have seen so far 8 fast cores works well enough for gaming - even more so when there are more cores available (fast or not) - and 16 E-cores are going to be both faster and more efficient than 4 P-cores on well-threaded production applications.
For all use cases.

Speaking about production applications.
Their CPU for production applications a.k.a Sapphire Rapids retains a pure P-core design.

I don't think intel's p+e-core design is ready for production applications right now.
Since they are not going to do it in the server market , hence lack of confidence / lack of optimization.

I won't put any risk running my production software on beta testing hardware and software, which this AlderLake +DDR5+WIN11 combo really is.
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#24
z1n0x
dicktracyRPL extends the lead and Meteor Lake finishes off red team few months later. To make matters worse AMD has to decide how to make due with Samsung now that they’re getting booted out of TSMC.
@dicktracy Thank you for my new signature. I've always wondered what put in there.
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#25
docnorth
dyonoctisI think that enthusiast are just generally pissed at the idea that they could have more P-core, especially when AMD is around. It doesn't matter If the 12900k can currently fight with the 5950x, they can't get out their head the idea that "it could have been so much faster with 16 P cores" even if the power consumption would have gone up like crazy.
Agreed, except maybe for the 12 P-core limit that @Crackong mentioned, but unfortunately the enthusiast DIY segment is too small to be a decisive factor. Besides the performance is here e.g. 1)for MT CPU applications and 2)for gaming + streaming Alder Lake has a huge architectural advantage (I guess AMD will fix this, but probably on the new architecture). For more than 8 cores (IF needed) I would also prefer 12 P-cores, but in reality I could only complain about MB and especially DDR5 pricing.
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