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Intel Core i5-12600K CPU-Z Scores Show 50% Higher Multi-Threaded Results Than i5-11600K

Intel's upcoming Alder Lake-S lineup of processors is shaping up to be a rather good generational improvement. With wonders of the Intel 7 process, previously called 10 nm Enhanced SuperFin (10ESF), the processor lineup will deliver new hybrid technology, mixing new big and small cores into one package. Today, some new CPU-Z validation tests have shown up for the Intel Core i5-12600K CPU, which directly replaces the previous Core i5-11600K Rocket Lake model. With six high-performance Golden Cove and four efficient Gracemont cores, the Core i5-12600K CPU is a ten-core design with 16 threads. And compared to the 6C/12T i5-12600K CPU, the performance is much higher.

According to CPU-Z scores, the new Alder Lake processor scored 7220 and 7156 points for a multi-threaded benchmark in two tests. Compare this to the previous-generation model, which scores 4731 points, and the new chip is almost 50% faster. According to CPU-Z, the new CPU achieved this while running at a boost frequency of 4.5 GHz to 4.7 GHz.

A Closer Look at the Intel Core i9-12900K Retail Package

Intel has had a little streak of quirky, over-the-top retail packages for its flagship desktop processors since the 9th Generation Core i9-9900K, which carries on into the 12th Gen with that of the Core i9-12900K. Overclocking.com posted a set of unboxing images. It's important to note here, that these are images of the retail i9-12900K, and not some special package sent to reviewers.

The package involves a hard paperboard hollow cube with two open sides. You undo a set of pull-tabs that are probably held together by factory seal, to pull out a pair of plastic stands holding what looks like a stack of silicon wafers in place. This decorative plastic canister is painted in gold-chrome and disperses colors like a fabricated wafer does. You open the two halves of this "wafer" to find your processor inside, with some Styrofoam cushioning. A separate compartment in the paperboard housing contains the documentation and a case-badge.

Retail Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K Pictured

Here are some of the clearest shots of retail (non-ES) production versions of the upcoming Intel Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K "Alder Lake-S" desktop processors. Posted to the web by "DDAA117" on Chinese social media Zhihu, the pictures reveal the long and slender packages, with their S-spec codes: SRL4H for the i9-12900K and SRL4T for the i5-12600K. Based on what we know from older reports, the i9-12900K maxes out the "Alder Lake-S" silicon, featuring all 8 P-cores, and 8 E-cores. The i5-12600K, on the other hand, features 6 P-cores and 4 E-cores. Other areas of segmentation between the two include clock speeds, and possibly boost algorithms. The chips will be open to pre-orders from October 27, and generally available from November 4.

GeIL DDR5 Memory Newegg Listing Indicates Heavy Early-Adopter Tax

Client-segment DDR5 memory is on the anvil, with Intel 12th Gen Core "Alder Lake-S" desktop processors that support them. It should come as little surprise then, that some of the first DDR5 memory kits will be outrageously pricey. One such product, a GeIL Polaris RGB DDR5-4800 2x 16 GB kit, saw an early listing on Newegg for $350. DDR5-4800 can be considered an entry-level memory speed (similar to DDR4-2400, when the DDR4 standard was new). DDR5 heralds 16 GB as the new mainstream module density, with "single rank" (two individual ranks for each of the two 40-bit channels per DIMM) being standard. 32 GB per DIMM will be the new premium density (four ranks, two each for the 40-bit channels per DIMM).

Given these, it's conceivable that the first DDR5 memory kits targeting gamers and PC enthusiasts will come with a heavy early-adopter premium. Luckily, the 12th Gen Core processors support both DDR5 and DDR4 memory standards, and there appears to have been a major attempt by Intel to get its motherboard partners to launch motherboards with DDR4 slots across a wide range of price-points, so people can keep using their existing memory, or buy the relatively more affordable memory kits out there. It remains to be seen just how much of a performance penalty using DDR4 attracts on the new processors.

Intel Core i5-12400 Could be the Next Price-Performance King, Beats Ryzen 5 5600X in Leaked Benchmarks

Intel's upcoming Core i5-12400 "Alder Lake-S" processor could be an interesting piece of silicon. Apparently, not all 12th Gen Core i5 desktop chips have the same core-configuration. While the top Core i5-12600K is expected to have six "Golden Cove" P cores and four "Gracemont" E-cores, some of the lower variants, such as the i5-12400, will lack E cores, and be pure P core chips. In this case, the chip is 6-core/12-thread with just P cores; 1.25 MB of dedicated L2 cache per core, and 18 MB of shared L3 cache. You'll probably get all the next-gen I/O, including PCI-Express Gen 5 (PEG slot), a PCI-Express Gen 4 CPU-attached NVMe slot, and DDR5+DDR4 memory.

Given that the Core i5-11400 is a $190 part, even with a 10-15% price hike, the i5-12400 is expected to be under $220. The only drawbacks here are expected to be locked BClk multiplier, and rather low clock speeds of 4.00 GHz. A user on Chinese social media posted alleged Cinebench R20 results of the i5-12400. It scores 659 points in the single-threaded test, and 4784 points in the multi-threaded test. Wccftech tabulated this against known performance numbers of popular chips, and found that the i5-12400 might end up slightly ahead of the Ryzen 5 5600X, a currently-$300 part. The table also puts out leaked i9-12900K numbers, which indicate why AMD is rushing with "Zen 3+" with 3D Vertical Cache, instead of next-gen "Zen 4."

Report: Intel Alder Lake-S to Launch on November 4th

Videocardz today reported on one of the fundamental questions regarding Intel's upcoming Alder Lake: its release date. According to the publication, and citing industry sources, Intel is planning to launch Alder Lake-S come November 4th, 2021. The 12th Gen family of Intel core processors can not come soon enough for the blue giant, who sees itself embattled against the David-like rise of AMD via its Zen architecture. Especially if they do materialize with a 27% single-thread performance improvement over Zen 3.

The release date was first originally referenced by an MSI press release regarding the availability of an upgrade kit for its MAG Coreliquid K and MPG Coreliquid X - both AIO solutions will require new mounting mechanisms for Alder Lake's LGA 1700 socket, and their release is pegged to November 4th as well - this prompted the industry insider sources to confirm the release date. According to WCCFTech, the actual release timeline for the announcement and pre-orders is set for October 27th, whilst the actual product launch and review embargo lifts on November 4th, which is the market availability date.

Intel Core i9-12900K "Alder Lake" Beats Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX at Cinebench R23 nT

An alleged Intel Core i9-12900K "Alder Lake-S" sample is shown beating the 32-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX HEDT processor at AMD's favorite benchmark, Cinebench R23, in its multi-threaded (nT) test. At this point it's not known whether the i9-12900K is overclocked, but the CPU-Z instance in the screenshot reads 5.30 GHz, which could very well be the processor's stock Thermal Velocity Boost frequency. The sample scored upward of 30000 points, putting it above the Threadripper 2990WX reference score in Cinebench.

The 2990WX is based on the "Zen+" microarchitecture, and released in 2018, but is a 32-core/64-thread chip that should have ripped through this rendering workload. The i9-12900K, on the other hand, has eight "Golden Cove" performance cores that have HyperThreading, in addition to 8 "Gracemont" efficiency cores that lack HTT. This benchmark was run on Windows 10, which lacks awareness of the Intel Thread Director, a hardware component that optimizes utilization of the two kinds of CPU cores. Windows 11 is known to feature better awareness of hybrid core architectures. The i9-12900K sample is possibly installed on a Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Ultra motherboard, and has 32 GB of DDR5-5200 memory (two modules, logically four 40-bit channels).

Possible Intel 12th Gen Core US Retail Pricing Leaked

US electronics retailer Provantage allegedly leaked the retail pricing of the upcoming Intel 12th Gen Core "Alder Lake-S" desktop processors. The list confirms that the company will only be debuting the unlocked "K" and "KF" SKUs in 2021, with locked 65 W SKUs joining in only in 2022. Pricing was put out for both boxed, as well are tray (per-piece) prices. The lineup begins with the Core i5-12600KF boxed processor at $261.77, a 6+4 core (P+E), 16-thread processor with 20 MB of L3 cache, and 4.90 GHz maximum boost frequency for the P cores. As a "KF" SKU, it lacks an iGPU. The i5-12600K, which has the same specs and an iGPU on top, is priced at $295.49.

The Core i7-12700KF and i7-12700K are 8+4 core (P+E), 20-thread chips with 25 MB of cache, and 5.00 GHz boost frequency. The two are differentiated by iGPU. The i7-12700KF is priced at $395.61, and the i7-12700K at $422.17. Leading the pack, are the Core i9-12900K and i9-12900KF, which max out the silicon, with 8+8 (P+E) core, 24-thread, and 30 MB of cache. These boost up to 5.20 GHz, but we've heard rumors of the Thermal Velocity Boost feature driving frequencies beyond this. The i9-12900KF is priced at $578.13, while the i9-12900K goes for $604.99. Tray pricing of these chips is more or less similar, with price difference being under $5. The boxed SKUs don't include a cooler, so from a bill-of-materials standpoint, this price difference only accounts for the paperboard box. Intel is expected to formally launch these chips in late-October (which is probably when reviews go live), with retail availability in mid-November.

ASUS Z690 Motherboard Lineup Hits Regulators, Mix of DDR5 and DDR4 Variants

A list of upcoming ASUS motherboards based on the Intel Z690 chipset hit the radar on the Euasian Economic Commission (EEC) website, and it's telling. Intel's upcoming "Alder Lake-S" 12th Gen Core desktop processors support both DDR5 and DDR4 memory, as they form a point of transition between the two memory standards. The company's 6th Gen Core "Skylake" technically supported DDR3, helping people move between it and the then new DDR4, but motherboard vendors mostly avoided DDR3 slots. This time, the stakes are different, as component prices are on the boil, and the company would want to avoid placing the additional burden of new memory on people with DDR4 memory kits. This reflects on the ASUS motherboard lineup.

The lineup consists of the usual, predictable list of ROG Maximus, ROG Strix, TUF Gaming, Prime, and ProArt series SKUs, but what's noteworthy is that many of these come with the extension "D4," denoting DDR4 memory slots. For example, something like the Prime Z690-A comes in two variants, the standard one with DDR5 slots, and the "D4" variant with DDR4. It's interesting to note here, that the top-of-the-line ROG Maximus XIV series lacks any D4 variant, which means they'll remain DDR5-exclusive. We can't tell just from the names whether any of these models features both DDR5 and DDR4 slots; but one can definitely expect other brands such as ASRock to come up with such crazy contraptions.

Possible Intel 12th Gen Core Pricing Leaked, i9-12900K Costs 741€

The top Intel 12th Gen Core "Alder Lake-S" 8+8 (P+E) cores processor will cost 741€ including taxes, according to a leaked document revealing retail channel prices of various upcoming 12th Gen Core desktop processors. It also speaks of the i9-12900KF, the "almost-flagship" part that comes with a disabled iGPU, going for up to 708€ (incl taxes).

The Core i7-12700K, the 8+4 (P+E) cores part that lacks Thermal Velocity Boost, will go for up to 524€ (incl taxes). Its "KF" twin will be about 20€ cheaper. The mid-tier Core i5-12600K processor (6 P-cores and 4 E-cores), is going for up to 365€. Not long ago, this was the roughly the price of Intel's top mainstream-desktop processors (such as the i7-7700K). The iGPU-devoid i5-12600KF will go for 333€. Intel is expected to debut its 12th Gen Core desktop processors and compatible Socket LGA1700 motherboards in Q4-2021, along the sidelines of the Windows 11 launch. The first wave of processors are expected to only be unlocked K or KF parts, with locked ones only arriving in early Q1-2022.

No PCIe Gen5 for "Raphael," Says Gigabyte's Leaked Socket AM5 Documentation

AMD might fall behind Intel on PCI-Express Gen 5 support, say sources familiar with the recent GIGABYTE ransomware attack and ensuing leak of confidential documents. If you recall, AMD had extensively marketed the fact that it was first-to-market with PCI-Express Gen 4, over a year ahead of Intel's "Rocket Lake" processor. The platform block-diagram for Socket AM5 states that the AM5 SoC puts out a total of 28 PCI-Express Gen 4 lanes. 16 of these are allocated toward PCI-Express discrete graphics, 4 toward a CPU-attached M.2 NVMe slot, another 4 lanes toward a discrete USB4 controller, and the remaining 4 lanes as chipset-bus.

Socket AM5 SoCs appear to have an additional 4 lanes to spare than the outgoing "Matisse" and "Vermeer" SoCs, which on higher-end platforms are used up by the USB4 controller, but can be left unused for the purpose, and instead wired to an additional M.2 NVMe slot on lower-end motherboards. Thankfully, memory is one area where AMD will maintain parity with Intel, as Socket AM5 is being designed for dual-channel DDR5. The other SoC-integrated I/O, as well as I/O from the chipset, appear to be identical to "Vermeer," with minor exceptions such as support for 20 Gbps USB 3.2x2. The Socket has preparation for display I/O for APUs from the generation. Intel's upcoming "Alder Lake-S" processor implements PCI-Express Gen 5, but only for the 16-lane PEG port. The CPU-attached NVMe slot, as well as downstream PCIe connectivity, are limited to PCIe Gen 4.

Intel Golden Cove P-Core Offers 19% IPC Gain Over Cypress Cove (Rocket Lake)

The 8 "Golden Cove" performance cores (P-cores) present on 12th Gen "Alder Lake-S" desktop processors offer an IPC gain of 19% over the "Cypress Cove" cores powering current 11th Gen "Rocket Lake-S" processors, claims Intel. This would put them at roughly 35% higher IPC than the "Skylake" cores that powered Intel client desktop processors until as recently as 2020, with the 10th Gen "Comet Lake." This 19% number, however, is presented as a geomean of performance improvement at iso-frequency, across a wide selection of tests that include SPEC CPU 2017, SYSmark 25, Crossmark, PCMark 10, WebXPRT3, and Geekbench 5.4.1.

The high IPC of the P-cores, coupled with the high rumored frequencies for the enthusiast i9-12900K part running well into 5.30 GHz or beyond, begins to explain how 8 of these "Golden Cove" cores, coupled with 8 fairly fast "Gracemont" cores, closes in on the 16-core AMD Ryzen 9 5950X at Cinebench R20.

Intel's Secret Sauce at Catching Up with AMD Core Count is the Gracemont E-core and its Mind-boggling Perf/Watt

When early benchmarks of the Core i9-12900K "Alder Lake-S" processor showing performance comparable to AMD's top 16-core Ryzen 9 5950X surfaced, we knew something was up. 8 Intel P-cores and 8 E-cores, are able to match 16 "Zen 3" cores that are all performance cores. Apparently Intel is able to turn its P-core deficit around by taking a wacky approach. First, the 8 "Golden Cove" P-cores themselves offer significantly higher IPC than "Zen 3." Second, the 8 "Gracemont" E-cores aren't as "slow" as conventional wisdom would suggest.

Intel in its Architecture Day presentation put out some astounding numbers that help support how 8 big + 8 little cores are able to perform in the league of 16 AMD big cores. Apparently, on "Alder Lake-S," the 8 "Gracemont" E-cores enjoy a lavish power budget, and are able to strike an incredible performance/Watt sweet-spot. Intel claims that the "Gracemont" E-core offers 40% higher performance at ISO power than a "Skylake" core (Intel's workhorse P-core for desktops until as recently as 2020); which means it consumes 40% less power at comparable performance.

Intel "Alder Lake" Silicon Variants Detailed—Reunification of the Product Lines

The 12th Gen Core "Alder Lake" microarchitecture will see Intel unify its desktop- and mobile processor IP, back to the way things were up to the 9th Gen. With its post-14 nm silicon fabrication nodes in their infancy, Intel had diverged the client processor IP across its 10th and 11th Gen Core. With 10th Gen, the company introduced "Ice Lake" for ultra-portable platforms (28 W and below), while retaining 14 nm "Comet Lake" for mainstream notebooks (28 W to 45 W); while keeping desktop exclusively with 14 nm "Comet Lake." For 11th Gen, the story is mostly similar. Cutting-edge 10 nm "Tiger Lake" now covers all mobile categories, while desktop receives an IPC upgrade, thanks to the 14 nm "Rocket Lake." The 12th Gen will see a common microarchitecture, "Alder Lake," span across all client segments, from 7 W ultra mobile, to 125 W enthusiast desktop.

This, however, doesn't mean that Intel has a one-size fits all silicon that it can carve SKUs out of. The company has developed as many as three physical dies based on "Alder Lake," which vary in CPU core counts, the size of the iGPU, and other on-die components. "Alder Lake" is a hybrid processor with a combination of larger "Golden Cove" P-cores, and smaller "Gracemont" E-cores. The P-cores are spatially large, and along with their L3 cache slices, take up a large share of the compute portion of the silicon. The E-cores come in clusters of 4 cores each.

Intel's "Alder Lake" Desktop Processor supports DDR4+DDR5, (only few) PCIe Gen 5 and Dynamic Memory Clock

Intel will beat AMD to next-generation I/O, with its 12th Generation Core "Alder Lake-S" desktop processors. The company confirmed that the processor will debut both DDR5 memory and PCI-Express Gen 5.0, which double data-rates over current-gen DDR4 and PCI-Express Gen 4, respectively. "Alder Lake-S" features a dual-channel DDR5 memory interface, with data-rates specced to DDR5-4800 MHz, more with overclocking, reaching enthusiast-grade memory attaining speeds in excess of DDR5-7200. Besides speed, DDR5 is expected to herald a doubling in density, with 16 GB single-rank modules becoming a common density-class, 32 GB single-rank being possible in premium modules; and 64 GB dual-rank modules being possible soon. Leading memory manufacturers have started announcing their first DDR5 products in preparation of "Alder Lake-S" launch in Q4-2021.

The memory controller is now able to dynamically adjust memory frequency and voltage, depending on current workload, power budget and other inputs—a first for the PC! This could even mean automatic "Turbo" overclocking for memory. Intel also mentioned "Enhanced Overclocking Support" but didn't go into further detail what that entails. While DDR5 is definitely the cool new kid on the block, Intel's Alder Lake memory controller keeps support for DDR4, and LPDDR4, while adding LPDDR5-5200 support (important for mobile devices). Just to clarify, there won't be one die support DDR5, and another for DDR4, no, all dies will have support for all four of these memory standards. How that will work out for motherboard designs is unknown at this point.

Intel Thread Director Makes "Alder Lake" Hybrid Architecture Work

Intel in its Architecture Day presentation Thread Director, a hardware component present on the "Alder Lake" silicon, which makes the Hybrid architecture of the processor work flawlessly. "Alder Lake-S" is the first desktop processor with two kinds of x86 CPU cores—the larger Performance P-cores, and the smaller Efficient E-cores, which work in a setup not unlike big.LITTLE by Arm.

The x86-based "Alder Lake" processor has a much more complex ISA, and the E-cores don't have all of the instruction sets or hardware capabilities that the P-cores do. The two cores operate at very different performance/Watt bands, and are optimized for vastly different workloads. At the same time, sending a workload to the wrong kind of core could not only impact performance, but also crash, due to an ISA mismatch. Intel realized that it will take a lot more than mere OS-level awareness to solve the problem, and so innovated the Thread Director.

Noctua Announces Free-of-charge Mounting Upgrades and Updated CPU Coolers for LGA1700

Noctua today announced that it will provide free-of-charge mounting upgrade kits for Intel's upcoming LGA1700 platform, enabling customers to keep using existing CPU coolers on the new 12th generation Intel Core CPUs (Alder Lake-S). Additionally, most of Noctua's current multi-socket cooler models will soon include LGA1700 mounting hardware and the popular NH-L9i low-profile coolers will come in new, dedicated LGA1700-revisions.

"We have offered free-of-charge mounting upgrade kits to our customers ever since AMD introduced AM2 in 2006, and we're proudly continuing this tradition with Intel's upcoming Amber Lake-S processors and the LGA1700 socket", says Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO). "Customers will be able to upgrade most Noctua CPU coolers since 2005 at no additional cost, so even 15-year-old coolers can be used on the latest processors!"

Intel Alder Lake-S to See Limited Launch of Enthusiast SKUs in 2021, Other Models Arrive 2022

Intel's 12th Generation Core "Alder Lake-S" desktop processor will see a limited launch in 2021, according to an Igor's Lab report. This will be restricted to PC enthusiast-relevant SKUs bearing the -K and -KF brand extensions, and compatible Socket LGA1700 motherboards based only on the top Z690 (Z590-successor) chipset. The series will ramp up to other (locked) models, along with more affordable chipset models (B560-successor), only by Q1-2022, on the sidelines of the 2022 International CES. Sources tell Igor's Lab that these select few models could be launched between October 25 and November 19.

Intel is expected to make several technological leaps over AMD with "Alder Lake-S." To begin with, it has the first hybrid core technology that combines high-performance "Golden Cove" cores with high-efficiency "Gracemont" cores, in a heterogenous multi-core setup comparable to Arm big.LITTLE. Next up, it is expected to debut the PCI-Express Gen 5 I/O, and DDR5 memory support. While PCIe 5.0 GPUs remain under development, the first devices to take advantage of it are expected to be NVMe SSDs, benefiting from 128 Gbps bandwidth (Gen 5 x4). It is also learned that the next-gen motherboards will retain the current ATX 24-pin + EPS power interface, and Intel won't force adoption of ATX12VO. The new ATX12VO standard increases motherboard costs as it essentially transfers DC-to-DC switching components from the PSU to the motherboard (12 V to 5 V; 12 V to 3.3 V, etc), and adds output connectors.

AMD Zen 4 and RDNA3 Confirmed for 2022, Zen 3 Refresh

AMD CEO Dr Lisa Su, in the company's Q2-2021 financial results call, confirmed that the company is on-track to launch the Zen 4 CPU microarchitecture and RDNA3 graphics architecture, in 2022. Zen 4 would herald the first major desktop platform change since the original Zen architecture, with the introduction of a new CPU socket, and support for DDR5 memory. The RDNA3 graphics architecture, meanwhile, is expected to nearly triple SIMD resources over the previous generation, and introduce even more fixed-function hardware for raytracing.

In the meantime, AMD is preparing a counter to Intel's 12th Gen Core "Alder Lake-S" processor, in the form of Zen 3 with 3D Vertical Cache, which is also being referred to as the Zen 3+ architecture. These processors feature additional last-level cache, and the company claims a 15% gaming performance uplift, which should help it close the gaming performance gap with Intel, and win on sheer core-count of its big cores. It remains to be seen if Zen 3+ remains on Socket AM4 or if it debuts AM5, as AMD will be under pressure to match "Alder Lake" in platform I/O, which includes DDR5. Dr Su also confirmed that AMD has started shipping the Instinct MI200 "Aldebaran" compute accelerator based on the CDNA2 architecture. AMD's first MCM GPU with two logic dies, "Aldebaran" takes the fight to NVIDIA's top A100 series compute accelerators, and has already scored wins with ongoing HPC/supercomputing projects.

Intel Core i9-12900K Allegedly Beats AMD Ryzen 9 5950X at Cinebench R20

With qualification samples of the upcoming Intel Core i9-12900K "Alder Lake-S" processors and companion Socket LGA1700 motherboards hitting the black-market, expect a deluge of benchmarks on social media. One such that stands out makes a fascinating claim that the i9-12900K beats AMD's current flagship Ryzen 9 5950X processor at Cinebench R20, which has been AMD's favorite multi-threaded benchmark. At stock speeds, with liquid cooling, the i9-12900K allegedly scores 810 points in the single-threaded test, and 11600 points in multi-threaded.

To put these numbers into perspective, a retail Ryzen 9 5950X scores 641 points in the single-threaded test, and 10234 points in multi-threaded, in our own testing. The i9-12900K is technically a 16-core processor, just like the 5950X, but half its cores are low-power "Gracemont." The "Alder Lake-S" chip appears to be making up ground on the single-threaded performance of the "Golden Cove" P-core, that's a whopping 25% higher than the "Zen 3" core on the 5950X. This is aided not just by higher IPC, but also the max boost frequency of 5.30 GHz for 1~2 cores, and 5.00 GHz "all-core" boost (for the P-cores).

Intel Core i9-12900K Qualification Samples Black-marketed for Roughly $1100

Qualification samples (QS) of Intel's upcoming Core i9-12900K "Alder Lake-S" desktop processors just hit the black market for the equivalent of roughly USD $1,064 to $1,157 (6,500 to 7,500 RMB), in China. The processor maxes out the 10 nm silicon, offering 8 "Golden Cove" P-cores, and 8 "Gracemont" E-cores, along with 30 MB of L3 cache, a dual-channel DDR5 memory interface, in a hybrid processor setup. You can bag yourself this QS, but you'll need to find a compatible motherboard. "Alder Lake-S" debuts the new LGA1700 socket, Intel's first major change in the physical dimensions of its mainstream-desktop CPU socket since 2009, mandating a cooler update.

Specs of Top Intel 12th Gen Core "Alder Lake-S" Processors Surface

Intel will debut its 12th Gen Core "Alder Lake-S" desktop processors either toward the end of 2021, or early 2022, introducing the LGA1700 socket, 600-series chipset, and more importantly, hybrid CPU core architecture to the desktop space. The 10 nm "Alder Lake-S" silicon features up to eight "Golden Cove" performance cores (P-cores), and up to eight "Gracemont" efficiency cores (E-cores), in a heterogenous CPU core setup rivaling Arm big.LITTLE. Specifications of the top Core i9, fairly-top Core i7, and mid-tier Core i5 parts were leaked to the web on Chinese social media.

The 12th Gen Core lineup will be led, predictably, by the Core i9-12900K, which succeeds the i9-11900K with a maxed out 8+8 (P+E) configuration, unlocked multipliers, the most cache, and the highest clock speeds. The P-cores ("Golden Cove" cores) are clocked up to 5.30 GHz (1-2 cores boost), and up to 5.00 GHz all-core / 8 cores; while the E-cores ("Gracemont" cores), are clocked up to 3.90 GHz (1-4 cores boost), with 3.70 GHz all-core / 8 cores boost. The total L3 cache on the silicon is 30 MB. The i9-12900K has a TDP of 125 W (PL1), with 228 W PL2. Intel will introduce several new overclocking features, including multiple memory gear ratios.

Intel Core i9-12900K Qualification Sample Reportedly Beats AMD Ryzen 9 5950X

The Intel Core i9-12900K is the companies upcoming flagship 12th Generation Alder Lake-S processor featuring a hybrid design with 8 high-performance cores and 8 high-efficiency cores. The qualification sample for the processor reportedly features a base clock of 3.9 GHz and a boost clock of 5.3 GHz which is less than initial rumors which claimed boost speeds could reach 5.5 GHz. The processor achieved a multi-core score of 11300 points in Cinebench R20 which is 800 points higher than AMD's flagship Ryzen 9 5950X. Intel's 12th Generation Alder Lake-S processors will be manufactured on the 10 nm Enhanced SuperFin node and will include support for PCIe 5.0 and DDR5. Intel is expected to announce the processors in Q3 2021 for a Q4 2021 release which will position them against AMD's upcoming V-Cache technology expected to arrive in early 2022.

AMD Socket AM5 Motherboards Arriving in 2022, Paves Way for Zen3 + 3DV Cache on AM4

AMD Socket AM5 motherboards are set to arrive in Q2-2022, according to PJ, the editor of Uniko's Hardware. This would mean that the Zen 3 + 3D Vertical Cache chiplet AMD CEO Dr Lisa Su showed off in her Computex keynote, could very well be built in the Socket AM4 package, compatible with existing motherboards. The prototype Dr Su showed off appeared Socket AM4, too. AMD claims that the 3D Vertical Cache feature, when paired with a "Zen 3" chiplet, improves gaming performance by a significant 15 percent, helping AMD catch up with Intel's "Rocket Lake-S" processor at gaming. Elsewhere across the landscape, PJ predicts that the Z690 chipset, which goes with "Alder Lake-S" processors in the LGA1700 package, will arrive by Q4 2021, with cost-effective chipsets such as the B660 and H610 in Q1-2022.

Intel "Raptor Lake" is a 24-core (8 Big + 16 Little) Processor

Intel's strategy toward increasing CPU core counts could be to dial up the counts of smaller low-power CPU cores, according to a "Moore's Law is Dead" leak about the next-generation "Raptor Lake" mainstream processor. The chip is said to have 8 larger high-performance cores, and a whopping 16 low-power cores. The eight bigger performance cores will be "Raptor Cove," the successor to "Golden Cove," featuring higher IPC and more instruction sets, although the report only references this as an enhancement to "Golden Cove." The sixteen smaller low-power cores, however, are expected to remain "Gracemont," carried over from "Alder Lake-S." The "Raptor Lake-S" processor is slated for a Holiday 2022 release, and being touted as a competitor to AMD's "Zen 4" based desktop processor.
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