Intel has finally unveiled the much-awaited Alder Lake 12th Gen CPU lineup. The company has been quite secretive about the same and the leaks have made gamers and other professional users really excited for the launch. The day is finally here where the company has dropped its new Intel Core i9, Core i7 and Core i5 CPUs for gaming, workstation and enthusiast desktop PCs.
The new lineup of CPUs comprises six new models, all of which are unlocked and overclockable. With the new set of processors, the company has introduced major architectural changes and this is one of the biggest updates in the Intel CPU space in years. The new Intel platform also brings support for the new DDR5 RAM and the PCIe 5.0 interconnect standard.
With the new Intel 12th Gen CPUs, the company has a mix of two different core types, which Intel is calling ‘Performance Hybrid Architecture'. Now, all the 12th Gen Intel CPUs will be manufactured on the new 10nm Enhanced SuperFin Intel 7 process.
At the launch, Intel has only announced the availability of 12th Gen CPUs desktop PCs and they are yet to announce the mobile versions of the same for consumer laptops. However, the company said that it will soon be launching additional desktop CPU models in early 2022.
How much does Intel 12th Gen cost?
Intel has announced that the new 12th Gen range starts at USD 264 (roughly Rs. 20,000) for the Core i5-12600KF and the range goes all the way up to USD 589 (roughly Rs 43,000) for the top-of-the-line Core i9-12900K. The aforementioned prices are per 1000 units, and these might not be the exact prices for the retail customer. Official India pricing of the same is yet to be announced.
It is also worth noting that in order to experience the 12th Gen Alder Lake Intel CPUs, you will not only need the processor but you will also need an LGA1700 socket based Z690 motherboard. Adding on to the true Alder Lake experience, you will also need to shell out some cash on DDR5 memory.
Intel’s previous Tiger Lake CPUs came with ‘Willow Cove’ cores and as a successor to that, the company has introduced the new 'Golden Cove' Performance (P) cores. The 12th Gen desktop Core i9 CPUs feature 16 cores (8 P + 8 E), Core i7 features 12 cores (8 P + 4 E) and the Core i5 models have 10 cores (6 P + 4 E).
As the name suggests, the P cores are intended to handle high-impact lightly threaded workloads. As for the background tasks and more multi-threaded tasks, they can be shifted to the Efficiency ‘E’ cores. The P cores will also benefit from Hyper-Threading, which will allow two threads to run simultaneously, but E cores do not. In order to balance out the workload and ensure the right task is assigned to the right core, the company has developed a new dynamic scheduler called Thread Director. The new dynamic scheduler is available on Windows 11 and Intel says that the performance of the Intel 12th Gen processors will not be as optimised on Windows 10 or other operating systems.
Intel has also given each P core its own L2 cache, while clusters of four E cores share their L2 caches. All of these then feed into a common L3 cache, allowing for quick transfers of data and low latency in workloads.
Furthermore, the company has introduced Intel UHD 770 graphics which will come integrated into all 12th Gen CPUs without the F suffix.
Intel 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs will use the new Z690 platform controller, which has a larger LGA1700 socket. With the new platform, the 12th Gen Intel CPUs will be the first to use DDR5 RAM, with official support going up to 128GB (dual-channel) at 4800MT/s with XMP 3.0 profiles.
Intel has also added support for DDR4-3200 RAM but it will depend on the motherboard, which standard it will support. Also, the new 12th Gen CPUs support up to 16 lanes of PCIe 5.0, doubling the bandwidth of PCIe 4.0.
Intel describes the new Core i9-12900K processor as “the world's best gaming processor” and the company claims that the new processor will bring a significant boost in performance over the octa-core Core i9-11900K. The Core i9-12900K can run at up to 5.2GHz. The base and peak power ratings for the same are 125W and 241W, respectively.