Intel has finally announced their much awaited, 12th gen Alder CPUs, which are a landmark in the history of x86 CPUs. And if Intel’s numbers are anything to go by, both Apple and AMD should be sweating! Let’s dive right into the launches!
The new CPU launches
The Core i9-12900K, Core i7-12700K, and Core i5-12600K are three of the six models being released today, with the remaining three being the KF variants of the aforementioned models (the F signifies a lack of an integrated GPU).
Aside from the new architecture, the switch to a hybrid core design is the most notable aspect of this series of Intel CPUs. The Alder Lake design combines Performance-cores (P-cores) with Efficient-cores, rather than using several cores with virtually comparable performance (E-cores).
How these new “Hybrid Cores” work
In theory, this functions in the same manner that most modern smartphone and tablet processors, as well as Apple’s M-series desktop processors, do. When an application requires maximum performance, the P-cores handle the majority of the work, but if you have music playing in the background or any other low-level operation, the E-cores can handle it while using far less power than the performance cores.
Only the performance cores in these new processors are capable of multi-threading due to the way the CPU design is laid up. This means there are 8 P-cores and 8 E-cores on the 16-core i9-12900K, for a total of 24 threads. The 10-core i5-12600K, meanwhile, features 6 P-cores and 4 E-cores for a total of 16 threads.
New and better CPU power specifications
Intel is now specifying base, boost, and max clock rates for both the P-cores and the E-cores due to the split in core design. The P-cores on the 12900K, for example, have a 3.2GHz base speed, a 5.1GHz boost clock, and a 5.2GHz max clock. The E-cores, on the other hand, have a 2.4GHz base clock and a 3.9GHz boost clock.
The cache capacity has also been increased, with the i9 models getting a 30MB L3 cache, the i7 getting 25MB, and the i5 getting 20MB. The Intel UHD Graphics 770 is included in versions with an integrated GPU.
Intel is also introducing a new chipset, the Z690, to accompany these new processors. It will employ a new LGA1700 socket, which means the new motherboards and CPUs will only be compatible with each other for the time being.
DDR5 and PCI-E 5.0!
With native support for DDR5 4800 MT/s and higher rates unlocked via the new XMP 3.0 profiles, the new 12th Gen chips are the first to enable DDR5 memory. DDR4 memory is also supported by the processors, but not both DDR4 and DDR5 memory at the same time. You must purchase a motherboard that supports either DDR5 or DDR4 memory, and you can only utilise that memory with that motherboard.
The 12th Generation processors are also the first to enable PCIe 5.0. The CPU provides a total of 20 PCIe lanes, 16 of which are PCIe 5.0 and four of which are PCIe 4.0.
Performance improvements and benchmarks
In terms of performance, Intel claims that when compared against the Ryzen 9 5950X in 31 games, the new 12th Gen processors are now the world’s top gaming processors. The business also says that the new Intel chips perform better in terms of productivity than prior generations of Intel chips.
The Core i5-12600KF starts at $264 and goes up to $589 for the Core i9-12900K in the 12th Generation Intel Core CPUs. They are currently available for pre-order and will be available on November 4th, along with the new Z690 motherboards.