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Alder Lake Leak: Intel Core i9-12900K Offers 5.3GHz Boost Clock, Lower PL2

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Specs for Intel’s upcoming Alder Lake have leaked, and so they indicate a CPU that’s at the very least considerably extra power-efficient than its predecessors with out giving up any top-end clock. As all the time, all leaks must be taken as rumors, not details.

These leaks, from the Chinese language discussion board Zhihu, recommend the Core i9-12900Ok will match the 5.3GHz prime clock on the Core i9-11900Ok, with an all-core enhance frequency of 5GHz. The CPU’s PL1 is 125W and its PL2 is 228W. The PL1 worth is in step with different Intel processors at present in-market, whereas the PL2 of 228W is down considerably from the 250W of present Intel chips. This might point out that Intel has improved top-line energy consumption beneath load in contrast with its 14nm CPUs, although it’s additionally attainable that Intel tightened the specification for different functions.


One attention-grabbing side of Intel’s strategy to hybrid cores versus what Apple has proven is that Intel seems to be focusing on a lot larger clock speeds for its “little” cores. The 10nm(++) Gracemont cores will prime out between three.4GHz and three.9GHz. The truth that they clock 15 p.c larger on the top-end Intel half could possibly be a clue about the place the corporate expects efficiency differentiation to point out up in its product stack. Pushing up the clock on Gracemont offers Intel a bit of extra headroom on these cores earlier than transferring workloads over to Golden Cove.

Apple’s M1 tops out at simply 2GHz for its high-efficiency cores. The all-core enhance on Golden Cove is 1.28x larger than Gracemont, which implies the efficiency kick from transferring a workload to the “massive” cores ought to nonetheless be substantial. Golden Cove is anticipated to be ~1.2x larger IPC than Intel’s earlier big-core CPUs, whereas Gracemont is reportedly focusing on Skylake IPC. Really hitting Skylake IPC would make the efficiency hole between Gracemont and Golden Cove fairly small. Loads of individuals are nonetheless utilizing Skylake or earlier CPUs in on a regular basis methods, and Intel’s Kaby Lake, Espresso Lake, and related CPUs are all successfully Skylake as properly, architecturally talking.

It’s all the time dangerous to guess the efficiency a CPU will supply earlier than launch. Reviews have instructed Alder Lake may supply aggressive efficiency with AMD’s Ryzen 5950X. I’m not going to say this can not occur, however it will require a number of issues to be true. First, Intel would wish to completely nail each its IPC enhancements and its clock speeds. Alder Lake can’t afford to offer again any frequency in any respect to hit this type of uplift. Second, it must ship on the concept of Gracemont as a Skylake competitor. Third, it will want to have the ability to have interaction each its massive and its little cores concurrently whereas remaining inside its energy envelope.

We’ve seen each Intel and AMD ship 30-50 p.c efficiency enhancements in a single era earlier than, so I’m not going to name the concept preposterous, however Alder Lake will must be an distinctive CPU to supply competitors towards the 16-core Ryzen 5950X. Whereas the 2 chips are each technically 16-core, Alder Lake’s hybrid mannequin would sometimes be anticipated to supply higher energy effectivity and probably higher responsiveness, however not match AMD in top-end uncooked efficiency. Gracemont doesn’t help Hyper-Threading, so its skill to supply an extra kick is probably going a bit extra restricted than what we’d anticipate from one other eight “massive” cores.

Alder Lake is anticipated to debut in late 2021 or early 2022, relying on Intel’s launch schedule. Zen three CPUs with massive further swimming pools of L3 cache might arrive in market at roughly the identical time. It’s been implied that the extra L3 may supply a ~1.15x efficiency enhance for Zen three, permitting AMD to ship roughly one era’s price of enchancment on the identical clock, or doubtlessly providing extra power-efficient chips with equal efficiency to the earlier era at decrease clocks.

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