News Intel 12th-Gen Alder Lake Release Date, Benchmarks, Specifications, and All We Know

JayNor

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An article from tomshardware last year, "DDR5 Specification Released: Fast RAM With Built-In Voltage Regulators", states that a DDR5 LRDIMM supports up to 4TB memory, provided by stacked chips up to 16 levels.

I wonder if Alder Lake will support this amount.
 
I can't say I'm too fond of the BigLittle approach on Desktop CPUs..
Perhaps on Mobile, but I just don't get the benefit on desktop.
Maybe others feel differently.
Everybody thought that intel introducing BGA on desktop would mean that it would end up meaning all CPUs but it's only a small percentage for whatever niche intel thought that it would make sense for.

My guess is that this big.bigger is going to be the same thing, it's going to be in a few things where it makes some sense and everything else will be normal CPUs as we know them.
 

JayNor

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The Gracemont cores are also going in the Grand Ridge chips which will be the successor to the P5900 family base station chips.

Does their use in Alder Lake also suggest some plan by Intel to integrate more networking capabilities into their desktop chips?

For example, accelerated networking might fit into Intel's hybrid cloud plans.

This is an article showing a Grand Ridge slide leak ... 4x 100Gbe.

https://www.overclock3d.net/news/cpu_mainboard/intel_grand_ridge_architecture_leaked_with_ddr5_and_pcie_4_0/1
 
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hotaru.hino

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I can't say I'm too fond of the BigLittle approach on Desktop CPUs..
Perhaps on Mobile, but I just don't get the benefit on desktop.
Maybe others feel differently.
While the average home user may not see a point, this can be a pretty big deal for companies that employ thousands of computers in some form or fashion. Like say for example a server that's not really being used because of low demand. Rather than shut it down or put it in deep sleep and hope WoL gets it up, whatever apps and services that makes up the skeleton crew for said server can remain running on the lower power cores until power needs to ramp up again. There's the possibility of both a significant power saving and reducing downtime.

Though for me, I would really like to reduce my computer's idle/low power usage even further. I'm not hurting on my electric bill, but none the less, chipping off ounces can lead to pounds.
 

spongiemaster

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Everybody thought that intel introducing BGA on desktop would mean that it would end up meaning all CPUs but it's only a small percentage for whatever niche intel thought that it would make sense for.

My guess is that this big.bigger is going to be the same thing, it's going to be in a few things where it makes some sense and everything else will be normal CPUs as we know them.
Except Intel has already announced it as the architectural sequel to Rocket Lake and Tiger Lake. So unless Intel plans on releasing Alder Lake CPU's without the hybrid configuration, which is one of the major features they are promoting, or there is a surprise unannounced/leaked architecture for high performance desktops, it's not going to be a niche feature.

CES 2021: Intel Announces Four New Processor Families | Intel Newsroom

"Due in second half of 2021, Alder Lake will combine high-performance cores and high-efficiency cores into a single product. Alder Lake will also be Intel’s first processor built on a new, enhanced version of 10nm SuperFin and will serve as the foundation for leadership desktop and mobile processors that deliver smarter, faster and more efficient real-world computing."
 
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Intel's recent price adjustments have given Comet Lake a solid value proposition compared to AMD's Ryzen 5000 chips.
I've been rockin' an i7-4790K for over 5 years and the Zen3 processors were a big enticement to finally upgrade. Trouble was I couldn't find one at MSRP, or even close. So, with Comet Lake pricing being reduced, I opted for an i9-10850 on a Z490 MB. I am really happy with the results!

Wonder what will be available in 5 more years? By then I'll be 80 years old and might not care. 🆒

John
 
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Except Intel has already announced it as the architectural sequel to Rocket Lake and Tiger Lake. So unless Intel plans on releasing Alder Lake CPU's without the hybrid configuration, which is one of the major features they are promoting, or there is a surprise unannounced/leaked architecture for high performance desktops, it's not going to be a niche feature.

CES 2021: Intel Announces Four New Processor Families | Intel Newsroom

"Due in second half of 2021, Alder Lake will combine high-performance cores and high-efficiency cores into a single product. Alder Lake will also be Intel’s first processor built on a new, enhanced version of 10nm SuperFin and will serve as the foundation for leadership desktop and mobile processors that deliver smarter, faster and more efficient real-world computing."
From this article.
While this is no confirmation but it only makes sense.
There are also signs that some models will come with only the big cores active, which should perform exceedingly well in gaming.
 
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I can't say I'm too fond of the BigLittle approach on Desktop CPUs..
Perhaps on Mobile, but I just don't get the benefit on desktop.
Maybe others feel differently.
Its simple. AMDs cores are weaker than Intel thats why they can beat intel in multicore benchmark scores with 2X the core count in a given power budget. While Intel's big cores are substantially better at single core score. With Alderlake, Intel hopes to check mate AMD in both single core score (with Big core) as well as in multicore score with larger total compute power at roughly iso process technology.
 

spongiemaster

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From this article.
While this is no confirmation but it only makes sense.
Leaks from a while back showed the CPU's with no little cores were clustered at lower core counts. Intel will find a way to leverage those smaller cores for better overall performance, so while you may be able to buy an 8 core AL with no small cores, you're likely not going to want to. It would be like buying a highend CPU today without hyperthreading, except you'll be forgoing even more performance.

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/intel-alder-lake-already-looks-confusing-12-configurations-possible
 
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Its simple. AMDs cores are weaker than Intel thats why they can beat intel in multicore benchmark scores with 2X the core count in a given power budget. While Intel's big cores are substantially better at single core score. With Alderlake, Intel hopes to check mate AMD in both single core score (with Big core) as well as in multicore score with larger total compute power at roughly iso process technology.
Maybe you missed that amd 8 core 5980hs 35w is 2.5x faster than intel top tier 10nm 4 core at 25W(I am sure the real consumption is higher when boosting ) so who has weaker cores? How much power will intel need to increase their score with 250% to match 5980hs which isn't even the flagship? I guess they will need 12 cores and 80W+ for this. In single core intel lose again with much more power consumption, their cores are only better in sucking the battery.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kImqzdaTihE
 
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Leaks from a while back showed the CPU's with no little cores were clustered at lower core counts. Intel will find a way to leverage those smaller cores for better overall performance, so while you may be able to buy an 8 core AL with no small cores, you're likely not going to want to. It would be like buying a highend CPU today without hyperthreading, except you'll be forgoing even more performance.

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/intel-alder-lake-already-looks-confusing-12-configurations-possible
Yeah but not everybody buys the highest end CPUs.
If the ones with only big cores are cheaper than the ones that include the smaller cores and still perform better than 11th gen, they are going to be selling very well.

If intel has made a deal with MS to run the Xbox OS on the small cores while you are running windows then I can see them selling better than the ones without the small cores but that's basically the only thing I could see as a big selling point for the masses. (Deal with sony would never ever happen)
If you are just getting better multitasking or higher multithreaded results not enough people are going to care.
 

artk2219

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Yeah but not everybody buys the highest end CPUs.
If the ones with only big cores are cheaper than the ones that include the smaller cores and still perform better than 11th gen, they are going to be selling very well.

If intel has made a deal with MS to run the Xbox OS on the small cores while you are running windows then I can see them selling better than the ones without the small cores but that's basically the only thing I could see as a big selling point for the masses. (Deal with sony would never ever happen)
If you are just getting better multitasking or higher multithreaded results not enough people are going to care.
Why would Microsoft ever make that deal? Especially since it would screw over AMD, the company they've been partnering with for the last 10 years as their one stop shop for graphics, cores, and engineering help, you know, THOSE guys. Honestly I see it as a nice way for the OEM's to be like "we can sell you a brand new 20 core GAMING computer! For the low low price of $499!", and not mention that its 16 Atom cores and 4 Core I series cores (although to be honest in a virtual enviroment thats not the worst idea if you just run a bunch of lightweight VM's). My last thing is, whats the fascination with Apple's M1? Granted its a neat piece of kit and its fast for what it is, but why does it matter? Apple will never sell those cores or IP to anyone else. The only way to get it would be to buy a Mac, which comes with a whole load of other strings if you have a production environment running on something else.
 
Why would Microsoft ever make that deal? Especially since it would screw over AMD
They wouldn't, I was just saying that that's the amount of benefit it would take for people to pay more for a CPU with additional smaller cores if the same CPU without them would be cheaper.

On the other hand AMD is severely under supplying them with CPUs for the xbox and microsoft is showing signs of their store (digital sales) being more important to them than their consoles.
But it is way too much of a security risk to ever happen.
 

hotaru.hino

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Honestly I see it as a nice way for the OEM's to be like "we can sell you a brand new 20 core GAMING computer! For the low low price of $499!", and not mention that its 16 Atom cores and 4 Core I series cores
System builders and OEMs can ask for that if they have enough cash to dangle in front of the manufacturers. There's plenty of weird hardware that exists solely because someone with a lot of cash asked for it.

My last thing is, whats the fascination with Apple's M1? Granted its a neat piece of kit and its fast for what it is, but why does it matter? Apple will never sell those cores or IP to anyone else. The only way to get it would be to buy a Mac, which comes with a whole load of other strings if you have a production environment running on something else.
It's not just the M1. Hardware enthusiasts have had a fascination with Apple's CPUs since the A4. The fact that they built something that's at least one or two generations ahead of everyone else consistently is something worthy of poking and prodding. And a lot of analysis points to the hardware itself being that much better, not a happy marriage between the hardware and software (though that helps a lot too).
 
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artk2219

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System builders and OEMs can ask for that if they have enough cash to dangle in front of the manufacturers. There's plenty of weird hardware that exists solely because someone with a lot of cash asked for it.


It's not just the M1. Hardware enthusiasts have had a fascination with Apple's CPUs since the A4. The fact that they built something that's at least one or two generations ahead of everyone else consistently is something worthy of poking and prodding. And a lot of analysis points to the hardware itself being that much better, not a happy marriage between the hardware and software (though that helps a lot too).
Oh no I agree that it is definitely a neat piece of hardware, but I see it more as something to emulate or compete against since Apple will never sell it as a separate product, as such to compare it against other hardware that is discrete , is kind of comparing apples to oranges, but thats just me i guess. As for weird discrete hardware, there is that motherboard with the cpu socket on the back that gamers nexus covered (kind of neat honestly), or a motherboard with 20 usb ports, all sorts of stuff, youre right theres some neat stuff out there.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chNM_nntwKU

 
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They wouldn't, I was just saying that that's the amount of benefit it would take for people to pay more for a CPU with additional smaller cores if the same CPU without them would be cheaper.

On the other hand AMD is severely under supplying them with CPUs for the xbox and microsoft is showing signs of their store (digital sales) being more important to them than their consoles.
But it is way too much of a security risk to ever happen.
I don't think AMD is doing that on purpose. Sony is also dealing with supply constraints with AMD.
 
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I can't say I'm too fond of the BigLittle Facetime on PC approach on Desktop CPUs..
Perhaps on Mobile, but I just don't get the benefit on desktop.
Maybe others feel differently.
Organizations that utilize a large number of PCs in some structure or design. Like say for instance a worker that is not actually being utilized as a result of low interest. Instead of shut it down or put it in profound rest and expectation WoL gets it up, whatever applications and administrations that makes up the skeleton group for said worker can stay running on the lower power centers until power needs to increase once more.
 
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InvalidError

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I can't say I'm too fond of the BigLittle approach on Desktop CPUs..
You may not see the point of having low-power efficient cores on ONE desktop but you need to keep in mind that Intel will likely be selling over 50M of those over the SKUs' market life and collectively, if big-little saves 10W per system on average by leaving the high-power cores in power-down state when not needed, that's going to be many GWh/year less in global power consumption vs not doing it.
 
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An article from tomshardware last year, "DDR5 Specification Released: Fast RAM With Built-In Voltage Regulators", states that a DDR5 LRDIMM supports up to 4TB memory, provided by stacked chips up to 16 levels.

I wonder if Alder Lake will support this amount.
No way...

Intel will do as it always does and nerf this and other features so as to not cannibalise it's HEDT and Server CPU's and platform sales.
 
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Its simple. AMDs cores are weaker than Intel thats why they can beat intel in multicore benchmark scores with 2X the core count in a given power budget. While Intel's big cores are substantially better at single core score. With Alderlake, Intel hopes to check mate AMD in both single core score (with Big core) as well as in multicore score with larger total compute power at roughly iso process technology.
In AVX512 yes, and a handful of other things, yes. Overall though, AMD and Intel are pretty much neck and neck in performance with the same number of cores.

This is IMHO a way for Intel to add "moar coarz" to their CPU's as cores sell CPU's like MHz does, they can also claim low power, and they can design their faster cores to excel at things like Games to keep (expand) their market share in gaming (and everything else where benchmarks sell CPU's.
They wouldn't, I was just saying that that's the amount of benefit it would take for people to pay more for a CPU with additional smaller cores if the same CPU without them would be cheaper.

On the other hand AMD is severely under supplying them with CPUs for the xbox and microsoft is showing signs of their store (digital sales) being more important to them than their consoles.
But it is way too much of a security risk to ever happen.
Strictly speaking it is TSMC (and soon Samsung) that are providing the CPU's for the XBox and PS5, and you bet that Microshaft and Sony were in the room with AMD and TSMC whilst they were sorting out the entire design and fabbing processes (although Microshaft and Sony would not be in the same room at the same time).

MS and Sony have for a long time made a loss on their consoles because they make massive margins and profit on the Software, very much like with inkjet printers, and are now moving their console users into other markets with their "stores" for added market share and profit whilst using the consoles as a conduit to the customers wallet.
 
Intel's Alder Lake brings disruptive new architectures and reportedly supports features like PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 that leapfrog AMD and Apple in connectivity technology, but the new chips come with significant risks.
I wouldn't really say PCIe 5 and DDR5 are "leapfrogging" AMD. There might be some Alder Lake notebooks on the market before the end of the year, but it seems less likely that Alder Lake desktop chips will be available until early next year. AMD will likely have their own new DDR5 platform launching around the same time, or not long thereafter.

And considering even PCIe 4 doesn't really provide any tangible benefits to desktop PCs at this time, outside of certain specialized usage scenarios, PCIe 5 might be limited to server platforms. On desktops, it would likely just make motherboards more expensive to manufacture while not offering much in return. And again, even if Intel did support it on their mainstream platforms, AMD might as well.

As for the "BigLittle" architecture, it's probably more beneficial to notebooks, where running things on the Atom cores could result in longer battery run-times, while still offering better performance when needed. From a performance perspective, I wouldn't expect it to do too much on desktop systems, but if desktop computers drew less power at idle by shutting down the performance cores, that could save power, and over the course of a few years, those efficiency cores might pay for themselves. They might also assist at improving performance in certain heavily-multithreaded tasks, though whether it would be more beneficial to dedicate that silicon to additional performance cores remains to be seen.

The listed product lineup seems like a mess though, at least if they don't narrow it down for consumer-facing parts. Determining how many small cores might be beneficial to someone could be a bit vague, as well as whether they might be better served by a processor with more big cores instead.
 

InvalidError

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And considering even PCIe 4 doesn't really provide any tangible benefits to desktop PCs at this time, outside of certain specialized usage scenarios
Well, for PC gamers on a budget, PCIe 4.0x16 would make GPUs faster than the RX5500 and GTX1650S still viable with only 4GB of VRAM while incidentally making them unusable for ETH and other memory-hard crypto-mining. If AMD and Nvidia genuinely want to throw desperate gamers a bone, they need to launch those.
 
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On desktops, it would likely just make motherboards more expensive to manufacture while not offering much in return. And again, even if Intel did support it on their mainstream platforms, AMD might as well.
Well said.

The benefits of PCI-E 4 are largely on paper, the difference for GPU performance is pretty small and for SSD's it is in benchmarks.

Benchmarks sell stuff though, as does having a bigger number to advertise Vs competitors even if there is no actual real world performance increase outside of niche uses and of course the server market (which is not being discussed here).

Saying that, with the next generation of CPU's, GPU's and DDR-5, plus companion technology and software, I expect that PCI-E 5 to make much bigger gains than PCI-E 4 has done over PCI-E 3. These gains almost certainly won't be realised in the first iteration of the next generation of desktop PC technology, but time will tell.
 

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