News Leaker Allegedly Exposes Alder Lake's Inner Workings

ingtar33

Illustrious
i'd take most of that with a giant teaspoon of salt.

looks like a lot of nonsense to me. 300,000 units at launch? that's a paper launch pure and simple. no one will see those chips till july if that's the initial product launch.
 

Giroro

Honorable
Jan 22, 2015
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"As we already know, Alder Lake will only shine on Windows 11 with the new hardware scheduler. In Windows 10, programs and games will only work the Gracemont cores. Games that have been optimized for Windows 11 will put the Gracemont cores to sleep so the Golden Cove cores will have exclusive access to the large L3 cache."

That...can't be right.
Were they trying to say that Games in windows 10 will use only the (up to) 8 big cores, and that Games in windows 11 will use only the 8 big cores plus a bit of extra cache?

If so, intel is making a mistake to give lower performance to Windows 10, given how bad Windows 11 looks.
Also, would that behavior really be limited to games? How would the windows scheduler know the difference between a game and any other program?
 
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spongiemaster

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Dec 12, 2019
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"As we already know, Alder Lake will only shine on Windows 11 with the new hardware scheduler. In Windows 10, programs and games will only work the Gracemont cores. Games that have been optimized for Windows 11 will put the Gracemont cores to sleep so the Golden Cove cores will have exclusive access to the large L3 cache."

That...can't be right.
Were they trying to say that Games in windows 10 will use only the (up to) 8 big cores, and that Games in windows 11 will use only the 8 big cores plus a bit of extra cache?
Yea, I think they goofed that one up. They make it sound like the Golden Cove cores won't be used in Windows 10 which is obviously not correct. It's also an inaccurate statement to claim that Alder Lake requires Windows 11 to be properly utilized. Only the Alder Lame models that utilize big little will benefit from Windows 11's new scheduler. We know there is going to be 8+0 and 6+0 models and likely a 4+0 down the line. All of those should perform similarly in Windows 10 as they do in 11.
 
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JamesJones44

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Jan 22, 2021
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i'd take most of that with a giant teaspoon of salt.

looks like a lot of nonsense to me. 300,000 units at launch? that's a paper launch pure and simple. no one will see those chips till july if that's the initial product launch.
Sadly, that's par for the course lately though. You couldn't get your hands on a 5900x or 5950x until summer despite launching in October of last year, even the 5600x took into 21 before you could get it at retail pricing. Even worse if you throw Ampere into the mix, though that dynamic is a little different with mining.
 

JamesJones44

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Jan 22, 2021
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"As we already know, Alder Lake will only shine on Windows 11 with the new hardware scheduler. In Windows 10, programs and games will only work the Gracemont cores. Games that have been optimized for Windows 11 will put the Gracemont cores to sleep so the Golden Cove cores will have exclusive access to the large L3 cache."

That...can't be right.
Were they trying to say that Games in windows 10 will use only the (up to) 8 big cores, and that Games in windows 11 will use only the 8 big cores plus a bit of extra cache?

If so, intel is making a mistake to give lower performance to Windows 10, given how bad Windows 11 looks.
Also, would that behavior really be limited to games? How would the windows scheduler know the difference between a game and any other program?
They mentioned the games would have to be updated for Windows 11, if true it's probably an instruction to enter "big core only" mode. Not unlike using SSE instructions.

I think it is odd as well though, I'm not sure why you would completely shut off the low power cores. It's not like Windows pauses background tasks durning gaming, you would think they would want to keep those on, maybe just reduce their power or turn off a few. Although, given this is a first gen of this architecture, nothing would surprise me.
 
I think it is odd as well though, I'm not sure why you would completely shut off the low power cores. It's not like Windows pauses background tasks durning gaming, you would think they would want to keep those on, maybe just reduce their power or turn off a few. Although, given this is a first gen of this architecture, nothing would surprise me.
It's also not like windows is a console OS that does work like that and MS isn't going to change that just for alder.
Any game that uses all cores will use all available cores which means also the smaller cores and if a game does that it will get huge syncing issues which will cause huge drops, just like zen had with the cross ccx issues, results would get to the GPU at different times.
 

Soaptrail

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Jan 12, 2015
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It's also not like windows is a console OS that does work like that and MS isn't going to change that just for alder.
Any game that uses all cores will use all available cores which means also the smaller cores and if a game does that it will get huge syncing issues which will cause huge drops, just like zen had with the cross ccx issues, results would get to the GPU at different times.
I would assume games would only use big cores and the little cores would be for background/windows tasks.
 
I would assume games would only use big cores and the little cores would be for background/windows tasks.
If the games are optimized for alder then that's what they will do but your normal average game doesn't even know there are two different types of cores so they will use whatever is available up to the limit of threads that they can use.
 

TJ Hooker

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Ambassador
If the games are optimized for alder then that's what they will do but your normal average game doesn't even know there are two different types of cores so they will use whatever is available up to the limit of threads that they can use.
I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure the OS is responsible for assigning threads to specific cores. So as long as the OS is aware of big vs little cores, it can assign it to the appropriate one based the load presented by the thread.

There is already similar behavior with AMD and Intel boosting algorithms, where certain core(s) are identified as being the best ones within a chip, and as such are targeted for lightly threaded loads. The application doesn't need to know anything about it, it's up to the OS/drivers/FW to allocate the threads appropriately for best performance.
 
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I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure the OS is responsible for assigning threads to specific cores. So as long as the OS is aware of big vs little cores, it can assign it to the appropriate one based the load presented by the thread.
Games that use multiple threads load all of them up to 100% which means that the OS will keep assigning them to all threads available unless the OS is aware of the smaller cores and does not assign 100% load threads to the smaller cores.
There is no way for the OS to tell one 100% thread from another.
(or if it shuts down all the smaller cores as the article suggests)
 

TJ Hooker

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Ambassador
Games that use multiple threads load all of them up to 100% which means that the OS will keep assigning them to all threads available unless the OS is aware of the smaller cores and does not assign 100% load threads to the smaller cores.
There is no way for the OS to tell one 100% thread from another.
(or if it shuts down all the smaller cores as the article suggests)
Not really, even if a game is multi threaded it will typically have a limit on how many cores it can take advantage of, and even then it probably won't load all those cores 100%. If they did, you'd expect roughly linear performance scaling with core count, which isn't remotely the case in practice for gaming. I remember Toms having some nice CPU utilization charts in their performance analysis for games, where you could the per-core utilization, usually it'd only be a couple that were near 100%. They don't seem to do that any more though unfortunately.

Even if multiple threads are using 100%, they can have different priorities, which will result in different scheduling. And if there is a thread using 100% of a little core, it should be moved to a big core as long as all the big cores aren't already all busy with higher priority threads.

Big/little designs, and the scheduling to take advantage of them, have been around for years. Even for Windows, there is Windows on ARM that runs on big/little SoCs for MS Surfaces. They didn't have to redesign every application to make that work.
 
Not really, even if a game is multi threaded it will typically have a limit on how many cores it can take advantage of, and even then it probably won't load all those cores 100%. If they did, you'd expect roughly linear performance scaling with core count, which isn't remotely the case in practice for gaming. I remember Toms having some nice CPU utilization charts in their performance analysis for games, where you could the per-core utilization, usually it'd only be a couple that were near 100%. They don't seem to do that any more though unfortunately.
Sure but if you have 8 cores plus htt and the game only uses lets say 6 cores (or 80% or whatever, the point is that it uses well below 100% ) then you have enough idle CPU cycles to take care of any background tasks, you wouldn't need any small cores to improve your performance.
That's the main argument in favor of a high core count CPU for years now.
I remember Toms having some nice CPU utilization charts in their performance analysis for games, where you could the per-core utilization, usually it'd only be a couple that were near 100%. They don't seem to do that any more though unfortunately.
gamegpu.com still does that and for quite a bunch of CPUs as well.
But they always use a very limited testing scenario, like an empty alley or looking at a wall basically they never use any place with a lot of action.
 
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