Intel's 12th Generation Alder Lake-S Desktop CPU has popped up within the CapFrameX database along with its first gaming test. The chip was spotted by Computerbase & is an engineering sample but was tested with a high-end desktop configuration which included the latest GeForce RTX GPUs and DDR5 memory.
Intel 10nm Alder Lake-S Desktop ES CPU Spotted & Benchmarked With DDR5-4800 Memory & 2.2 GHz Clocks
The Intel Alder Lake-S ES Desktop CPU has no labels and the CapFrameX software doesn't report its exact cores/threads but based on the 2.20 GHz base clock, we can tell that this sample has already done the rounds in benchmark databases. If this is in fact the same sample chip that we had seen before, then we can expect 16 cores and 24 threads but the boost clock is still unknown. We have seen faster Alder Lake-S Desktop samples which feature up to 4.6 GHz and 4.0 GHz clock speeds so this one is based on a very early revision.
Moving to the testbed, the Intel Alder Lake-S ES Desktop CPU was featured on the ADP-S mother-board which was equipped with 32 GB (4 x 8GB) of DDR5-4800 memory and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card. The platform was tested within Dota 2 at an unknown resolution & game settings and posted an average of 119.98 FPS. We don't have any comparative performance tests to compare this result against since we don't know the resolution or game settings so currently, these numbers don't mean anything.
What is important is that Intel is actively testing its 10nm Intel Alder Lake-S Desktop CPUs on various platform configurations running both AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards. Just recently, we came to know that Intel will have variable clock speeds for its Alder Lake-S's Golden Cove and Gracemont cores so we can't wait to see how that affects gaming performance & general work loads. We have also seen DDR5 memory performance on the Alder Lake-S Desktop CPU platform delivering up to 112% faster performance than DDR4 memory.
Here's Everything We Know About Intel's 12th Gen Alder Lake Desktop CPUs
In its official slide, Intel calls the Alder Lake a 'Breakthrough CPU Architecture. The company claims that its 12th Gen processors will offer a 20% single-threaded performance uplift and a 2X uplift in multi-threaded tasks. The Intel Alder Lake CPUs will be the first CPUs fabricated on the brand new 10nm Enhanced SuperFin process node which is a refined and more optimized version of the 10nm SuperFin process node used to manufacture the current Tiger Lake CPUs.
It is not explicitly stated which processor family Intel is comparing its performance uplift to but a recent rumor stated that Alder Lake CPUs will offer a 20% IPC uplift over Tiger Lake so it is likely that Intel is talking about Tiger Lake with Willow Cove here which makes sense rather than making comparisons against Rocket Lake with Cypress Cove or older Haswell based offerings.
Following are some of the updates you should expect from Intel's 2021 architecture lineup:
Intel Golden Cove (Core) Architecture:
- Improve Single-Threaded Performance (IPC)
- Improve Artificial Intelligence (AI) Performance
- Improve Network/5G Performance
- Enhanced Security Features
Intel Gracemont (Atom) Architecture:
- Improve Single-Threaded Performance (IPC)
- Improve Frequency (Clock Speeds)
- Improve Vector Performance
Following is the exact breakdown of the cache subsystem of Intel's Alder Lake Desktop CPUs:
Golden Cove Cores:
- 32 KB (L1I) Per Core
- 48 KB (L1D) Per Core
- 1280 KB (L2) Per Core
- 3072 KB (L3) Per Core
- 64 KB (L1I) Per Core
- 32 KB (L1D) Per Core
- 2048 KB (L2) x 4 Cores
- 3072 KB (L3) x 4 Cores
Intel highlights some of the key features of its Alder Lake CPUs in the slide too such as the use of a hybrid core design which would include both Golden Cove cores (successor to Willow Cove) & also the Gracemont cores which are the next-generation Atom architecture. The Golden Cove cores will serve as the big cores on the CPU & will feature simultaneous multi-threading support while Atom cores will stick to a non-SMT design. Some brand new features for the cores themselves will include Hardware-Guided Scheduling, Design Optimizations, and Energy-aware core parking.
When it comes to I/O, the Intel 12th Gen Alder Lake CPU lineup will feature both PCIe Gen 5 & PCIe Gen 4 support, Intel WiFi 6E (Gig+), and Thunderbolt 4 support. For memory, Alder Lake CPUs will come with a wide array of options ranging from DDR5/DDR4 for the desktop platform and LPDDR5 / LPDDR4 for the mobility platform. Moving forward, Intel will also add in LPDDR5X support in its Alder Lake refresh line of processors known as Raptor Lake which you can find more details over here.
Intel Mainstream Desktop CPU Generations Comparison:
|Intel CPU Family||Processor Process||Processors Cores/Threads (Max)||TDPs||Platform Chipset||Platform||Memory Support||PCIe Support||Launch|
|Sandy Bridge (2nd Gen)||32nm||4/8||35-95W||6-Series||LGA 1155||DDR3||PCIe Gen 2.0||2011|
|Ivy Bridge (3rd Gen)||22nm||4/8||35-77W||7-Series||LGA 1155||DDR3||PCIe Gen 3.0||2012|
|Haswell (4th Gen)||22nm||4/8||35-84W||8-Series||LGA 1150||DDR3||PCIe Gen 3.0||2013-2014|
|Broadwell (5th Gen)||14nm||4/8||65-65W||9-Series||LGA 1150||DDR3||PCIe Gen 3.0||2015|
|Skylake (6th Gen)||14nm||4/8||35-91W||100-Series||LGA 1151||DDR4||PCIe Gen 3.0||2015|
|Kaby Lake (7th Gen)||14nm||4/8||35-91W||200-Series||LGA 1151||DDR4||PCIe Gen 3.0||2017|
|Coffee Lake (8th Gen)||14nm||6/12||35-95W||300-Series||LGA 1151||DDR4||PCIe Gen 3.0||2017|
|Coffee Lake (9th Gen)||14nm||8/16||35-95W||300-Series||LGA 1151||DDR4||PCIe Gen 3.0||2018|
|Comet Lake (10th Gen)||14nm||10/20||35-125W||400-Series||LGA 1200||DDR4||PCIe Gen 3.0||2020|
|Rocket Lake (11th Gen)||14nm||8/16||35-125W||500-Series||LGA 1200||DDR4||PCIe Gen 4.0||2021|
|Alder Lake (12th Gen)||Intel 7||16/24||35-125W||600 Series||LGA 1700/1800||DDR5 / DDR4||PCIe Gen 5.0||2021|
|Raptor Lake (13th Gen)||Intel 7||24/32||35-125W||700-Series||LGA 1700/1800||DDR5 / DDR4||PCIe Gen 5.0||2022|
|Meteor Lake (14th Gen)||Intel 4||TBA||35-125W||800 Series?||LGA 1851||DDR5||PCIe Gen 5.0||2023|
|Arrow Lake (15th Gen)||Intel 20A||40/48||TBA||900-Series?||LGA 1851||DDR5||PCIe Gen 5.0||2024|
|Lunar Lake (16th Gen)||Intel 18A||TBA||TBA||1000-Series?||TBA||DDR5||PCIe Gen 5.0?||2025|
|Nova Lake (17th Gen)||Intel 18A||TBA||TBA||2000-Series?||TBA||DDR5?||PCIe Gen 6.0?||2026|