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Intel Alder Lake 14 Core & 20 Thread Desktop CPU Sample Spotted, Tested With 64 GB DDR5 Memory

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An Intel Alder Lake Desktop CPU has been spotted within the Geekbench 5 benchmark that packs 14 cores and 20 threads. The chip is one of the many engineering samples of the Alder Lake lineup that we have seen so far and we also get to see some very early performance results.

Intel Alder Lake 14 Core & 20 Thread Desktop CPU Tested, Early ES Chip With 1.40 GHz Base Clock

The Intel Alder Lake-S Desktop CPU tested here is definitely a very early engineering sample. For specs, we are looking at 14 cores and 20 threads. This core and thread configuration is possible through a 6+8 SKU. The 6 larger cores are based on the Golden Cove architecture with 12 threads and the 8 smaller cores are based on the Gracemont architecture with 8 threads. As for other specs, we are looking at 24 MB of L3 cache. The chip should feature 10 MB of L2 cache (as reported with the detailed CPU dies) and not 2 MB as is reported here.

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In terms of clock speeds, the chip features a 1.40 GHz base clock while the 27.2 GHz boost is an erroneous reporting by the Geekbench software which has yet to be updated to support Intel's Alder Lake chips. The Alder Lake CPU was tested on the Alder Lake-P RVP motherboard with 64 GB of DDR5 memory. Considering that this is the reference Alder Lake test platform, the speeds for the DDR5 memory should be maintained at DDR5-4800.

Coming to the performance tests, there are three listings of this particular sample which shows a single-core score of up to 1298 points and a multi-core score of up to 9040 points. The single-core score puts the chip on par with an AMD Ryzen 9 3950X while the multi-core score is about as good as the Ryzen 7 3800XT. The CPU is nowhere close to Zen 3 or Rocket Lake chips but we have to take into account the much lower clock speeds. With improved clocks, we could see a massive boost in overall performance.

We know that faster samples exist with 16 cores, 24 threads, and clock speeds of up to 4.6 GHz but we have yet to see benchmarks on them. We will have to wait a couple of months before we get to see more concrete performance results that would paint a clear picture of how well Intel's hybrid architecture approach fares in the consumer desktop segment. Several manufacturers are also evaluating their DDR5 memory modules with the Alder Lake platform so we will see more & more leaks happening in the future.

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.

Intel Alder Lake 12th Gen Desktop & Mobility CPUs are expected to offer up to 20% single-threaded & twice the multi-threaded performance uplift over existing processors. (Image Credits: VIdeocardz)

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.

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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

Gracemont Cores:

  • 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 Desktop CPU Generations Comparison:

Intel CPU FamilyProcessor ProcessProcessors Cores (Max)TDPsPlatform ChipsetPlatformMemory SupportPCIe SupportLaunch
Sandy Bridge (2nd Gen)32nm4/835-95W6-SeriesLGA 1155DDR3PCIe Gen 2.02011
Ivy Bridge (3rd Gen)22nm4/835-77W7-SeriesLGA 1155DDR3PCIe Gen 3.02012
Haswell (4th Gen)22nm4/835-84W8-SeriesLGA 1150DDR3PCIe Gen 3.02013-2014
Broadwell (5th Gen)14nm4/865-65W9-SeriesLGA 1150DDR3PCIe Gen 3.02015
Skylake (6th Gen)14nm4/835-91W100-SeriesLGA 1151DDR4PCIe Gen 3.02015
Kaby Lake (7th Gen)14nm4/835-91W200-SeriesLGA 1151DDR4PCIe Gen 3.02017
Coffee Lake (8th Gen)14nm6/1235-95W300-SeriesLGA 1151DDR4PCIe Gen 3.02017
Coffee Lake (9th Gen)14nm8/1635-95W300-SeriesLGA 1151DDR4PCIe Gen 3.02018
Comet Lake (10th Gen)14nm10/2035-125W400-SeriesLGA 1200DDR4PCIe Gen 3.02020
Rocket Lake (11th Gen)14nm8/1635-125W500-SeriesLGA 1200DDR4PCIe Gen 4.02021
Alder Lake (12th Gen)10nm (ESF)16/24TBA600 SeriesLGA 1700DDR5PCIe Gen 5.02021
Raptor Lake (13th Gen)10nm (ESF)16/30?TBA700-SeriesLGA 1700DDR5PCIe Gen 5.02022
Meteor Lake (14th Gen)7nm (EUV)TBATBA800 Series?LGA 1700DDR5PCIe Gen 5.0?2023
Lunar Lake (15th Gen)TBATBATBA900 Series?TBADDR5PCIe Gen 5.0?2023+

News Sources: Leakbench #1 , #2 , #3

Products mentioned in this post

Intel Core i9-10900K
Intel Core i9-10900K
USD 825.19
Ryzen 9 3950x
Ryzen 9 3950x
USD 697

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