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.
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.
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 CPU Generations Comparison:
|Intel CPU Family||Processor Process||Processor Architecture||Processors Cores/Threads (Max)||TDPs||Platform Chipset||Platform||Memory Support||PCIe Support||Launch|
|Sandy Bridge (2nd Gen)||32nm||Sandy Bridge||4/8||35-95W||6-Series||LGA 1155||DDR3||PCIe Gen 2.0||2011|
|Ivy Bridge (3rd Gen)||22nm||Ivy Bridge||4/8||35-77W||7-Series||LGA 1155||DDR3||PCIe Gen 3.0||2012|
|Haswell (4th Gen)||22nm||Haswell||4/8||35-84W||8-Series||LGA 1150||DDR3||PCIe Gen 3.0||2013-2014|
|Broadwell (5th Gen)||14nm||Broadwell||4/8||65-65W||9-Series||LGA 1150||DDR3||PCIe Gen 3.0||2015|
|Skylake (6th Gen)||14nm||Skylake||4/8||35-91W||100-Series||LGA 1151||DDR4||PCIe Gen 3.0||2015|
|Kaby Lake (7th Gen)||14nm||Skylake||4/8||35-91W||200-Series||LGA 1151||DDR4||PCIe Gen 3.0||2017|
|Coffee Lake (8th Gen)||14nm||Skylake||6/12||35-95W||300-Series||LGA 1151||DDR4||PCIe Gen 3.0||2017|
|Coffee Lake (9th Gen)||14nm||Skylake||8/16||35-95W||300-Series||LGA 1151||DDR4||PCIe Gen 3.0||2018|
|Comet Lake (10th Gen)||14nm||Skylake||10/20||35-125W||400-Series||LGA 1200||DDR4||PCIe Gen 3.0||2020|
|Rocket Lake (11th Gen)||14nm||Cypress Cove||8/16||35-125W||500-Series||LGA 1200||DDR4||PCIe Gen 4.0||2021|
|Alder Lake (12th Gen)||Intel 7||Golden Cove (P-Core)|
|16/24||35-125W||600 Series||LGA 1700/1800||DDR5 / DDR4||PCIe Gen 5.0||2021|
|Raptor Lake (13th Gen)||Intel 7||Raptor Cove (P-Core)|
|24/32||35-125W||700-Series||LGA 1700/1800||DDR5 / DDR4||PCIe Gen 5.0||2022|
|Raptor Lake Refresh (TBA)||Intel 7||Raptor Cove (P-Core)|
|24/32||35-125W||700-Series||LGA 1700/1800||DDR5 / DDR4||PCIe Gen 5.0||2023|
|Meteor Lake (TBA)||Intel 4||Redwood Cove (P-Core)|
|22/28||35-125W||800 Series?||LGA 1851||DDR5||PCIe Gen 5.0||2024 (Cancelled)|
|Arrow Lake (TBA)||Intel 20A||Lion Cove (P-Core)|
|24/32||TBA||900-Series?||LGA 1851||DDR5||PCIe Gen 5.0||2024|
|Arrow Lake Refresh (TBA)||Intel 20A||Lion Cove (P-Core)|
|TBA||TBA||TBA||LGA 1851?||DDR5||PCIe Gen 5.0||2025|
|Lunar Lake (TBA)||Intel 18A||TBD||TBA||TBA||TBA||TBA||DDR5||PCIe Gen 5.0?||2025|
|Panther Lake (TBA)||TBA||TBD||TBD||TBD||1000-Series?||LGA 1851?||DDR5||PCIe Gen 6.0?||2026|
|Nova Lake (TBA)||Intel 18A||TBD||TBA||TBA||2000-Series?||TBA||DDR5?||PCIe Gen 6.0?||2026|