Intel 12th Gen Alder Lake-S Desktop CPUs To Feature Support on LGA 1700 Socket With DDR5 Memory

Jun 26, 2020

It looks like Intel has more or less confirmed that their next-generation Alder Lake-S desktop CPUs will be featuring support on the new LGA 1700 socket. The Alder Lake-S processors will be branded under the 12th Generation Core family and will replace the 11th Generation Core family known as Rocket Lake when it arrives next year.

Intel's 12th Gen Desktop CPUs Confirmed To Feature Compatibility on New LGA 1700 Socket Platform With DDR5 Support

Intel post-Skylake based desktop CPUs are unlike anything the company has ever done before. The Rocket Lake and Alder Lake families, while architecturally distinct, have one thing in common, they do away with the traditional architecture design that we've seen on Intel CPUs in the last decade or so.

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Rocket Lake makes use of a 14nm backport of a next-gen core architecture which is said to be a hybrid between Sunny Cove and Willow Cove while featuring Xe Graphics. Alder Lake on the other hand will be making use of next-gen Golden Cove cores but it's not the use of the next-gen cores that makes this chip interesting, it's the way it uses those cores. Alder Lake is going to utilize a BIG little core strategy, integrating both Golden Cove and Gracemont cores on a single-chip while also featuring next-generation Xe enhanced graphics engine.

While Rocket Lake CPUs will be accommodated on the existing LGA 1200 socket, the vastly different design of Alder Lake CPUs will require a new socket. Now we've heard reports from various sources that the Alder Lake generation will be supported on the LGA 1700 socket platform. Well it looks like Intel has confirmed this by posting the support datasheet for Alder Lake-S on LGA 1700 over at its Development Resource webpage as spotted by Momomo_US (via Videocardz).

With the new LGA 1700 socket, you can forget backwards compatibility as the socket utilizes a very different layout (45x37.5mm) which is a more rectangular shape compared to the square shape which we've become accustomed to over the years. Aside from the new CPUs, Intel's LGA 1700 is aiming to be the first platform to hit the market shelves with DDR5 support. In the previous post, leaks hinted at up to DDR5-4800 native memory support on 6-layer and DDR5-4000 on the 4-layer motherboards. This would mark a huge jump over the current native speeds of DDR4-2933 MHz.

Intel Desktop CPU Generations Comparison:

Intel CPU FamilyProcessor ProcessProcessors Cores (Max)TDPsPlatform ChipsetPlatformMemory SupportPCIe SupportLaunch
Sandy Bridge32nm4/835-95W6-SeriesLGA 1155DDR3PCIe Gen 2.02011
Ivy Bridge22nm4/835-77W7-SeriesLGA 1155DDR3PCIe Gen 3.02012
Haswell22nm4/835-84W8-SeriesLGA 1150DDR3PCIe Gen 3.02013-2014
Broadwell14nm4/865-65W9-SeriesLGA 1150DDR3PCIe Gen 3.02015
Skylake14nm4/835-91W100-SeriesLGA 1151DDR4/DDR3LPCIe Gen 3.02015
Kaby Lake14nm4/835-91W200-SeriesLGA 1151DDR4/DDR3LPCIe Gen 3.02017
Coffee Lake14nm6/1235-95W300-SeriesLGA 1151DDR4PCIe Gen 3.02017
Coffee Lake14nm8/1635-95W300-SeriesLGA 1151DDR4PCIe Gen 3.02018
Comet Lake14nm10/2035-125W400-SeriesLGA 1200DDR4PCIe Gen 3.02020
Rocket Lake14nm8/16?TBA400/500-Series?LGA 1200DDR4PCIe Gen 4.02020
Alder Lake10nm?16/32?TBATBALGA 1700DDR5PCIe Gen 4.0?2021
Meteor Lake7nm?TBATBATBATBADDR5PCIe Gen 4.0?2022?

Here's Everything We Know About The Next-Gen Alder Lake CPU Family

Previous details for Alder Lake-S CPUs have revealed that the next-generation desktop family is to launch sometime in late 2021 or early 2022. The Alder Lake CPUs could be the first 10nm desktop parts from Intel, featuring a hybrid architecture design.

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Intel's Alder Lake-S would be a totally different beast than anything we've seen from Intel yet, utilizing the 10nm++ process node which is an evolution of the 10nm+ process node (the same node used to fabricate Tiger Lake CPUs). The Alder Lake-S 12th Generation Core lineup would feature a new design methodology, supporting a mix of big and little cores as we had reported earlier. Three configurations of the Alder Lake-S CPUs were leaked which included:

  • Alder Lake-S (8+8+1) 125W Config
  • Alder Lake-S (8+8+1) 80W Config
  • Alder Lake-S (6+0+1) 80W Config

As you can see, the CPUs will feature various configurations with a max of 8 high-performance and 8 efficiency-optimized cores. There's the unlocked variants with 125W and locked variants with 80W TDPs. There's also a 6 (big) core configuration which doesn't include efficiency optimized cores but it looks like Intel plans to offer the higher end variants without the smaller cores too. While the chip design methodology isn't anything new as we have seen several mobility SOCs feature similar core hierarchy, it would definitely be interesting to see a similar outing on a high-performance desktop CPU lineup.

With that said, the Alder Lake-S CPUs will feature support on a newer LGA 1700 socket and will feature an enhanced variant of the Xe GPU which will be available by the time of its launch. Intel is also investigating performance scaling of Alder Lake-S CPUs with TDPs as high as 150W that would be a true enthusiast desktop part, something to challenge the likes of the Ryzen 9 3950X 16 core processor in the desktop department.

The same rumor that is mentioned above also states that the Alder Lake-S CPUs will be utilizing Intel's Golden Cove architecture to power the big cores and Gracemont, the generation after Tremont to power the Small cores. 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

Golden Cove would be a big architectural jump over Willow Cove, offering an entirely new design and a range of improvements to power the bigger cores while Gracemont would do the same for Tremont, offering higher performance per watt in smaller but efficient cores. The Intel Alder Lake desktop CPUs will be competing against AMD's Ryzen 5000 Desktop CPUs based on the Zen 4 core architecture around late 2021 or early 2022.

Products mentioned in this post

Ryzen 9 3950x
Ryzen 9 3950x
USD 697

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