Intel s Next-Gen Alder Lake Processors Are Officially Here, and Now We Know All the Details. What is intel”s next processor’

In total, we expect 60 processors from Intel’s 12th generation range. In addition to the 28 desktop processors announced so far, 28 new mobile chips are also available. They will be available on many key laptops in 2022 and beyond.

Intel 12th Gen Alder Lake: Everything you need to know about Intel’s next-gen processors

The 12th generation Intel Alder Lake chips appeared late last year, creating huge waves in the processor space. The Alder Lake line of desktops, led by the flagship Core i9-12900K, ushers in a new era of Intel chips with hybrid architecture. The chips now offer a blend of Golden Cove high performance cores (P cores) combined with smaller, high performance Gracemont cores (E cores). Together, this combination allows the new processors to beat AMD Ryzen chips on their own grounds. Both the Intel Core i5-12600K and Core i9-12900K are the top picks in our collections of the best processors and best gaming processors on the market right now.

As expected, Intel has rolled out its hybrid architecture to more popular models this year. In fact, it’s one of the major announcements coming out of CES 2022. Intel’s Alder Lake is now a powerful family of processors, with options for the next generation of desktop and mobile computing.

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Intel 12th Gen Alder Lake Processor Family

Intel’s 12th-generation Alder Lake family will have both desktops and mobile laptop chips. It’s also no secret that the company will use a hybrid architecture that combines both P and E cores in Alder Lake processors, with the exception of entry-level and low-power SKUs. According to Intel, the Alder Lake family will switch to Alder Lake-S and Alder Lake-P processors. Check it out here:

As you can see, Alder Lake-S is home to all desktop processors. This includes everything from the high-end Core i9-12900K to relatively low-powered units like the Core i5-12400 (F). Alder Lake-S enthusiast processors will feature up to 8 P cores and 8 E cores, as seen on the Core i9-12900. Moreover, Alder Lake-S’s offering will also include mainstream and low-power CPUs that only have P cores, such as the Core i5-12600. The number 32EU comes from an integrated graphics engine with up to 32 execution units.

On the other hand, Alder Lake-P will contain all mobile SKUs, including those that belong to the H and U subfamilies. The H-series processors, as we already know, are high-end units with up to 6 P cores and 8 E cores. Alder Lake-P will also offer energy-efficient processors for ultra-portable machines with up to 2 P cores and 8 E cores, such as the mobile Core i3-1220P processor. These processors are also linked to the Iris Xe graphics engine with up to 96 execution units.

Intel Thread Director

Intel has met its software challenges with the launch of Alder Lake processors with the new Thread Director. This new technology is responsible for scheduling various tasks based on priorities. Intel Thread Director is essentially a hardware technology that delivers telemetry data to Windows 11. This keeps applications intelligently mapped to the P or E cores. Thread Director technology collects low-level telemetry data in the processor and then passes it to the operating system. It informs the scheduler about several different CPU metrics, including core health, thermals, and more.

Intel Thread Director for Alder Lake processors

Intel worked with Microsoft to implement Thread Director on Windows 11. That said, the new Alder Lake chips will also work with Windows 10, but not quite as well. With an older version of the Windows 10 operating system, you will surely miss the newer, improved job scheduling capabilities with Intel Thread Director.

Intel 12th Gen Alder Lake-S Desktop Processors

12th generation Intel processor in the LGA 1700 socket

Intel Alder Lake-S processors cover all desktop SKUs, including the newly announced Pentium Gold and Celeron processors based on Alder Lake. The Core i9-12900K is an excellent proposition for the Alder Lake-S processor line. This is the one that carries the payload with a total of 16 cores (8P + 8E) and 24 threads. According to Intel, the Core i9-12900K is “the world’s fastest gaming processor” with an average generational leap of up to 13 percent.

As expected, Intel has rolled out its hybrid architecture to more popular models this year. In fact, it’s one of the major announcements coming out of CES 2022. Intel’s Alder Lake is now a powerful family of processors, with options for the next generation of desktop and mobile computing.

“The World’s Best Gaming Processor”

Intel makes some very bold claims about Alder Lake, calling its Core i9-12900K processor “the world’s best gaming processor.” These chips will have to be as impressive as promised if Intel is to bounce off its weak 11th generation processors.

Intel has downgraded its Gen 11 i9s to 8 cores and 16 threads, compared with the 10th Gen 10-core 20-thread i9s, saying the dedication was necessary to “maximize real-world performance.” But the 12th-generation i9s back up to 16 cores and 24 threads thanks to the new hybrid architecture. Of course, it’s a mix of P and E cores: The 12th generation i9 processors have an equal balance of 8 P cores and 8 E cores, which translates into a 19% increase in performance (according to Intel).

New Socket, Size, and Shape

Alder Lake may be the most innovative generation of Intel processors in more than a decade, including physical size: the new 12th generation processors are incompatible with older motherboards not least because of their socket design and pin arrangement (Alder Lake has 1700 pins, up). 500 with 1200-pin Rocket and Comet Lake design) are physically incompatible. Intel processors change sockets quite frequently, but have the same overall size and square shape since the mid-2000s. The new processors are larger – 7.5 mm longer on one side – and rectangular.

The new LGA 1700 socket means you need a new motherboard, which is why Intel also presented its flagship Z690 chipset alongside Alder Lake. The Z690 chipset should be quite future-proof; supports DDR5 (and / or DDR4) memory, native PCIe 5.0, USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 data transfer, Thunderbolt 4 and integrated Wi-Fi 6E. Not all Z690 motherboards support both DDR4 and DDR5 memory, so if you get the right one, you shouldn’t need to upgrade your RAM to DDR5 (unless you want to).

The new chip size and shape means you’ll also have to take a look at your current CPU cooling solution as placing a square heatsink on a rectangle is not the ideal way to maximize cooling performance, especially if you’re planning overclocking. Many refrigerator manufacturers have already released free or nominal LGA 1700 conversion kits, so you may be able to reuse your refrigerator depending on your circumstances. It’s probably a good idea to budget for your upgrade as there are several factors including lower Z-stack height and asymmetric slot design that can affect performance.

Intel began teasing the details of its 12th-gen chips at CES in January 2021, and revealed many more at Architecture Day in July. But it wasn’t until the company’s innovation event on October 27th that any of the processors actually entered the market.

Intel Raptor Lake pricing

We have no idea how much Raptor Lake could cost at this stage, although the current generation Rocket Lake prices give us an idea of ​​how much we will have to pay for desktop chips:

  • Core i9-11900K – $ 513–539
  • Core i7-11700K – $ 374-399
  • Core i5-11600K – $ 237-262
  • Core i5-11400K – $ 157-182

These are the prices suggested by Intel and the manufacturers ultimately decide how much you will pay – that explains the range offered.

If Intel also releases Raptor Lake chips for laptops, they will be designed to integrate with devices and will not be available for purchase as standalone components. In such a situation, the price you will pay also depends on the manufacturer, but also on the design and other specifications. It is impossible to predict how much they will cost, but the widespread introduction of Tiger Lake Chips suggests that they will have a lot of choice.

Intel Raptor Lake spec rumours

With so long to a potential release, rumors of Raptor Lake Concrete are relatively rare. This could prove to be a relatively unprofitable take-off as Alder Lake in 2021 will bring significant changes to the design ahead of a potential 7nm switch to Meteor Lake in 2023.

Wholesale changes to Intel’s silicon chip are relatively rare, so you’d be surprised to see too many big improvements to Raptor Lake. Alder Lake is already moving to a new design, with a mix of performance and energy-saving cores, meaning existing motherboards are no longer compatible, meaning Intel won’t change everything after one generation. We also expect Intel to finally move to 10nm in 2021, but Raptor Lake is likely to come too early at 7nm.

Aside from speculating based on where it fits Intel’s lineup, the main rumor so far comes courtesy of VideoCardz. He has posted what appears to be the official blueprint for the company’s upcoming launches, along with some key features:

Intel road map

Image: VideoCardz

When introduced in 2021, it suggests that there will be some subtle changes to the new hybrid core system to improve performance. It’s unclear what this will mean – Intel may not know it yet. Raptor Lake is also rumored to be there when the company switches to LPDDR5X – a next-generation RAM solution that was launched in late 2020. Finally, the introduction of the new DLVR power delivery system should allow Raptor Lake to better optimize the output power depending on the situation – this would lead to better performance and therefore battery life.

In addition to the same changes for the hybrid processor, the laptop-centric version of Raptor Lake will apparently also introduce an improved gaming cache and a new feature set for Intel vPro. The latter is a corporate platform that offers a range of features tailored to the needs of business users, including top performance, remote management, and advanced security.

While it sounds convincing and quite realistic, it’s worth noting that the chart still shows Rocket Lake as being from 2020, even though it arrived in March 2021. This suggests that this plan is at least a few months out of date and the situation may have changed much since then.

The full lineup of Raptor Lake processors has just leaked, courtesy of the Adored TV YouTube channel. It was accompanied by the following diagram, showing the low-power, mainstrain and enthusiast chips:

Intel Raptor Lake line leak

Photo: AdoredTV

Key applications include a maximum of 24 cores and 32 threads on high-end Core i9 processors, while budget Pentium chips will be limited to 4 cores and 4 threads.

35W, 65W and 125W power requirements have already been reported from sites like Igor’s Lab in Germany – they are similar to Alder Lake. Reporting this news, Wccftech is suggesting that the existing LGA 1700 socket will continue to be served by Raptor Lake.

While we should always take them with a grain of salt, Raptor Lake’s early benchmarks make reading disturbing. Now the deleted result recorded on BAPCo Crossmark has been screenshot by Tom’s Hardware and seems to show the high-end Raptor Lake (1591) CPU lagging behind the top Core i9-12900K (2376) and the flagship Ryzen 9 5950X (1694)) in the results general.

In addition to these five, Intel also sells Movidius VPUs and Quark microcontrollers. In the past, they also had many other brands that have since been phased out.

Intel Alder Lake specs & features

Alder Lake is making big changes to Intel’s silicon. These are the first processors to go beyond the 14nm process the company introduced in 2015. The new 10nm process has been renamed Intel 7, part of a new Architecture Roadmap announced in July 2021.

Desktop CPUs

Intel has also changed the structure of its processors to be more compatible with ARM-based chips (including Apple’s M1 series). There is now a mix of performance and energy-saving cores, rather than focusing solely on creating the most powerful chip possible. This hybrid model should allow devices to maintain performance over a longer period of time as well as extend battery life. After disappointing reviews of the 11th Generation Rocket Lake chips, this change is welcome.

Intel Alder Lake

Image: Intel

However, as expected, you’ll need a new motherboard. Here’s Intel’s new Z690, although an upgraded cooler may also be needed to support the LG 1700 socket. You get at least Wi-Fi 6E and USB 3.2 Gen 2 for high-speed data transfer. Thunderbolt 4 support also remains.

There are also encouraging signals from Alder Lake’s first real gaming test, even though the CPU has been paired with the latest Nvidia RTX GPUs and DDR5 memory to maximize performance. As noted by the German website Computerbase, the CapFrameX test of the web-based strategy game Dota suggests that Alder Lake can peak at over 549 frames per second, an average of over 120 frames per second. However, we do not know what resolution or settings were used when recording these numbers.

If you’re a desktop user and considering high-end CPUs, Alder Lake’s latest benchmarks compare favorably with AMD’s equivalent chips. According to Twitter leaked @OneRaichu, the early model of the top Core i9-12900K excels in tests using the Cinebench R20 software:

12900KS QS Non-OC
In the water cooler.
Cinebench R20.
ST:> 810
MT:> 11600

– Raichu (@OneRaichu) July 20, 2021

The processor in question here was placed in a water cooler to prevent overheating, with another tweet confirming that the extra “S” was a bug. According to Guru3D, it performs significantly better than the Ryzen 9 5950X (AMD’s current flagship processor) in both single-threaded (26%) and multi-threaded (11%) modes. A lot can change between now and the end product, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

Since their launch, we’ve seen some impressive benchmarks of Alder Lake processors, most notably the Core i7-12700H. The Geekbench 5 results suggest it is almost as powerful as AMD’s high-end Ryzen 9 5900X, while Cinebench’s multi-core results put it ahead of the Ryzen 9 5900HX and Apple M1 Max – according to testing by NotebookCheck.

Mobile CPUs

In total, we expect 60 processors from Intel’s 12th generation range. In addition to the 28 desktop processors announced so far, 28 new mobile chips are also available. They will be available on many key laptops in 2022 and beyond.

They are divided into three different categories. The first is Alder Lake-H, designed for enthusiast-level devices. Here is a summary of what it offers:

Editor Performance cores Performance cores Threads L3 cache Maximum clock speed Basic power
i9-12900HK 6 8 twenty 24Mb 5.0 GHz 45W
i9-12900H 6 8 twenty 24Mb 5.0 GHz 45W
i7-12800H 6 8 twenty 24Mb 4.8 GHz 45W
i7-12700H 6 8 twenty 24Mb 4.7 GHz 45W
i7-12650H 6 4 16 24Mb 4.7 GHz 45W
i5-12600H 4 8 16 18Mb 4.5 GHz 45W
i5-12500H 4 8 16 18Mb 4.5 GHz 45W
i5-12450H 4 4 12 12Mb 4.4 GHz 45W

They are divided into three different categories. The first is Alder Lake-H, designed for enthusiast-level devices. Here is a summary of what it offers:


First of all, we want to remind everyone that the plural of the word “rumor” is not a “proven fact” – almost all of these reports are based on data leaked from various sources in 2021. We can be sure that Alder Lake and Raptor Lake will be using the big.little hybrid project as described, but most of everything else is still up for grabs to one degree or another.

We are confident that the Alder and Rocket Lake-S SKUs will exist with the number of cores as shown here, and that the TDP will not change significantly compared to Rocket Lake-S. It’s unclear, however, whether these projects will successfully follow Apple’s M1 in securing the big.little place of hybrid design in desktop history, or whether they will be thrown in the trash like last year’s Lakefield.

The recent leak from AdoredTV contains much of what we have about the expected Raptor Lake projects.

Need a new processor but are unsure of all the letters in some models? Here is a quick and simple explanation of what the letters mean for Intel processors.

Intel Core CPU Naming Scheme

The name of the Intel Core processor consists of a total of six segments:

Company Name

There is not much to say about the company’s name – it’s Intel, and it indicates that the processor was made by Intel.

Brand Name

Now Intel has many brands in their CPU selection, all designed for different things. To list the most popular ones you will meet today:

  1. Core, aimed primarily at mainstream desktops, be it gaming PCs or workstations.
  2. Xeon, which includes some of the most powerful processors on the market today with an unmatched number of cores and threads, designed for heavy workstations and servers.
  3. Pentium, inexpensive processors that are suitable for the occasional computer user.
  4. Celeron, entry-level solutions ideal for those on a tight budget.
  5. Atom, energy-saving processors designed mainly for mobile devices.

In addition to these five, Intel also sells Movidius VPUs and Quark microcontrollers. In the past, they also had many other brands that have since been phased out.

Brand Modifier

Intel Core i3 i5 and i7

Intel processors are further distinguished by their overall performance and price. When it comes to Intel Core models, you’ll find that they are further divided into four categories:

  1. i3 – the most affordable Core models that are perfect for inexpensive gaming PCs.
  2. i5 – Mid-range processors that are usually best suited to the average gamer.
  3. i7 – High-class processors that are perfect for both games and professional, processor-intensive software.
  4. i9 – enthusiast-class processors that are usually really only worth buying for workstations.

Generation Indicator

Intel Core 11th generation

This is another fairly simple part of the processor name and indicates which generation the processor belongs to. The latest Intel desktop processors are in the 11th generation, and that’s what the “11” in “Intel Core i5-11600K” stands for.

Overall, each subsequent generation of the processor offers some kind of improvement. Usually this is just an overall performance boost, but newer generations may also incorporate some new features that their predecessors lacked. For example, Gen 11 Core processors support PCIe 4.0, while Gen 10 models do not.

Model/SKU Number

The model number / SKU usually consists of 3 digits, and while it’s a generic number that doesn’t really say anything about a CPU spec or its capabilities, it indicates its position in the hierarchy within the generation it belongs to.

For example you have i3-10100, i5-10600, i7-10700 and i9-10900, each CPU is more powerful than the previous one. Thus, models marked with higher numbers have more computing power and may have access to certain features that are lacking in cheaper alternatives.


So, this would be a quick overview of the Intel Core processor naming scheme and lettering designations you’ll encounter today when purchasing a new processor.

We should note that we have not included some lettering notations that only existed on some older, discontinued models, but we will update the article in case any of them return or if Intel adds new markings to mix in the future.

Also, if you’re buying a new CPU now, be sure to check out our pick of the best gaming processors of 2022. There you’ll find a more detailed guide and some CPUs that might be perfectly suited to your needs.

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However, these numbers don’t necessarily mean anything if you’re comparing multi-generation CPUs. This means that the cheapest i3 model released this year could easily outperform what was the top i7 processor a few years ago.

What you need to know

  • Intel announced a series of new 12th Generation Alder Lake processors in a new manufacturing process from “Intel 7.
  • The new 12th generation processors are the first Intel processors to use a hybrid architecture similar to ARM chips and unlock DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 support.
  • You can pre-order the new 12th Gen processors starting at $ 264 today.

Intel today announced new processors, the first Intel 7-based chips. This new manufacturing process is a progression (and successor) to the existing 14nm process used in 10th and 11th generation Intel processors (some of the best processors available). The 12th generation flagship processor is the Core i9-12900K and is positioned as the new king of PC gaming.

The range starts at the Core i5-12600KF, starting at just $ 264. This CPU has 10 cores and 16 threads, which may surprise those who are used to the number of threads that double the physical cores. This change is due to a new Intel hybrid architecture design that Arm Ltd first introduced to the market with ARM processors.

Intel 12 generation box press

The official consumer packaging for Intel 12th Generation is bold. Source: Intel

Rather than treating all cores as equal and used for the same tasks, Intel now splits its processors into two with Performance (Golden Cove or “P-cores”) and Efficient-cores (Gracemont or “E-cores”). The former consists of the highest-performance cores Intel has ever produced, while the more efficient cores are dedicated to background tasks and low-priority processes.

It’s also common knowledge that Windows 11 uses this new scheduling technology to take advantage of this energy efficiency. As we wrote in August:

By offering two different cores, Intel introduces a new scheduler called Intel Thread Director that efficiently manages the workloads between the performance and performance cores. With this system, intense tasks – such as a game or a video editor – are assigned to p cores. If new tasks need to run in the background – such as email or network activity – they will go to e-core.

Now, if all p-cores are busy and there is another job that needs to be prioritized, the thread manager will determine if one of the current p-core loads can be transferred to the e-cores and then put into the new job accordingly. Now a lot of it has to do with software planning, so Intel has worked with Microsoft to take full advantage of the Thread Director feature in Windows 11.

Lake Olchowe of the 12th generation by Intel

source: Intel

The flagship gaming processor is the Core i9-12900K, which has a total of 16 cores and 24 threads. On paper, it is a machine that can reach 5.2 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Max technology. Also present is the company’s UHD Graphics 770 IGP, which allows you to play a lot of PC titles without the best graphics card.

Intel is delivering improvements in all areas with a new family of 12th Generation desktop processors. About 20% or more of the increase in gaming performance will allow PC owners to push the boundaries further with NVIDIA’s latest RTX graphics processors. There’s also DDR5 RAM, which can provide up to 36% faster photo editing, up to 32% faster video editing, up to 37% faster 3D modeling, and up to 100% faster multi-frame rendering performance.

Intel 12th Gen: Pricing, availability, and laptops?

The hero of the 12th generation Intel Core I9

source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Headquarters

The new processors are now available for pre-order with prices starting at $ 264 for the Core i5-12600KF, and the top-of-the-range Core i9 12900K is $ 589. For comparison, AMD released the venerable Ryzen 9 5950X at a price of $ 849 (retail; currently $ 749). When it comes to which benches are the best, you need to stay up to date with official reviews.

Coinciding with today’s news, Dell announced the new Alienware Aurora R13 gaming desktop and the new ultra-powerful XPS 8950 desktop for consumers and professionals, with both 12th-gen chipset options and powerful GPUs.

For those looking for 12th generation laptops, there’s not a word about these chips yet. Historically, Intel is announcing such deals at CES in January with a late Spring rollout, which may also apply to Alder Lake. Alleged benchmarks with the flagship i9-12900HK reveal a powerful chip that can clearly beat the Apple M1 Max in terms of performance (but unlikely when it comes to performance).

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