At last, the mast consumer marketing is finally moving to the next phase and generation through the introduction of the 12th Gen Intel Core CPU lineup, a.k.a Alder Lake.

Intel Alder Lake

Pushing to even new heights of multi-threaded performance while still staying the king of single-threaded workloads, the launch of the Alder Lake CPU series will see a total of 6 new unlocked desktop SKUs including the spotlight of the show, the Intel Core 19-12900K. Built on the Intel 7 process, the entirety of the full 12th Gen Intel Core family will host an astounding 60 models with TDP ranging from a minuscule 9W for low-power deployment to number-crunching 125W tailored towards enthusiasts desktops.

This is also Intel’s first ambitious take on the hybrid architectural design which some of you may be familiar with such as the ARM’s big.LITTLE technology where Team Blue gave them even simpler names: Performance Cores or P-Cores for the powerful ones and Efficient Cores or E-Cores for the less-powered but very efficient ones designed for scalable multi-threaded workloads. To make the operating system knows what task is more suitable for which cores, the newly baked-in Intel Thread Director will do exactly that by essentially becoming the middle to guild the OS into making the best decisions in order to harness the full capacity of these new hybrid CPUs. And worry not, Intel has directly worked with Microsoft for Windows 11’s compatibility on this feature set and is reportedly fully usable on launch.

To settle everyone’s expectations, Intel also shed light on some of the benchmarked results using its flagship Core 19-12900K running some of the hottest titles and applications in the market now:

  • 25% more FPS on Troy: A Total War Saga
  • 28% more FPS on Hitman 3
  • 23% more FPS on Far Cry 6
  • 75% less latency through Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6E during gaming with multitasking in the background
  • Up to 84% more FPS for professional streaming setups with concurrent gaming, recording, and upstreaming tasks

The new Alder Lake CPU also comes with a new set of overclocking tools which are part of the Intel Extreme Tuning Utility (XTU) 7.5 utility that provides 1-click OC towards the CPU with Intel Speed Optimizer while the Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) is getting revised to 3.0 to support DDR5 and additional Quality-of-Life updates such as rewritable custom profiles and more flexible tuning towards the memory modules. Together with these, multimedia and creative production’s efficiency level can be boosted for up to 36% faster in photo editing, 32% in video editing, 37% in 3D modeling, and a whopping 100% in multi-frame rendering. Other than that, the support for PCIe 5.0 is also available as a form of futureproofing as well but even 4.0 has not been fully mainstreamed yet so we can see Intel is definitely looking way ahead of the game in terms of technology adoption rate.

Speaking of that, the new 600 series with the first one being Z690 coming out in the market soon, carries a total of either 24 PCIe 4.0 lanes or 16 PCIe 5.0 lanes, integrated USD 3.2 Gen 2×2 and DMI Gen 4.0 for faster CPU throughput in addition to the debut of Intel Volume Management Device that simplifies storage control by allowing the PCIe bus to directly access NVMe-based storage devices without going needing additional RAID controller.

For a summary, here’s a quick view containing key info of the 6 available models at launch for the 12th Gen Intel Core processors.

Processor Model Core / Threads L2 / L3 Cache

Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 Frequency

Max Turbo Frequency (P-Core / E-Core

Base Frequency (P-Core / E-Core)

Integrated GPU PCIe Lanes Max Memory Speed Memory Channel Max Capacity TDP (Base / Max)

i9-12900K

16 (8P + 8E) / 24

14MB / 30MB

Up to 5.2GHz

Up to 5.1GHz / Up to 3.9GHz

3.2GHz / 2.4GHz

Intel UHD Graphics 770

20

DDR5 4800 MT/s

DDR4 3200 MT/s

2

128GB

125W / 241W

i9-12900KF

16 (8P + 8E) / 24

14MB / 30MB

Up to 5.2GHz

i7-12700K

12 (8P + 4E) / 20

12MB / 25MB

Up to 5.0GHz

Up to 4.9GHz / Up to 3.8GHz

3.6GHz / 2.7GHz

Intel UHD Graphics 770

125W / 190W

i7-12700KF

12 (8P + 4E) / 20

12MB / 25MB

Up to 5.0GHz

i5-12600K

10 (6P + 4E) / 16

9.5MB / 20MB-

Up to 4.9GHz / Up to 3.6GHz

3.7GHz / 2.8GHz

Intel UHD Graphics 770

125W / 150W

i5-12600KF

10 (6P + 4E) / 16

9.5MB / 20MB

Availability 

While OEMs, channel partners, and retailers have been preparing to stock and shelve up these new 12th Gen Intel Core Unlocked CPUs, worldwide availability will be commenced starting November 4, according to Intel with pricing going from USD264 to USD589 for the lowest and highest tier offerings. To add to that, Intel also announced that mobile versions of these CPUs will be debuted around early next year.

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