14 October 2021
Intel's much-awaited and rumored 12th Generation 'Alder Lake' family of CPU chipsets is finally official. It has taken wraps off six different chipsets with three featuring integrated GPUs: Core i9-12900K, Core i7-12700K, Core i5-12600K. The other three are simply versions of these processors with no integrated GPU. The new family comes with the biggest architectural shift in a decade for the company.
The 12th Gen Intel CPUs are the first ones to be based on the Intel 7 process and to feature the new performance hybrid architecture. The latter means that Intel has opted for a combination of Performance cores aka P-cores and Efficient-cores aka E-cores. This results in only P-cores being capable of multi-threading. This is an approach that is very common among smartphone chipsets.
The Intel Core i9-12900K is the flagship processor in the family. It is claimed to be "the world's best gaming processor" featuring 16 cores (eight P-cores and eight E-cores) and 24 threads. It is said to deliver up to 25% more FPS on Troy: A Total War Saga, up to 28% more FPS on Hitman 3, and up to 23% more FPS on Far Cry 6. It supports Intel's Turbo Boost Max 3.0 technology which enables it to reach clock speeds up to 5.2GHz.
These new processors support DDR5 memory and PCIe 5.0, up to 30MB Intel Smart Cache L3, 14MB L2 cache, WiFi 6E for high-speed connectivity, and Thunderbolt 4. The integrated GPU is Intel UHD Graphics 770 on all three processor models. As mentioned in the beginning, there is no GPU with "KF" variants of these processors. The 12th Gen Intel Core CPUs are already up for pre-orders with sales beginning November 4th. The pricing starts at $264 and goes all the way up to $589 for the top-end model.
Gregory Bryant, Intel executive VP and GM of the Client Computing Group said:
“The performance hybrid architecture of 12th Gen Intel Core processors is an architectural shift made possible by close co-engineering of software and hardware that will deliver new levels of leadership performance for generations. This begins with the arrival of our flagship Core i9-12900K – the world’s best gaming processor – and you will see even more incredible experiences as we ship the rest of the 12th Gen family and beyond.”