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Alder Lake: What you need to know about Intel Core 12th Gen

Intel Alder Lake has been announced and will be the 12th generation of Intel Core processors, succeeding the Rocket Lake generation of Intel chips.

Alder Lake is Intel’s latest processor and uses a hybrid architecture and a thread director to provide better performance than the companies previous processors.

It will utilise a combination of Golden Cove high-performance cores and Gracemont power-saving cores, in a similar approach to Apple’s M1 processor.

Intel has claimed Alder Lake will have the best performance per watt yet, with three different DDP configurations, at 125, 65 and 35 watts.

Keep reading to find out everything we know about Intel Alder Lake.

Release date

Intel Alder Lake should be released at the end of October, though no specific dates have been released yet. The company has confirmed it will initially launch desktop chips, with mobile Alder Lake parts following at an unspecified point afterwards.


Intel Alder Lake will be available both as a desktop processor and as a mobile CPU for laptops. There has been no word on pricing right now, but we expect them to cost the same amount as past generations. Intel declined Trusted’s request for comment on further details saying they would follow “in the near future”.

The laptop chips will depend on the manufacturers that will be housing the new Intel chips, which looks to be Microsoft, as you won’t be able to buy the mobile processors separately.


Intel Alder Lake will be using a hybrid architecture with a mix of both high-performance and high-efficiency cores within the chips thread director. This should allow Intel to prioritise certain applications to ensure the desktop is running at top performance.

Intel will be using an Intel 7 process (also known as the 10nm Enhanced SuperFin) which the company revealed should give a 19% improvement per performance watt compared to the previous generation, Intel 11, according to the firm. An Intel spokesperson declined Trusted’s request for further details about what specific processes the 19% referred to calling it a “generalist” figure.

Intel Alder Lake will also support DDR5 memory for desktop PCs and LPDDR5 for laptops. The new chips will be using an LGA 1700 socket and Intel Xe will be used again as the GPU architecture. Alder Lake was scaled from desktop to mobile, to ensure that it supports all client segments.

Intel Alder Lake is a hardware solution and should allow for optimal task scheduling across all control types. The company claimed that the chip will be able to handle common consumer activities, such as browsing the web or gaming, while tempering to a lower power budget. Though again, estimates for TDP and Thermals have not been disclosed.

Intel Alder Lake also has up to 16 cores, eight power cores and eight high-efficiency cores, which should allow for sufficient offload of background tasks.

The architecture will also be optimised for use on Windows 11 with Intel having coordinated with Microsoft to bake the new thread management software directly into the operating system. Sadly, we don’t know much about how it will run other operating systems, such as Linux.

Thread director

The thread director means that the desktop should be able to work smarter and not harder, using less power to get better performance.

Intel Alder Lake will be able to hit 24 threads and should be able to give ‘hints’ to ensure that the power cores and high-efficiency codes are offloading the background tasks and prioritising the tasks in the foreground.

These hints will say when to power save on an application or when to give it a boost.

Intel has said that priority tasks will occur in P-core and the background tasks in E-core, but since everything is dynamic it will always make sure the highest priority is focused on to avid stuttering of foreground applications.


Intel Alder Lake is not officially available yet, so there are no review samples currently available so we don’t have any benchmarks to share as of right now.

However, HotHardware has spotted that Twitter user @oneRaichu has claimed to be in possession of an Intel Core i9-12900K QS (qualification sample) processor and has put it through numerous benchmark tests.

When putting the processor through the Cinebench R20 benchmark, Twitter user @oneRaichu claims this processor hit 810 in the Single Thread test and 11,600 in the Multi-Thread test.

HotHardware revealed that these scores surpassed the benchmark results of the AMD Ryzen 5950X, which is an impressive feat considering it features 16 cores and 32 threads.

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