In a nutshell: Intel’s 12th-gen Alder Lake chips are some way off—we still have Rocket Lake’s arrival in a few months—but benchmarks for one of the desktop hybrid CPUs have just been discovered.
Prolific hardware leaker @Tum_Apisak found the Alder Lake-S results on the SiSoft Sandra benchmarking database. It lists a chip that features 16 cores and 32 threads, though the software sometimes detects it as 16 threads and 24 threads in certain benchmarks. There’s also 30MB of L3 cache and 10x 1.25MB L2.
Intel AlderLake-S ADP-S DRR4 CRB
— APISAK (@TUM_APISAK) October 6, 2020
It’s expected that this Alder Lake-S chip is made up of eight Golden Cove cores (big) and eight Gracemont cores (little), similar to Arm’s big.LITTLE design, combining eight high-powered cores with eight energy-efficient ones.
Elsewhere, the chip is listed with a clock speed of 1.4 GHz, likely for the Gracemont cores. The iGPU has 256 shader cores at 1.15 GHz and will almost certainly be Intel’s Xe LP graphics engine, which we saw running Battlefield V at 30fps on a laptop without a dedicated graphics card earlier this year.
We’ve heard that Alder Lake-S, which is expected to be built on the 10nm SuperFin process, uses the PCIe 4.0 interface, and the Sabrent Rocket 4.0 NVMe it’s paired with here suggests this will be the case. It’s also said to support PCIe 5.0, so we can expect to see some blistering fast drives in the future, and it may be Intel’s first consumer processors to support DDR5, which has just seen its first modules launched by SK Hynix.
Leaked Intel documents from earlier this year claim that Alder Lake will abandon the LGA 1200 socket launched with Comet Lake (also set for use in Rocket Lake) in favor of the LGA 1700 socket. In addition to the 500 extra pins, it’s rumored to be a rectangular shape (45mm × 37.5mm) rather than the usual square.
As for the SiSoft Sandra results, we do see Alder Lake-S beat the Ryzen 5 3600 in some benchmarks, though we shouldn’t read too much into these right now.