Intel to Convey Smartphone CPU Design to 12th Gen Desktop

The benchmarks for the unannounced 12th generation Intel Alder Lake-S desktop processors have been leaked, suggesting the company may be doing well with its silicon development. Alder Lake-S will be Intel's first desktop processor to move to a 10nm node, so gamers can probably expect some performance gains, but the chip will also bring other architectural changes, such as the adoption of the big.LITTLE -Core designs of mobile devices.

Although the Geekbench benchmark results noted by Twitter user @TUM_APISAK showed that the 12th generation processor tested contained 16 cores and 24 threads, the core configuration differs from current Intel desktop processors or even the Ryzen 5000 CPUs from AMD. Although not confirmed to equip Alder Lake with a total of 16 high-performance cores, Intel is to configure this chipset with eight Golden Cove cores with 16 threads and eight Gracemont cores with eight threads, reported Wccftech.

Golden Cove and Gracemont in action

The Golden Cove cores are the high performance cores and the Gracemont cores are the energy efficient cores based on Intel's Atom architecture. Both core types are expected to offer improved single-threaded performance, while the Gracemont cores also have higher clock speeds and vector performances. Intel is also expected to build in enhanced security features and improve the performance of artificial intelligence on its powerful Golden Cove cores.

While combining high performance and efficiency cores in a hybrid design makes sense on mobile devices to reduce power consumption, it is unclear why Intel is switching to this design on desktop devices, where battery life is not an issue. It is unclear how the hybrid mix of 16 cores behaves compared to a conventional core design of the 16-core AMD Ryzen 9 5950X with 32 threads and a base speed of 3.4 GHz.

The Geekbench test found that the early technical sample from Alder Lake S – which turned out to be "Original Intel Family 6 Model 151 Stepping 0" – was clocked at 1.40 GHz, which was a slow speed. Additionally, the chip was also found to have a maximum speed of 17.6 GHz, which was likely a bug as an early silicon prototype was used with the benchmark.

The processor only achieved 996 points in the single-core test and 6,931 points in the multi-core test. These low numbers shouldn't be a problem – and shouldn't be indicative of the final processor's performance – if you're considering upgrading to an Alder Lake desktop, as was the case with an early engineering prototype. We assume that leaks closer to the start show clock rates and performance that are more in line with Alder Lake's performance after launch.

Additional specifications indicated that the processor was configured with 30 MB L3 cache and 12.5 MB L2 cache. Although it was tested on an Alder Lake-S ADP-S internal DDR4 CRB card with 16GB of memory, it is unclear whether DDR4 or DDR5 RAM was used.

Ready for 2021

Although Intel has not given an exact start date for Alder Lake-S, the chip is expected to hit the market in late 2021. Hopefully, closer to the launch date, we will learn more about Alder Lake's actual clock speed and performance.

Prior to the leaked benchmark, Intel had released a video detailing how some of the effects of the pandemic had been used to convert its offices and factories to meet its silicon requirements. Responding to previous reports that the company was unable to meet demand for its processors, Intel claimed it could double the manufacturing capacity and yield of its chips in recent years, according to the marketing video. Hopefully, Intel's efforts would keep the company's processors from facing the same bottlenecks that plagued AMD and Nvidia in recent months.

The Alder Lake chipset was compared to the Intel LGA 1700 platform, which also supports DDR5 memory, PCIe 5.0, and the latest Thunderbolt and Wi-Fi standards.

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