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Intel ‘Elder Lake’ 12th Gen Core i9, Core i7, Core i5 Desktop CPUs Launched With 16 Heterogeneous Cores, PCIe 5.0, DDR5, Z690 Chipset



After months of teasers and architecture-level revelations, Intel’s ‘Elder Lake’ 12th Gen Core i9, Core i7, and Core i5 CPUs have been launched for gaming, workstation, and enthusiast desktop PCs. Six new models have been launched, all of which are unlockable and overclockable. These new CPUs are the first in the ‘Elder Lake’ family, and offer a mix of heterogeneous performance and efficiency cores for the first time in a consumer x86 PC. It also marks the arrival of DDR5 RAM and the PCIe 5.0 interconnect standard. Intel has yet to announce the availability of 12th generation CPUs for other segments such as laptops, although the company has said that additional desktop CPU models will follow in early 2022.

The new 12th generation ‘Elder Lake’ CPUs will have a mix of two different core types, which Intel is calling the ‘Performance Hybrid Architecture’. It works in much the same way as the ARM-based smartphone processors that have been developed over the years. This single architecture will serve all of Intel’s consumer CPU ranges with a variety of core types. All 12th generation Core CPUs will be manufactured on the newly renamed 10m ‘Intel 7’ process.

Prices in the US range from $589 (about Rs 43,380 before taxes) to $264 (about Rs 19,445 before taxes) for the Core i5-12600KF’s top-end Core i9-12900K. Models without graphics capabilities cost slightly less than their counterparts with integrated GPU. These prices are per 1000 units, and may not reflect retail prices. Intel has said it expects strong retail availability despite global semiconductor shortages, and several PC OEMs are on board to ship pre-built desktops as well. Official prices in India are yet to be confirmed, but some retail listings without prices appeared online early last week.

The new ‘Golden Cove’ Performance (P) core replaces the ‘Willow Cove’ core in the existing ‘Tiger Lake’ architecture, while the ‘Gracemont’ Efficiency (E) core architecture can be considered a descendant of the erstwhile Intel Atom CPU range. . Intel’s first hybrid CPU, codenamed ‘Lakefield’, was launched in 2020, but has seen very few actual shipping devices. The 12th-generation desktop Core i9 CPUs so far feature 16 cores (8P+8E), compared to 12 cores (8P+4E) in the Core i7 model and 10 cores (6P+) in the Core i5 model. 4E) are.

While the P core is intended to handle high-impact lightly threaded workloads, background tasks and more multi-threaded tasks can be delegated to the E core. In addition, the P core continues to benefit from hyper-threading, allowing two threads to run simultaneously, but the E core does not, so 12th Gen Core CPUs will have non-linear core/thread counts. To balance workloads and ensure that optimal tasks are assigned to each type of core, Intel has developed a new dynamic scheduler it calls ThreadDirector. It requires Windows 11, and Intel says performance won’t be as optimized on Windows 10 or other operating systems. The thread director will first support the P core, then the E core, and only once saturated will the threads be assigned to the P core’s hyper-threading capability.

Each P core has its own L2 cache, while clusters of four E cores share their L2 cache. These feed into a common L3 cache, allowing for quick transfer of data and low latency in optimal workloads for each core type. CPUs without the -F suffix will also have integrated Intel UHD 770 graphics based on the Xe LP architecture.

The new Z690 platform controller is introduced, and 12th Zen Core desktop CPUs use a newer, larger LGA1700 socket. Platform-level features for this generation include the first use of DDR5 RAM, with official support for up to 128GB (dual-channel) 4800MT/s with h XMP 3.0 profile. DDR4-3200 RAM is also supported, and motherboard manufacturers will decide which standard to go with on each model. The Elder Lake CPUs support up to 16 lanes of PCIe 5.0, which doubles the bandwidth of PCIe 4.0. New CPU and RAM overclocking controls have also been introduced.

Intel Elderlake Skus Intel

The Core i9-1200K is described as “the world’s best gaming processor” and Intel says it delivers significant advantages in gaming as well as content creation workloads compared to the octa-core Core i9-11900K . It can run up to 5.2GHz. Two different core types run at different base and turbo speeds: 2.4–3.9GHz for the E core and 3.2–5.1GHz for the P core. Base and peak power ratings are 125W and 241W respectively.

Intel claims a 19 percent gen-on-gen performance improvement for the P Core. The Core i9-12900K is said to deliver 50 percent more multi-threaded performance than the Core i9-11900K at a slightly lower 241W peak power consumption than the 250W. At rated 125W stock TDP, performance is up to 30 percent better, while the same level of performance can be achieved within the 65W power range. When gaming and streaming simultaneously, Intel claims a better frame rate of up to 84 percent. When exporting video edited while processing RAW images, this figure is said to be 47 percent. Even running these tasks in sequence rather than running them together is said to be faster.

The rest of the lineup includes the Core i9-12900KF with almost identical specifications; As well as the Core i7-12700K, Core i7-12700KF, Core i5-12600K, and Core i5-12600KF. The -F suffix indicates a lack of integrated graphics capabilities, while the -K suffix indicates that these are all unlocked and overclockable models. Lower-end versions of these CPUs should be launched in Q1 next year, potentially as early as CES 2022.


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