Intel 10nm Alder Lake-S CPU engineering sample spotted in Geekbench database

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,212   +883
Staff member
In brief: Geekbench 5 scores for Intel's upcoming Alder Lake-S CPU have turned up online. The benchmarks are sub-stellar but not unexpected from an early engineering sample (ES). Mostly the sighting confirms what we already suspected and firms up the possibility for a Q4 2021 release.

There has been another sighting of Intel's elusive 12th-gen Alder Lake-S CPU. Notable hardware leaker @Tum_Apisak spotted the silicon's benchmark scores uploaded to the Geekbench database Monday evening.

The Geekbench 5 results list it with 16 cores/24 threads running at 1.4GHz, consistent with a previous sighting on the SiSoft Sandra benchmarking database back in October. The Alder Lake CPU scored 996 in single-core tests and 6931 for multi-core. Performance is nothing to get excited about, but keep in mind that this is a very early engineering sample. Intel's production die is likely to have a much higher clock speed.

So far, details have been vague regarding Intel's next-gen Alder Lake CPU lineup. In May, a supply-chain leak indicated that the new chipset would support the LGA 1700 socket. The following month a leaked internal memo out of Intel confirmed the switch. Photos also surfaced in October indicating as much. The Geekbench tests were run on an Intel Alder Lake-S ADP-S DDR4 CRB LGA 1700 socketed motherboard.

Previous leaks indicated that this Alder Lake-S chip comprises eight Golden Cove cores with 16 threads and eight Gracemont cores with eight threads on a 10nm die. This configuration is similar to Arm's big.LITTLE design, combining eight high-powered cores with eight energy-efficient ones. The CPU also features 30 MB of L3 cache and 12.5 MB of L2 cache. The iGPU has 256 shader cores at 1.15 GHz running on Intel's Xe LP graphics engine.

We still have no official word on a possible timeframe for production and release, but as we are starting to see ES versions popping up, we suspect Intel is shooting for a late 2021 launch.

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Uncle Al

Posts: 8,352   +7,164
I think it's just my old age but I long for another time when the chips and ram would have a table that showed what motherboards could accommodate them. It's something I think once started, could easily be updated with each release. It would be a great service to use older computer builders and want to keep a hand in without having to slug our way through all the "mystery" .....
 

yRaz

Posts: 3,900   +4,146
I think it's just my old age but I long for another time when the chips and ram would have a table that showed what motherboards could accommodate them. It's something I think once started, could easily be updated with each release. It would be a great service to use older computer builders and want to keep a hand in without having to slug our way through all the "mystery" .....
I don't miss playing with motherboard jumpers but building computers these days feels too easy.
 

Irata

Posts: 1,808   +3,043
I don't miss playing with motherboard jumpers but building computers these days feels too easy.

A plus of jumpers was that you could properly set up CPU that were not destined for desktop boards (e.g. mobile variants that needed a lower voltage).
 

Aryassen

Posts: 187   +222
While it is an interesting engineering feat, I really don't see the point of having a big.LITTLE-like setup in a desktop environment. All modern processors can clock down to be extremely frugal, so is it really the best way to spend valuable wafer real-estate? Or is Alder lake a mobile oriented product line?
 

yRaz

Posts: 3,900   +4,146
DDR4 huh, I thought we'd start seeing DDR5 towards the end of 2021 / early 2022?
It looks like DDR5 support will come alongside AMD's next generation of CPUs in 2022 which gives me ever more reason to wait to upgrade. That, and lack of work from Covid has made me broke.... That aside, I recently got a free 1800x and a 32GB ram upgrade from the parts bin so I have even less reason to buy new hardware now. I suppose an 1800x, 64 gigs of ram and a 1070ti will have to last me till then....I don't know how I'll possible manage....
 

mongeese

Posts: 533   +111
Staff member
While it is an interesting engineering feat, I really don't see the point of having a big.LITTLE-like setup in a desktop environment. All modern processors can clock down to be extremely frugal, so is it really the best way to spend valuable wafer real-estate? Or is Alder lake a mobile oriented product line?
An excellent question! I don't think there's an answer available presently. I suspect, though, that the little and big cores differ in more ways. Maybe the little cores are multi-core oriented and the big cores are single-thread optimised. Perhaps in an 8 + 8 config, only the little cores have multi-threading, hence the 24 threads… although it's not uncommon for Geekbench to misread these things so perhaps not. But I imagine there's many new ideas Intel will be implementing.
 

neeyik

Posts: 1,881   +2,202
Staff member
Maybe the little cores are multi-core oriented and the big cores are single-thread optimised. Perhaps in an 8 + 8 config, only the little cores have multi-threading, hence the 24 threads
That’s exactly how it is. The big cores use Intel’s Core architecture, as used in their current lineup; the little cores are Atom architecture. The latter are single threaded only.

Edit: Officially, Intel hasn't said too much about Alder Lake, but in their 2020 Architecture Day event, they said that it would use Golden Cove (Core) and Gracement (Atom) cores: both are updates to their current family lines of Tiger Lake CPUs, which uses Willow Cove cores, and Lakefield, which uses the hybrid system of Sunny Cove (as found in Ice Lake CPUs) and Tremont (Atom P series).
 
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captaincranky

Posts: 17,660   +6,445
God, don't y'all think it's about time?

Intel's dalliance in endless iterations of their 14 nm process, and the seemingly endless delays with their absurd "road map", are about to cost them their dominance in the field.

Bear in mind I build with Intel chips, but I'm far from what you could call a "fanboy". My final word, "show me something, or bugger off".