Intel Atom successor spotted, an entry-level chip featuring i9-12900K E-cores

AaronK

Posts: 13   +0
Bottom line: Intel's N95 is an upcoming budget friendly processor that is considered to be the successor to Atom processors. The chip punches above its weight class in Geekbench 5 and performs similarly to mid-range mobile CPUs from just a few years ago. As a result, it is significantly faster compared to any of Intel's Atom-based CPU architectures, thanks to the use of the Alder Lake-N architecture featuring the same Gracemont efficiency cores found in the Core i9-12900K.

Twitter user @BenchLeaks, shared a new Geekbench 5 listing featuring an upcoming Intel processor called the N95. We believe this chip will be targeting entry-level devices such Chromebooks, lower-cost laptops and tablets, using the Alder Lake-N CPU architecture featuring Gracemont CPU cores. The N95's Geekbench performance reflects this, with benchmark scores equivalent to Intel's 6th generation Skylake mobile CPUs from several years ago.

Alder Lake-N is a future Intel CPU architecture designed specifically for budget-friendly systems. The architecture takes advantage of the same Gracemont efficiency cores found in Intel's hybrid CPU architecture -- such as Alder Lake and Raptor Lake -- but forgoes the hybrid portion altogether. The architecture relies entirely on Gracemont cores to do all the heavy lifting.

Making a CPU entirely out of efficiency cores (or E-cores) might seem like a bad idea, but Intel's Gracemont are not as slow as you might think. These cores retain the same performance as Intel's Skylake CPUs from several years ago, and are both smaller and substantially more efficient. These chips are much faster than any of Intel's previous low-power designs which were incorporated into its Atom CPUs.

We don't know the full lineup of Alder Lake-N products, but the core architecture enables up to two quad core clusters to be used on a single SoC, allowing two, four, six and eight core configurations to be created. The N95 in particular is a quad core part which we assume consists of a single Gracemont core cluster, rather than two clusters with two cores disabled. According to Geekbench 5 the chip has a base frequency of 1.7GHz and a max turbo clock of 2.8GHz with a cache configuration featuring 2MB of L2 cache and 6MB of L3 cache.

Another fact worth mentioning, is the N95 and all future budget CPUs will no longer be branded Pentium or Celeron. Intel has reportedly shelved the two names for the foreseeable future, and is replacing them with a simplistic "Intel Processor" nomenclature.

In Geekbench 5, the N95 scores 781 points in the single-core benchmark and 1978 points in the multi-core test. This is about as quick as Intel's i5-6300HQ quad core Skylake mobile processor from 2015, and matches most of Intel's more recent dual-core mobile chips in the same benchmark. On the AMD side, the N95 gets close to the desktop Ryzen 3 2200G.

Of course, these benchmark shouldn't be taken as an absolute as Geekbench 5 is just one synthetic benchmark out of many that can measure CPU performance and it's not renowned for reflecting real-world performance in general. But, if the N95 can roughly match these older processors in its pre-production state, it will likely become a solid entry-level mobile CPU that might become even better if full production variants arrive with higher clock speeds.

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VitalyT

Posts: 6,524   +7,467
This whole Intel strategy reminds me very much of the plot from "The Wolf of Wall Street" movie:
Once we've suckered them in, we unload the dog $hit.
Intel is using the recent spike in sales to assume instant supremacy again, and start pitching the old crap that nobody needs. Remember how a couple of years ago they managed to push 40,000 useless laptops with Celeron to some corrupt government? That's what they do.

P.S. I still own a Nokia N95 mobile, one of my favorites, back in the day. So Intel has missed on the name too.
 
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bviktor

Posts: 1,200   +1,740
They should fix their CURRENT gen Atom supplies first. We've been waiting for Tremont for ages. After YEARS, we got the Gigabyte N5105I H, but it's still paper launch at its finest, nowhere to be found.

Goldmont Plus was released FIVE years ago, it's way overdue for a successor.
 

mbk34

Posts: 457   +370
So it's an Intel CPU that doesn't include P cores and matches the performance of processors released 7 years ago. Can someone just explain why this is noteworthy? Is it a SOC that might make Chromebooks etc much cheaper? Does it use far less power and so improve battery life?
 

azicat

Posts: 182   +230
So it's an Intel CPU that doesn't include P cores and matches the performance of processors released 7 years ago. Can someone just explain why this is noteworthy? Is it a SOC that might make Chromebooks etc much cheaper? Does it use far less power and so improve battery life?
You've answered your own question. Uses a fraction of the power used by Skylake to achieve similar performance.
 

mbk34

Posts: 457   +370
You've answered your own question. Uses a fraction of the power used by Skylake to achieve similar performance.
Then why doesn't the article mention the power use so we can see this? It just seems like a poor article if it states that this new CPU offers similar performance to a 7 year old product but then doesn't state clearly why this is still a good thing.
 

Dr Roboto

Posts: 72   +163
Then why doesn't the article mention the power use so we can see this? It just seems like a poor article if it states that this new CPU offers similar performance to a 7 year old product but then doesn't state clearly why this is still a good thing.
"These cores retain the same performance as Intel's Skylake CPUs from several years ago, and are both smaller and substantially more efficient. These chips are much faster than any of Intel's previous low-power designs which were incorporated into its Atom CPUs."

It would have been nice though if they actually listed the Wattage numbers. I found this with a quick search.
Skylake i3-6300 (2 cores w/ hyperthreading) 51W
Skylake i5-6300HQ quad core 45W
Atom C2350 dual core 6W
Atom C2750 octa core 12-20W
 

Tams80

Posts: 200   +153
Then why doesn't the article mention the power use so we can see this? It just seems like a poor article if it states that this new CPU offers similar performance to a 7 year old product but then doesn't state clearly why this is still a good thing.

The author assumed that us readers would know that Atom SoCs are low power, for lower consumption and reduced heat output.

Apparently they were wrong, as you're here.
 

mbk34

Posts: 457   +370
The author assumed that us readers would know that Atom SoCs are low power, for lower consumption and reduced heat output.

Apparently they were wrong, as you're here.
I'm here to learn about new technology. If the main point of these CPU's is their efficiency and the author doesn't mention this, let alone provide hard numbers, then it's a pretty poor article. Maybe it's fine for those that think they already know everything.
 

neeyik

Posts: 2,555   +3,124
Staff member
It would have been nice though if they actually listed the Wattage numbers.
I'm here to learn about new technology. If the main point of these CPU's is their efficiency and the author doesn't mention this, let alone provide hard numbers, then it's a pretty poor article. Maybe it's fine for those that think they already know everything.
It wasn't mentioned because the N95 has been released yet, so we don't know for certain what its various power limits are. The processing and power behaviors in Gracemont are complex, too much so for inclusion in a short news article. Chips and cheese has done a thorough analysis of them, but it's highly technical
 

Vanderlinde

Posts: 232   +138
So it's an Intel CPU that doesn't include P cores and matches the performance of processors released 7 years ago. Can someone just explain why this is noteworthy? Is it a SOC that might make Chromebooks etc much cheaper? Does it use far less power and so improve battery life?

Its power efficient X86 / X64 type of CPU's (no risc) which are the cut down versions of the expensive chips that did'nt meet quality guidelines.
 

Ben Myers

Posts: 227   +87
It wasn't mentioned because the N95 has been released yet, so we don't know for certain what its various power limits are. The processing and power behaviors in Gracemont are complex, too much so for inclusion in a short news article. Chips and cheese has done a thorough analysis of them, but it's highly technical
In other words, folks, keep cool and stay tuned.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 19,350   +8,485
Then why doesn't the article mention the power use so we can see this? It just seems like a poor article if it states that this new CPU offers similar performance to a 7 year old product but then doesn't state clearly why this is still a good thing.
ArronK probably didn't realize he had a second editor in chief to report to, and just winged it, hoping Julio wouldn't notice.