Some games might need an update to be compatible with Intel Alder Lake processors

mongeese

Posts: 533   +111
Staff member
Recap: Intel published a developer’s guide to their Alder Lake processors on Friday, which we reported on at the time. But since then, a brief passage that tells developers to find out if the DRMs they use are compatible with Alder Lake’s hybrid architecture has caused a bit of a stir.

It’s not unheard of for DRMs to cause trouble for new hardware releases. However, Alder Lake is so different from Intel’s current processors that some developers believe that based on Intel’s documentation, games that come equipped with DRMs are likely to be outright incompatible until they’re updated.

Although it sounds frightening, it's not that bad. Intel has said that they're already collaborating with DRM developers to create and distribute the updates that Alder Lake requires, implying that the majority of DRM-equipped games will support the platform at launch. Additionally, many games have their DRMs removed after they're cracked or are launched without a DRM, to begin with, bypassing any issues entirely.

From Intel’s FAQ section: "Are there any potential compatibility issues with Data Relationship Management (DRM) middleware?"

If your existing or upcoming game uses a DRM middleware, you might want to contact the middleware provider and confirm that it supports hybrid architectures in general, and the upcoming Intel ADL platform in particular.

Due to the nature of modern DRM algorithms, it might use CPU detection, and should be aware of the upcoming hybrid platforms. Intel is working with leading DRM providers such as Denuvo to make sure their solutions support new platforms.

Unfortunately, poorly maintained DRM-equipped games could be incompatible with Alder Lake. Small games that are a few years old are probably the highest risk. Players might need to convince developers to update their games or remove the DRM if Intel doesn’t.

Intel has made a good start by publishing their developer’s guide, but whether they’ll support developers through the entire update process maintains to be seen. If Intel takes responsibility for encouraging developers to optimize their games for Alder Lake, then this might be a non-issue.

Image credit: Luan Gjokaj

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Irata

Posts: 1,808   +3,043
So is the problem that DRM does not recognize the CPU and as a consequence does not run at all?

Not sure I understand what the problem is - wouldn‘t the same one exist for other new CPU, as well if CPU models are hard coded?
 

BSim500

Posts: 869   +2,018
But I wonder: What do we need a hybrid architecture for in the first place?
The entire point of Intel's hybrid 12th gen is to artificially inflate core count and synthetic benchmark scores like Cinebench in the MOAR CORE rat-race after hitting a power / thermal wall with adding more actual "performance" cores.

It's like a printer manufacturer that boasts "75 pages per minute" for an A4 printer vs the competition's 30ppm, then "forgets" to mention the way they measured that was by printing 15x A4 sheets normally + 15x A4 sized sheets that were divided into 4x A6 sized sheets (2x2), then says 'well if you were to cut them out into 60x separate A6 sheets of paper and add them to the first 15x A4 ones, there you go! 75 separate sheets of paper that you printed in 1min! Kinda...' ;)
 

Kosmoz

Posts: 461   +813
But I wonder: What do we need a hybrid architecture for in the first place?
We? We don't need it, intel does.

They spin this as a positive when in fact it's a negative: they are unable 1 year later to match Zen3's number of full sized cores, while still keeping power and heat in check, so they make this excuse of a new CPU and spin in the other way as the greatest thing since sliced bread, yet still they are 1 year later, fewer cores, still less efficient even like this and probably barely beating Zen3 in real scenarios, not leaked benchmarks.

They also need Win11 and DDR5 to do that, too. I'm glad for competition, but for me Alder Lake is not something amazing, just something better than the pathetic Rocket Lake, which is not a great measurement level to begin with...
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,043   +869
Less threads is progress?
No more performance is progress. If this architecture beats a traditional 16 core at compute tasks and benchmarks then having less threads means nothing, it would be the superior architecture.

You need to free your mind from core and thread count. Have a look at how fast the chip is for what you might use it for.
 

Tantor

Posts: 214   +413
No more performance is progress. If this architecture beats a traditional 16 core at compute tasks and benchmarks then having less threads means nothing, it would be the superior architecture.

You need to free your mind from core and thread count. Have a look at how fast the chip is for what you might use it for.

Performance will always be closely tied to the number of cores and threads.
 

CrisisDog

Posts: 253   +140
Why do we need hybrid architecture? Battery life and / or power consumption. They're going the way of Arm / Apple Silicon to create low power cores to deal with normal activities, while jumping to bigger power cores for number crunching stuff like games or code compiling. Guessing DRM doesn't know how to pick the proper core to run...
 

Mr Majestyk

Posts: 928   +821
Another reason to wait for Raptor Lake, apart from 25% IPC uplift, hopefully reduced power, but by then the architecture would have been out for a full year and a lot of these early adopter issues will be sorted. Alder Lake is promising apart from the god-awful power consumption, but I always steer clear of brand new architectures.
 

RedBear

Posts: 27   +23
The entire point of Intel's hybrid 12th gen is to artificially inflate core count and synthetic benchmark scores like Cinebench in the MOAR CORE rat-race after hitting a power / thermal wall with adding more actual "performance" cores.

It's like a printer manufacturer that boasts "75 pages per minute" for an A4 printer vs the competition's 30ppm, then "forgets" to mention the way they measured that was by printing 15x A4 sheets normally + 15x A4 sized sheets that were divided into 4x A6 sized sheets (2x2), then says 'well if you were to cut them out into 60x separate A6 sheets of paper and add them to the first 15x A4 ones, there you go! 75 separate sheets of paper that you printed in 1min! Kinda...' ;)
Following this printer logic hyperthreading similarly "artificially" inflates benchmarks and who knows, AMD fanboys might have made similar arguments back then, but who cares? The important thing is whether it works or not and I'll wait for the independent benchmarks before drawing conclusions about that.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,043   +869
Performance will always be closely tied to the number of cores and threads.
No it won’t be. We already have a huge variation in performance in todays chips. You can buy an 8 core atom that will be slower in most tasks compared to a quad core i3. A 6 core 5600X is around the same speed at multithreaded tasks as an 8 core 3700X.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,853   +1,911
I like that Intel let this be known before launch and progress is being made.

Others will spin it like it's the end of x86 etc etc etc etc etc.

Just think of it as Intel going through these hurdles so AMD won't have to. But that's not how they'll think of it of course.
 

Tantor

Posts: 214   +413
Performance will always be closely tied to the number of cores and threads.

No it won’t be. We already have a huge variation in performance in todays chips. You can buy an 8 core atom that will be slower in most tasks compared to a quad core i3. A 6 core 5600X is around the same speed at multithreaded tasks as an 8 core 3700X.

You're comparing entirely different processors. They have to be at the same technological level.
 

Kosmoz

Posts: 461   +813
Why do we need hybrid architecture? Battery life and / or power consumption. They're going the way of Arm / Apple Silicon to create low power cores to deal with normal activities, while jumping to bigger power cores for number crunching stuff like games or code compiling. Guessing DRM doesn't know how to pick the proper core to run...
Only this was not proven to be true (not yet) by intel... If anything AMD with full scale cores is more efficient than this hybrid intel stuff and until proven otherwise by trusted reviews after the launch, this is just a wish and a dream.

So far it looks to be the other way, they are trying to get better efficiency with hybrid, but instead get worse than Zen3 that does not use this gimmick.

Like I said above in my other post, if this gets confirmed by reviews, it's a fail.
 

ypsylon

Posts: 420   +357
I'm extremely skeptical about hybrid architecture.

On paper it has merits, but in reality it'll be exactly like hybrid cars vs normal cars. Hybrids are 2-3 as expensive to build, offer no benefits in normal use (except some niche fragment of the population which drives like 100km a year), have horrendous fuel economy. Hummer hybrid is basically epitome of an oxymoron.

I'll stick with my "normal" cores thank you very much. Intel shoots itself in the foot pushing this crap because it'll channel people to AMD. Considering that Intel boast benchmarks scores and not realistic real world software like Blender is hilarious in itself. Forgive me, but which company said that benchmarks are not realistic? Can't put the finger on the name... :p

I do sincerely hope ADL will flop to some degree at least. Hubris deserve to be punished hard.
 

Yenega

Posts: 302   +202
AMD is coming with their own hybrid chips and this is official. If you think this is only Intel, then you know nothing about the CPU market. Future is hybrid design. Big part of why Windows 11 got released with completely rebuilt thread scheduler.
 

Yenega

Posts: 302   +202
Performance will always be closely tied to the number of cores and threads.

Haha no. So AMD FX8350 performs close to a Ryzen 5800X I guess?

In "leaks" i9-12900K performs like a 5950X in multithreaded loads and beats it in single thread tests.

This is AMDs first time not competing against 14nm with Ryzen. It's going to fun to see how AMD will compete without having a major node advantage, because Alder Lake looks great with +40% performance in Ashes CPU bench compared to AMDs flagship 5950X which is a 800 dollar CPU.

However Raptor Lake will be much better than Alder Lake and software will have matured by then and DDR5 needs to improve too, in terms of clockspeed and latency. So personally I won't be buying Alder Lake.
 
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Geralt

Posts: 806   +1,215
No more performance is progress. If this architecture beats a traditional 16 core at compute tasks and benchmarks then having less threads means nothing, it would be the superior architecture.

You need to free your mind from core and thread count. Have a look at how fast the chip is for what you might use it for.
Sorry guy, but I need my threads back. Intel and MS are trying to cheat us again.
 

Geralt

Posts: 806   +1,215
Haha no. So AMD FX8350 performs close to a Ryzen 5800X I guess?

In "leaks" i9-12900K performs like a 5950X in multithreaded loads and beats it in single thread tests.

This is AMDs first time not competing against 14nm with Ryzen. It's going to fun to see how AMD will compete without having a major node advantage, because Alder Lake looks great with +40% performance in Ashes CPU bench compared to AMDs flagship 5950X which is a 800 dollar CPU.

However Raptor Lake will be much better than Alder Lake and software will have matured by then and DDR5 needs to improve too, in terms of clockspeed and latency. So personally I won't be buying Alder Lake.
Different generations of CPU's are not a valid comparison. We need to compare Alder Lake with the new progeny of AMD to be fair.