In brief: If the latest leaks are proven correct, people who have been planning to upgrade or build a new PC based on Intel's Alder Lake platform will have to pay a hefty price for the privilege. And that's not even accounting for scalpers, which could send retail prices into the stratosphere.

Alder Lake is poised to be the most exciting family of Intel processors in recent years, after several iterations that have been stuck on the same 14 nm process node as Skylake and more or less the same overall recipe. Rocket Lake was supposed to represent a fundamental break from the past, but it didn't quite capture the interest of consumers in the way the company wanted.

As we're getting closer to the arrival of Alder Lake's first wave, early benchmarks indicate Intel might finally have some promising CPUs for gamers and enthusiasts. And thanks to a tiny slip-up at European and US retailers spotted by @momomo_us, we now know what to expect in terms of pricing for the new processors, as well as some new bits about their specifications.

Model European Price (w/ VAT) US Price (w/o VAT) Cores/Threads L3 Cache Size
Core i9-12900K €736/€741 $705 16/24 30MB
Core i7-12900KF €704/€708 $674 16/24 30MB
Core i7-12700K €524/€520 $495 12/20 25MB
Core i7-12700KF €492/€487 $464 12/20 25MB
Core i5-12600K €365/€358 $343 10/16 16MB
Core i5-12600KF €333/€326 $312 10/16 16MB

The leak suggests the flagship Core i9-12900K will offer a combination of eight Golden Cove performance cores and eight Gracemont efficiency cores at a price that's higher than the $610/€523 list price for the Core i9-11900K, but also lower than the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X, which is currently listed at $749/€789 on Amazon.

The same can't be said about the 12th-gen Core i7 and Core i5 parts. For instance, the Core i7-12700K will be priced higher than both the Core i7-11700K and the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X. The same applies to the Core i5-12600K, which will be more expensive than the Core i5-11600k and the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X.

For people who don't need the iGPU, Intel will have KF variants available at around $30/€30 cheaper. Of course, we're comparing leaked prices with actual list prices, but it looks like Intel is more confident about its more mainstream Alder Lake CPU models. If the performance uplift is indeed high enough to warrant the higher price, then Alder Lake may seem a bargain when it launches next month.

Another aspect to keep in mind is that Alder Lake CPUs can only be slotted into new motherboards equipped with an LGA 1700 socket, an additional expense for those looking to upgrade from an older platform. And if you're planning to become an early adopter of DDR5 memory, be prepared to pay a hefty price for that, too. On the other hand, Noctua cooler owners can get a free mounting kit for Alder Lake CPUs in both standard chrome and Chromax versions.