Recap: Intel's Alder Lake-P is still very much a mystery at this point, but the company has started shipping the new CPUs to laptop manufacturers looking to incorporate them into their designs. If leaked benchmarks are anything to go by, these new processors might even be able to compete with Apple's M1 Pro and M1 Max chipsets... at least in terms of performance.
Intel Alder Lake-S CPUs brought several new great options to the table for people looking to upgrade their desktops. The Core i5-12600K is better value than AMD’s Ryzen 5 5600X if you ignore motherboard pricing, and there’s now a new desktop performance king in the form of the Core i9-12900K.
The rumor mill says non-K 12th generation Intel CPUs will break cover in January 2022, and that wave includes the much-awaited Core i5-12400 -- a processor that could turn out to be even better value than the Core i5-12600K, with none of the DRM incompatibilities of the latter CPU. None of these processors have any Gracemont (efficiency) cores, which will also make them a solid option for people looking to stick with Windows 10 until it reaches end of support.
As for Alder Lake-P processors for laptops, it’s not yet clear when we’ll be able to see them in action. The only thing we do know is that they’re already being shipped to laptop makers to integrate into their upcoming designs. Gregory Bryant, who is executive vice president and general manager of the Client Computing Group at Intel, confirmed as much today, and congratulated the teams that made it happen.
Another incredible 12th Gen @intel Core milestone: today, we began shipping our high-performance mobile processors to customers! Congratulations to our Intel teams around the globe for their hard work & commitment in delivering this product. #IntelCore pic.twitter.com/72Glbo4qZo— Gregory M Bryant (@gregorymbryant) November 22, 2021
Thanks to the official developer guide, we know that Alder Lake-P CPUs will include SKUs that were previously part of the U and H subfamilies. Lower-end mobile parts will integrate two P-cores and 8 E-cores, and higher-end parts will combine 6 P-cores and 8 E-cores. All of them will be paired with an Intel Xe graphics engine with 96 execution units, although boost clocks may vary between models.
Performance is still a nebulous at this point, but the higher core count will likely enable higher performance in multi-threaded workloads when compared to Tiger Lake parts.
A few weeks ago we saw benchmarks surface online for two Alder Lake-P engineering samples of the upcoming Core i9-12900H, and they showed double the performance of their Tiger Lake counterparts, not to mention slightly higher performance than Apple’s M1 Pro and M1 Max chipsets.
With a bit of luck, we’ll only have to wait until CES 2022 to hear more about Alder Lake-P. Either way, it will be interesting to see how it performs against AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800H and whether Intel is able to leverage its new hybrid architecture for longer battery life and higher sustained performance in heavy workloads.