Intel has officially introduced the first products corresponding to the company’s twelfth generation of processors, known internally as Alder Lake. According to the brand, this is the biggest architectural change its chips have undergone in a decade.

Why does Intel say something like this? Easy: because their chips have adopted an architecture equivalent to big.LITTLE, which is a standard in ARM processors. The brand also promises 19% more performance compared to 11th generation processors.

The theory is quite simple: instead of having a single type of multipurpose core, chips with this new architecture have two groups of cores.

  • The first of these, made up of up to eight high-efficiency cores, is responsible for processing the lightest or background tasks that a processor must perform. All of this with lower energy consumption.
  • The other group, made up of up to eight high-performance cores, follows a completely opposite dynamic. Their energy consumption is higher, but they only come into operation when the task in question requires extra processing.

To manage this core division, Intel has integrated a “Thread Director”, an element that is responsible for determining which core processes each task. The company has also modified how the cache of its 12th generation (or Alder Lake) processors works.

  • Each Performance Core (P-Core) has its own L2 cache.
  • Each cluster of efficiency cores (E-Core) has a common L2 memory “pool”, from which all participating cores drink.
  • Both the performance and efficiency cores have access to a common L3 memory “pool” for all of them.

Another of the most important changes of this twelfth generation of Intel desktop processors (Alder Lake) is that They are based on the Intel 7 process, formerly known as 10nm Enhanced SuperFin. The chip also supports DDR5 memory, as well as the PCIe 5.0 interface.

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The arrival of the new chip, unfortunately, requires a new motherboard. Specifically, one with the LGA 1700 socket. Intel has also announced a new chipset, dubbed the Z690, which operates in conjunction with it.

The specifications of the first 12th generation Intel processors

The first range of processors that Intel has decided to launch is focused on high-performance desktops. More specifically, those with the suffixes K and KF. These are the different configurations of each one of them:

ProcessorNucleiSmart Cache (L3)L2 cacheIntel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 Max FrequencyMaximum frequency of nuclei P and EBase frequency of nuclei P and EGPUMaximum memory speedMaximum power
Intel Core i9-12900K16 (8P and 8E)30 MB14 MBUp to 5.2 GHzUp to 5.1 GHz (P) and up to 3.9 GHz (E)3.2 GHz (P) and 2.4 GHz (E)Intel UHD Graphics 770DDR5 4800 MT / s or DDR4 3200 MT / s241 W
Intel Core i9-12900KF16 (8P and 8E)30 MB14 MBUp to 5.2 GHzUp to 5.1 GHz (P) and up to 3.9 GHz (E)3.2 GHz (P) and 2.4 GHz (E)DDR5 4800 MT / s or DDR4 3200 MT / s241 W
Intel Core i7-12700K12 (8P and 4E)25 MB12 MBUp to 5.0 GHzUp to 4.9 GHz (P) and up to 3.8 GHz (E)3.6 GHz (P) and 2.7 GHz (E)Intel UHD Graphics 770DDR5 4800 MT / s or DDR4 3200 MT / s190 W
Intel Core i7-12700KF12 (8P and 4E)25 MB12 MBUp to 5.0 GHzUp to 4.9 GHz (P) and up to 3.8 GHz (E)3.6 GHz (P) and 2.7 GHz (E)DDR5 4800 MT / s or DDR4 3200 MT / s190 W
Intel Core i5-12600K10 (6P and 4E)20 MB9.5 MBUp to 4.9 GHz (P) and up to 3.6 GHz (E)3.7 GHz (P) and 2.8 GHz (E)Intel UHD Graphics 770DDR5 4800 MT / s or DDR4 3200 MT / s150 W
Intel Core i5-12600KF10 (6P and 4E)20 MB9.5 MBUp to 4.9 GHz (P) and up to 3.6 GHz (E)3.7 GHz (P) and 2.8 GHz (E)DDR5 4800 MT / s or DDR4 3200 MT / s150 W