Early benchmarks of Intel’s 12th gen CPUs are promising

Things are looking good for Alder Lake

A photo of an Alder Lake CPU with its LGA 1700 attatchment, next to a previous generation Intel chip

Intel’s 11th gen Rocket Lake processors are rumoured to release next month, but its 12th gen Alder Lake chips are not too far away either with an expected release by the end of 2021. As we edge closer to the release of Adler Lake, leaked benchmarks were an inevitability, and an unnamed Alder Lake-based engineering sample has been spotted on Geekbench (via Hothardware), although there are quite a few questions to be asked here.

Alder Lake will be Intel’s first desktop chips based on the big.LITTLE design, which uses both high-performance and high-efficiency cores depending on the workload. It’s the same design as Apple’s new ARM-based chips, which have performed impressively in previous benchmarks. However, It seems the Geekbench software isn’t properly designed for Intel’s new chip yet however, with Geekbench displaying 16 cores and 24 threads. We’d usually see double the number of threads as cores, but this number could be because its high-efficiency cores do not have hyperthreading.

This also explains the definitely incorrect “maximum frequency” given on Geekbench of 27.2GHz – yep, no typo there – although a more believable base frequency of 2.19GHz is present. This might seem low, but could be the base frequency for the high-efficiency cores.

As an unnamed CPU, it’s somewhat hard to make comparisons off benchmark scores, as we have no idea where this engineering sample could be sitting in the Alder Lake lineup, or its potential price. The scores given on Geekbench, which come from benchmarks aimed to replicate real-world workloads, are 6,536 for the single-core score, and 47,870 for the multi-core score.

When compared to the current best gaming CPU from Intel, the i9-10900K, which boasts a single-core and multi-core score of 6,446 and 42,054 respectively, there’s a slight improvement, but as Alder Lake is still in early development, we can expect the performance over what will then be a two generation-old flagship to improve significantly over what we see here.

The motherboard mentioned in the Geekbench specs mentions DDR5 RAM, which also confirms our suspicions that Intel’s 12th generation will be ready for the next generation of RAM modules.