Intel 16C/24T “Alder Lake-S” CPU engineering sample is faster than Core i9-9900K –

Intel 10nm Alder Lake-S with 16-cores and 24 threads

This is not the first time 16-core Alder Lake CPU has made an appearance on the Geekbench website. In fact, the CPU has been appearing more and more often over the past few weeks. The previous leaks have already confirmed that the 12th Gen Core CPU will utilize DDR5 memory. What the leaks have not demonstrated yet is how fast Alder Lake really is.

It is clear that Geekbench software is not able to fully understand the complicated internal structure of Intel Hybrid Technology yet. The CPUs based on this architecture will utilize high-efficient ‘Gracemont’ and high-performance ‘Golden Cove’ cores. This is why the software reports on 16 cores and 24 threads, as the ‘small cores’ do not support Intel hyper-threading technology. While the software correctly reads the base frequency, there appears to be an issue with the max frequency reporting.

In comparison to previous leaks, this 16C/24T sample has a faster base clock. We have already seen 1.4 GHz in Geekbench V5 leak and more recently 1.8 GHz in SiSoft Sandra’s. In the Geekbench V4 benchmark the software reports 2.2 GHz as the base frequency. It is unclear if this sample is a higher-clocked model or we are simply looking at a matured prototype.

The software reports on 27.2 GHz maximum frequency which is obviously an error. It is unclear how did the software end up with such a number, but one would guess it’s either a multiplication of 8 or 10. It would mean that the actual frequency is around 2.7 to 3.4 GHz. It is also possible that the frequency is only read from the Gracemont cores, which might have a lower boost frequency compared to Golden Cove.

Intel Alder Lake-S 16-core 24 Thread Geekbench Specs, Source: Geekbench

Intel Alder Lake 16-core CPU Performance, Source: Geekbench

Since Geekbench does not have an official ranking page for its V4 (Version 4) scores, median results were used from the software’s public database (for both single-core and multi-core). This method is not an ideal solution, but it should be accurate enough to see where this Alder Lake-S CPU stacks up at this stage.

With a single-core score of 6436 points and a multi-core score of 47870 points, the 12th Gen Core CPU is already faster than Core i9-9900K in both benchmarks. The sample is also faster than 10900K in the multi-core benchmark, but the Comet Lake CPU still has a 5% lead in the multi-core test. Unfortunately, there are no 11900K Geekbench V4 benchmark results yet that could have been used for comparison.

The performance is likely to increase with ES2 (second revision engineering sample) and later with the retail unit. However, it remains to be seen how much more frequency will still be added to the 16-core and 24-thread Alder Lake CPU.

Intel Alder Lake-S Geekbench V4 Performance
SKU Configuration Single-Core Multi-Core
Intel Alder Lake-S 8C+8c/24T
Intel Core i9-10900K 10C/20T
Intel Core i9-9900K 8C/16T
AMD Ryzen 9 5950X 16C/32T
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 12C/24T
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X 8C/16T
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 16C/32T

Intel is expected to launch its 12th Gen Core series by the end of 2021.

INTEL Mainstream CPU Series Specs Coffee Lake-S Comet Lake-S Rocket Lake-S Alder Lake-S Raptor Lake-S
Launch Year 2018 2020 Q1 2021 2H 2021 2022-2023
Fabrication Node 14nm 14nm 14nm 10nm SuperFin TBC
Core µArch Skylake Skylake Cypress Cove Golden Cove + Gracemont Golden or Ocean Cove + Gracemont
Graphics µArch Gen9.5 Gen9.5 Gen12.1 Gen12.2 Gen 12.7
Max Core Count up to 8 cores up to 10 cores up to 8 cores up to 16 (8+8) TBC
Socket LGA1151 LGA1200 LGA1200 LGA1700 LGA1700
Memory Support DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR5 DDR5
PCIe Gen PCIe 3.0 PCIe 3.0 PCIe 4.0 PCIe 5.0 PCIe 5.0
Intel Core Series 8th/9th Gen Core-S 10th Gen Core-S 11th Gen Core-S 12th Gen Core-S (?) 13th Gen Core-S (?)
Motherboard Chipsets Intel 300 (eg. Z390) Intel 400 (eg. Z490) Intel 500 (Z590) Intel 600 (eg. Z690) (?) Intel 700 (eg. Z790) (?)

Source: Geekbench via HotHardware

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