Intel Alder Lake CPUs: What are they, when will they launch, and how fast will they be?

  • Release date: Late 2021
  • Architecture: Golden Cove + Gracemont cores
  • Max Cores: 8+8 (24 threads)
  • GPU: Intel Xe (Gen 12.2)
  • Socket: LGA 1700
  • Process: 10nm Enhanced SuperFin
  • RAM support: DDR5 and DDR4

The Intel Alder Lake CPU lineup represents the 12th Gen desktop and laptop processors set for release in the second half of 2021—the rumour mill is currently split on exactly when, but likely they’ll drop between September–November. The exact date isn’t known yet, but that’s probably because Intel has been focusing on releasing Rocket Lake on desktop and its recent release of Tiger Lake-H in laptops

Alder Lake will be Intel’s first desktop processor to use its 10nm SuperFin production process, which would be quite a landmark release for the big chip maker. But it also represents a significant shift in how CPUs are pieced together, as it will be Intel’s first hybrid big.LITTLE design for desktop as well.

(Image credit: Intel)

The big.LITTLE terminology comes from Arm’s mixed use of high and low-performance cores in one chip package. And means, essentially, that Alder Lake combines Intel’s traditional high-performance CPU cores with its lower-spec Atom silicon. That’s why the core count above is written as 8+8, that’s eight big traditional cores and eight smaller, more efficient cores. 

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