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Intel’s upcoming Raptor Lake may hit the enviable 6GHz mark

Intel’s 13th-generation Raptor Lake chips may be capable of boosting past the 6GHz mark if one tipster is to be believed. The company’s current Core i9-12900 CPUs are already capable of maxing out well over 5GHz.

The rumor comes courtesy of tipster @OneRaichu on Twitter, who claims at least one SKU of the CPU will be capable of a 6GHz turbo boost due to Intel’s Efficient Thermal Velocity Boost (ETVB) technology. That would make it the first x86 chip to reach that level of performance.

🥵6 GHz turbo MAYBE will appear in one SKU. (in ETVB mode)🤣
I guess it should not be normal sku. https://t.co/SFubzjdXNG

— Raichu (@OneRaichu) June 21, 2022

More confirmation of ETVB was revealed when Intel updated its Extreme Tuning Utility (XTU) overclocking application to include “future platform” support for ETVB. As Wccftech notes, the overclocking features listed in the XTU changelog will be available to 12th-gen Alder Lake CPUs as well.

As a refresher, Intel’s regular TVB “opportunistically” increases the clock speeds by up to 100MHz if the CPU is within its thermal limit and enough turbo headroom is available. This is how Alder Lake CPUs are able to get into the mid-5GHz range. The ETVB mode will likely be an improvement upon the TVB to perhaps allow even higher frequency boosts depending on how hot the CPU is.

This probably isn’t surprising considering some of the early benchmarks we’ve seen for Raptor Lake. In the Sandra benchmarking tool, it was found that the Core i9-13900 crushed the current Core i9-12900. However, we must caution that it was an early engineering sample that was tested so the actual performance numbers could vary upon release.

Obviously, AMD isn’t sitting on its laurels, with Team Red readying its own Ryzen 7000 chips built on the new Zen 4 architecture. AMD showed off impressive results at Computex 2022, beating Intel’s Core i9-12900K by 31%. It also showed the Zen 4 chip boosting up to 5.5GHz while playing Ghostwire Tokyo.

AMD CEO Lisa Su noted that even with such impressive results, Ryzen 7000 chips will be capable of of clock speeds “significantly” above 5Ghz. That’s not even counting any kind of overclocking potential. That said, if Intel is able to achieve 6Ghz without overclocking, that will still represent a remarkable achievement.

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Intel Meteor Lake will pack more punch for the same power

Intel has just given us a much larger glimpse into its future Meteor Lake lineup. At the 2022 IEEE VLSI Symposium, the company talked about the 14th generation of its processors, detailing the future process node and the improvements the new Intel 4 process should bring.

The teaser certainly sounds promising. Intel claims that Meteor Lake CPUs will provide 20% higher clock speeds than the previous generations, all while maintaining the same power requirements.

Intel

Intel Meteor Lake is still quite far off — the company confirms that the new chips are on track to meet the 2023 launch deadline, although no specifics have been given at this time. Before we ever see Meteor Lake, we will see the launch of Intel Raptor Lake in the fall. However, unsurprisingly, both Intel and the tech world at large are looking to the future — and as far as the 14th generation of Intel chips goes, the future looks pretty exciting.

During the 2022 IEEE VLSI Symposium, Intel took the public on a deep dive into the upcoming Intel 4 process node, which is what Meteor Lake is based on. As a successor to the Intel 7 (used for Alder Lake and Raptor Lake), it will require a new socket, and it will feature a new architecture. Intel claims that the changes introduced in that generation will deliver huge performance gains while keeping the power consumption at a similar level to what we’ve grown used to with 12th-gen CPUs.

The company teased that Meteor Lake will deliver up to 21.5% higher frequencies at the same power requirements as the Intel 7 process. Similarly, when scaled down to the same frequency as Intel 7, Meteor Lake will sport an up to 40% power reduction. This is going to be achieved through various changes in the chip’s architecture, such as a 2x improvement in area scaling. This means that it has doubled transistor density compared to the Intel 7, at least for the high-performance libraries.

With the new process node, Intel will largely use extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography as a way to simplify manufacturing. Simply put, this reduces the number of steps needed to manufacture the node by a significant amount. It should result in higher yields and reduce production errors. As a result of EUV, Intel noted a 5% reduction in process steps and a 20% lower total mask count.

The Intel 4 name is a code name for Intel’s 7nm process node, which means a switch from 10nm to 7nm for Intel. The new chips will utilize Intel’s Foveros 3D packaging technology and will feature a four-die setup joined by TSV (through silicon-via) connections. These four tiles will be split into the input/output tile (I/O), the system-on-a-chip tile, the compute tile, and the graphics tile.

Intel Meteor Lake slide, part two.
Intel

Intel has shared a blown-up image of the compute die for Meteor Lake, complete with six blue-colored performance cores (Redwood Cove) and two clusters of four Crestmont efficiency cores, colored in purple. In the middle of the chip, you can see the L3 cache and the interconnect circuitry. The company has yet to divulge the exact description of the I/O and the SOC tiles.

In addition to teasing the Intel 4 process, the manufacturer also talked about what comes next — moving on to Intel 3. Intel 3 will come with enhanced transistors and interconnects, and it’s worth noting that I4 will be forward compatible with I3, so it won’t require a full redesign. Intel will stay true to the EUV technology, with more EUV layers that simplify the design even further. According to the current estimations, the I3 node will be around 18% faster than the I4. Once Intel is done with I3, it will move on to the 20A and 18A nodes and even more exciting technologies.

All in all, Intel’s sneak peek is very detailed and quite technical, so if you’re a fan of that, make sure you read the full write-up prepared by Tom’s Hardware. Although Meteor Lake is a while off, there’s still plenty to be hyped for this year. We’ve got the Intel Raptor Lake coming up, and around the same time, AMD is slated to launch the Ryzen 7000 series of CPUs.

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Gigabyte Fixes Major Gaming Problem On Intel Alder Lake

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Although Intel Alder Lake processors have been collecting stellar reviews, some games have had issues running on the new CPUs. The design of Intel’s 12th-Generation processors causes a number of games to be impossible to play.

Gigabyte joins the list of the best motherboard vendors, such as MSI, in providing a fix to these issues that will let users play some, if not all, of the affected titles through the use of its new DRM Fix Tool. Meanwhile, Intel continues working on its own solution alongside game developers.

Intel Corporation

Intel Alder Lake CPUs are generally powerful gaming beasts, in some cases outperforming their competitors by as much as 60%. Unfortunately, there is a fairly long list of games that simply don’t work on the new processors. The reason lies in the hybrid architecture of Intel’s 12th-Gen chips.

The issue is caused by DRM (Digital Rights Management) in these games. As Intel Alder Lake CPUs feature a mix of two types of cores: the Golden Cove P-cores (Performance) and the Gracemont E-cores (Efficiency). DRM identifies these two kinds of cores as two separate systems. This prevents the games from running, even though both the P-cores and the E-cores are all part of the same processor.

Depending on the game, this incompatibility with the latest hybrid CPU technology can either completely prevent it from running, cause crashes and bugs, or simply lower gaming performance. The fix, already utilized by MSI motherboards, is to temporarily disable Alder Lake’s efficiency cores. This is what Gigabyte is offering with its new DRM Fix Tool.

Gigabyte’s new software, targeted at the owners of the vendor’s new Z690 motherboards, switches off Alder Lake’s E-cores. This means that, while gaming, efficiency cores are disabled, and this allows these pre-Alder Lake games to run normally, as they once again recognize the processor as just one system.

Gigabyte motherboards that can use the new DRM Fix tool.

Gigabyte issued a press release to announce the launch of the new tool. The manufacturer promises that its new Windows-based software is easy to control and doesn’t require any complicated installation. Most users won’t have to tinker with their BIOS in order to run Gigabyte’s DRM Fix, but some motherboards may require it.

In the press release, Gigabyte invites customers to download the latest version of BIOS, which is required to run the new tool. A download link for DRM Fix Tool has also been provided, alongside a list of motherboards and the required BIOS version for each model.

Earlier this month, Intel acknowledged this gaming issue and posted a fix to enable Legacy Game Compatibility Mode. However, the solution requires entering the BIOS and covers a few steps, so it’s less than ideal — but it’s better than nothing, at least while more vendors, game devs, and Intel itself work on a permanent solution.

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Intel’s New Meteor Lake CPU May Be the New Apple M1 Max

Intel Alder Lake processors have taken the market by storm, securing their place among the best processors of the year. However, it’s no surprise that Intel is already looking to the future.

The 13th and 14th generations of Intel processors are in the works. New images have emerged, showcasing the upcoming 14th-gen Intel CPUs. The photos display several different chips that are likely to release in 2022 and 2023.

Image credit: CNET

Stephen Shankland from CNET took a tour of the inside of Intel’s chipmaking factory, the Intel Fab 42 located in Chandler, Arizona. He came back with several high-quality images of the upcoming chips that won’t hit the market for at least another year, and in some cases, even two years.

The first chip is dubbed Sapphire Rapids and is a server processor set to release in 2022 as part of Intel’s Xeon server CPU lineup. It includes four larger chiplets that contain processing engines and four smaller memory modules. The entire infrastructure is connected with Intel’s Embedded Multi-die Interconnect Bridge (EMIB) links.

Among the upcoming chips, Shankland also found an Intel Ponte Vecchio CPU that’s set to release in 2022. This is a high-performance data center accelerator that Intel claims is going to be twice as powerful as initially planned.

A 300mm wafer of Meteor Lake test chips.
Image credit: CNET

Perhaps the most interesting reveal is the wafer of the upcoming Meteor Lake chip. Pictured above is a 300mm wafer that features hundreds of test chips of the Intel Meteor Lake-M, which is likely going to be Intel’s power-efficient series of 14th-Generation processors. Although it’s not confirmed whether these chips are part of the M-series of CPUs, their size definitely hints toward just that.

Meteor Lake-M processors are rumored to operate on ultralow power requirements, needing only between 5 watts and 15W to function. While the images are clear, it’s hard to judge the purpose of each and every tile on the chip.

The chip has previously been confirmed to be built using Foveros packaging technology, allowing the use of up to three tiles through stacking chiplets into a full processor. The first tile used would be the computer die, followed by a system on a chip (SoC) LP die, and lastly, a graphics die. Meteor Lake-M might also feature anywhere between 96 and 192 execution units (EUs).

The design of Intel’s 14th-Generation of processors is interesting. The use of SoC ( makes it similar to Apple’s latest and greatest, the M1 Max chip, which was also the brand’s first SoC-based system. Intel’s 12th-Gen CPUs currently perform very well when compared to Apple’s M1 Max. As Apple has plans of its own when it comes to improving its signature chip, it’s likely that the two tech giants will continue to go head-to-head when it comes to the CPU race.

Considering that the current-generation Intel Alder Lake processors feature up to 96 execution units, Meteor Lake with its rumored 192 EUs has the potential to be incredibly powerful. However, before these CPUs ever see the light of day, Intel Raptor Lake will be released first — likely in the last quarter of 2022.

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Upgrading to Intel 12th-Gen Alder Lake: Everything You Need

Intel just released its 12th-generation Alder Lake CPUs, but you’ll need more than a processor if you want to upgrade. The new generation also brings a new motherboard chipset and ushers in DDR5 on desktop. To get you up to speed, we rounded up everything you need to upgrade to Intel’s 12th-gen Alder Lake platform.

Because there are so many new components this generation, you may have a hard time tracking down everything you need. Motherboard makers only have a select number of models available, for example, and there are precious few budget DDR5 kits. Within the weeks following launch, however, we expect to see a greater variety of options.

A 12th-gen Alder Lake processor

In chorus: “Duh.” You need a 12th-gen Alder Lake processor to upgrade, but you shouldn’t just pick up a processor with 12th-gen on the box. At the time of publication, Intel only has six Alder Lake processors available — three models with two variations each. And knowing the differences between them is important.

Cores Base frequency Max boost frequency Intel Smart Cache (L3) Integrated graphics Base power Max turbo power Suggested price
Core i9-12900K 16 (8P + 8E) 3.2GHz (P-core), 2.4GHz (E-core) Up to 5.2GHz 30MB Intel UHD 770 125W 241W $589
Core i9-12900KF 16 (8P + 8E) 3.2GHz (P-core), 2.4GHz (E-core) Up to 5.2GHz 30MB N/A 125W 241W $564
Core i7-12700K 12 (8P + 4E) 3.6GHz (P-core), 2.7GHz (E-core Up to 5.0GHz 25MB Intel UHD 770 125W 190W $409
Core i7-12700KF 12 (8P + 4E) 3.6GHz (P-core), 2.7GHz (E-core) Up to 5.0GHz 25MB N/A 125W 190W $384
Core i5-12600K 10 (6P + 4E) 3.7GHz (P-core), 2.8GHz (E-core) Up to 4.9GHz 20MB Intel UHD 770 125W 150W $289
Core i5-12600KF 10 (6P + 4E) 3.7GHz (P-core), 2.8GHz (E-core) Up to 4.9GHz 20MB N/A 125W 150W $264

For performance, you have three options: The Core i9-12900K, Core i7-12700K, or Core i5-12600K. They scale down in performance and price, with the top chip sporting 16 cores for around $600 and the bottom 10 cores for around $300. All three chips are unlocked for overclocking, so you can push them beyond the rated clock speed.

The KF-series processors are identical to their K-series counterparts. They come with the same number of cores, same boost clock, and same power limit. The only difference is that KF-series processors don’t include integrated graphics. All of these processors pair best with a discrete graphics card, so you can save a little bit of money by going with the KF-series model.

If you’re focused on gaming, we recommend the Core i5-12600K most. It’s the best gaming processor you can buy right now, sporting a massive core count and solid clock speeds for a reasonable price. The Core i9-12900K is overkill for gaming, but its extra cores are excellent for content creation, as you can read in our Core i9-12900K review.

The Core i7-12700K sits in a strange middle ground. The two extra performance cores will bring performance more in-line with the Core i9-12900K, but with only four efficient cores, it’s not as useful for multitasking. If you need just a little extra power, the Core i7-12700K is a good option, but otherwise, it’s best to stick with the Core i5 or Core i9 models.

A Z690 motherboard

A lineup of Z690 motherboards.

Alder Lake marks the launch of the new LGA1700 socket, which means you’ll need a new motherboard. Currently, the only chipset available with an LGA1700 socket is Z690, but we expect Intel to introduce budget-oriented chipsets in the future. Z690 comes with all of the bells and whistles, including support for overclocking.

Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, ASRock, Biostar, and Colorful have Z690 options available. The MSI Z690 Carbon Wi-Fi is tricked out with some RGB flair and comes with Wi-Fi 6E onboard, while the Asus ROG Strix Z690-A Gaming Wi-Fi offers a mini ITX form factor for smaller builds. Because Alder Lake is new, most motherboard manufacturers have only released their flagship boards. Over time, cheaper options will become available.

It’s important to pay close attention to the motherboard you’re picking up. Alder Lake supports DDR4 and DDR5 memory, but they’re not interchangeable. In most cases, motherboard makers have separate DDR4 models available, though we recommend checking the spec sheet to make sure your memory is compatible regardless.

DDR5 or DDR4 memory (and a compatible motherboard)

Intel Alder Lake box with DDR5 memory.

As mentioned, 12th-gen Alder Lake supports DDR4 and DDR5 memory. However, the two standards aren’t interchangeable. Although DDR4 and DDR5 feature the same number of pins, they have different layouts. A DDR4 module won’t fit in a DDR5 slot or vice versa.

DDR5 is the latest and greatest, and based on our testing, it offers a small improvement over DDR4 across applications. The differences are minor, though. DDR4 is still powerful enough for most applications, so you don’t need to upgrade to DDR5 right away. Rumors suggest Intel will continue supporting DDR4 on its 13th-gen Raptor Lake processors, too.

It’s important to keep DDR4 in mind for Alder Lake because DDR5 is really expensive right now. A 32GB kit of Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR5-5200 RAM is around $330, for example, while the same DDR4-3200 kit is only $240. The DDR5 kit is faster, sure, but it’s nearly $100 more expensive, too.

A supported CPU cooler

CPU block on the Origin Neuron.

LGA1700 is larger than LGA1200, so you’ll need a new cooler to upgrade to the 12th-gen Alder Lake. The cooler you already have may work with Alder Lake, though. Several companies, including Cooler Master, Noctua, and EK, offer upgrade kits so you can mount your existing cooler to the new socket.

Although we can’t list every cooler available, most major brands have upgrade kits available for free or for a small fee. As time goes on, more of these coolers will likely come with the mounting hardware in the box, so we recommend looking at the compatibility list if you’re picking up a new cooler.

Here are all of the brands offering LGA1700 upgrades right now:

A decent power supply

Someone screwing in a power supply.

Like previous generations, Alder Lake uses a lot of power. Z690 motherboard comes with two 8-pin CPU connectors, so you’ll need one of the best power supplies if you want to use the new chips. The top Core i9-12900K can draw as much as 241W of power, and it can go up to 300W if you delve into overclocking.

Although you don’t necessarily need a high wattage power supply, you’ll need one with at least two 8-pin CPU connectors. If you plan on using one of these chips with a powerful graphics card, you’ll need enough wattage to support both your GPU, CPU, and all of the other components in your machine. We recommend using a power supply calculator and choosing a power supply 200W or so higher.

A little bit of patience

Intel Core i9-12900K box.

12th-gen Alder Lake processors use a hybrid architecture. Instead of one core type, the processors feature two — performant (P) cores and efficient (E) cores. It’s a great solution for multitasking, but the unique architecture has caused some problems with select video games.

At launch, Intel has confirmed that 51 games have problems with Alder Lake processors. The issue comes down to DRM, or Digital Rights Management, services, which don’t play nicely with the hybrid architecture. The list includes titles like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. 

It’s not clear who dropped the ball here — Intel, game publishers, or DRM platform Denuvo — but regardless, there’s a good chunk of games that don’t work with Alder Lake right now. Fixes should be coming soon, but we recommend keeping Intel’s list of unsupported games handy for any updates.

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New HP Omen Laptop Comes With Alder Lake and RTX 3080 Ti

Based on a recent Geekbench test, it seems that HP may be releasing a laptop fully decked out with the latest components. The notebook comes with not just the newest Intel Alder Lake-P processor, but also an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti graphics card.

If the rumors prove to be true, the laptop will be released with two pieces of hardware that are not yet obtainable on the consumer market, as both the GPU and the CPU are unavailable in their laptop forms as of yet.

NVIDIA

The CPU used in this benchmark is the Intel Core i7-12700H, which is an Alder Lake laptop CPU. As reported by Wccftech last month, this CPU should have 14 cores, six of which are Golden Cove and eight of which are Gracemont. It runs on a 2.45GHz base clock and can be boosted up to 4.2GHz. This is combined with a 24 MB L3 cache and a fairly conservative TDP of 35 to 45 watts.

The graphics card is the still unreleased mobility version of the RTX 3080 Ti, and it may come in a standard and a Max-Q model. It may be based on a new Ampere GA103 chip and should feature 58 compute units, adding up to a total of 7424 CUDA cores. The GPU has a base clock speed of 1395MHz and 16GB of GDDR6 memory. The RTX 3080 Ti should also have a bandwidth of around 12Gbps with a 256-bit bus, as well as a TDP between 150W and 200W.

Although the desktop version of RTX 3080 Ti is markedly better than the RTX 3080, comparing the desktop RTX 3080 to the mobility RTX 3080 Ti reveals that the former will still reign supreme. The desktop RTX 3080 scored 132,909 in a Vulkan test, compared to the RTX 3080 Ti for laptops with just 90,114.

Interestingly, the RTX 3080 Ti also scored less than the laptop version of the RTX 3080, although the difference is negligible. The card outperformed the Max-Q version of the RTX 3070 for laptops and the previous-gen RTX 2080 for desktops.

Intel Alder Lake pin layout.

The mobility version of Intel Core i7-12700H was also compared to some other current CPUs in this Geekbench test. It scored 1,328 in single-core operations and 10,517 in multi-core. Unsurprisingly, it was vastly outperformed by the Intel Core i9-12900HK (1,851) and the Apple M1 Max chip (1,785).

It was also beaten by the previous generation of processors for laptops, including the Core i9-11980HK and the Ryzen 5980HX. However, all of these chips are more on the premium end of the scale than the Core i7-12700H. The new chip performed more favorably in multi-core operations, beating the Core i9-11980HK and the Ryzen 5980HX.

It’s important to remember that this hardware is still unreleased and the benchmarks may change. Drivers often play a part in the performance of components prior to their official release.

The exact release date for both the laptop and the GPU remains unknown, but it’s likely that we will learn more during CES 2022 in January.

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AMD Zen 4D Could Use Hybrid Design to Rival Intel Alder Lake

YouTuber and leaker Moore’s Law is Dead revealed new information regarding AMD’s future architecture plans. According to leaks, AMD is working on a “dense” version of Zen 4 called Zen 4D. Zen 4D is basically a fork of Zen 4 that strips out features and reduces clock speeds.

It will also feature a newly designed cache system. All of this is to slightly reduce single-core performance in exchange for greatly increased multi-core performance. This would also allow AMD to increase the chip density, hence the “D” in the name.

If the leaks are true, it seems the company may be creating its own hybrid architecture to compete with the success of Intel’s 12th-gen Alder Lake chips. This follows in the footsteps of both Intel and Apple, who have utilized similar architectures in their respective CPU designs.

These Zen 4D processors would have about half the L3 cache of regular Zen 4 and feature 16 cores per chiplet. Moore’s Law is Dead stated that Zen 4D is expected to have simultaneous multithreading (SMT), but they couldn’t be 100% certain. He was also uncertain if Zen 4D would support AVX-512 but did confirm that Bergamo, AMD’s 128-core server-grade EPYC CPU slated for second quarter 2023, would feature the new architecture.

The new architecture for Zen 5 was also leaked, and this is by far the most interesting news. The leaks suggest that Zen 5 will be AMD’s first hybrid processor architecture. It would use eight Zen 5 “big” cores and up to 16 Zen 4D “little” cores. Zen 5 is also rumored to be codenamed Granite Ridge and based on the Ryzen 8000 series processors built on TSMC’s ridiculously tiny 3nm process.

As we’ve seen with Intel’s Alder Lake chips and Apple’s M1 Pro/Max CPUs, the hybrid approach can offer huge performance increases. It makes sense that AMD would architecture their chips in a similar manner, as Zen 5 could offer a 20-25% IPC increase over Zen 4. The problem is that Zen 5 is still a few years out, and Alder Lake currently outperforms AMD’s best consumer chips.

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Dell XPS Desktop Now Includes Intel Alder Lake, Larger Case

Dell takes a big leap into the future with today’s release — the brand new Dell XPS 8950. The refreshed lineup of pre-built PCs features all the technology PC enthusiasts have been waiting for, including the latest Intel Alder Lake processors, PCI Express 5.0, Z690 motherboards, and DDR5 memory.

The new desktops are a continuation of the successful Dell XPS line, featuring not just new components, but also some improved design choices. They have been built for gamers and creators alike with an impressive set of specifications to take on even the most resource-heavy tasks.

Visually, Dell hasn’t strayed far from the desktops we have all grown used to. The chassis sports a fairly minimalist design devoid of the RGB lighting cultivated by other brands, such as in Razer’s latest line of desktops. Customers can choose between the matte-black Dell XPS Night Sky or the elegant Platinum Silver.

Perhaps more importantly, the chassis has been optimized for both airflow and future upgrades. 42% larger than the previous Dell XPS desktops (27L vs 19L), it allows for not just better cooling but also future-proofing. Dell claims that this chassis is big enough to house even the next generation of graphics cards.

It’s what’s inside that counts. A quick glance at the specification sheet for the new Dell XPS definitely confirms that. These desktops are filled to the brim with the latest and greatest, including fresh releases. Dell has prepared several different configurations, allowing users to choose between components and customize their PCs.

Arguably the most exciting is the processor. All of the new 8950 PCs are built including Intel’s 12th Generation of CPUs, Alder Lake. Customers can choose between the Core i5-12600K with 10 cores, the Core i7-12700K with 12 cores, and the Core i9-12900K with 16 cores and a boost clock of up to 5.2GHz.

Dell XPS in white and in black.

The lineup of graphics cards offered is surprisingly broad, starting with the still decent (but budget) Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Super and going all the way up to the high-end GeForce RTX 3090. Although there are nine Nvidia graphics cards to choose from, Dell has also prepared two AMD Radeon GPUs to add to the lineup, including the RX 6700 XT and the RX 6900 XT.

All of the desktops feature freshly released DDR5 RAM, ranging from 8GB with a frequency of 4400MHz and going all the way up to 128GB and 3600MHz. Storage options always include an NVMe M.2 PCIe SSD and an HDD, including capacities of up to 2GB each. Dell also allows users to choose between a dedicated CPU cooler and a liquid cooling system.

Every system includes an option for either Windows 11 Home or Windows 11 Pro, both 64-bit. There’s plenty of room to grow and accommodate future upgrades, including four storage bays and three PCIe expansion slots. More importantly, the computers can include an up to 750W power supply — a necessity in the most advanced build.

The pricing for the new Dell XPS starts at just $919, although the price will grow in proportion to the purchased upgrades. Considering that the availability of the new components included may be limited at launch, this might be a good way to jump ahead of the curve and try out Intel Alder Lake soon after the release.

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Intel Alder Lake Sports XMP 3.0, High Overclocking Headroom

Intel just announced its 12th-gen Alder Lake platform at the Intel Innovation event. In addition to six new processors, Intel detailed some key overclocking news for the upcoming range. Marrying software and hardware, Alder Lake looks primed for extreme overclocking unlike any previous Intel generation.

Starting with the hardware improvements, Alder Lake chips feature a thicker integrated heat spreader (IHS). Intel was able to add a little more heft to the IHS by reducing the die thickness by 25% and reducing the solder thermal interface material (STIM) by 15%. We don’t know what kind of difference that will make yet, but a thicker IHS should mean higher cooling potential.

More exciting are the software improvements. Intel is launching Extreme Tuning Utility (XTU) 7.5 with the release of Alder Lake, which supports DDR5 and Alder Lake’s hybrid architecture. You’ll be able to overclock the P-cores and E-cores independently with ratio and voltage controls, and you can quickly check your overclock with the XTU benchmark, which includes hwbot.org integration.

If you don’t want to mess with your settings independently, you can use Intel Speed Optimizer. At launch, this feature is only available for the Core i9-12900K and i9-12900KF, but it will arrive for other Alder Lake chips soon. With a single button, the feature will boost P-core frequency by 100MHz and E-core frequency by 300MHz.

In a demo, Intel showed this chip reaching 5.2GHz on all cores with a modest overclock. We can’t make any claims on performance until the processors are here, but Intel suggests that most chips will have even higher headroom for overclocking.

Along with the launch of XTU 7.5, Intel released Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) 3.0. If you’re unfamiliar, XMP is what allows your memory to run at higher speeds without manual tuning. It’s an overclocking profile stored on the memory itself, and the third version includes some big upgrades.

First, XMP 3.0 supports five memory profiles instead of two, and for the first time ever, you can define and store your own profiles. Up to three profiles will come from the vendor, and you can configure the other two. In addition, you’ll be able to configure your profiles through software on your desktop. Intel pointed out Corsair’s iCue as an example, which allows you to tune and store XMP profiles without digging in the BIOS.

XMP 3.0 is only available on DDR5 modules. However, Intel has news for DDR4 memory, too. Both DDR4 and DDR5 support Intel’s new Dynamic Memory Boost technology on Alder Lake. It’s a bit like the turbo on a processor. Instead of running the memory at a higher speed all of the time, the overclock will adapt to the workload to boost speed as necessary.

We don’t know how good Alder Lake chips will be for overclocking, but Intel is setting up the generation for success. Although overclocking the chips is exciting, XMP 3.0 is a larger development. For the first time, users will be able to define and store their own memory profiles, opening the door to manual memory overclocking to the masses.

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Intel Alder Lake Priced to Undercut AMD, Arrives November 4

Intel officially lifted the curtain on its 12th-gen Alder Lake chips at the Intel Innovation event on October 27. There are six processors arriving November 4 to kick off the new generation, three models with two variations each, as well as the new Z690 chipset, which boasts PCIe 4.0 support and DDR4/DDR5 support.

Before getting any deeper, let’s take a look at the new range:

Cores Base frequency Max boost frequency Intel Smart Cache (L3) Integrated graphics Base power Max turbo power Suggested price
Core i9-12900K 16 (8P + 8E) 3.2GHz (P-core), 2.4GHz (E-core) Up to 5.2GHz 30MB Intel UHD 770 125W 241W $589
Core i9-12900KF 16 (8P + 8E) 3.2GHz (P-core), 2.4GHz (E-core) Up to 5.2GHz 30MB N/A 125W 241W $564
Core i7-12700K 12 (8P + 4E) 3.6GHz (P-core), 2.7GHz (E-core Up to 5.0GHz 25MB Intel UHD 770 125W 190W $409
Core i7-12700KF 12 (8P + 4E) 3.6GHz (P-core), 2.7GHz (E-core Up to 5.0GHz 25MB N/A 125W 190W $384
Core i5-12600K 10 (6P + 4E) 3.7GHz (P-core), 2.8GHz (E-core) N/A 20MB Intel UHD 770 125W 150W $289
Core i5-12600KF 10 (6P + 4E) 3.7GHz (P-core), 2.8GHz (E-core) N/A 20MB N/A 125W 150W $264

All six processors are unlocked for overclocking. The more expensive of each model features integrated Intel UHD 770 graphics, too, though you can save some money by purchasing the KF-series model. These chips are identical to their K-series counterparts, but they don’t have integrated graphics.

We already knew most of the specs thanks to a slew of leaks and rumors. The interesting new information is price. Contrary to rumors pointing to prices nearing $1,000, the 12th-gen Alder Lake range is surprisingly modest. The i9 and i5 models have a slight bump over their last-gen counterparts, while the i7’s pricing is identical.

More interesting is how these prices compare to AMD. With the launch of Ryzen 5000 processors, AMD increased the prices of its top chips. In benchmarks, Intel is pitting the i9-12900K against AMD’s Ryzen 9 5950X — a chip that still sells near its suggested price of $799. If Intel’s performance claims are true, its flagship chip is coming in at over $200 less than AMD’s best.

And Intel is making some big performance claims, including up to a 30% increase in gaming over AMD. For gen-on-gen improvements, Intel says the i9-12900K outperforms last-gen’s i9-11900K by 28% in Hitman 3. It’s worth pointing out that Intel tested with DDR5 memory and on Windows 11. AMD chips had some issues with Windows 11, and DDR5 should offer a boost in gaming performance on the back of its increased bandwidth, so the real-world gap is probably tighter here.

We only have gaming comparisons to AMD right now, at least until we get our hands on the chips to test them. Still, Intel shows some big gen-on-gen improvements for the i9-12900K, particularly in efficiency. The new chip can achieve identical multi-threaded performance as the i9-11900K at only a fraction of the power (250W on 11th-gen compared to 65W on 12th-gen). Another way to look at it is a 50% boost in performance at the same power draw.

This is the advantage of Alder Lake’s hybrid architecture, according to Intel. The new chips are more efficient, which means they have more headroom for performance. To illustrate this, Intel used an example of gaming and streaming at the same time. When running Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord while streaming and recording with OBS, Intel says the Core i9-12900K offered an 84% boost in frame rate over the i9-11900K.

The gains line up with a long list of leaked benchmarks, which put Intel’s chip ahead of the pack. Still, it’s important to wait for third-party testing before making performance assumptions. Intel didn’t show off many comparisons to AMD, and DDR5 and Windows 11 are likely playing a role in the results thanks to Alder Lake’s Thread Director feature.

Pre-orders for the chips are live now ahead of the November 4 launch date. Z690 motherboards are launching on the same day. You’ll be able to find unique Z690 boards from major brands, including Asus, MSI, ASRock, Gigabyte, EVGA, and Colorful.

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