Intel Alder Lake Desktop Launching: 12th Gen Core Processors Detailed

At the top of the chart we have Intel’s new desktop flagship processor, the Core i9-12900K, which is a 16-core, 24-thread part. This uneven core/thread count is explained by the division of P-core and E-core, as only the performance cores offer Hyper Threading. So, the Intel Core i9-12900K is a 16 (8P+8E) Core part. Just as Intel’s processors now carry lengthy names, the descriptions of their core and thread counts have similarly expanded.

This flagship SKU features the same Turbo Boost Max 3.0 frequency of up to 5.2 GHz that we had with the previous generation, though this chart does not mention Thermal Velocity Boost Frequency (5.3 GHz with the Core i9-11900K). Cache, on the other hand, is up considerably from the 11th Gen flagship, with a total of 14MB of L2 and 30MB of shared L3 (Intel Smart Cache) – up from 4MB L2/16MB L3 with the Core i9-11900K.

Another interesting aspect of these new chips is the way that power is rated, and I am very pleased to report that it is actually realistic now! Rather than presenting a blanket TDP of 125W, which is ignored by virtually every motherboard manufacturer, there is now Processor Base Power and Maximum Turbo Power. With the Core i9-12900K the Base Power is 125W while the Maximum Turbo Power is 241W. Finally Intel is providing a much clearer look at the type of cooler such a CPU should be paired with.

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