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Intel fills out Alder Lake CPU lineup, and other CPU news

QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 24,240
edited January 5 in Hardware
AMD's Ryzen 5000 series dominated the enthusiast market for mainstream consumer CPUs for about a year after its launch in late 2020.  Intel countered with the top end parts from the Alder Lake lineup a couple of months ago, and today is launching the rest of their lineup.

As nice as the Ryzen 5000 series CPUs are, there's one enormous problem with that lineup.  The cheapest CPU in it currently costs $254 on New Egg.  Someone who wants a nice $100 or $150 or even $200 CPU can't get it there.  Even among older AMD CPUs, there's only one Ryzen CPU on New Egg for under $243.  It's a quad core part with much slower Zen 2 cores and a max turbo of only 3.9 GHz, and still costs $150.

That leaves a gaping hole in the market that Intel proposes to fill with the lower end Alder Lake parts today.  A Core i5-12600 with six cores and turbo up to 4.8 GHz will set you back $223.  A Core i5-12400F loses the integrated GPU and drops the max turbo to 4.4 GHz, but it can be had for $167.  Lose two of the cores and you can get a Core i3-12100F quad core with turbo up to 4.3 GHz for $97.

Like Zen 3 cores and unlike Zen 2 or Sky Lake Refresh Refresh Refresh Refresh cores, Alder Lake cores are modern, fast cores.  Unlike the top end Alder Lake or Rocket Lake parts, these won't suffer from runaway power consumption.  The max turbo wattage on all of the parts listed above is no more than 117 W.  Giving up that last few hundred MHz in clock speed can really save a lot of power.

That leaves Alder Lake poised to dominate the low end and mid range of the desktop CPU market.  Basically, Intel is offering a full lineup, while AMD only focuses on the high end.  That makes Intel the natural choice if the high end is out of your budget.

It's not that AMD didn't want to offer a full lineup.  Rather, their foundry capacity is limited because of a worldwide shortage, which the miners have done a lot to exacerbate.  Wafers used for mining ASICs or GPUs that are diverted to mining rather than graphics are wafers unavailable for something more interesting or productive.  If you can readily sell all the CPUs you can produce, but can only produce so many, it's a lot more lucrative to claim the high end of the market than the low end.

There is one immediate problem with the new Alder Lake parts, however.  New Egg currently has exactly one LGA1700 motherboard for $200 or less.  If you don't like AsRock, then other motherboard prices start at $220 and go up from there.  In contrast, there are plenty of B550 motherboards that can handle Zen 3 CPUs for under $100.

CPU vendors can have a considerable influence on motherboard prices via what they charge for chipsets.  Needing to handle the early 241 W CPUs surely drives up prices, too; for comparison, even the 16-core Ryzen 9 5950X tops out at 142 W.  Intel is also announcing new B660 and H670 chipsets, which should lead to more affordable motherboards.  We'll have to wait and see just how affordable those new motherboards are.  In the meantime, having to spend an extra $100 on a motherboard in order to save $100 on a CPU isn't really a win.

AMD is fighting back with two new announcements their own.  The first is the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, which is roughly a Ryzen 7 5800X with extra L3 cache stacked on top of it.  That's still eight cores, but now with 96 MB of L3 cache instead of 32 MB.  Oh, and that cache burns power, too, so the clock speeds are down, with a max turbo of 4.5 GHz as compared to 4.7 GHz on the older 5800X.

AMD is claiming that the increased L3 cache helps with gaming.  While I could easily believe that there are some corner cases where the extra cache offers enormous advantages, I'm skeptical that they're as typical of gaming as AMD wants to claim.

The price is also left unspecified.  Even assuming that yields are good (which is a huge assumption when dealing with exotic packaging!), that extra cache costs die space and hence money, so they're presumably not going to be cheap.  It's telling that AMD is only announcing a single part with the stacked cache and not a full lineup.  This could easily be AMD's answer to Intel's old Core i7-5775C, a low volume part that was more to show off a manufacturing capability than something for consumers to buy.  In case the name doesn't ring a bell, the Core i7-5775C had a 128 MB L4 cache and launched way back in 2015.

AMD also announced that Zen 4 cores are coming in the second half of 2022.  Until then, they're mostly going to have to field older Zen 3 parts to counter the higher end of Intel's new Alder Lake lineup, and probably won't have an answer for Intel's lower end parts.
tzervoRidelynnlaserit

Comments

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,334
    I'm really glad to see Intel delivered on the tech. I don't know that they necessarily needed to field 50 different SKUs to cover the market, but eh.

    What remains to be seen is availability -- seeing if these products actually can make it out to market. So far it bodes well, but there have been a lot of Intel products lately that seem to only exist in Ark, and in a few prototype-ish machines, and are no where else to be found to buy.
    tzervoAsm0deus
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 24,240
    edited January 5
    Ridelynn said:
    I'm really glad to see Intel delivered on the tech. I don't know that they necessarily needed to field 50 different SKUs to cover the market, but eh.

    What remains to be seen is availability -- seeing if these products actually can make it out to market. So far it bodes well, but there have been a lot of Intel products lately that seem to only exist in Ark, and in a few prototype-ish machines, and are no where else to be found to buy.
    As you know, Intel has their own fabs, and barely lets anyone else use them at all.  Alder Lake will presumably get all of the 7 nm capacity that Intel has, at least until Sapphire Rapids (server CPUs) arrives.  The real question is how much foundry capacity Intel has decided to build out.  Unless yields are awful, they surely want to get away from 14 nm.
    tzervo
  • laseritlaserit Member LegendaryPosts: 7,591
    Ridelynn said:
    I'm really glad to see Intel delivered on the tech. I don't know that they necessarily needed to field 50 different SKUs to cover the market, but eh.

    That's marketing for ya ;)

    If ones only worried about using 6 cores which cpu would give the best performance for something like MSFS?

    When not using VR. I'm always cpu limited.

    "Be water my friend" - Bruce Lee

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 24,240
    laserit said:
    Ridelynn said:
    I'm really glad to see Intel delivered on the tech. I don't know that they necessarily needed to field 50 different SKUs to cover the market, but eh.

    That's marketing for ya ;)

    If ones only worried about using 6 cores which cpu would give the best performance for something like MSFS?

    When not using VR. I'm always cpu limited.
    Is there some reason to suspect that you can scale well to six cores but not to more than that?  If you want a lot of CPU cores, then you can just get a lot and be done with it, like this:

    https://www.newegg.com/amd-ryzen-9-5950x/p/N82E16819113663

    If the problem is one of wanting faster cores rather than more of them, then any Zen 3 (Ryzen 5000 series) or Alder Lake (Intel Core 12000 series) are the parts with the fastest CPU cores.

    AMD also offers HEDT parts with up to 64 Zen 2 cores.  Rumors say that the Zen 3 version of that (so that you can get faster cores and also more cores) is coming soon.  The part number in the Ryzen Threadripper 3990X doubles as the price tag, and that will scare a lot of people off.

    Also, do you know that CPU cores are the issue as opposed to memory?  Intel's Alder Lake parts can use DDR4 or DDR5, and the latter offers more memory bandwidth.  You might not like the price tags on DDR5, though, especially if you need a lot of memory.
    tzervolaserit
  • laseritlaserit Member LegendaryPosts: 7,591
    Quizzical said:
    laserit said:
    Ridelynn said:
    I'm really glad to see Intel delivered on the tech. I don't know that they necessarily needed to field 50 different SKUs to cover the market, but eh.

    That's marketing for ya ;)

    If ones only worried about using 6 cores which cpu would give the best performance for something like MSFS?

    When not using VR. I'm always cpu limited.
    Is there some reason to suspect that you can scale well to six cores but not to more than that?  If you want a lot of CPU cores, then you can just get a lot and be done with it, like this:

    https://www.newegg.com/amd-ryzen-9-5950x/p/N82E16819113663

    If the problem is one of wanting faster cores rather than more of them, then any Zen 3 (Ryzen 5000 series) or Alder Lake (Intel Core 12000 series) are the parts with the fastest CPU cores.

    AMD also offers HEDT parts with up to 64 Zen 2 cores.  Rumors say that the Zen 3 version of that (so that you can get faster cores and also more cores) is coming soon.  The part number in the Ryzen Threadripper 3990X doubles as the price tag, and that will scare a lot of people off.

    Also, do you know that CPU cores are the issue as opposed to memory?  Intel's Alder Lake parts can use DDR4 or DDR5, and the latter offers more memory bandwidth.  You might not like the price tags on DDR5, though, especially if you need a lot of memory.
    Right now I’m running a 5900x @4.7 with 64g gskill 3600 can’t remember the timings offhand, but good stuff.

    I get good performance, around 60fps on ultra settings running on 5120x1440

    When I load in a 3rd party heavy simulation aircraft the frames are hit real hard. Only 4 cores ever seem to be worked hard which is disappointing.

    Core speed has always historically been the bottle neck. It’s a dedicated machine and core speed is a lot more important than number of cores.

     I’m wondering what my best option is.
    tzervo

    "Be water my friend" - Bruce Lee

  • The_KorriganThe_Korrigan Member RarePosts: 2,958
    Any competition between the "two big" is good for us customers at the end of the day.
    RidelynnAsm0deuslaserit

    If you wonder why I don't answer your posts, it's most likely because you are on my block list - so don't waste your time.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,334
    edited January 6
    laserit said:

    Right now I’m running a 5900x @4.7 with 64g gskill 3600 can’t remember the timings offhand, but good stuff.

    I get good performance, around 60fps on ultra settings running on 5120x1440

    When I load in a 3rd party heavy simulation aircraft the frames are hit real hard. Only 4 cores ever seem to be worked hard which is disappointing.

    Core speed has always historically been the bottle neck. It’s a dedicated machine and core speed is a lot more important than number of cores.

     I’m wondering what my best option is.
    The graph is a mess, but this seems to show Alder Lake 12900k as a clear leader in 1080 and 1440, although at 4K everything gets tied again. And there's the new vcache 5900 coming out soon that may challenge even the 12900k.

    https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2021-intel-core-i9-12900k-i5-12600k-review?page=2

    i will also note - the Alder Lake systems in this bench are running DDR5, all other systems DDR4, so if there is any advantage to be had with faster RAM, this will show it. These are also run with a RTX3090.

    Odd results though. Doesn't appear to be too core sensitive and most people are also talking about a 6-core preference. Despite the fact that the 12900 is vastly outperforming the 12600, the 5600 and 5950 are neck and neck and even trade performance at times. I don't really understand that result to be honest. Even given MSFS's 6-core preference, the i5 12600 has 6 P-cores, and only a couple hundred MHz slower than the 12900... Maybe it has to do with the load crossing Ryzen CCX's or something, and a 5600 only has 1 CCX, which lets it compete with a faster clocked, more core varient that is bouncing between 2 CCXs?

    That said, at 5120x1440... that's just shy of 4k in pixel count - I'd think you are closer to the 4k bench than the 1440, and those are still GPU limited. I think the best you can do is hope you win the GPU lottery, and even the 3090 is struggling and bottlenecking on MSFS.
    laserit
  • SandmanjwSandmanjw Member RarePosts: 479
    Seems kind of like backwards déjà vu...we used to talk about how AMD were filling the gaps of Intel's lineup.

    Too bad we have all the mining and other shortages that drive the prices and in-stock issues to where it can be such a pain to want to buy some of the CPU chips and GPU's.

    Still rocking a 1080 card in my system. Guess I will till it dies too, rather than try to find something better at a reasonable price. Hope this new year things get better.
    olepiRidelynn
  • olepiolepi Member EpicPosts: 2,285
    Sandmanjw said:
    Seems kind of like backwards déjà vu...we used to talk about how AMD were filling the gaps of Intel's lineup.

    Too bad we have all the mining and other shortages that drive the prices and in-stock issues to where it can be such a pain to want to buy some of the CPU chips and GPU's.

    Still rocking a 1080 card in my system. Guess I will till it dies too, rather than try to find something better at a reasonable price. Hope this new year things get better.

    I think this is the first time I've heard that Intel is doing well by filling in the low to medium performance slots. Usually that's what AMD does.
    Ridelynn

    ------------
    2022: 45 years on the Net.


  • Asm0deusAsm0deus Member EpicPosts: 3,840
    edited January 6
    Sandmanjw said:
    ....snip...

    Still rocking a 1080 card in my system. Guess I will till it dies too, rather than try to find something better at a reasonable price. Hope this new year things get better.

    The real issue with PC gaming right now isn't cpu's...the market is in a decent spot..no it's the gpu market that is the huge bottleneck right now with no availability and stupid marked up prices.

    Just had to quote this due the the sheer amount of times I see comments like this in the last year and counting....

    Brenics ~ Just to point out I do believe Chris Roberts is going down as the man who cheated backers and took down crowdfunding for gaming.





  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 24,240
    edited January 6
    Ridelynn said:
    laserit said:
    Right now I’m running a 5900x @4.7 with 64g gskill 3600 can’t remember the timings offhand, but good stuff.

    I get good performance, around 60fps on ultra settings running on 5120x1440

    When I load in a 3rd party heavy simulation aircraft the frames are hit real hard. Only 4 cores ever seem to be worked hard which is disappointing.

    Core speed has always historically been the bottle neck. It’s a dedicated machine and core speed is a lot more important than number of cores.

     I’m wondering what my best option is.
    The graph is a mess, but this seems to show Alder Lake 12900k as a clear leader in 1080 and 1440, although at 4K everything gets tied again. And there's the new vcache 5900 coming out soon that may challenge even the 12900k.

    https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2021-intel-core-i9-12900k-i5-12600k-review?page=2

    i will also note - the Alder Lake systems in this bench are running DDR5, all other systems DDR4, so if there is any advantage to be had with faster RAM, this will show it. These are also run with a RTX3090.

    Odd results though. Doesn't appear to be too core sensitive and most people are also talking about a 6-core preference. Despite the fact that the 12900 is vastly outperforming the 12600, the 5600 and 5950 are neck and neck and even trade performance at times. I don't really understand that result to be honest. Even given MSFS's 6-core preference, the i5 12600 has 6 P-cores, and only a couple hundred MHz slower than the 12900... Maybe it has to do with the load crossing Ryzen CCX's or something, and a 5600 only has 1 CCX, which lets it compete with a faster clocked, more core varient that is bouncing between 2 CCXs?

    That said, at 5120x1440... that's just shy of 4k in pixel count - I'd think you are closer to the 4k bench than the 1440, and those are still GPU limited. I think the best you can do is hope you win the GPU lottery, and even the 3090 is struggling and bottlenecking on MSFS.
    I would bet that the difference is that the Core i9-12900K has a max power of 241 W, while the Core i5-12600K has a max power of 150 W.  Being able to burn 60% more power can sometimes get you an extra 10% performance, but that doesn't automatically mean that it's worth it.  If you're using a lot of cores, the power budget is the limiting factor, not the nominal max turbo.

    For the AMD chips tested, in contrast, the max power was 142 W across the board.  Having more cores clocked lower does let you get more performance in a given power budget if you have code that scales well to many cores.  It looks like Flight Simulator 2020 doesn't.
    laserittzervo
  • laseritlaserit Member LegendaryPosts: 7,591
    Ridelynn said:
    laserit said:

    Right now I’m running a 5900x @4.7 with 64g gskill 3600 can’t remember the timings offhand, but good stuff.

    I get good performance, around 60fps on ultra settings running on 5120x1440

    When I load in a 3rd party heavy simulation aircraft the frames are hit real hard. Only 4 cores ever seem to be worked hard which is disappointing.

    Core speed has always historically been the bottle neck. It’s a dedicated machine and core speed is a lot more important than number of cores.

     I’m wondering what my best option is.
    The graph is a mess, but this seems to show Alder Lake 12900k as a clear leader in 1080 and 1440, although at 4K everything gets tied again. And there's the new vcache 5900 coming out soon that may challenge even the 12900k.

    https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2021-intel-core-i9-12900k-i5-12600k-review?page=2

    i will also note - the Alder Lake systems in this bench are running DDR5, all other systems DDR4, so if there is any advantage to be had with faster RAM, this will show it. These are also run with a RTX3090.

    Odd results though. Doesn't appear to be too core sensitive and most people are also talking about a 6-core preference. Despite the fact that the 12900 is vastly outperforming the 12600, the 5600 and 5950 are neck and neck and even trade performance at times. I don't really understand that result to be honest. Even given MSFS's 6-core preference, the i5 12600 has 6 P-cores, and only a couple hundred MHz slower than the 12900... Maybe it has to do with the load crossing Ryzen CCX's or something, and a 5600 only has 1 CCX, which lets it compete with a faster clocked, more core varient that is bouncing between 2 CCXs?

    That said, at 5120x1440... that's just shy of 4k in pixel count - I'd think you are closer to the 4k bench than the 1440, and those are still GPU limited. I think the best you can do is hope you win the GPU lottery, and even the 3090 is struggling and bottlenecking on MSFS.
    It’s not in graphics performance where I’m lacking. It’s in raw processing, number crunching, simulating. I also have an RTX3090 and it was a faulty closed loop cooler that was causing me my issues a couple months ago. I’ll never buy one of those again.

    The system runs awesome, I just run some heavy applications and am always looking to improve performance. I can always bring the system to it knees on demand ;)

    When I switch over to my 8k headset, I’m no longer bottle necked by my cpu. I’m bottle necked around 50fps on medium-high settings by my 3090.

    The best thing is that once your in game you see absolutely no loading of any kind. It’s amazing the number of objects on screen, even with medium-high settings.

    When I run complex simulation aircraft, performance cost is around 30% or more but still provides a very enjoyable, smooth, load free experience.

     If I could get 40+ frames with the complicated aircraft and weather generators, I’ll be in my glory….

    Hopefully ;)

    "Be water my friend" - Bruce Lee

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 24,240
    laserit said:
    The system runs awesome, I just run some heavy applications and am always looking to improve performance. I can always bring the system to it knees on demand ;)
    Does your "heavy applications" specifically mean flight simulator and nothing else?  Or do you mean other programs unrelated to flight simulator?
  • laseritlaserit Member LegendaryPosts: 7,591
    edited January 7
    We Quizzical said:
    laserit said:
    The system runs awesome, I just run some heavy applications and am always looking to improve performance. I can always bring the system to it knees on demand ;)
    Does your "heavy applications" specifically mean flight simulator and nothing else?  Or do you mean other programs unrelated to flight simulator?
    There are aircraft that operate within MSFS that are separate simulations in and of themselves.

    We’ll have to see how things evolve with the new engine and how 3rd parties learn to operate within it. Hopefully as things progress they’ll be able to take advantage of more than four cores.

    The big names in weather injectors haven’t released any products for the new sim so I cant judge performance there, but the stock weather doesn’t seem to affect performance in any appreciable way.

    "Be water my friend" - Bruce Lee

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