The final thing we all asked from Intel was to finally switch to the 10nm process on its mainstream desktop CPUs, and with the Architecture Day, Intel went on to show how dedicated they are to their upcoming CPUs and GPUs.
Alder Lake is huge for Intel as it sets the momentum where its mainstream desktop processors could again be competitive and efficient as it was a dominant force in the market. Indeed, few years of leadership failure and thinking of no competition would leave them the king was actually leading to this downfall.
Although Intel’s business just doesn’t stop making desktop or mobile CPUs as it has a huge business making many products. So, even though they had a tough time for last years in terms of desktop CPU sales but they were making profits each quarter.
However, Intel’s image is always the silicon giant that makes processors, so AMD did raise some questions about that image for these few years. Obviously, competition is what help companies bring the best out of their pockets, so AMD’s Ryzen deserves credit for Intel to get back on track.
Intel’s mobile side of processors have done quite well where Tiger Lake gives an excellent performance, and its 8-core models like Core i9-11900HK just overthrows AMD’s best CPUs. However, in mainstream desktop processors, or say High-Performance client-side processors, Intel had lost its edge in recent years.
AMD quickly captured substantial market share in desktop processors, and their Threadripper CPUs are just monstrous for high-performance computing. Intel has lost its dominance in the server and data centre market as AMD’s EPYC server CPUs are quite convincing.
In 2021, Intel’s 11th Gen Rocket Lake CPU launch was disastrous; pricing its 8-core based Core i9-11900K for over $500 makes no sense at all, as the Ryzen 9 5900X is a clear better choice coming in at $549. Even for benchmarks, Intel CPUs dominated its gaming performance, but that too changed in 2020 and still in 2021; Rocket Lake isn’t convincing enough to customers.
So, 12th Gen Alder Lake processors are what Intel is targeting; in less than 6 months, announcing its next-gen CPUs shows how poorly they performed in the market. Though Intel has offered good budget chips like Core i5-10600K or even the Core i3s are still convincing and give good entry-level options.
Intel has promised a substantial 19% IPC uplift with 10nm based Alder Lake compared to its 11th Gen SKUs. The hybrid architecture involves up to 8 Efficiency cores, and up to 8 Performance cores is a significant evolution in the company’s power efficiency targets.
The silicon giant is betting upon its Intel 7 process, and the TDP of these chips will range from 9 watts to 125 watts. Also, you have the latest DDR5 RAM support and industry-first support for PCIe Gen 5 and bringing new technologies like Intel Thread Director, who will work with Windows 11.
Alder Lake is a scalable architecture, being used with an LGA1700 socket to getting used in an ultra-mobile form factor. It will support up to 24 threads, and you will also have a capable iGPU that has 96 EUs of Xe architecture. However, the fact that Intel is claiming a 19% IPC uplift over Rocket Lake is surprising.
But do note that if this is the case, and if Intel is not tricking us as it did by saying Rocket Lake delivered 19% IPC uplift over Skylake, which is a decade old architecture, then Intel might actually beat AMD. It already did with Tiger Lake-H, but maybe they didn’t get as much praise they deserved, but if Intel can maintain stocks and match AMD’s performance, people will indeed opt for Intel again.
That being said, AMD still has a 16 performance cores counterpart, the Ryzen 9 5950X, in the market and could be a Ryzen 5000 series refresh to counter Alder Lake. However, as an end-user and tech enthusiast, finally, some exciting days are coming as Intel will be back in the performance race, and healthy competition will bring the best products to consumers.