Intel's Rocket Lake CPUs land at the end of March, but later this year we'll be moving on from that 11th-generation line of CPUs with a 12th generation, and it's a big one. Alder Lake, as its currently codenamed, will be the first 10nm desktop CPUs that Intel has ever made, and will reportedly be a whole lot faster for it. With a new architecture and process node shrink, Alder Lake chips could offer as much as a 20 percent improvement in single threaded performance. They'll also introduce support for DDR55 memory and PCIExpress 5.0.
Intel clearly doesn't expect Rocket Lake to be a keystone of its CPU strategy in 2020, which is a shame, considering how hard the engineers must have worked on it. Backporting a 10nm architecture to 14nm is no small feat, and though it demands an insane amount of power and drops two cores on the top model, it's still an impressive creation with such a long-in-the-tooth process. Alder Lake though, is truly next generation.
The Golden Cove cores reportedly bring a huge boost to per core performance, which will in turn bleed through to multithreaded applications. They'll be aided by a new batch of efficient Gracemont cores, which will leverage hardware guided scheduling to bring, what Intel claims, is up to a 100% multithreaded performance increase over Rocket Lake.
Alongside this raw power, the new chips will be more efficient, demanding less wattage and thermal dissipation. They'll introduce both PCIExpress 4.0 and 5.0, with motherboard chipsets deciding what the chips have access to. There will also be native Thunderbolt 4 and Wi-Fi 6E for motherboards that decide to implement it too.
The big one though, will be DDR5 support. That will raise frequencies for some boards to 4,800MHz, without XMP. That big bandwidth increase could lead to even greater performance gains in specific applications.
Image source: VideoCardz