A never-before-seen Alder Lake-S processor sample (via momomo_us) has surfaced with improved specifications and DDR5 support. The hybrid chip seemingly sports the same 16-core, 32-thread configuration as an early sample that appeared back in October, potentially helping Intel climb up the rankings of our CPU benchmark hierarchy.
SiSoftware detects the Alder Lake-S part as a 16-core part, meaning there are eight Golden Cove cores and eight Gracemont cores onboard. The configuration coincides with one of many possible Alder Lake-S combinations that appeared in a coreboot patch. Unless Intel has another combination in the pipeline, the 16-core Alder Lake-S should be the flagship SKU.
The new Alder Lake-S sample reportedly features a 1.8 GHz base clock, 400 MHz higher than the previous leaked sample. It's uncertain if the two are the same processor or if Intel has managed to improve the previous chip's base clock. On this occasion, the software was able to pick up the processor's boost clock speed that's apparently configured to 4 GHz. The cache configuration remains unaltered: We still see the 12.5MB of L2 cache and 30MB of L3 cache.
Intel Alder Lake-S Benchmarks
|Processor||Processor Multi-Media||Processor Cryptography (High Security)||Memory Bandwidth||GP (GPU) Processing||GP (GPU) Memory Bandwidth||GP Global Data Cache/Memory Latencies (In-Page Random Access)||Overall GP (GPU) Score|
|Alder Lake-S (1.8 GHz)||263.46 Mpix/s||10.61 GB/s||34.21 GB/s||398.81 Mpix/s||24.97 GB/s||620.2 ns||2.30 kPT|
|Alder Lake-S (1.4 GHz)||318.86 Mpix/s||7.27 GB/s||13.49 GB/s||301.33 Mpix/s||6.90 GB/s||263.4 ns||1.66 kPT|
Surprisingly, the 1.4 GHz Alder Lake-S chip delivers a 21% higher score on the processor multi-media test than the 1.8 GHz sample. It's plausible that SiSoftware's Sandra benchamrk software isn't yet fully optimized for Alder Lake-S. We shouldn't lose sight of the fact that Alder Lake-S arrives with a hybrid setup, so the whole high-performance and high-efficiency core arrangement can trip some software up. The 1.8 GHz Alder Lake-S part does score better in some of the other tests though.
The memory bandwidth test is one of the benchmarks that stand out the most. There's an improvement up to a whopping 153.6%. The logical reasoning behind the substantial uplift is that the previous Alder Lake-S was paired with DDR4 memory, while the new sample purportedly runs with DDR5 memory.
The overall GPU score also saw an improvement up to 38.6% on the 1.8 GHz sample. The submission revealed a similar iGPU configuration with 32 Execution Units (EUs), totaling 256 shading units. Evidently, the new sample was clocked at 1.5 GHz, up to 350 MHz higher than the prior sample.
The new benchmarks certainly restore some faith in Alder Lake-S. It seems that Intel has been playing with the heterogeneous chips to see how far they can go. Alder Lake-S will land in the second half of this year. So there is, admittedly, more than enough time for further improvements. In the meantime, Intel will release its Rocket Lake CPUs to fend off AMD's Ryzen 5000 processors.
What I really want to know though, is why a high-power desktop user would want a split of "little" cores when full cores are readily available from their competition.
Plus I'm already pre-angry at the inevitable scam-marketing Intel will allow their OEMs to use when they start selling these against the R9 5950X as if they have 16 real cores. Remeber how Intel let them add Optane to their "total system memory", even though those cache drives in no way act like RAM?
As for the premium for DDR5, it'll likely be quite substantial due to all of the extra active circuitry (data and address buffer chips on top of the VRM) on the PCB.
Also let's see first what this CPU is even about, it could be replacing the whole lineup or it could be a niche product just like BGA where people freaked out that it would replace every CPU.