Rumor has it that Intel may be launching its first 12th Gen "Alder Lake" processors this fall. According to Igor's Lab, Intel plans on only releasing the K and KF line of CPUs this fall along with Z690 motherboards. If those chips release, we'll see if they're among the best CPUs.
Since the K and KF line of CPUs are unlocked for overclocking, we should expect to see some higher-end motherboards right at the beginning, especially since the new chipset is expected to support PCIe 5.0.
However, that claim should be taken with a grain of salt, because of the fact that even Samsung will not have PCIe 5.0 SSDs ready until Q2 2022. There may simply not be PCIe 5.0 drives to take advantage of the capability.
Alder Lake will also reportedly support DDR4 and DDR5 memory. With dual compatibility, it would make sense if both PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 would be supported, but that may not be feasible early on. But again, to encourage some users to upgrade, it may need to wait for a variety of drives and memory sticks to hit the market.
The rest of the CPU line up, including H670, B660 and H610 chipsets are unlikely to show up until a CES 2022 announcement, according to the source.
Intel's Alder Lake CPUs and Z690 chipset are rumored to have a lot to offer, including its PCIe 5.0 support, DDR5, a potential 20% increase in single-threaded performance, and 2x multi-threaded performance. We may see what really comes to pass later this year.
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Myles Goldman is a freelance writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews keyboards and cases.