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US Pricing Listed For Intel Alder Lake CPUs

Intel Alder Lake
(Image credit: Intel)

Intel's Alder Lake is one of the worst-kept secrets in the industry, at least in terms of final specifications, but today we may have learned the one critical missing piece: pricing.

Given that the chips are obviously on the cusp of release, several European retailers listed pricing today, but now we have US pricing, too. As with all early listings, take the pricing with a grain of salt as it may merely be a placeholder. However, the pricing does land within our general expectations. European retailers that listed Intel's 12th Generation Core 'Alder Lake-S' processors earlier today also confirmed their general specifications as well as ordering codes. The general consensus is that Intel plans to begin selling Alder Lake-S for desktops sometime in October.

As expected, Intel will first offer six 12th-Gen Alder Lake-S processors with an unlocked multiplier designed for enthusiasts. The list of these CPUs includes the Core i9-12900K, the Core i7-12700K, the Core i5-12600K, and their 'F' variants that lack integrated graphics. 

U.S. PriceConfigurationClocksCachePN
Core i9-12900K / KF$705 (K) - $674 (KF)8P + 8E | 24 threads3.20 ~ 5.30 GHz30MBBX8071512900K/BX8071512900KF
Core i9-11900K$5498P | 16 threads3.50 ~ 5.30 GHz16MB-
Ryzen 9 5950X$79916P | 32 threads3.40 ~ 4.90 GHz64MB-
Core i7-12700K / KF$495 (K) - $464 (KF)8P + 4E | 20 threads3.60 ~ 5.0 GHz25MBBX8071512700K/BX8071512700KF
Core i7-11700K$4098P | 16 threads3.60 ~ 5.0 GHz16MB-
Ryzen 7 5800X$4498P | 16 threads3.80 ~ 4.70 GHz32MB-
Core i5-12600K / KF$343 (K) - $312 (KF)6P + 4E | 16 threads3.70 ~ 4.90 GHz16MBBX8071512600K/BX8071512600KF
Core i5-11600K$2726P | 12 threads3.90 ~ 4.90 GHz12MB-
Ryzen 5 5600X$2996P | 12 threads3.70 ~ 4.60 GHz32MB-

We're comparing alleged retail prices against recommended prices, but it's clear that Intel's 12th Generation Core processors are going to be more expensive than the company's 11th Gen-Core CPUs, largely because they have more cores and should be significantly faster than their prior-gen counterparts. Meanwhile, we can make some interesting observations. The flagship Core i9-12900K is not going to be as pricey as AMD's Ryzen 9 5950X, but both Core i7-12700K and Core i5-12600K will be more expensive than AMD's competing chips.

You should also take Intel's pricing for the graphics-less KF models into account, too. These chips come without graphics, just like AMD's competing Ryzen models, but at a lower price point than their standard counterparts.

Intel's rather aggressive core count, particularly as far as high-end and performance-mainstream parts are concerned, also draws the eye. While it was pretty reasonable to expect Intel to offer a 16-core CPU as its flagship Alder Lake-S SKU, a 10-core performance-mainstream SKU is a surprise. 

Other things worth considering are of course huge cache sizes. Even the Core i5-12600K has a 16MB L3 cache, whereas the flagship Core i9-12900K has a massive 30MB L3 cache.

Last but not least are the high clock rates of the upcoming 12th Generation Core CPUs. Despite the significantly increased complexity of Alder Lake-S chips when compared to Rocket Lake-S processors, Intel has managed to sustain rather frequencies that its latest CPUs are known for.

The processors will be the company's first desktop chips featuring a hybrid architecture that embraces Golden Cove performance cores (P cores) and Gracemont energy-efficient cores (E cores). Intel's next-generation desktop CPUs will use an LGA1700 form-factor and will support 16 PCIe 5.0 lanes, four PCIe 4.0 lanes, and a memory controller that supports LPDDR4, LPDDR5, DDR4, and DDR5. The CPUs are made using Intel's 7 fabrication process previously known as 10nm Enhanced SuperFin (10ESF). 

Intel traditionally does not comment on the specifications or pricing of unreleased products. While specs come from multiple sources and presumably originate from Intel's own documentation, they are not official, so take them with a grain of salt.

  • Yuka
    Not sure if competing or just one-upping AMD on bad pricing =/

    Regards.
    Reply
  • Giroro
    Based on what we know so far about the 12900K, $700 is absolutely laughable.

    People thought I was being cynical for calling this an 8-core processor, with Intel trying to trick the layman into paying 16-core pricing.
    Looks like I was pretty close for the pricing. We'll have to wait and see on real world performance. But so far, things are not looking good.
    Reply
  • SkyBill40
    Intel will get their devotees to shell out and have them tripping all over themselves to do so. Count on it. It's pretty laughable to see this pricing as it's not going to be anywhere close to this. I fully expect retailers to be tacking on premiums which will inflate the costs even higher. Given the chip shortage for everything else, this could be a launch with little to no other parts available. Guess we'll see soon enough.
    Reply
  • BlackPoison357
    The 5950x is a 16c32t processor not 8c16t.
    Reply
  • steve15180
    Um, looking at your chart, Intel 12900k lists for about $100 less and has more cores and threads than
    the 5950X. Great deal if it weren't for the fact that the 5950X is a 16 CORE, 32 THREAD processor.
    And 8 of the Intel cores are not full boat cores.
    One more question I haven't heard the answer for. The point behind big little is power savings and running small/background tasks so the big ones can do the heavy work. This means Microsoft will finally start taking advantage of more cores. Does this mean that if the work is shared properly amongst the cores in an AMD processor, it will be slower because the large cores can't do the background tasks as well as the Intel small cores? If not, what's the point? Will Microsoft make it so os and background tasks will not be handed off in such a fashion unless there is a little core for them?
    Reply
  • drtweak
    Guys need to fix the 5950x. You are only giving it half the power! lol
    Reply
  • jpe1701
    steve15180 said:
    Um, looking at your chart, Intel 12900k lists for about $100 less and has more cores and threads than
    the 5950X. Great deal if it weren't for the fact that the 5950X is a 16 CORE, 32 THREAD processor.
    And 8 of the Intel cores are not full boat cores.
    One more question I haven't heard the answer for. The point behind big little is power savings and running small/background tasks so the big ones can do the heavy work. This means Microsoft will finally start taking advantage of more cores. Does this mean that if the work is shared properly amongst the cores in an AMD processor, it will be slower because the large cores can't do the background tasks as well as the Intel small cores? If not, what's the point? Will Microsoft make it so os and background tasks will not be handed off in such a fashion unless there is a little core for them?
    I think you are over thinking it. Remember when Ryzen 3000 landed and not all of the CPU cores would hit max boost clock, only the faster cores could? AMD and Microsoft changed the windows scheduler so that it would target threads to the faster cores. Same deal here. AMD chips won't be affected.
    Reply
  • samopa
    The sweet spot will be i7 12700, it has same power (P) core with i9 12900, and half number of slow (E) core, Their benchmark scores will be close, and their different in performance for everyday (common) task will be negligible. I even think their differences in performance for gaming will also negligible. Unless somehow Intel put some brake mechanism in order to prevent it.
    Reply
  • PCWarrior
    Golden Cove has 19% higher IPC compared to Sunny Cove which in turn has 18% higher IPC than Skylake. Thus, Golden Cove has 40% (1.19*1.18=1.4042) higher IPC than Skylake. And Gracemont cores have IPC (at least) equal to that of Skylake.

    8 Golden Cove P-cores @5GHz with hyperthreading are equivalent to 8x1.4042=11.23 Skylake Cores @5GHz with hyperthreading
    8 Gracemont E-cores @3.7GHz without hyperthreading are equivalent to 8x3.7/5x1/1.25=4.74 Skylake Cores @5Ghz with hyperthreading

    Adding up we have 11.23+4.74=15.97 Skylake Cores with hyperthreading. So by mere calculations the 12900K is expected to have MT performance that is equal to (or better than) that of a 16-core ring bus Comet-lake with all cores running at 5GHz. I don’t think that if Intel released a ringbus Skylake cpu with 16 cores running at 5GHz, anyone would dare say that it is “not a real 16-core” and that Intel is falsely advertising it as such in order to charge “16-core money”.

    Ultimately this cpu’s price will be judged based on where it slots performance-wise compared to the current stack of cpus on the market. If it is as good or better than the 5950X then it can justify costing as much. But in this case, we are not talking about price parity. So far, the leaks place it at $640-$700 which is $100-$160 cheaper than the 5950X. That is 12.5%-20% cheaper and therefore better value (and even more so if it also beats it).

    Imagine for a moment that Intel had an $800 16-core cpu and AMD came and offered one that matches it or surpasses it in performance for $640-$700. I am sure the AMD fboys would be cheering and calling AMD our lord and saviour while calling Intel greedy. In fact that’s what happened with 3950X ($750) and 9960X ($850 post Cascade lake release). But now that the shoe is on the other foot …
    Reply
  • JayNor
    While the DDR5 potential is understood, Intel has yet to make a case for the 16 lanes of pcie5 on a consumer desktop chip.

    Perhaps there will be some pcie5 demos at the launch, and all will become clear.
    Reply