Provantage (via Harukaze5719), a retailer in the U.S., has listed pricing for Intel's 12th Generation Alder Lake K-series processors. Alder Lake will be the first hybrid x86 desktop chips on a mainstream platform, and given the competitive price listings, they certainly look like they'll compete with AMD's Ryzen 5000 chips for a spot on our list of Best CPUs for Gaming.
Although Provantage is a reputable store, we recommend you approach the pricing with caution. Alder Lake won't debut until Fall 2021, so Provantage's pricing could just be a placeholder. However, the prices do fall in line with the listings from another retailer, so they could be a very good indication of how Intel could price the heterogeneous processors.
Provantage listed the Core i9-12900K, Core i7-12700K, Core i5-12600K, and their corresponding KF-series counterparts. The KF models come with a $26 to $27 discount, so that's seemingly what Intel's Gen12 Xe graphics is worth. That's not a huge surprise, considering that Alder Lake has been rumored to retain the Xe-LP graphics engine that's inside Intel's Tiger Lake chips, but with up to 32 EUs.
Intel 12th Generation Alder Lake Pricing
|Processor||Boxed Pricing||Tray Pricing||Base / Boost Clocks (GHz)||L3 Cache (MB)||TDP (W)||Boxed PN||Tray PN|
|Core i9-12900K||$604.89||$605.92||3.2 / 5.2||30||125||BX8071512900K||CM8071504549230|
|Core i9-12900KF||$578.13||$578.49||3.2 / 5.2||30||125||BX8071512900KF||CM8071504549231|
|Core i7-12700K||$422.17||$420.26||3.6 / 5.0||25||125||BX8071512700K||CM8071504553828|
|Core i7-12700KF||$395.61||$392.36||3.6 / 5.0||25||125||BX8071512700KF||CM8071504553829|
|Core i5-12600K||$288.77||$283.59||3.7 / 4.9||20||125||BX8071512600K||CM8071504555227|
|Core i5-12600KF||$261.77||$263.15||3.7 / 4.9||20||125||BX8071512600KF||CM8071504555228|
Provantage has the Core i9-12900K, and Core i9-12900KF listed at $604.89 and $578.13, respectively. The pricing looks modest compared to another retailer that posted the same processors for $705 and $674, respectively. However, if we look at the current Rocket Lake lineup, the Core i9-11900K and Core i9-11900KF sell for $549 and $529, respectively. Apparently, the Alder Lake equivalents carry a $55 and $49 premium.
Pricing-wise, the Core i9 models compete with the Ryzen 9 5900X, which has a $549 MSRP. However, AMD's chip features 12 Zen 3 cores with SMT, and while the Core i9-12900K has 16 cores in total, only eight are high-performance Golden Cove cores. So it'll be interesting to see how Golden Cove stacks up to Zen 3 with a four-core disadvantage.
The Core i7-12700K and Core i7-12700KF, on the other hand, might cost $422.17 and $395.61, respectively. For comparison, the other retailer listed them for $495 and $464, respectively. The Core i7-11700K and Core i7-11700KF are available for $409 and $384, respectively, so we're looking at a price increase between $11 and $13, which sounds reasonable.
The only Zen 3 chip in that price range is the Ryzen 7 5800X that debuted at $449. This might be a fair fight as the Core i7 SKU is rumored to rock eight Golden Cove cores, and the Ryzen 7 5800X has eight Zen 3 cores.
The Core i5-12600K and Core i5-12600KF will likely be the favorite SKUs for gamers. The first may carry a $288.77 price tag, while the latter is priced at $261.77. Again, Provantage's pricing is lower than the other U.S. retailer that listed the Core i5-12600K for $343 and the Core i5-12600KF for $312. The Core i5-11600K and Core i5-11600KF typically go for $272 and $247, respectively. With Alder Lake, it's a $16 higher price tag on the former and a $14 premium on the latter.
The Core i5 Alder Lake chips are expected to arrive with six Golden Cove cores and would have to face the hexa-core Ryzen 5 5600X that retails for $299.
Interesting pricing. Looks like Intel is expecting these CPUs to not be very competitive, and is keeping prices low to hold on to market share. But pricing doesn't tell the whole story. It's about total cost of CPU ownership, and that includes the electrical bill, need for a new motherboard...
We will know for sure once real world tests have been conducted by unbiased reviewers, but of course, first these CPUs need to be released. For now it's all just marketing fluff.
At least, that's my cynical point-of-view - but based on various articles I've read about Alder Lake.
That's a big ask for anyone not classified as a prosumer or professional. In games, especially at high resolutions, even comparatively antique 4770k doesn't really hold back frame rates, it's still a 2560x1440 120fps and 4k 75fps processor, which TH demonstrated with the 3080. In applications the performance benefit with vary greatly of course depending on what you use, but if you're already using a 9th generation Intel CPU or Ryzen 3000 series or newer, it doesn't make any sense to upgrade unless you're a prosumer or professional where time is critical.
How Much CPU Does the GeForce RTX 3080 Need? | Tom's Hardware (tomshardware.com)
What kind of prices are we expecting for a good motherboard ?
Personally I'd do what I'm doing and getting an X570S motherboard and going long with my Ryzen 3700X. PCIe 4.0 is going to be far sufficient for bandwidth outside the server market for a long time to come, some X570S motherboards ship with 3 or 4 M.2 slots for futureproofing, GPUs are the limiting factor in games and will continue to be for quite a while, and you can drop in a 5000 series, or even a 6000 series if AMD does a Zen 3+ refresh, when prices become cheap as they are clearanced.