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Intel 12th Gen Alder Lake T-Series 35W CPUs Reportedly Hit 4.9 GHz

Intel Alder Lake CPU
Intel Alder Lake CPU (Image credit: 热心市民描边怪/Bilibili)

Intel's 12th Generation Alder Lake processors are scheduled to debut in Fall 2021 to compete with the Best CPUs for Gaming on the market. We've already seen the alleged specifications for the K-series chips, and today, FanlessTech has shared the potential specification for the T-series parts.

Intel's K-series SKUs typically gain all the attention because they come with the fastest clock speeds and an unlocked multiplier for overclocking. However, the T-series variants still hold their place with consumers who aim to build small and compact systems that have low power consumption.

In case you've been living under a rock, Alder Lake is a hybrid desktop chip that wields Golden Cove and Gracemont cores. The first tackles the more intensive workloads, while the latter is good for everyday tasks. A coreboot patch has revealed up to 12 different configurations for Alder Lake, but there could be more or less, depending on how extensive Intel wants to make the lineup.

On the graphics side, Alder Lake will leverage Intel's Gen 12 Xe graphics engine, the same one inside Tiger Lake but with a few tweaks. Alder Lake will be a game changer since it's the first consumer processor to support next-generation interfaces, such as DDR5 and PCIe 5.0. Therefore, Alder Lake will reside on a new socket, the LGA1700 socket with a 41.7% increase in pins to accommodate the new features and connectivity.

Intel Alder Lake T-Series CPU Specifications*

ProcessorCoresThreadsBoost Clock (GHz)L3 Cache (MB)GraphicsTDP (W)
Core i9-12900T8 + 8244.930UHD Graphics 77035
Core i7-12700T8 + 4204.725UHD Graphics 77035
Core i5-12600T6 + 0124.618UHD Graphics 77035
Core i5-12500T6 + 0124.418UHD Graphics 77035
Core i5-12400T6 + 0124.218UHD Graphics 73035
Core i3-12300T4 + 084.212UHD Graphics 73035
Core i3-12100T4 + 084.112UHD Graphics 73035

*Specifications are unconfirmed.

The Core i9-12900T allegedly features the same 8+8 configuration as the Core i9-12900K. However, Intel would have to gimp the operating clocks to keep it within the 35W thermal envelope. According to FanlessTech, the Core i9-12900T comes with a 4.9 GHz boost clock, which is only 300 MHz lower than its K-series counterpart. The Core i9-12900T in all likelihood has a lower base clock, but FanlessTech didn't share that value.

Apparently, the Core i7-12700T could arrive with a 4.7 GHz boost clock. The rumored boost clock speed for the Core i7-12700K is 5 GHz, so it seems to have the same 300 MHz reduction as the Core i9 SKU.

The Core i5 models would take the biggest performance hit. The Core i5-12600K, which has a 125W TDP, reportedly sports six Golden Cove cores and four Gracemont cores. With the Core i5-12600T, however, it seems that Intel has eliminated the Gracemont cores all together. In addition to the 300 MHz lower boost clock, the Core i5-12600T also has a lower total core count (six as opposed to ten).

Rumors have pointed to a tentative November 19 launch for Alder Lake. The T-series variants generally come out later, though. FanlessTech believes that the 35W Alder Lake processors could land early 2022.

  • BillyBuerger
    The fact that they have no Gracemount cores on the more normal mobile CPUs seems an odd choice. The point of these cores is to be more power efficient for light tasks. That seems like the kind of thing that would be great for mobile devices where only these cores need to be used for normal things which could save on battery life. This feels to me a little like back in the Pentium/Celeron M days where only the more expensive Pentium would clock down to save power. I get they want to have their features that their most expensive parts have. But power saving features should be the primary thing that every mobile CPU should have. Save the performance things for the high end chips. But then people would be able to get by with the cheaper parts as most people don't actually need the highest performance and that doesn't help their margins.
    Reply
  • abufrejoval
    PCIe 5.0 doesn't come free in terms of power budget. So I wonder just how much juice might be left for the CPU parts, once the iGPU takes its 15 Watts and PCIe takes a full bite, too.

    And I guess we're not talking 35 Watts at 4.9GHz all cores sustained.

    Given that my Tiger Lake i7-1165G7 also hits that clock on a single thread for a second or so on 64 Watts PL2, Alder Lake's maximum clock for 35 Watts PL1 setting isn't much of a surprise, wonder where their PL2 is for that chip.

    I also wonder if the top clocks for the efficiency cores are actually lowered, too. First hunch would be no, or very little.
    Reply
  • abufrejoval
    BillyBuerger said:
    The fact that they have no Gracemount cores on the more normal mobile CPUs seems an odd choice. The point of these cores is to be more power efficient for light tasks. That seems like the kind of thing that would be great for mobile devices where only these cores need to be used for normal things which could save on battery life. This feels to me a little like back in the Pentium/Celeron M days where only the more expensive Pentium would clock down to save power. I get they want to have their features that their most expensive parts have. But power saving features should be the primary thing that every mobile CPU should have. Save the performance things for the high end chips. But then people would be able to get by with the cheaper parts as most people don't actually need the highest performance and that doesn't help their margins.

    Normally product differentiation for a single die design would be based on binning. And I agree, it's hard to imagine that there should be significant numbers of chips with defects or voltage issues in that Gracemont area unless yields are really bad overall.

    I am more inclined to believe that Intel's product segmentation is more based on psychology than technology: they work very hard to make Gracemont cores a thing to lust for, even if it costs them very little transistor budget. And then they take exactly that hot new gadget away from you, the moment you try to skimp on price. To me there is really no two ways about it: They really want you to buy the most expensive product, with "all the magic".

    But the reality is still the same as with all those old Pentiums that wouldn't ever Turbo up or down: much more energy is saved when you simply stop the clock and CPUs have done that as far back as the 80486SL (probably earlier).

    I remain doubtful that the Gracemont cores will ever pay their markup in energy savings or productivity gains, but who in this readership can resist wanting to try for himself? Pencil pushers will show no mercy to Gracemont and they may just be right.
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    BillyBuerger said:
    The point of these cores is to be more power efficient for light tasks.
    I doubt that because the gracemont cores would have to run these lighter tasks at much higher clocks, so they wouldn't be that much more efficient, or would be much slower at finishing them and I don't see either of the two scenarios being something intel is hot for.

    I believe the gracemont cores are there to give them a pretty big boost in multithreading tasks without decreasing the single thread speed at all and without using too much more power.
    Reply
  • mdd1963
    So within the official '35 Watt TDP' envelope, 1 core will allegedly hit 4.9 GHz for brief bursts of up to 30 seconds or so before all clocks ultimately stabilize at something far less, likely 3.0 GHz or so... (If users and/or manufacturers allow within BIOS settings, undoubtedly it can clock at clock speeds closer to 4.5-4.7 GHz for longer at something much closer to 65-80 Watts; but as 35W grabs press attention, we'll ignore the fact that for that to happen at Intel specs, it's likely for a burst up to 10 seconds or so..) :)
    Reply
  • keith12
    abufrejoval said:
    PCIe 5.0 doesn't come free in terms of power budget. So I wonder just how much juice might be left for the CPU parts, once the iGPU takes its 15 Watts and PCIe takes a full bite, too.

    And I guess we're not talking 35 Watts at 4.9GHz all cores sustained.

    Given that my Tiger Lake i7-1165G7 also hits that clock on a single thread for a second or so on 64 Watts PL2, Alder Lake's maximum clock for 35 Watts PL1 setting isn't much of a surprise, wonder where their PL2 is for that chip.

    I also wonder if the top clocks for the efficiency cores are actually lowered, too. First hunch would be no, or very little.

    Agree with you there! TDP should be changed to PL2 instead of this misnomer on 35w CPU's. It's misleading for those not in the know.
    Reply