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Intel Alder Lake-S CPU Reportedly Surfaces With 16 Cores, 32 Threads

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Hardware sleuth @Tum_Apisak has discovered benchmark submissions for one of Intel's future Alder Lake-S processors. The new breed of hybrid chips will make their way to the market sometime in 2021.

Alder Lake-S is a new microarchitecture and a hybrid one, so SiSoftware might not properly detect the processor. There's plenty of evidence of that: The Alder Lake-S specimen reportedly arrives with 16 cores and 32 threads, but the software picked it up with 16 threads and 24 threads in certain benchmarks.

Since Intel has already shared Alder Lake-S's recipe with the hardware world, we know the 16-chip is comprised of Golden Cove and Gracemont cores. The core count aligns with one of the potential configurations for Alder Lake-S. Barring any changes, the 16-core Alder Lake-S sample should have eight Golden Cove cores and eight Gracemont cores.

SiSoftware lists the Alder Lake-S processor with a clock speed of 1.4 GHz, which we think is probably for the Gracemont cores. The chip also seems to feature 12.5MB of L2 cache and 30MB of L3 cache. The iGPU inside the Alder Lake-S comes equipped with 256 shader cores at 1.15 GHz and adheres to a previous submission that surfaced last month. Intel didn't indicate which graphics engine it will use for Alder Lake-S, but it's likely to be the Xe LP iGPU.

BenchmarkRyzen 5 3600Alder Lake-S
Processor Arithmetic207.25 GOPS224.74 GOPS
Processor Multi-Media624.72 Mpix/s438.26 Mpix/s
.NET Arithmetic51.11 GOPS69.66 GOPS
.NET Multi-Media152.10 Mpix/s50.97 Mpix/s
Processor Cryptography (High Security)15.53 GB/s6.72 GB/s

Official documents from Intel itself have seemingly confirmed the usage of the new LGA1700 socket for Alder Lake-S. Although Intel hasn't said, many believe that Alder Lake-S will usher in DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 support. The leaked engineering sample operates with DDR4, so it appears that Alder Lake-S could support both DDR4 and DDR5 memory modules. The Alder Lake-S processor was paired with Sabrent Rocket PCIe 4.0 SSD, but that doesn't tell us anything concrete about the interface.

It's too early to pass judgment on Alder Lake-S, and given its unique design, SiSoftware's benchmarks might not be optimized for the chip. Therefore, we recommend you take the Alder Lake-S results with a bit of salt. Furthermore, there are only a few Alder Lake-S results, which could skew the aggregated numbers. For what it's worth, the Alder Lake-S seems to beat the Ryzen 5 3600 in the Processor Arithmetic and .NET Arithmetic benchmarks.

  • jpe1701
    This is interesting. I have been wondering if they were going to be using hyperthreading. Will be fun to watch how this turns out.
    Reply
  • Gurg
    Reviews thus far have shown the difference between PCIe3 and PCIe4 to be rather inconsequential. While I initially thought Rocket Lake with PCie4 would be of interest, if Alder Lake with PCIe5 and DDR5 is coming in second half of 2021, that seems like the better upgrade path for me from my 9600k. Hopefully the Nvidia 4000 GPU series will be able to take advantage of PCIe5. 24 lanes would also be nice so that eight could be used for two NVMe drives and still have full 16 available for the graphics card.
    Reply
  • Olle P
    Gurg said:
    ... Alder Lake ... seems like the better upgrade path for me from my 9600k. ...
    I'd expect Alder Lake to be aimed primarily at the mobile segment and possibly some very small form factor builds where no more than a low power draw is required.
    If it will also be available for regular desktop is anybody's guess.
    Reply
  • cryoburner
    Gurg said:
    Reviews thus far have shown the difference between PCIe3 and PCIe4 to be rather inconsequential. While I initially thought Rocket Lake with PCie4 would be of interest, if Alder Lake with PCIe5 and DDR5 is coming in second half of 2021, that seems like the better upgrade path for me from my 9600k. Hopefully the Nvidia 4000 GPU series will be able to take advantage of PCIe5. 24 lanes would also be nice so that eight could be used for two NVMe drives and still have full 16 available for the graphics card.
    The reason PCIe 4.0 doesn't tend to make much of a difference over PCIe 3.0 for today's graphics cards is that PCIe 3.0 is already providing enough bandwidth, so the additional bandwidth of PCIe 4.0 isn't being utilized. Adding even more bandwidth on top of that isn't going to help, and I would expect the performance to be more or less identical to the PCIe 4.0 numbers for any graphics cards released in the near-future. As such, I doubt we will be seeing PCIe 5.0 on consumer platforms for some years to come, as it would just increase motherboard costs without providing significant benefits. More lanes for things like storage could be nice, but there's no reason why Intel or AMD couldn't do that on PCIe 4.0 or 3.0 consumer boards if they really wanted to.

    DDR5 could potentially make an appearance on some consumer motherboards in 2022, or perhaps late 2021, but it might not be substantially faster than DDR4 initially, and will probably cost a lot more.
    Reply
  • nofanneeded
    Gurg said:
    if Alder Lake with PCIe5 and DDR5 is coming in second half of 2021

    source?
    Reply
  • Gurg
    nofanneeded said:
    source?
    Did you even read this article?
    "discovered benchmark submissions for one of Intel's future Alder Lake-S processors. The new breed of hybrid chips will make their way to the market sometime in 2021."

    "Although Intel hasn't said, many believe that Alder Lake-S will usher in DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 support."
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    Olle P said:
    I'd expect Alder Lake to be aimed primarily at the mobile segment and possibly some very small form factor builds where no more than a low power draw is required.
    If it will also be available for regular desktop is anybody's guess.
    Alder Lake is not a mobile product. It's the 1st 10nm desktop CPU from Intel and will replace Rocket Lake.
    Reply
  • nofanneeded
    Gurg said:
    Did you even read this article?
    "discovered benchmark submissions for one of Intel's future Alder Lake-S processors. The new breed of hybrid chips will make their way to the market sometime in 2021."

    "Although Intel hasn't said, many believe that Alder Lake-S will usher in DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 support."

    It does not say for sure it will have PCIe 5.0 ... you said it is coming , which is not confirmed at all.
    Reply