Intel is changing things up with the non-K versions of Alder Lake

Summary: In past generations, Intel K and non-K processors have mainly differed in their overclocking potential: the former allows it and the latter does not. Depending on the model, Intel has also reduced the speed of the non-K version anywhere from one hundred megahertz to about one gigahertz.

Something is different in the non-K versions of Alder Lake. If you haven’t noticed, they haven’t been released yet, a delay that has only happened once in the last five generations. And, according to the user DDAA117, which accurately leaked the specs for K processors earlier this year, the non-K versions will intermittently have large deviations from their counterparts.

Among the veteran leaker Momomo, wrong retailer listingsand DDAA117, there is a pretty clear picture of the non-K processors out there. In fact, there is even a real picture of the i9-12900, i5-12600, i5-12500, and i5-12400.

At the top of the heap, the 12900 feels quite comfortable as the Intel processor to beat for non-overclockers. It doesn’t lose much to its K counterpart; It has the same 8P + 8E core configuration, and it only loses 100 MHz in the boost clock of its performance cores and 1 GHz in the base clock of its performance cores.

It’s the same story with the 12700, except it loses 1.5 GHz at its base clock.

Meanwhile, the 12600 loses a lot. It uses the mid-range Alder Lake silicon with no efficiency cores, while the 12600K uses the high-end silicon with four of the eight efficiency cores enabled. Hence, the 12600 has six performance cores in total, while its counterpart has 6P + 4E cores. The boost clock of its performance cores is also 100 MHz lower, and its base clock drops 400 MHz.

P nuclei8/166/12
Electronic cores8/84/40
P-Core Boost5.1 GHz4.9 GHz4.8 GHz4.6 GHz4.4 GHz
P-Core base2.4 GHz2.1 GHz3.3 GHz3.0 GHz2.5 GHz
Cache30 MB25 MB18 MB

There are no K versions of the 12500 and 12400 to compare them to. As standalone processors, they are pretty good on paper. All three non-K i5 models have the same six performance cores and differ only minimally in clock speed. The 12500 is clocked at 4.6 / 3.0 GHz and the 12400 at 4.4 / 2.5 GHz.

The 12400 is on the road. A French reviewer evaluated an engineering sample of the F version of the processor, and it presented stiff competition against the AMD Ryzen 5600X. It has also been listed by two retailers, one of which gave the price of vanilla and the F version; $ 224 and $ 194, respectively.

Although the other retailer did not list a price, it claimed to have both the 12,400 and 12,700 in stock. If you’re honest, and retailers are getting shipments from Intel, then Intel could be gearing up for an imminent launch. The leakers (and logic) say they could launch in mid-January, following an announcement at CES 2022 during Intel’s presentation on January 4.

Stop: Pascal Brändle

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