ChannelLife Australia logo
Industry insider news for Australia's technology resellers
Story image

Intel unveils its 12th-Gen CPUs

By Darren Price
Mon 1 Nov 2021

Intel has released details regarding its new 12th-Gen Alder Lake CPUs and the Z690 motherboard chipset.

Despite being able to stare at a couple of Intel’s new 12th-Gen Alder Lake CPUs for longer than I’m allowed to tell you, it’s only recently that we now know what the craic is with these new chips.

First, though, let’s talk about Intel’s 11th-Gen Rocket Lake CPUs released at the end of March this year. That’s seven months ago, by the way. In my tests, the i9-11900K fared slightly better than the older i9-10900K, but the reduction of cores from the 10th-Gen’s ten to eight cores marked it down. I also found the 11900K running a bit hot, likely because Intel was pushing the 14nm silicon to its limits, and perhaps the reason for the reduced core count design. 

I actually found, for gaming, the i5-11600K gave a better bang for its buck. It also seemed more obliging with some of my ham-fisted overclocking. 

The 11th-Gen support for PCIe 4.0 did not go unnoticed, getting some phenomenal speeds from a WD Black SN850. However, that SN850 has now been repurposed as a storage upgrade for the PS5.

To be honest, nothing about the i9-11900K made me want to replace the Z490 motherboard and i9-10900K in the review rig with the Z590 board and 11th-Gen CPU. I could even have just replaced the 10900K with the 11900K, but I really didn’t see the point.

Whilst they’ll never say, I can imagine Intel would like to draw a line under their 11th-Gen range. With AMD a serious contender, the Alder Lake’s Intel 7 process (which is a 10nm process) and performance hybrid architecture may be able to retake the CPU crown.

                        

The 12th-Gen CPU cores are split between P-cores (performance cores) and E-cores (efficient cores). The P-cores look after the gaming and productivity workload in the foreground, with the E-cores managing background tasks. The on-chip Intel Thread Director allocates the workload, monitors each thread, and reports back to the OS.

The CPUs available at launch are the unlocked i9-12900K, the i7-12700K, and the i5-12600K. The CPUs are also available without the Intel UHD Graphics 570 integrated GPU, identifiable by the KF suffix. The i9s have a total of 16 core (8P + 8E), the i7 12 cores (8P + 4E), and the i5 10 cores (6P +4E).

So, we are likely looking at better performance vs power consumption. Intel is suggesting a 50% increase for the i9-12900K over the 11900K. Intel is also suggesting that gamers will see around a 20% increase in FPS across many games (based on test results running at 1920x1080 with an RTX 3090).

Intel suggests that new package optimisations using thin solder thermal interface material will improve the CPUs’ thermal properties. This, in turn, may improve overclocking potential over the 11th-Gen CPUs. The new Intel Extreme Tuning Utility 7.5 may allow even the most inexperienced overclocker to get a little bit more from their investment.

As well as the theoretical performance boasts (which we hear with the launch of every new CPU iteration), the Alder Lake CPUs actually introduce new technology into desktop PCs. Most notably is DDR5 SDRAM compatibility.

This is a big deal. DDR4 SDRAM has been around since the stone age (well, 2014), so it’s about time that we saw DDR5 moving from servers applications to desktop PCs. With DDR5, we should see higher bandwidths, lower power consumption, and, of course, performance improvements.

We have been lucky for the past few years when it comes to PC upgrades. 8th and 9th Gen CPUs had the same LGA1156 socket and could both run on a Z390 motherboard. Similarly, 10th and 11th-Gen CPUs were both used LGA1200, making them compatible with both select Z490 and Z590 motherboards. Even LGA1151 coolers worked with 11th-Gen CPUs.

                       

Whilst complementing a new CPU with its corresponding motherboard has been optimal, we’ve had some grace in being able to replace CPUs and motherboards separately. We’ve even been able to use our DDR4 SDRAM and CPU coolers for quite a few chip iterations.

That all stops now.

To run a 12th-Gen CPU, you will need to purchase a Z690 motherboard. At launch, only boards with the Z690 chipset will be available. Other motherboards based on the 600-series will be released next year, but for early adopters, only boards based on Intel’s flagship Z690 chipset are available. And they are not cheap, even at the lower end. 

You are going to also need to ensure that your cooler is compatible with the new LGA1700 socket. Even with an adapter, older coolers may not have cooling plates of a size and shape that can provide optimal coverage for the new chips’ elongated design.

With the Alder Lake CPUs supporting DDR5 and DDR4, early upgraders will be presented with a conundrum. With the launch of the new CPUs, Z690-based motherboards will be available supporting DDR5 or DDR4. Intel suggests that the 12th-Gen CPUs are better optimised for DDR4 as well as DDR5, but of course, to get the most out of the new chips, DDR5 is preferable. Being relatively new, DDR5 modules are expensive compared to DDR4. There’s also likely to be supply issues. Early adopters that already have some spare DDR4 modules may find buying a Z490 DDR4 motherboard a better option.

After the perfunctory performance of the Rocket Lake CPUs over their predecessors, I’m quite looking forward to Intel’s 12th-Gen Alder Lake CPUs. They seem to be a significant improvement, the likes of which we’ve not really seen from Intel for a few years.  

The Intel 12th-Gen CPUs and third-party Z690 motherboards will be available from 5th November.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Adatree, Brother, Databricks, Nutanix & Rubrik
We round up all job appointments from May 20-26, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Symbio
Symbio consolidates TNZI business to support APAC expansion
Symbio has recently announced the consolidation of its international business (TNZI) under the Symbio brand to support its Asia Pacific expansion strategy.
Story image
Cybersecurity
4/10 Australian SMEs fallen victim to cyber-attacks since pandemic
Almost four out of teb SMEs in Australia have fallen victim to cyber-attacks since the pandemic began, according to a new study.
Story image
Transport
Third-party automotive apps bear significant privacy risks
Mobile applications for connected cars provide various features to make life easier for motorists, but they can also be a source of risk.
Story image
Sony
Sony launches LinkBuds S - the latest model in the series
Sony says the LinkBuds S will give users a unique sound experience through sensor and spatial sound technology, even in AR games.
Story image
Training
Infosec unveils role-guided cybersecurity training roadmaps
Infosec Skills Roles maps hands-on training and certifications to the 12 most in-demand cybersecurity roles to maximise training efficiency.
Story image
Vectra AI
Vectra’s inaugural Partner of the Year Awards revealed
APAC companies Baidam, Firmus, ShellSoft and Macnica have been recognised in Vectra AI's inaugural Partner of the Year Awards.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Comcast to use ThreatQuotient for cybersecurity operations
Comcast, the parent company of NBC Universal and SKY Group, has chosen ThreatQ Platform and ThreatQ Investigations to meet their cybersecurity needs.
Story image
Red Sift
Entrust expands strategic partnership with Red Sift
Entrust has expanded its strategic partnership with Red Sift to make it easier for businesses to adopt Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) standards for email identification and security.
Story image
SaaS
MedCart achieves close to AUD$10 million in sales with help from Marketplacer tech
Australian health and medical start-up MedCart has achieved annual sales of close to AUD$10 million in less than 12 months, utilising Marketplacer marketplace technology to help achieve successful results.
Story image
Surveillance
i-PRO releases smallest AI-based surveillance camera on the market
The new i-PRO mini network camera is now available, with a pocket-sized form factor and full AI analytics functionality.
Story image
Ransomware
APAC ranks third-highest region targeted by ransomware
Asia Pacific has ranked the third-highest region globally to be targeted by ransomware, according to cybersecurity firm Group-IB.
Story image
Wireless
Hands-on review: Technics EAH-A800 Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones
Designed in Osaka, Japan, these headphones just exude quality. They aren’t heavy, but they feel well built and solid.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity prompts upgrade for 1.3 billion electricity meters
ABI Research finds Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and cybersecurity concerns are prompting the upgrade of 1.3 billion electricity meters by 2027.
Story image
Customer experience
Phone, internet complaints increase for first time in five quarters
Phone and internet complaints have increased for the first time in five quarters, according to a new telco report from the Ombudsman.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Frost & Sullivan recognises Genesys as leader in new reports
Frost & Sullivan has recognised Genesys as a leader in the cloud contact centre market for its robust cloud and digital capabilities.
Story image
Identity and Access Management
The post-pandemic workforce requires secure IAM capabilities
HID Global discusses what identity and access management means for organisations in today's convoluted digital world.
Story image
Malware
'Alarming' rise in ransomware threats - Verizon report
As criminals look to leverage increasingly sophisticated forms of malware, it is ransomware that continues to prove particularly successful.
Story image
Wireless
Hands-on review: HyperX Pulsefire Haste wireless mouse and HyperX Pulsefire XL Mat
With its lightweight Pulsefire Haste wireless mouse and RGB lit Pulsefire XL Mat, HyperX sets out to up your game and add a little colour to your desktop.
Story image
Data Protection
Information management capabilities to meet privacy requirements
Organisations with customers or operations across more than one country face a spate of new and proposed privacy and data protection laws.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Asia Pacific plagued by sophisticated bad bots - report
The three most common bot attacks were account takeover, content or price scraping, and scalping to obtain limited-availability items.
Story image
Digital Signage
MAXHUB's Digital Signage range to bolster boardroom productivity
The new MAXHUB Digital Signage technology is purpose-built to make every kind of team meeting more effective.
Story image
Phishing
Vishing attacks reach all time high - Agari and PhishLabs
"Hybrid vishing campaigns continue to generate stunning numbers, representing 26.1% of total share in volume so far in 2022."
Story image
Malware
Fortinet introduces self-learning AI in latest offering
Fortinet is introducing self-learning AI capabilities in its new network detection and response offering, FortiNDR.
Story image
Broadband
Telstra enters into new RSP agreement with Opticomm
Telstra has entered into an RSP agreement with Opticomm (A Uniti Group Limited subsidiary) to provide network fibre services to customers.
Story image
Digital wallets
Australians lead the way in digital payment use - report
Australian consumers are at the forefront of mobile wallet use and adoption of digital banking tools, abandoning cash and physical payment experiences.
Story image
Training
Delinea enhances partner experience with new training initiatives
Delinea has announced a range of training and certification initiatives to help scale the capacity of VARs, System Integrators, MSPs and MSSPs to meet the demand for PAM solutions.
Story image
Digital Marketing
Similarweb acquires SEO and rank tracking company Rank Ranger
Digital intelligence company Similarweb, which specialises in analysing web traffic, has acquired Rank Ranger, a market leader in SEO and rank tracking.
Story image
Manhattan Associates
Shortening the click-to-customer cycle through smart technologies
Speed of delivery without accuracy is a dealbreaker for consumers. How can retailers operating in an omnichannel environment overcome the challenge of click-to-customer cycle times.
Story image
Phishing
MailGuard warns of new scam targeting Telstra customers
Telstra customers in Australia are being warned of a new scam involving "Unsuccessful Payment" messages.
Story image
Microsoft
Elevation of Privilege the top 2021 Microsoft vulnerability
BeyondTrust has released its 2022 Microsoft Vulnerabilities Report, finding that Elevation of Privilege is the top vulnerability category for the second consecutive year.
Story image
Microsoft
Global cybersecurity insurance market worth $11.5b this year
Future Market Insights finds the cybersecurity insurance market is expected to reach USD$11.5 billion in 2022, growing to $61.2 billion in 10 years.
Story image
Vectra AI
Understanding the weight on security leader’s shoulders, and how to shift it
Millions of dollars of government funding and internal budgets are being funnelled into cybersecurity to build resilience against sophisticated threats, indicating how serious this issue has become.
Story image
Phishing
WhatsApp and QR codes the next scam threat - report
KnowBe4 has warned it expects to see an increase in QR Codes and the WhatsApp chat platform being used for phishing and other scams. 
Story image
Cybersecurity
What every CISO must answer to enable a best-in-class security operations program
It has been widely reported recently that South Australian government employees have been the victims of a cyberattack.
Story image
Getac
Getac and Optalert expand partnership to promote industrial safety
Getac’s ZX70 Android tablets will be used to support Optalert’s Eagle Industrial early-warning drowsiness detection system for use in mining and transportation.
Story image
SpaceX
Australian space tech startup secures SpaceX support
Space Machines Company has secured the support of SpaceX as a launch partner in carrying SMC's Optimus Orbital Transfer Vehicle to space next year.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
Barracuda expands cloud-native SASE platform
"The expansion of Barracuda's cloud-native SASE platform for hybrid deployment models and IIoT environments solves a number of challenges."
Story image
Employment
Tech job moves - Forcepoint, Malwarebytes, SolarWinds & VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 13-20, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Silver Peak
The path to an adaptive, modern network
Managing and securing the network looks different than it did just two years ago—especially given that most of these networks are made up of multi-generations of infrastructure stitched together over time.
Story image
GapMaps
GapMaps Live to improve brand decisions on physical locations
GapMaps has released its latest service GapMaps Live, giving more insights and features to help brands make better decisions about physical locations.
Story image
BYOD / Bring Your Own Device
How zero trust can lead the battle against ransomware
SecOps teams champion a zero trust strategy to support the fight against the escalating risk of cybercrime and help monitor threat actors across a network.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft previews Power Platform website design offering
Microsoft has announced the preview of Power Pages, the fifth product in its Power Platform family, designed for low-code makers and professional developers.
Story image
Informatica
Informatica, Oracle enter strategic global cloud partnership
Oracle named Informatica as a preferred partner for enterprise cloud data integration and data governance for data warehouse and lakehouse solutions on OCI.