Intel announces 12th Gen Intel Core desktop processors based on Alder Lake architecture.

  • Preorders for Intel Core i9-12900K, the fastest gaming processor, begin today, with availability beginning November 4.
  • When compared to the previous generation2, the new performance hybrid architecture provides significant multi-threaded performance gains, allowing for up to 2 times faster content creation.
  • Six desktop CPUs introduced today set the industry standard for DDR5 memory and PCIe 5.0 connection, enhancing gaming and creation experiences.
  • The 12th Gen Intel Core processor line is the first to use the Intel 7 process, and it delivers greater performance across the board.

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 27, 2021 – The 12th Gen Intel® CoreTM processor family was introduced today at Intel Innovation, with the introduction of six new unlocked desktop CPUs, including the world’s finest gaming processor, the 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900K. The new desktop processors reach new heights of multi-threaded performance for passionate gamers and professional producers, with a maximum turbo boost of up to 5.2 GHz and as many as 16 cores and 24 threads.

Intel had at the beginning of 2021 at ces2021, demonstrated “Alder Lake,” the next-generation processor that represents a significant breakthrough in x86 architecture and Intel’s most power-scalable system-on-chip

The whole 12th Gen Intel Core family will consist of 60 CPUs, which will power over 500 designs from a variety of partners. The new performance hybrid architecture, the first designed on the Intel 7 process, promises scalable performance from 9 to 125 watts to enable every PC segment from ultra-thin and light laptops to enthusiast desktops and out to the edge, as detailed on Intel Architecture Day 2021.

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12th Gen Intel® CoreTM processor family
12th Gen Intel Core desktop processors based on Alder Lake: Credit Intel Corporation

“The performance hybrid architecture of 12th Gen Intel Core processors is an architectural shift made possible by close co-engineering of software and hardware that will deliver new levels of leadership performance for generations,” said Gregory Bryant, Intel executive vice president and general manager of the Client Computing Group. “This begins with the arrival of our flagship Core i9-12900K – the world’s best gaming processor – and you will see even more incredible experiences as we ship the rest of the 12th Gen family and beyond.”

Unlocked 12th Gen Intel Core desktop processors for Gaming, Creation, and Overclocking

The six unlocked desktop processors announced today are the first to include Intel’s performance hybrid architecture, which combines Performance-cores (P-cores), Intel’s highest-performing CPU core, with Efficient-cores (E-cores), which are designed for scalable multi-threaded task performance.

Intel® Thread Director guides the operating system (OS) to place the right thread on the right core at the right time, allowing the two new core microarchitectures to function together smoothly. Intel has worked with the ecosystem on extensive testing to optimize performance and compatibility and has published white papers for developers with guidance on how independent software vendors can optimize applications for performance hybrid platforms as part of the company’s reinforced investments in the developer community.

12th Gen Intel® CoreTM processor family
12th Gen Intel® CoreTM processor family: Credit Intel Corporation

“We’re at the beginning of a new era for the PC led by the introduction of Windows 11,” said Panos Panay, executive vice president and chief product officer, Microsoft. “With Windows 11 and Intel’s new Thread Director technology, users will see their PC performance reach new heights on the new 12th Gen Intel Core family of processors.”

Intel’s new performance hybrid architecture, together with Intel’s new Intel 7 process technology, improves single-threaded and multi-threaded performance, enabling:

The World’s Best Gaming Processor: 

The new 12th Gen Intel Core processor family contains the world’s finest gaming CPU, the Core i9-12900K, which unleashes gaming experiences across top titles with up to 16 cores and 24 threads. The Core i9-12900K delivers incredible gen-over-gen performance, with up to 25% more frames per second in Troy: A Total War Saga, up to 28% more frames per second in Hitman 3, and up to 23% more frames per second in Far Cry 63. When gaming and multitasking, Intel® KillerTM Wi-Fi 6E provides up to 75 percent less latency. For simultaneous gaming, streaming, and recording, four high-frequency P-cores paired with E-cores for offloading parallel operations offer up to 84 percent more frames per second.

12th Gen Intel® CoreTM processor family : Credit Intel Corporation
12th Gen Intel Core desktop processors based on Alder Lake: Credit Intel Corporation

Content Creation Performance

Multi-threaded performance, snappy P-core performance, and the ability to transmit data at remarkable speeds with DDR5 enable leadership in many types of content production experiences, including:

  • Faster photo editing performance by up to 36%
  • Video editing performance is up to 32% quicker.
  • 3D modeling performance that is up to 37% faster
  • Multi-frame rendering is up to 100 percent faster.


The new CPUs provide industry-leading overclocking features, such as the ability to overclock Efficient-cores and DDR5 memory, for ultimate performance customization. As part of the latest Intel® Extreme Tuning Utility (XTU) 7.5, enthusiasts and gamers can try out these new platform overclocking options. For unlocked 12th Gen processors, XTU will offer one-click overclocking with Intel Speed Optimizer starting with the Core i9-12900K. Intel also released Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) 3.0, which includes support for DDR5 and includes new rewriteable custom profiles as well as flexible memory overclocking settings.

Features – 12th Gen Intel Core desktop processors:

For now and tomorrow, 12th Gen Intel Core desktop processors provide excellent performance and industry-leading capabilities for exceptional gaming, content, and play experiences.

Key platform advancements include:

The industry’s first CPUs to support DDR5 memory speeds of up to 4800MT/s.

  • The industry’s first processors to enable PCIe 5.0 (up to 16 lanes), which provides up to 2X I/O throughput over PCIe 4.0 and up to four additional PCIe 4.0 lanes.
  • Intel® Smart Cache (L3) of up to 30MB and 14MB L2 cache for improved memory capacity and lower latency.
  • Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6E, which combines industry-leading Wi-Fi 6E connection with advanced gaming network technologies to eliminate lag, latency, and packet loss10, provides integrated high-speed wireless.
  • External device expansion with a discrete Thunderbolt 4 universal cable.
Alienware Aurora R13 Desktop featuring the 12th Intel Desktop Processors
Alienware Aurora R13 Desktop featuring the 12th Intel Desktop Processors, configurable up to Intel Core I9-12900k: Image from Dell

Intel 600 Series Chipset

In addition to the 12th Generation Intel Core desktop processors, Intel is introducing the new Intel 600 Series Chipset, which has enhanced capabilities for improved reliability and performance. The chipset now has 28 PCIe Gen 4.0 lanes, integrated USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 delivers up to double the bandwidth, and DMI Gen 4.0 improves the chipset to CPU throughput for faster access to peripheral devices and networking.

Intel is bringing the Intel® Volume Management Device (VMD) to PC chipsets for the first time to simplify storage management by allowing direct control and management of NVMe-based SSDs from the PCIe bus without the need for extra RAID controllers or other hardware adaptors.


Participating OEMs, channel partners, and retailers are already taking pre-orders for unlocked 12th Gen Intel Core desktop processors. More than 140 clients in more than 30 countries are anticipated to add the new processors to their lines by the end of the year, with broad availability beginning Nov. 4. The unlocked desktop processors range in price from $264 to $589.

By the end of the year, Intel aims to sell hundreds of thousands of 12th Gen Intel Core desktop “K” CPUs, with over 2 million by the end of March 2022. Intel is also sending 28 of the processor SKUs in the 12th Gen Intel Core processor family to OEM partners to allow the expanded offerings for desktop, mobile, and commercial segments due in early 2022.

On some Intel Core processors from the 12th generation, performance hybrid architecture is not available. Intel® Thread Director is available on a limited number of SKUs and requires OS activation. Performance varies depending on the application, setting, and other factors. More information is available at

Performance data is based on testing as of the configuration dates and may not include all publicly available updates. Details about the configuration can be found at There is no such thing as a completely secure product or component.

12th Gen Intel® CoreTM processor family
12th Gen Intel® CoreTM processor family: Image from Intel Corporation

Unlocked 12th Gen Intel Core Desktop Processor SKUs

Processor NumberProcessor Cores (P+E)Processor ThreadsIntel® Smart Cache (L3)Total L2 CacheProcessor Turbo Frequency Intel® Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 Frequency (GHz) Processor Turbo Frequency P-core Max Turbo Frequency (GHz)Processor Turbo Frequency E-core Max Turbo Frequency (GHz)Processor Base Frequency P-core Base Frequency (GHz)Processor Base Frequency E-core Base Frequency (GHz)UnlockedProcessor GraphicsTotal CPU PCIe LanesMax Memory SpeedMemory ChannelsMaximum Memory CapacityProcessor Base Power (W)Maximum Turbo Power (W)
i9-12900K16(8P + 8E)2430MB14MBUp to5.2Up to5.1Up to3.93.22.4YesIntel® UHDGraphics 77020DDR5 4800 MT/sDDR4 3200 MT/s2128GB125241
i9-12900KF16(8P + 8E)2430MB14MBUp to5.2Up to5.1Up to3.93.22.4Yesn/a20DDR5 4800 MT/sDDR4 3200 MT/s2128GB125241
i7-12700K12(8P + 4E)2025MB12MBUp to5.0Up to4.9Up to3.83.62.7YesIntel® UHDGraphics 77020DDR5 4800 MT/sDDR4 3200 MT/s2128GB125190
i7-12700KF12(8P + 4E)2025MB12MBUp to5.0Up to4.9Up to3.83.62.7Yesn/a20DDR5 4800 MT/sDDR4 3200 MT/s2128GB125190
i5-12600K10(6P + 4E)1620MB9.5MBn/aUp to4.9Up to3.63.72.8YesIntel® UHDGraphics 77020DDR5 4800 MT/sDDR4 3200 MT/s2128GB125150
i5-12600KF10(6P + 4E)1620MB9.5MBn/aUp to4.9Up to3.63.72.8Yesn/a20DDR5 4800 MT/sDDR4 3200 MT/s2128GB125150
Unlocked 12th Gen Intel Core Desktop Processor SKUs

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