Question Alder Lake - Official Thread

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Markfw

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Until Intel shows a working E-core only CPU, I have my doubts. Maybe the E-core cluster is a relatively quick hackjob done on the advice of Jim Keller, when it became apparent to them that they would have issues with MT throughput in future and so the CPU cluster cannot communicate to the outside world unless the communication is initiated by a P-core?
From what I see, the p-core is great, but takes too much power, so a 16 p-core was unfeasable, so they added the e-cores to help with MT performance but keep power manageable. It still takes more than the 5950x, even my lowly 12700F, but keeps up with 1/2 the cores, at half the price, but at more power than all 16 cores of the 5950x. Its a mixed bag type arrangement.
 
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dullard

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Its a mixed bag type arrangement.
I agree that Alder Lake definitely is a mixed bag. You can either get great performance or great efficiency. Unfortunately for Intel, the 5950X can get both great performance and great efficiency.

That said, I disagree with your E-core vs P-core thoughts. 16 P-cores would be a very massive and thus very expensive consumer part. Also, Intel couldn't keep up with demand, so a massive 16 P-core chip would really hamper the chip shortage even further. The power use can always be reduced by lowering the frequency, so I don't think P-core power usage was really the problem.

The problem that Alder Lake has is that 4-E cores is possibly the worst possible combination. That number is just too few to really help with many use cases. I think once we get 16 or more E cores that their benefits will be seen. Until then, I'll be avoiding the 4-E core products like the plague.
 
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coercitiv

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The effective speed is the average of all benchmarks, not just one. Average speed is yes totally made up, as all benchmarks averages are. But averages are still quite relevant. The average of all benchmarks they use has the G7400 at 73.1% vs the G6400 at 70.0%. That is an unnoticeable difference for most people.
Effective Speed is a gaming focused metric.

Effective Speed - A measure of CPU speed geared towards typical users. Intel i9-9900K ≈ 100%.

Gaming is by far the most demanding CPU activity most users undertake. CPU Effective Speed (average bench) is calibrated to estimate differences in EFps between PCs.
EFps - A measure of PC gaming performance that includes frame drops.

Effective Fps (EFps) measure gaming experience using both average Fps and frame drops.
 

Hulk

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From what I see, the p-core is great, but takes too much power, so a 16 p-core was unfeasable, so they added the e-cores to help with MT performance but keep power manageable. It still takes more than the 5950x, even my lowly 12700F, but keeps up with 1/2 the cores, at half the price, but at more power than all 16 cores of the 5950x. Its a mixed bag type arrangement.
Performance, Price, and Power efficiency. When it comes to CPU's these 3 parameters must be balanced.

Intel made performance and price a priority with Alder Lake. I don't believe they didn't go with 16p for power reasons, but instead for price as that would have been a huge die. The point of the E's is area efficiency.

Or put another way Intel doesn't pay for the power to run the damn thing, you do!

AMD went for a more balanced design with Zen 3.
Of course it's doesn't hurt to be on a better node as well.
 

dullard

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May 21, 2001
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Effective Speed is a gaming focused metric.
Yes, games are part of it. But only a part of their scores. They break out the scores into three categories (all on the original link I provided). If you solely want workstation performance you can look at just the workstation score. Although, I would seriously question your interest in the use of a Pentium chip for that purpose.
How PC scores are calculated

Gaming
Average fps, and more importantly, 0.1% and 1% lows.

Desktop
Web browsing, office apps, music/video playback.

Workstation
Audio/video encoding, number crunching, virtual machines, databases:
 
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dark zero

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Jun 2, 2015
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/me wonders about what they do with ADL dies that have zero functional P-cores, but do have some working e-cores. Are those salvagable at all, if the current crop of ADL BIOSes (and I do believe that it is strictly a BIOS limitation) requiring a P-core to be active to boot. (ADL with P-cores disabled, only running on e-cores, wouldn't that be useful for a file-server / NAS role, where the loads aren't "bursty" like PC software?)
They should put with "Alder Lake -N" since e-cores are not slow and can be perfect for "testing" purpouses on the computer technicians.
 

13Gigatons

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Apr 19, 2005
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From what I see, the p-core is great, but takes too much power, so a 16 p-core was unfeasable, so they added the e-cores to help with MT performance but keep power manageable. It still takes more than the 5950x, even my lowly 12700F, but keeps up with 1/2 the cores, at half the price, but at more power than all 16 cores of the 5950x. Its a mixed bag type arrangement.
I think I will skip Adler Lake and wait for Zen4....I think it will be worth it if DDR5 prices and availability improve in 22/23....
 
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Exist50

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Aug 18, 2016
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Until Intel shows a working E-core only CPU, I have my doubts. Maybe the E-core cluster is a relatively quick hackjob done on the advice of Jim Keller, when it became apparent to them that they would have issues with MT throughput in future and so the CPU cluster cannot communicate to the outside world unless the communication is initiated by a P-core?
The requirement for at least one P-core is, at minimum, baked into the CPU's firmware. BIOS hacks alone would not be sufficient to get that working. However, it's extremely unlikely that there's any hardware dependency. ADL-N will need it to work, after all.
 

DrMrLordX

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From what I see, the p-core is great, but takes too much power, so a 16 p-core was unfeasable
If you look at how well 8 Golden Cove cores can perform when power limited, you may see that that's not necessarily the case. Especially with a power budget of 241W at the top end. A 16c Golden Cove with an all-core turbo of ~4 GHz would not necessarily use that much power (except on AVX-512 workloads, though they could have let clocks slip another 500 MHz and still gotten good results). It's more a question of area efficiency. Such a core die would have been larger, and with Intel seemingly unwilling or unable to use EMIB on their 10ESF consumer products, going with chiplets ala Sapphire Rapids was also not an option.

Alder Lake as it exists is probably the best they could do given the available die space.
 
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Markfw

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If you look at how well 8 Golden Cove cores can perform when power limited, you may see that that's not necessarily the case. Especially with a power budget of 241W at the top end. A 16c Golden Cove with an all-core turbo of ~4 GHz would not necessarily use that much power (except on AVX-512 workloads, though they could have let clocks slip another 500 MHz and still gotten good results). It's more a question of area efficiency. Such a core die would have been larger, and with Intel seemingly unwilling or unable to use EMIB on their 10ESF consumer products, going with chiplets ala Sapphire Rapids was also not an option.

Alder Lake as it exists is probably the best they could do given the available die space.
I thought the 12700F was like a 65 watt part or at least not like a 12900k. But mine takes 270 watts from the wall using 16 cores (not sure which ones exactly, but win 11 knows) Stock bios. I could not find pl1 or pl2 or anything like that in bios. (ASUS) So I have no idea what its set to really. But my 5950x takes less for all 16/32 cores to work, and the end result is about the same. (work done)
 
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Zucker2k

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I thought the 12700F was like a 65 watt part or at least not like a 12900k. But mine takes 270 watts from the wall using 16 cores (not sure which ones exactly, but win 11 knows) Stock bios. I could not find pl1 or pl2 or anything like that in bios. (ASUS) So I have no idea what its set to really. But my 5950x takes less for all 16/32 cores to work, and the end result is about the same. (work done)
How's a 12700f a 16 core cpu?
 

igor_kavinski

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The software I am running is picking 16 of the 20 threads. I want to be precise when talking about my power usage.

I think in your case you would have to type:

taskset -c 0-15 [executable_name]

This way I think you can be sure it will run only on P-cores.
 

Markfw

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I think in your case you would have to type:

taskset -c 0-15 [executable_name]

This way I think you can be sure it will run only on P-cores.
Its dual-boot. I am using the windows 11 partition as its fully supported.
 
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Mopetar

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From what I see, the p-core is great, but takes too much power, so a 16 p-core was unfeasable, so they added the e-cores to help with MT performance but keep power manageable.
The P core efficiency is quite good when the clocks aren't pushed to the limits. The real issue with the P core is the amount of space it takes up on a die. It's basically the same area as 4 of their E cores.

It's not that they couldn't make a 16 P core chip due to power reasons, but that it would make for a massive monolithic die. Intel would need to cut out the GPU to make it feasible, but AMD would still have an advantage due to the economics of how each of their 16C CPUs are constructed and could beat Intel on price to the extent that it wouldn't make those chips worth the wafers compared to other products.
 
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DrMrLordX

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AMD would still have an advantage due to the economics
Intel would suffer lower margins if the dice on their desktop CPUs got any bigger. That would potentially hurt them with investors that have grown addicted to margins on the high-end regardless of the competition. All the 10nm variants are already forcing costs higher for Intel, at least (apparently) according to their earnings reports.

All that being said, had Intel the ability to produce 16c Golden Cove/Raptor Cove, it would have been a compelling flagship for them at least in the market window where the products were relevant. It's standard fare for Intel to come out swinging with a larger-than-life halo product at impossibly high prices. $1k CPUs on non-HEDT are nothing new for them, and they probably could have commanded that price for a time with 16c Golden.
 

epsilon84

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Has anyone emulated 12900KS performance level by overclocking 12900K to similar clocks yet?
Wouldn't it just be a few % higher than a stock 12900K? It's just 300MHz faster single core and 200MHz faster multi-core. Surely there are reviews out there with a 12900K overclocked to 5.2GHz all core?
 

CakeMonster

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Nov 22, 2012
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The problem that Alder Lake has is that 4-E cores is possibly the worst possible combination. That number is just too few to really help with many use cases. I think once we get 16 or more E cores that their benefits will be seen. Until then, I'll be avoiding the 4-E core products like the plague.
I think those will help a lot with longevity. Although I'm very skeptical of beta testing AL+W11 right now, there's certainly an argument for getting a cheap AL with E-cores for someone on a budget and likely to keep it for a long time. Additional cores and most importantly threads have proven to help a lot long term.
 

igor_kavinski

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Surely there are reviews out there with a 12900K overclocked to 5.2GHz all core?
I've only seen leaked Geekbench scores of a 12900KS and yes it does show just 5% improvement in ST and 3.5% gain in MT score. My point in asking was to see if anyone here turned their 12900K into a KS and using it that way regularly.
 

igor_kavinski

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Additional cores and most importantly threads have proven to help a lot long term.
Except if there is something wrong with the Intel Thread Director that can't be fixed with a microcode update. Raptor Lake users will enjoy the improved and refined Intel Thread Director and Alder Lake users with E-cores will get screwed forever when it comes to improper scheduling of processes on E-cores. Not like Intel will give them a refund or anything.
 

Exist50

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Except if there is something wrong with the Intel Thread Director that can't be fixed with a microcode update. Raptor Lake users will enjoy the improved and refined Intel Thread Director and Alder Lake users with E-cores will get screwed forever when it comes to improper scheduling of processes on E-cores. Not like Intel will give them a refund or anything.
Is there any evidence that such a thing exists? It's mostly on the OS anyways.
 

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