16-core Alder Lake-S processor from Intel "hits" 17.6 GHz on Geekbench but it's an engineering sample so no liquid nitrogen cooling system required
Yet again, Tum Apisak has come up trumps with his detective work in spotting another curious record on Geekbench. This time we have an “Intel Corporation Alder Lake Client Platform” listing for a processor with the name “Intel 0000”. Arguably the most egregious measurement in this Geekbench listing is the 17.6 GHz maximum frequency figure, but that can be immediately discounted as an erroneous reading. The identifier shows stepping 0, so this is the first iteration of the Alder Lake processor and therefore an engineering sample. Also, the CPU's novel architecture is likely to have caused some headaches for Geekbench's testing software.
There are some promising details about Intel’s Alder Lake family, including that it is based on a 10 nm manufacturing process. The 12th generation of desktop processors is expected to be launched in the second half of 2021 and could end up making quite an impression. As can be seen in this record, the part has 16 cores yet 24 threads, and this is likely down to the hybrid construction of the chip. In this case, it’s probably eight high-performance Golden Cove “big” cores combined with eight efficient Gracemont “small” cores. So if the Golden Cove cores can utilize Hyper-Threading technology this would explain the 16-core, 24-thread situation (Golden cove 8/16, Gracemont 8/8).
Alder Lake will also support DDR5, although DDR4 RAM is used in this listing. The results are nothing to write home about: 996 points single-core and 6,931 points multi-core with 1.38 GHz base clock. Looking through the average processor benchmark score charts, that would put this Alder Lake-S chip at around the level of the AMD Ryzen 5 4600H mobile chip in single-core score and a 6-core AMD Ryzen 5 3600X in multi-core performance. Obviously that’s going to change dramatically further along down the line, and Intel will be looking to mix things up with the hybrid 10 nm Alder Lake desktop CPUs, which will require motherboards that are compatible with the upcoming LGA 1700 socket.