Intel Alder Lake-S CPU with 16 cores and 24 threads spotted in SiSoft Sandra benchmark database
Intel seems to have lost the miniaturization battle for the time being, as the company still does not offer any 10 nm desktop-grade or server-grade CPUs. This problem essentially forced Intel’s hand to come up with more streamlined designs that could eventually make full use of the 10 nm node. So now, Intel hopes it can get back in the game with the new big/small core architecture that was first introduced with this year’s Lakefield processors aimed at ultra-low power devices. Performance-wise, this approach did not seem particularly impressive, but Intel also intends to implement it in desktop-grade CPUs codenamed Alder Lake-S by the second half of 2021. We dropped our exclusive info regarding the upcoming Alder Lake chips a few days ago, and now we are getting partial confirmation with a few Alder Lake-S tests spotted in the SiSoft Sandra database by TUM_APISAK.
One glaring problem we immediately identified with the SiSoft Sandra database entry is that the ID reads “Genuine Intel 0000 @1.40 GHz (16C 32T)” meaning that the chips has 16 cores and 32 threads, but if we look a bit further down at the number of devices/threads, we see 24 threads. This could be because only the 8 Golden Cove big cores are getting hyperthreading, while the 8 Gracemont small cores do not support this feature. It looks like the arithmetic score in the SiSoft Sandra test is quite impressive for cores running at only 1.4 GHz, but we will have to wait one more year to see exactly how this translates to gaming and typical workload scenarios.
Another minor issue is that the test mentions DRR4 instead of DDR4. We already know that Alder Lake-S will support DDR4 and DDR5 RAM, so the performance presented in the SiSoft Sandra tests could be further improved when we get access to DDR5 modules. DDR4 might only be reserved for mobile chips, and we see this particular sample tested in SiSoft Sandra also integrates a “mobile graphics controller” with 32 CU running at 1.15 GHz. Then again, the testing software might not be identifying many things properly.
The Alder Lake-S CPUs are expected to feature PCIe 5.0, as well, but the tests do not reflect this since the standard is not yet featured in any commercial products. Nevertheless, we see that the Alder Lake-S sample features 10x 1.25 MB L2 cache memory and 30 MB L3 cache memory. PCIe 5.0 will clearly necessitate a new socket (LGA1700) and Intel will most likely release a new chipset (Intel 600?) along with it.