Intel Alder Lake-S packaging leaks, but Core i9-12900K samples are already selling in China
VideoCardz has revealed the retail packaging of Intel's Alder Lake-S processors. So far, the website has revealed boxes for unlocked Core i5, Core i7 and Core i9 SKUs, including the Core i9-12900K. It seems that VideoCardz has leaked packaging for the Core i9-12900KF too, going by Intel's note warning that 'Discrete Graphics [are] Required'. Presumably, the Core i5 and Core i7 SKUs are the Core i5-12500K and Core i7-12700K, respectively.
Additionally, VideoCardz claims that it was unable to source packaging images of Core i3 SKUs. The website reasons that this is because Intel is not planning to release Core i3 SKUs initially, with the company relying on the Core i5-12600K(F), Core i7-12700K(F) and Core i9-12900K(F) instead. Pre-orders for all SKUs should commence on October 28, or October 29 depending on where you live, as Lenovo confirmed yesterday.
However, people are already selling Alder Lake-S engineering samples on Taobao in China. Reputedly, these are all Core i9-12900K samples, although they do not have this marked on their integrated heat-spreaders (IHS). As the photos below show, people are selling ES2 processors, typically sent to companies months ahead of qualification and review samples.
Hence, they may not perform as well as their retail equivalents. These ES2 chips are also selling for CNY 4,500 (~US$698), which is thought to be nearly US$100 more expensive than the Core i9-12900K's launch price, and without the decorative wafer that Intel will include in retail boxes.