Intel Alder Lake leak details integrated graphics – and might disappoint some

(Image credit: / Alexander Tolstykh)

Intel’s Alder Lake 12th-gen processors (which will follow on from next-gen Rocket Lake products) have witnessed a few leaks now, but we’ve heard nothing about the integrated graphics these chips might carry from the rumor mill – until this fresh benchmark spillage.

The purported SiSoftware benchmark surfaced on Twitter by Tum_Apisak (the source of many hardware leaks) gives us a glimpse of the power of Alder Lake-S (desktop) integrated graphics, which might seem disappointing at first glance.

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Assuming that the spec details here are correct – and as ever, exercise the appropriate amount of caution you should for any early hardware leak – Alder Lake will run with an integrated GPU that boasts 256 stream processors (32 EUs or execution units).

Compared to current-gen Comet Lake chips, this is a 33% increase, but remember Alder Lake is two generations on for desktop processors, and this integrated GPU is a good deal less powerful than the Tiger Lake chips Intel is about to start shipping.

Tiger Lake silicon will see 96 execution units on its integrated graphics, but then remember that these mobile chips are destined for laptops (and should be in notebooks come the end of 2020). For desktop Alder Lake, integrated graphics are considerably less important, seeing as most PC owners will pair their CPU with a discrete GPU anyway.

So really, how Intel is pitching this makes sense, although there may still be some disappointment at the level of power with Alder Lake’s integrated GPU – of course, assuming that this leak is correct in the first place.

Early leakage

Note that the GPU clock speed listed at 500MHz is clearly something that reflects on this being early testing of Alder Lake silicon – remember that these 12th-gen chips probably won’t be out until 2022 (although the rumor mill has theorized about a late 2021 launch, and perhaps that’s in the cards after all, given these early leaks coming in some volume now).

For those who may be a little disappointed, one potentially brighter aspect of this which Wccftech (who spotted the tweet) points out is that perhaps this indicates Intel is being more cost-conscious around its future processors by not pushing hard on the integrated GPU front. Well, we can but hope for more competitive pricing as ever, but this certainly hasn’t been Intel’s philosophy with current Comet Lake chips.

As you may be aware, we recently saw a huge leak spilling all the purported details on how the range of Alder Lake chips will pan out, with these being very different CPUs for Intel, being built along similar lines to ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture.

Precisely what this will mean for 12th-gen desktop processors isn’t clear, because as we’ve discussed previously, it’s not certain how this big and small core configuration will compete with AMD’s future Ryzen offerings, with Alder Lake apparently topping out at 8 full cores (and 8 little ones).

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).