Leaked Intel Alder Lake benchmark shows it beating AMD's Threadripper in CineBench

An Intel Core i9-11900K socketed into a motherboard
(Image credit: Future)

If a newly leaked benchmark is any indication, the Intel Core i9-12900K is going to be a veritable powerhouse of a processor, beating out even a 32-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990X.

The new leak comes courtesy of Twitter leaker REHWK, and shows the results of a CineBenchR23 benchmark running Intel's flagship Alder Lake CPU, the 8+8-core Core i9-12900K. If valid – leaked benchmarks always need to be taken with a huge helping of salt – this would be the first mainstream consumer processor to breakthrough the 30,000 point barrier on CineBenchR23 with a multi-core score of 30,549.

While the AMD Ryzen 9 Threadripper 2990WX also clears the 30,000 mark (30,054), AMD's Threadripper processors are designed for high-end workstation PCs like those used in creative content production like animation, music, video, and game development. It is definitely on the Pro end of the CPU spectrum, especially considering its $1,800 price tag when it launched in 2018.

An Intel Core i9 on the other hand, as Wccftech notes, is on the high end of the consumer desktop market and comparable to an AMD Ryzen 9 5900X. They put the Intel Core i9-1200K's performance about 7% better than the Ryzen 9 5950X, which they note scores about 28,500 points in CineBenchR23 (we haven't been able to independently verify this score ourselves).

Featuring only eight Golden Cove performance cores with 16 threads, and eight single-threaded Gracemont efficiency cores, beating out a 32-core, 64-thread monster like the 2990WX would be quite a feat.

Make no mistake, the Intel Core i9-12900K is going to be a premium chip targeting the PC enthusiast more than your average consumer. Intel's current flagship CPU, the Core i9-11900K has an MSRP of $539 (about £390, AU$710), so it isn't cheap by any means, but it is definitely within the budget of a serious PC builder. 

And if this benchmark is any indication of the quality of the CPU architecture being cooked up for Intel Alder Lake chips, then Intel could definitely be pulling off a coup at exactly the right time.

Analysis: Intel Alder Lake could be exactly what Intel needs to get back on track

There's no question that Intel has had a rough go of it in recent years. After years of CPU market dominance with its Core processor line, Intel started seeing its advantage slip several years ago with the introduction of AMD's Ryzen series processors.

Earlier this year, AMD clawed its way back to parity with Intel in the desktop processor market, at least by some market metrics. Its Zen 3 processors have been more popular with PC enthusiasts than Intel's Rocket Lake-S, and AMD seemed to be well-positioned to maintain the ground it's taken back from Team Blue in the past six to seven years,

That's what makes Alder Lake feel like such a make-or-break moment for Intel right now. Intel is expected to launch its Alder Lake-S desktop processors as early as November, and AMD isn't expected to have its answer to Alder Lake – its Zen 4 processors – for an entire year or even longer.

Zen 4 might turn out to be even better than Alder Lake in terms of performance, but Alder Lake will also be the first to support PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 RAM, while AMD Zen 4 is only known to support DDR5. It's PCIe 5.0 support remains an open question. 

Worst still for AMD, the late release of its Zen 4 processors mean it might not actually be competing with Intel Alder Lake at all, it's real competition might be Intel's 13th-generation Raptor Lake processors, which could launch less than a year after Zen 4.

We'll have to see what AMD has in store for its 3D V-Cache technology, which it is expected to introduce for its Zen 3 chips sometime before the release of its Zen 4 processors. Whether it will be enough to keep up with Intel (assuming this benchmark and another recently leaked Ashes of the Singularity benchmark hold up), will be an interesting question as we head into 2022.

John Loeffler
Components Editor

John (He/Him) is the Components Editor here at TechRadar and he is also a programmer, gamer, activist, and Brooklyn College alum currently living in Brooklyn, NY. 

Named by the CTA as a CES 2020 Media Trailblazer for his science and technology reporting, John specializes in all areas of computer science, including industry news, hardware reviews, PC gaming, as well as general science writing and the social impact of the tech industry.

You can find him online on Threads @johnloeffler.

Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 (just like everyone else).