More bad news for PC owners as delays may hit Intel Alder Lake CPUs

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Intel Alder Lake desktop CPUs might not be arriving as soon as first thought, with new rumours pointing to a November launch.

While previous speculation suggested the 12th-gen processors could debut in September, Wccftech is now reporting that Intel has recently confirmed to partners that Alder Lake-S will now be launching in November this year.

This means, if true, that Alder Lake-S will arrive just eight months after Rocket Lake, and potentially a full year ahead of AMD’s first Zen 4 desktop CPUs

This year-long headstart could spell trouble for AMD, as the report also adds weight to earlier rumors that Alder Lake CPUs - which will be Intel's first processors to be based on 10nm - will support both PCIe 5.0 and DDR5

However, as Wccftech notes, Alder Lake will also support DDR4, so it will be up to the motherboard vendors to enable support where they see fit. This means it’s likely that lower-end motherboards will stick to the old DDR4 standard, while higher-end motherboards will opt for DDR5. 

The report also notes that, as expected, existing coolers will not be compatible due to the “vastly different” LGA 1700 socket. 

As for the architecture itself, Alder Lake will employ a combination of normal cores and low-power cores – a system similar to ARM’s big.LITTLE tech. The low-power cores will be more efficient and able to run the show when the system is idling or under little stress, the idea being that battery life can be saved as a result.

According to reports, Intel is expecting a 20% performance increase for single-threaded applications, and up to twice as good multi-threaded performance compared to Rocket Lake. 

While Intel has yet to comment on the latest rumors, the company's outgoing CEO Bob Swan confirmed last year: “We will qualify Alder Lake desktop and notebook for production and begin our volume ramp in the second half of 2021.”

Carly Page

Carly Page is a Freelance journalist, copywriter and editor specialising in Consumer/B2B technology. She has written for a range of titles including Computer Shopper, Expert Reviews, IT Pro, the Metro, PC Pro, TechRadar and Tes.