Intel’s upcoming 11th gen Rocket Lake processors are launching soon, but the company is also gearing up to release their 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs by the end of the year. Those ones however, will be taking a much bigger risk by utilizing the big.LITTLE hybrid architecture mostly seen in mobile processors.

Thankfully Intel has already started testing some of these Alder Lake processors, so now we get a sneak peak at what kind of performance we can expect. So this first benchmark is pretty promising of the hybrid CPUs performance.

First of all, this appears to be a top-end CPU for the 12th Gen Alder Lake series, though it’s unclear if this will be the flagship of the series (but very likely). At 16 cores and 24 threads, this processor that was tested was an engineering sample, and therefore not representative of the final product since performance will only increase from here.

If you’re confused about the 16 core 24 thread specs, that’s because half of the chip’s cores will be the bigger Golden Cove ones that feature multi-threading (8 cores, 16 threads). Whereas the other half will be the smaller Gracemont cores that do not feature multi-threading (8 cores, 8 threads). All in all that means 16 cores and 24 threads in total.

Got it? Okay, let’s move onto the good stuff then…

The specs for this particular processor also include a base clock speed of 2.19GHz, whilst the boost clock is reportedly at 27.2GHz. That’s clearly an error on Geekbench’s side, and some theories suggest it is because the Geekbench V4 software is an old benchmark which is then unable to read the proper boost clock speeds due to the hybrid design.

This CPU then scored a 6536 for Single-Core, and 47870 for Multi-Core. Unfortunately, Geekbench V4 no longer lists any kinds of ranking for comparing against other CPUs, but luckily some have managed to salvage some previous scores for other top processors from Intel and AMD as well, so we can take a look at how well this engineering sample for an Alder Lake CPU fares against others.

Looking at the results above, we can see that the Single-Core performance of the Alder Lake chip is just a little behind the current-gen Intel flagship, the Core i9-10900K - around 3% slower in fact. With the recent Ryzen 5000 series from AMD still taking the lead.

However, moving onto Multi-Core performance below the Alder Lake chip fares much better and is actually 6% faster than the 10900K.

That may not be that impressive on its own, but when you take the engineering sample’s specs into account it’s actually quite exciting as it only has a base clock of 2.19GHz and a boost clock of less than 4GHz. The i9-10900K on the other hand has a base clock of 3.7GHz and boosts up to 5.3GHz.

It should also be noted that whilst the Alder Lake CPU has more cores and threads compared to the 10900K, it actually has fewer big cores (10 cores and 20 threads compared to 8 cores and 16 threads).

So the Alder Lake chip still has a way to go, but performance like this with an early engineering sample is very promising at least. The real question would be how it compares to the soon-to-be-released Rocket Lake processors, which the flagship CPU Core i9-11900K boasts a 19% IPC uplift over the 10900K.

Not only that, but Alder Lake will apparently feature support for DDR5 memory as well as PCIe 5.0 support. So the future is looking bright for Intel indeed, despite their recent woes for manufacturing chips on smaller process nodes.

What do you think? Are you excited for Intel Alder Lake? How do you feel about these performance numbers? And would it be better to just get a Rocket Lake CPU soon? Or wait until the Alder Lake chips come out? Let us know your thoughts!