Intel launches 12th-gen Alder Lake processors optimised for Windows 11

An image of the Intel Core i9-12900K
(Image credit: Intel)

Intel has launched its 12th generation Intel Core processor family consisting of six new unlocked desktop processors, all of which have been optimised for Windows 11.

The family consists of three new chips, led by the flagship Core i9-12900K model, which offers 16 cores, split into Performance-cores (P-cores) and Efficient-cores (E-cores), with maximum speeds of 5.2 GHz with overclocking.

Intel is also launching the Core i7-12700K, consisting of 12 total cores and 20 threads, split into eight P-cores and four E-cores, as well as the Core i5-12700K, containing 10 total cores and 16 threads, with six P-cores and four E-cores.

All three chips are available with or without Intel's integrated UHD Graphics 770.

The full 12th Gen Intel Core family will include 60 processors, set to power over 500 designs from the company’s partners. It's also the first range built under the new Intel 7 branding, what would have previously been referred to as its third-generation 10nm technology, promising scalable performance from 9 to 125 watts to enable every PC segment from ultra-thin-and-light laptops to enthusiast desktops and out to the edge.

An image of the rear of an Intel chip

(Image credit: Intel)

Intel said that the processors are the first in the industry to offer DDR5 memory for up to 4800MT/s and 20 PCIe lanes, split between 16 PCIe 5.0 and 4 PCIe 4.0 lanes.

The chip company is also promoting Windows 11 as a core part of the Alder Lake processors, highlighting that it has worked with Microsoft on its Intel Thread Director software to manage tasks better on the new OS. It said the software will guide the OS to place the right thread on the right core at the right time.

It added that breakthroughs in multi-threaded performance, the responsive performance of P-cores, and the high speeds offered by DDR5, will result in 36% faster photo editing performance, 32% faster video editing performance, 37% faster 3D modeling performance, and 100% faster multi-frame rendering.

“The performance hybrid architecture of 12th Gen Intel Core processors is an architectural shift made possible by close co-engineering of software and hardware that will deliver new levels of leadership performance for generations,” said Gregory Bryant, executive vice president and general manager of the Client Computing Group at Intel. “This begins with the arrival of our flagship Core i9-12900K – the world’s best gaming processor – and you will see even more incredible experiences as we ship the rest of the 12th Gen family and beyond.”

The processors are now available for pre-order from participating OEMs, channel partners, and retailers. Broad availability will start from 4 November, with over 140 partners in more than 30 countries expected to offer the processors by the end of the year.

Pricing starts at $264 (£191) to $589 (£428).

Zach Marzouk

Zach Marzouk is a former ITPro, CloudPro, and ChannelPro staff writer, covering topics like security, privacy, worker rights, and startups, primarily in the Asia Pacific and the US regions. Zach joined ITPro in 2017 where he was introduced to the world of B2B technology as a junior staff writer, before he returned to Argentina in 2018, working in communications and as a copywriter. In 2021, he made his way back to ITPro as a staff writer during the pandemic, before joining the world of freelance in 2022.