Every year Intel puts out a new generation of their Core series of processors, and this year they’re changing things up quite dramatically with the 12th Gen Alder Lake series, which features a hybrid architecture design that pairs high-powered cores along with high-efficiency cores.

However, despite the rumored launch date of late 2021/early 2022, it seems that some engineering/qualification samples have already made their way onto the market as the flagship Core i9-12900K is already being sold in China for over $1000.

According to sources, one seller is charging 8100 CNY (around $1250) for the early sample of the CPU, and around 7400 CNY (roughly $1150) for a B660 motherboard. Since the new 12th gen Alder Lake CPUs feature a new LGA1700, the only way to even use the early processors is to buy a compatible motherboard.

Obviously these prices are significantly higher than the actual MSRP will be, but the seller is only offering them in bulk purchases, so you can’t buy a single 12900K and a B660 motherboard. These sample CPUs are also not great for long-term conventional use, and so only useful for early testing.

We can glean some specs for the new Alder Lake CPUs though, as the new chips will be using a hybrid design the big (Golden Cove) cores are known as P-Cores, whilst the little (Gracemont) cores are known as E-Cores. 

The maximum boost frequency for the P-Cores is 5.3GHz for 1-2 cores active, and 5.0GHz for all cores. The E-cores on the other hand will operate at 3.9GHz for 1-4 active cores, and up to 3.7GHz for all core boost. Check out the specs for some of the upcoming Intel 12th gen Alder Lake CPUs below:

CPU P-Cores E-Cores Cores / Threads P-Core Boost (Max / All-Core) E-Core Boost (Max / All-Core) Cache TDP Price
Core i9-12900K 8 8 16/24 5.3GHz / 5.0Ghz 3.9GHz / 3.7GHz 30MB 125W TBD
Core i7-12700K 4 16/20 5.0GHz / 4.7GHz 3.8GHz / 3.6GHz 25MB
Core i5-12600K 6 12/16 4.9GHz / 4.5GHz 3.6GHz / 3.4GHz 20MB

What do you think? Are you excited for the Intel 12th gen Alder Lake series? What do you think of the specs above? And would you buy an early CPU for that price? Let us know!

Vote - Click on the bar or text you want to cast your vote on
Vote - Click on the bar or text you want to cast your vote on
Vote - Click on the bar or text you want to cast your vote on
Vote - Click on the bar or text you want to cast your vote on