An Intel Alder Lake-S CPU with 16 cores and 32 threads has been spotted on the SiSoft Sandra benchmark database. The processor is based on the hybrid core architecture featuring eight high-performance Golden Cove cores and eight low-power Gracemont cores.
Along with the new core architectures, the new CPU also comes with a revamped cache hierarchy with twice as much L3 cache as its predecessors (32MB) and ten blocks of 1.25MB L2 cache. This is likely an error as a result of the database not being able to identify the L2 cache properly as it should be unique to each core. The other possible explanation is that the two different core architectures share different sets of L2 cache, with the low-power cores including a smaller block per core.
Another thing that stands out is the inclusion of DDR5 memory. Considering that Alder Lake-S is slated for a late 2021 launch, it’s possible that we’ll see both DDR4 and DDR5 versions as we saw with Skylake back in 2016.
Interestingly, although the inter-core bandwidth is lower than the existing Intel CPUs, it’s bot bad by any means. 42GB/s is actually a decent figure, as we’re likely looking at the “multi-core” bandwidth rather than the “multi-threaded” bandwidth. In comparison, Zen 3 clocks in at 68GB/s for the latter and 31GB/s for the former. However, unlike the Ryzen 5000 parts, Alder Lake features two different sets of core clusters. Therefore, while all the cores in a CCX will have the same inter-core bandwidth, like the inter-CCX cores, the bandwidth between the HP and LP cores will be much lower than that between cores of the same cluster.