Intel has been incredibly secretive about their new line of processors lined up to face off against AMD’s new Ryzen 5000 series chips. Intel’s new Alder Lake architecture will be a hybrid of former architectures Golden Cove and Gracemont. By mixing the two, Intel has excited enthusiasts, many of whom expect a massively powerful processor. Popular benchmark tool Geekbench hoped to settle enthusiasts’ questions when they posted an Alder Lake PC’s statistics to their website, but one typo has people considering the impossible. Geekbench clocked in the new processor’s max clock speed a blistering, and impossible, 27.2GHz.
In this case, AMD should be terrified that Intel discovered time travel and brought back a processor from 50 years in the future. Considering modern processors with clock speeds from 2.00GHZ to 4.00GHz draw anywhere up to 100 watts of power, it is inconceivable how much power it would take to run a 27.2GHz monster.
In the sobering reality the Alder Lake processor’s actual max clock speed is 2.72GHz, AMD can take a deep breath for now. The Geekbench stats without typos show a base clock of 2.19 GHz, 16 cores and 24 threads. While not a perfect comparison, AMD’s 16-core counterpart, the Ryzen 9 3950X, boasts clock speeds from 3.5 to 4.7GHz, 32 threads and a combined cache of 1MB, 8MB and 64MB.
The reason Intel’s threads and clock speed are lower on paper likely relates to their choice to separate the duties of different internal processor cores. Unlike AMD, whose cores work parallel to one another, Intel’s Alder Lake advertises that cores based on Golden Cove architecture are “high performance” and Gracemont cores are “lower performance” in order to balance power demands. While Intel’s choice is common for laptop and notebook processors, analysis cannot be certain how Alder Lake will help desktop workloads.