It’s an unfortunate truth that Intel’s new Alder Lake line of processors had a bit of a rocky launch. Despite the Intel Core i5 12600k and i9 12900K doing very well in their respective reviews, these new chips were hampered by other issues.
Even before launch we knew that some Digital Rights Management would cause problems. The new architecture of the chip can be read as two separate computers trying to boot the game. This tricks the DRM into flagging the process and shutting it down, which is pretty bad news for a gaming CPU. Denuvo, the company responsible for the particular DRM even released a fix before release, but it wasn’t widely implemented among games.
Thus on Alder Lake’s release we published this rather extensive list of games that just didn’t work on Intel’s 12th gen processors. Well good news, Alder Lake fans, because that list is now down to three.
Intel updated its official support article (spotted by Tom’s Hardware) to confirm that Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, Fernbus Simulator, and Madden 22 are the only known games still facing DRM issues. It’s a shame to see such new games on the list at all but at least that’s all that remains from the original 90 titles that weren't able to boot. Plus it’s very likely that these will be patched soon as well, plus there are still other ways around the issue, especially if you've got a Gigabyte motherboard.
It’s good to put this chapter in Alder Lake’s history behind, as these are genuinely impressive CPUs that top our list of best CPUs for gaming. Not having this blemish against their name means there’s not much reason we wouldn’t recommend this generation of processor. These are now much more solidly some of the best gaming CPUs you can get on the market today. Though they are still more power hungry than competitors like the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X.