Intel Alder Lake CPU spotted with new layout for massive LGA 1700 socket

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The first picture alleged to be that of Intel's new Hybrid Alder Lake-S processor has been posted by VideoCardz (opens in new tab). It sure looks like it fits the bill, too. With reportedly 1,700 contact pads on the rear, this would fit the description of the brand new LGA 1700 socket often leaked alongside Intel's new hybrid chip design, coming 2021.

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Alder Lake will mark a departure from Intel's regularly scheduled programming. The chip architecture is both built using a new process, 10nm, and will feature two discrete architectures, Golden Cove and Gracemont.

Golden Cove is an evolution of the architecture found within Tiger Lake 11th Gen processors, launched back in September and available now. Gracemont is built upon low-power architectures most commonly used with Atom chips. Alder Lake-S processors will combine eight (big) Golden Cove cores with eight (small) Gracemont cores (opens in new tab).

Alder Lake has already been spotted in testing (opens in new tab) on common benchmarking databases.

The image posted by VideoCardz of the rear of the chip further confirms what we know about Alder Lake, specifically that it will utilise a much larger footprint than existing LGA 1200 socketed processors, such as Intel Comet Lake and the Intel Core i9 10900K (opens in new tab). The LGA 1700 socket is now all but confirmed.

This is still an engineering sample, and may not be the final design. As such, it's perhaps best not to look too closely into the capacitor loadout on the underside of the chip.

The big question with Intel Alder Lake is whether eight high-performance cores and eight low-power cores will be able to meet a 10 high-performance core in gaming, or other demanding workloads. Intel is confident that the hybrid approach is worth more than simply battery life, which is how heterogenous chips have often been utilised. 

Intel Alder Lake won't arrive until the second half of 2021. Before that, we'll see Intel Rocket Lake (opens in new tab) processors launch in the first few months of the year, aimed squarely at AMD's Ryzen 5000 (opens in new tab) processors coming November 5.

Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog from his hometown in Wales in 2017. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, where he would later win command of the kit cupboard as hardware editor. Nowadays, as senior hardware editor at PC Gamer, he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industry. When he's not writing about GPUs and CPUs, however, you'll find him trying to get as far away from the modern world as possible by wild camping.