These are the first Intel Alder Lake CPUs without Efficient Cores

Intel i3-12100 ES in an Asrock Z690 Steel Legend motherboard
(Image credit: XFastest)

Alder Lake is Intel’s latest range of gaming CPUs which was released earlier in November of this year. Both the Intel Core i9 12900K and i5 12600K have reviewed excellently since launch, and most of those pesky DRM issues have been fixed too. A lot of this is thanks to the new hybrid architecture of these CPUs, which use higher-performance cores and power-efficient cores in tandem. 

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According to Videocardz, we shouldn’t necessarily expect the same for the Alder Lake non-K 65W series of CPUs yet to launch. Reportedly The Intel i3 12100F and i5 12400F from the 12th gen sub-series will be the first two to carry the Alder Lake name without those Efficient cores. Instead, these cores only have 4 and 6 Performance cores respectively giving them eight and 12 threads each. We’ll wait to test these chips before passing judgement but this inline with higher end CPUs from about 4 years ago.

The i7 12700F also releasing in this sub-series will retain the performance and Efficient cores split, with eight Performance and four Efficient, giving it 20 threads of processing power. This puts it not too far off the i7 12700k, with only a lower frequency and thermal design power. It’s still rated for 65W too making it a potential good lower power choice than the K variant without sacrificing too much by way of power. 

We won’t see Intel’s Alder Lake sub-series of CPUs release until January, after the company’s CES conference. Until then it’s only speculation as to whether or not these chips are going to be any good. Alder Lake’s first release has been doing so well, but dropping the Efficient cores from some of these chips makes them very different looking beasts. 

Hope Corrigan
Hardware Writer

Hope’s been writing about games for about a decade, starting out way back when on the Australian Nintendo fan site Since then, she’s talked far too much about games and tech for publications such as Techlife, Byteside, IGN, and GameSpot. Of course there’s also here at PC Gamer, where she gets to indulge her inner hardware nerd with news and reviews. You can usually find Hope fawning over some art, tech, or likely a wonderful combination of them both and where relevant she’ll share them with you here. When she’s not writing about the amazing creations of others, she’s working on what she hopes will one day be her own. You can find her fictional chill out ambient far future sci-fi radio show/album/listening experience podcast right here.

No, she’s not kidding.