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DDR5-4800 Clashes With DDR4-3200 In Alder Lake Benchmarks

The upcoming wave of 12th Generation Alder Lake processors from Intel have been rumored to support both DDR5 and DDR4 memory. However, a new UserBenchmark submission, courtesy of Tum_Apisak, showed that Alder Lake’s performance could be affected if paired with the latter.

The Alder Lake sample reportedly features 16 CPU cores and 24 threads, which is a configuration that we’ve already seen before. Keeping in mind that Alder Lake is comprised of Golden Cove and Gracemont core but only the former has Hyper-Threading, the chip should be carrying eight Golden Cove cores and eight Gracemonet cores.

Today’s submission marks the second appearance of an 16-core Alder Lake chip in UserBenchmark. This sample seemingly sports a 1.8 GHz base clock speed and 3.65 GHz average boost clock. The previous sample, on the other hand, has the same base clock, but a lower average boost clock that peaked at 3.05 GHz.

Given the core count, the engineering samples may be the Core i9-12900 or Core i9-12900K. Obviously, the faster chip will deliver better memory performance. Since we aren’t certain if both Alder Lake samples are the same processor, we recommend a bit of salt when looking at the results.

Intel Alder Lake RAM Benchmarks

Kingston DDR4-3200 2x8GB Micron DDR5-4800 2x8GB
Multi Core Read 41.5 33.6
Multi Core Write 37.0 30.8
Multi Core Mixed 28.8 30.2
Single Core Read 15.4 15.4
Single Core Write 30.2 31.4
Single Core Mixed 22.1 22.4
Latency 136 86.7

The DDR5 platform consisted of two 8GB Micron DDR5-4800 memory modules. The C8C1084S1UC48BAW part number didn’t yield any results. If the memory modules stick to JEDEC’s specifications, they should be rated with a CAS Latency (CL) of 40.

The DDR4 platform, on the other hand, used a pair of 8GB Kingston HyperX Fury DDR4-3200 memory modules. We couldn’t find a product page for the HP37D4U1S8ME-8XR, and several listings showed that these may be OEM memory modules.

DDR4-3200 outperformed DDR5-4800 by up to 24% in the read test and up to 20% in the write test. However, the latter delivered 5% higher performance in the mixed test. The performance deltas in the single-core tests weren’t as substantial, though. There was no change in the read test, but DDR5-4800 offered 4% and 1% better write and mixed memory performance, respectively.

DDR5 put up its best performance in the latency tests. The Alder Lake with DDR5-4800 exhibited 36% lower memory latency.

Intel’s Alder Lake processors might land late 2021 or early 2022. In addition to the rumored DDR5 support, the heterogeneous chips could also embrace the high-speed PCIe 5.0 standard. AMD has displaced Intel on the list of best CPUs so there are big expectations for Alder Lake even before its launch day.


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