Custom PC – Issue 220, January 2022
English | 116 pages | pdf | 49.9 MB

Welcome at Custom PC Magazine Issue 220, January 2022

ow, we were wondering if we’d ever see this day again, b ut Intel has finally stopped flailing around and launched an all-out assault against AMD. Alder Lake not only brings us the company’s first 10nm desktop processors, but also an interesting new CPU design. These hybrid chips contain two different types of CPU cores – performance-orientated P-Cores and power-efficient E-Cores.
We’ll admit that we were sceptical about this approach at first. We wondered how eight ‘big’ cores and eight ‘little cores’ could compete with the 16 ‘big’ cores in the Ryzen 9 5950X. Also, while it’s great to see Intel finally moving from 14nm to 10nm fabrication, AMD has been using TSMC’s 7nm process for years.
As it turns out, Intel’s new CPU design is so good that a chip with eight P-Cores and eight E-Cores can indeed outperform AMD’s Ryzen 9 5950X, thanks to some clever thread direction. Intel has finally pulled a winner out of the bag, and with competitive pricing too.
You can read all about the CPU design in our deep dive on p78, and check out the reviews on p16. However, while we’ve worked tirelessly to bring you this coverage at the time of launch, that’s not easy for a print magazine, and there was some information we simply couldn’t get before we went to press. DDR5 memory pricing and availability information is one, and the pricing of Z690 motherboards is another.
We’ve given you all the other information you need, though, including performance tests of two DDR5 memory kits (see p26) and a first look at an Asus Z690 motherboard (see p22). You can also read our DDR5 deep dive on p86 to see what’s new with this latest memory standard.
Even so, while we can wholeheartedly say that Intel’s Alder Lake CPUs are fantastic, we weren’t able to gauge the complete platform cost of building an Alder Lake system, which is why our Elite list still largely features AMD Zen 3 hardware. We’ll continue to look at accompanying Alder Lake hardware in our next issue, but in the meantime, we hope you enjoy reading all about Intel’s bombastic new CPU design.

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