Planning To Get 12th Gen Intel Alder Lake CPU? Things To Consider Before Buying


Intel has officially launched the 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs, based on Intel 7 node. These CPUs offer a hybrid design with a combination of performance and efficient CPU cores. Besides, these are also the first set of consumer CPUs to support technologies like DDR5 and PCIe Gen 5.

How To Choose Motherboard, RAM, And Cooler For Intel Alder Lake CPUs

If you are planning to jump on the Alder Lake bandwagon, then you are in for a surprise. There is a high chance that none of the components that you currently have on your PC might work with the Intel Alder Lake CPU. Even if they work, they will definitely be a bottleneck for future upgrades.

You Need New Motherboard

To use an Alder Lake 12th Gen Intel Core CPU, you need a new motherboard with Intel 600 series chipset. You can now get a motherboard with the Intel Z690 chipset from OEMs like Gigabyte, Asus, MSI, and more. However, there is also another factor you need to consider while choosing a motherboard.

While getting a new motherboard with Intel 600 series chipset, you can get a motherboard with DDR4 RAM support or you can get one with DDR5 support. Do note that, these are not cross-compatible. If you get a motherboard with DDR4 RAM, you are stuck with that.

If you get a motherboard with DDR5 memory, which does offer improved performance, you will get a future-proof product. However, DDR5 RAMs currently cost a lot more than DDR4 RAM, hence you might have to spend a bit more on the RAM, and your already existing (if any) DDR4 RAM will be of no use.

No Issue With PCIe Gen 5 Storage

All new high-end motherboards with the Intel 600 series chipset also support PCIe Gen 5 technology. This means you can get faster read and write speeds. As of now, there aren't many PCIe Gen 5 SSDs in the market. However, unlike RAM, this technology is backward compatible, and you can now use a PCIe Gen 4 SSD and upgrade to a PCIe Gen 5 SSD at a later date.


You Might Also Need A New Cooler?

Do you think your existing cooler will work with Intel Alder Lake CPU? To be frank, it might and it might not. If you have a 240mm cooler, then it might not provide adequate cooling, and you might also need a new backplate.

However, if you have a 280mm cooler, it might work just well. This means, you also need a new cooler to get an optimal cooling solution, especially if you are considering getting the Intel Core i9-12900K, which is said to outperform AMD Ryzen 9 5950X in most games.

Build A New PC Instead Of Upgrading

It is evident that most of the already existing components will not be compatible with the Intel Alder Lake CPUs, except the PSU and the storage. Hence, if you have a PC with either 10/11th Gen Intel CPU, leave it as is and build a new PC with the 12th Gen Alder Lake CPU.

We also recommend you choose a motherboard with DDR5 support rather than DDR4, as it will make your device future-proof, especially if you plan on upgrading to the next-gen CPU in the future.

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