Ever since the release of their first Turbo Boost technology, Intel has been striving for a balance between performance and efficiency – but this time around, they have gone above and beyond to find just that. With the release of the 12th Gen processor, Intel offers now two types of processor cores – P (Performance) cores and E (Efficiency Cores). These operate at different frequencies and power consumption levels, which will lead you to think it is all too complicated. But don’t worry! Let’s take a look and see what these new technologies mean for you specifically in terms of single-threaded and multi-threaded applications.
Architecture Innovations with Intel P vs E Cores
One of the more prominent criticisms we’ve discussed about Intel CPUs is that there’s been a decrease in innovative design due to an inability to keep up with AMD. Previously, rather than reforming their chips to best fit this dilemma, Intel has just continued adding extra power for individual cores which causes it to overheat more often. However, in 12th Gen (Intel), this situation seems to have changed because for the first time ever – they have now combined 2 different types of CPU cores onto one single die which can better and efficiently take care of various workloads ranging from light multitasking all the way through heavy threaded usage. It also goes without saying that thanks to these changes – core counts are substantially higher when compared with 11th gen models such as 11900k which only had 8 total cores whereas the new flagship model comes equipped with 16 cores (8 P-cores+8 E-cores).
What are P-Cores
Performance-cores (aka P-cores) are always in a hurry. They’re made to handle time-sensitive tasks – things like gaming or designing computers that can’t wait. These chips, which look very much like the ones from intel’s 11th generation CPUs, were designed to do what they want when they want – no matter how much it costs them in other metrics such as power efficiency. Performance-cores tend to work best when they can take on two tasks at once; it takes one core and gives you two threads
What are E-Cores
Efficient cores (or, E-cores) run in the background to provide computational power while freeing up processing power for other tasks. By handling light loads and selflessly giving up power to P-cores, they allow us to do what we need quickly and efficiently. E-cores come with a lower operating frequency when compared to their P-core counterparts but they can outperform them in terms of efficiency because they’re made specifically for running one process at a time – no matter how many processes that might be or how much information it has access too – unlike P-cores which are suited for multi-tasking.
Intel Thread Director
Hybrid models only work if your PC can determine which cores/threads are best used for specific tasks and manage them efficiently. This task is made easier thanks to Intel Thread Director integrated into the die itself – this is a hardware/software solution that communicates with the operating system and helps determine what kind of workload each thread should process, optimizing all resources for maximum performance through communication between software and hardware. It does this by ensuring that workloads requiring less processing power from the CPU will be processed first before loading up the CPU later with more difficult workloads.
Note: Thread Director requires Windows 11, so users of Windows 10 may not experience all the benefits. However, Linux compatibility is in development and may come out soon!
Is Intel 12th Gen Right for You?
Choosing the right hardware for your needs always depends on what you plan to do with it, but if we’re talking about power and versatility, there is no doubt that Intel’s 12th Generation Alder Lake chip sets are hard to beat. If your primary use for it will be gaming or designing CAD, then this chip can satisfy the need for a modest number of cores without breaking a sweat.