Intel’s locked Alder Lake CPUs could start at just $119

With Alder Lake, Intel is pushing back against AMD’s dominance with the Ryzen 5000 series CPUs. The first batch of 12th generation chips from Team Blue are already priced aggressively, but a new value king may be hidden among upcoming CPUs that will debut in early 2022.

Intel’s unlocked Alder Lake CPUs have received generally positive reviews, with experts praising the performance gains over Rocket Lake as well as AMD’s Ryzen 5000 series CPUs, not to mention the aggressive pricing. Naturally, this has prompted AMD to lower prices for its current generation of desktop processors by as much as $150, although the discount varies from one retailer to the next as well as from region to region.

That said, Intel has yet to release its mainstream and budget Alder Lake processors, which are expected to be priced as low as $119. According to leaked listings from Canadian retailer DirectDial that were spotted by Twitter user @momomo_us, the non-K 12th generation Intel CPUs are designed to undercut AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X, Ryzen 5 5600X, and even the Ryzen 3 5300G, which would be the current value king but can only be found in pre-built PCs.

The $430 Core i7-12700KF already looks like a great alternative to AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X, but the locked multiplier version could turn out to be an even more attractive offering. Simply put, if you don’t care abut overclocking and are okay with slightly lower clocks (and lower power consumption) than a $450 Core i7-12700K, you’ll soon be able to have something close to its performance level for around $365.

If you’re on a tighter budget, both the Core i5-12400 and the Core i5-12400F will be priced below $250. These two CPUs will only pack six Golden Cove (performance) cores, but according to early benchmarks they can punch above their weight class in certain workloads. From there it’s just a matter of whether or not you want integrated graphics, and if not then you’ll be able to save an additional $30.

The Core i3-12100F is expected to integrate only four Golden Cove cores, but it could also be priced at a much more reasonable $119. Intel is planning to launch these new CPUs in early 2022, so it won’t be long before we learn more about their capabilities.