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Small E-cores in Intel Alder Lake processors are very bad at gaming

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Our colleagues from TechSpot have conducted extensive testing of Alder Lake processors in games from an unusual perspective. They tested how different cores and their configurations affect gaming performance and how this compares to other CPUs.

They took the Core i9-12900K, Core i7-12700K and Core i5-12600K, capped them at 4.2 GHz and tested them in three configurations: with four large cores, four small cores, and two small and two large active cores. Thus, the source checked not only the three configurations, but also the impact on the performance of the L3 cache, since in the conditions described above, only this was the difference between the above three.

Small E-cores in Intel Alder Lake processors are very bad at gaming

As for the rest of the test participants, they were similarly limited in frequency and number of cores, except that in all other cases, of course, it was always about only four ordinary large cores. The Radeon RX 6900 XT was chosen as the video card, and the settings always meant maximum graphics quality and Full HD resolution.

The source has diagrams for seven different games, but we only present one final one.

Small E-cores in Intel Alder Lake processors are very bad at gaming

So what can be learned from this specific testing? Most importantly, small E-cores are ineffective for gaming. If in a number of applications (and even in one game) small cores can really be compared with Skylake cores, as Intel itself claims, then in most games the Gracemont architecture cannot compete with Skylake at all. Four small cores can be somewhere between Ivy Bridge and Haswell, and can also compete with the first generation Zen. Of course, this is not bad at all for very energy efficient and compact cores, but nevertheless, for games in modern realities, they are much worse than other not even the most modern solutions. And the reason for this lies in the delays in the exchange of data between the cores. If for large cores it is 37 ns, then for small ones it is already 57 ns.

At the same time, the activation of two large cores and two small ones already leads to the fact that the Core i9-12900K bypasses all previous Intel processors, and even the Ryzen 7 5800X, although the difference there is only 1 point, so it is more correct to talk about parity. Be that as it may, already at this stage it is clear how good Intel’s Golden Cove architecture is, at least for games. Well, four large cores without support for small ones take Intel’s new products to a completely new level. In this form, the Core i9-12900K is almost a quarter faster than its predecessor. And this is with the most efficient video card.

As regards the difference between the three new Intel products, which, we recall, is caused exclusively by the L3 cache in this test mode, it is relatively small.

You can also look at the evolution of Intel and AMD in recent years. In the case of AMD, we see a colossal jump from the top-end FX to the first Ryzen, and then a fairly large increase when switching to Zen 2 and Zen 3. At Intel, everything is much more interesting, because since the days of the Core i7-6700K, performance has practically not increased. And this is logical, since until the Core i9-11900K all these years, Intel actually used the Skylake architecture. But the Core i9-11900K also provided only a very modest increase in performance, albeit almost catching up with Zen 3.

The source sums up its testing by saying that E-cores “suck for gamers.” In addition, because of them, there are problems with DRM protection, which have not yet been fully resolved.

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The most powerful video card, but for a lot of money. The first prices for the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti appeared

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The GeForce RTX 3090 Ti graphics card is likely to be without reservation the most powerful graphics card on the market. But how much will you pay for this in an era of scarcity and markups?

The most powerful video card, but for a lot of money.  The first prices for the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti appeared

As the first offers show, approximately from 3600 to 4500 dollars. Video cards have already appeared in a number of European stores, where you can see just such a price range. Moreover, almost all prices relate to the MSI Suprim X model, it’s just that prices vary greatly in different countries and different stores.

The most powerful video card, but for a lot of money.  The first prices for the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti appeared

Of course, there will be other adapters that can be purchased somewhat cheaper, but in general, the order of prices is already clear. Recall that the video card is still only expected to be on sale, and there is evidence that Nvidia has postponed the launch.

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Prices for Radeon RX 6500XT video cards in French stores are twice as high as those recommended by the manufacturer

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After numerous reports that the new entry-level AMD graphics card will go on sale for at least 300 euros, the source has finally received confirmation in the form of real retailers offers. Prices were even higher than expected.

More specifically, the price of Radeon RX 6500XT video cards in French stores is twice the price recommended by the manufacturer. The Gigabyte RX 6500 XT EAGLE (without OS) can already be found at prices ranging from 351 to 378 euros.

Prices for Radeon RX 6500XT video cards in French stores are twice as high as those recommended by the manufacturer

Prices for Radeon RX 6500XT video cards in French stores are twice as high as those recommended by the manufacturer

In case anyone forgot, we are talking about a Navi 24-based card with 1024 shader units, equipped with 4 GB of GDDR6 memory connected to a 64-bit memory bus. The card is equipped with a PCIe Gen4 x4 interface and does not have AV1 decoding and H264/265 encoding. According to AMD’s calculations, the RX 6500XT will have to compete with Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 16 series models, which currently sell for between 260 and 300 euros.

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10,752 CUDA cores, 1900 MHz frequency and 1 kW consumption for two hours of play. MSI Reveals Specs of GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Graphics Card

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The start of sales of the new flagship Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti graphics card, which debuted at CES 2022, was expected next week, however, according to the latest rumors, the novelty has been postponed due to hardware and BIOS problems. However, manufacturers are starting to add these video cards to their product catalogs on their official websites. This is what MSI did, which gives us the opportunity to evaluate the characteristics of the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti.

10,752 CUDA cores, 1900 MHz frequency and 1 kW consumption for two hours of play.  MSI Reveals Specs of GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Graphics Card

We already knew that the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti will have 10,752 CUDA cores, but now the GPU frequency is known. In gaming and quiet modes, it is 1880 MHz, in extreme mode (it requires installed MSI Center software) – 1900 MHz. For comparison, the frequencies of the MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Suprim X are 1860-1875 MHz, respectively.

10,752 CUDA cores, 1900 MHz frequency and 1 kW consumption for two hours of play.  MSI Reveals Specs of GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Graphics Card

21 GHz memory has already been mentioned, but another interesting point concerns the power subsystem. The GeForce RTX 3090 Ti was credited with a new 16-pin connector, transmitting power up to 600 watts. But MSI decided to use three standard eight-pin connectors in the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Suprim X. Apparently, this was done for better compatibility with current power supplies in PC gamers.

Finally, another important point: the power consumption of the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti is 480W! That’s 30W more than the current flagship. For a couple of hours of playing, such a video card will wind up 1 kW on the energy meter. Accordingly, the power of the recommended power supply is also 1 kW. The last thing to note: the weight of the video card is 1905 grams – 10 grams more than the GeForce RTX 3090 Suprim X.

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