Intel’s upcoming batch of 12th-gen processors is slated to go on sale sometime later this year. But just this week, one lucky customer actually received two of Intel’s new desktop chips weeks ahead of their official release.
In a thread on Reddit, user Seby9123 posted a handful of pictures of the new chips, which appear to come inside a decorative wafer-shaped box. The chips are Core i9-12900K processors—expected to be some of the most powerful processors in Intel’s new 12th-gen family—that Seby9123 says they purchased for just $610 each despite the chips having an MSRP of $699. Sadly, Seby9123 did not mention which retailer was responsible for sending out Intel’s new chips so early, so if you’re thinking about getting your own Alder Lake chips ahead of release, you’re going to have to do some digging.
Unfortunately, while you can see the model number of the chip in the pictures, Intel’s packaging doesn’t mention much in the way of other specs like the chip’s clock speed or even its core count. However, with the boxes in Seby9123's photos matching leaked packaging that surfaced back in late September, it seems these new chips are legit.
While some desktop OEMs such as Acer have already announced new systems featuring Intel’s new 12th-gen chips, they haven’t announced firm pricing or release dates for these new PCs, which makes it even more impressive to see retail customers receive Intel’s new chips prior to release.
That said, this isn’t the first time customers have received unreleased CPUs prior to launch, with some of Intel’s 11th-gen Rocket Lake processors having gone on sale nearly a month early back in the spring.
For its 12th-gen chips, Intel is promising a major generation shift based on new processor architecture similar to what we’ve seen on ARM-based mobile chips, with Intel using new Performance-cores to handle intensive workloads, while offloading less critical tasks to the chips less power-hungry Efficiency-cores. All told, Intel claims its 12th-gen chips will provide up to 19% better performance compared to chips from the previous generation.
Unfortunately for Seby9123, because the new Z690 motherboards required to use Intel’s new chips haven’t gone on sale yet, Intel’s new 12th-gen chips are just going to be very fancy paperweights for the next few weeks until more components become compatible.