The simple truth is that Alder Lake is an impressive processor series with an equally impressive (Z690) platform. All factors combined make this a truly worthwhile upgrade to a new ECO system. We do think that the Core i5 12600K might be more interesting for the vast majority of people, though I'll talk more about that in the 12600K review. The Core i9-12900K then, with its 16 cores and 24 threads. 8 P-Core (16 threads) and 8 E-Core (with 8 threads) the CPU absolutely delivers. The CPU has 30 MB L3 cache, 3 MB per core (Golden Cove) and 3 MB per cluster (E-Core) (Gracemont). That's 8 P-Cores for 24 MB and 6 MB from each of the two clusters of 4 E-Cores. The chip has 12.5 MB of L2 cache and 1.25 MB of L3 cache. That said, I am not imbued about the inclusion of energy-efficient cores as they just do not matter to me if it does not bring IDLE and low load power consumption down. Overall platform power consumption was substantially higher than what AMD offers. The thing that Intel does have going for it is of course the very fast single-threaded performance. When you look at multi-core performance the Intel is at Ryzen 5000 level with a differential here and there. IPC for the P cores is on par with the fastest Ryzen 5000 core if you clock them both at the same frequency. The thing is, Intel can clock them faster and does so longer (PL2); that's where the increased single-thread performance is deriving from. Motherboard manufacturers are free to configure that PL2 state as they please btw. This will invoke a lot of variety in energy consumption. Allow me to focus on AMD for a second. They gained huge popularity by expanding on their ecosystem, the Ryzen 5000 release wasn't about the processor solely, it was all about the platform and of course PCIe Express 4.0 support, being first with new technology matters advancing that very same ecosystem, as it gives you a technology lead. Intel is now applying the very same idea, and ups it a notch as the inclusion of DDR5 support and PCIe Express 5.0 support, both are super interesting. While PCI-Express 5.0 might take a bit longer to adapt to, you do get PCIe Gen 4.0 backward compatibility, and that opens up a plethora of storage functionality. We do wonder how long will it take before we see 16GB/sec performing NVMe M.2 SSDs. Transitioning to DDR5 of course will deliver an effect much faster, gaming for example, or database workload-intensive applications. So in that respect, Intel is absolutely an industry leader with a more future-ready platform. Fact is also, the price of admission being first with technology is going to hurt your wallet. To bypass that fact a little, there will be DDR4 compatible motherboards as well, it might help you transition a bit easier. All in all; the accumulation of it all (CPU/Motherboard/New Tech) the platform aside from relatively high power consumption is absolutely impressive. A completely new architecture with improved IPC and terrific performance, we believe will encourage many people to make the switch to Alder Lake. It supports PCIe Gen 4.0 and 5.0, as well as DDR5 memory and WIFI6E for premium motherboards, which we believe will encourage even more people to make the switch with super-fast CPU-bound game performance in mind. Right now, it appears that the Core i9 12900K will sell for $589,- at retail, which is a reasonable amount of money to spend on something that is, in essence, an eight-core CPU with eight "slower cores." The reality is that Intel manages to keep the 5900X and 5950X well within striking distance, which is both a statement and a testament to the work that Intel has performed here.