Intel regains their leadership against AMD, and we are going to build a Intel Alder Lake PC. We have DDR5 memory, the latest Intel Z690 motherboard, and a hot new Intel Alder Lake CPU, so let’s start PC Build.
A special build demands for a special case, and for that we have the very fitting Asus ROG Strix Helios GX601. Asus really didn’t hold back on anything when designing this, and I can tell you that this case is way more impressive.
The additions like single button releases for the dual tempered glass side panels, and the carrying straps are some really useful additions that made our build experience very convenient. This also looks like it will stare you to death if you don’t put good things inside it, which is always appreciated.
The PSU that this build deserves is the Asus ROG Thor 1200W, which is just a perfect match for this case because the cutout on the PSU shroud will let us see the OLED screen, and the RGB. It also comes in individually sleeved cables which was something that I saw for the first time in a PSU.
We’re of course not going to compromise on our motherboard for this build, which is going to be the Asus ROG Maximus Z690 Hero, and it really has all the latest generation of tech from PCI-e Gen 5 to support for DDR5 RAM. It even has 2 thunderbolt ports, and I also really like its aesthetics, which are somehow bolder, while also looking cleaner than before.
The big heat sinks covering its 20+1 teamed phase power delivery system, and it also has this very well thought out quick release button for its top PCI-e slot, which will make removing your GPU much easier and safer, and this really was long overdue in motherboards.
The main highlight of this build is of course the new Intel Alder Lake i9-12900K with 16 cores and 24 threads, and everything about this CPU is quite different, as we are finally on Intel’s new 10nm process without any plus signs, and even though we have quite an unusual addition of efficiency cores on a desktop CPU for the first time.
We have 32 GB of The newly released Gandiva DDR5 RGB RAM from the Indian brand Astra, which runs at 4800 MT/s, and I’ve been using their SSDs and other stuff in my personal PC, so I am sure that this should also perform well.
The cooler that will handle our CPU is the Asus ROG Ryujin II 360mm AIO liquid cooler, which has a massive LCD panel on its CPU block that can be customised, and it also has a fan inside its CPU block for cooling your VRMs.
While the black Noctua fans that come with the Ryujin II cooler would definitely perform better than any other fans that we may replace them with, we did use some RGB fans instead. We also installed FS-120 white RGB fans from Frostec in front of the case.
We have the Asus ROG Strix OC RTX 3080, which is very powerful without being stupidly expensive, it looks great, and it also ran extremely cool and silent in my tests, even with higher clock speeds. We’re going to install it vertically in our case, and we’re obviously not using a Gen5 riser cable here, but this shouldn’t cause any issues.
These are rumored prices of items because I don’t know what these components cost when they will be available in the market. But I will update it when they become available and I am sure that it all will go around $5000.
The case and cooler is of course a big highlight of this special build, but it’s the performance of the new Alder Lake CPU that is even more exciting. Now I didn’t get a lot of time to do a proper benchmarking and comparison with the Ryzen 9 5950x, but without even unlocking the power limits or overclocking the CPU, we were able to get around a 20% faster result in the Cinebench R20 single core benchmark, which is really huge, and something that I really wasn’t expecting, even knowing what Intel is capable of.
The multicore results were also similarly impressive, and I have to say that I was quite skeptical about this big little efficiency core thing in the 12900K. But it did deliver a muilticore score that is very similar to my 5950x, which I really wasn’t expecting. Even though this was just one slightly older benchmark, I can see how this would put Intel ahead of AMD in gaming, and seeing a 24 thread CPU match their 32 thread processor is also really impressive.
Of course AMD is also going to be coming up with newer Ryzen CPUs, but one thing that is certain is that the next coming years are going to be very exciting, and this kind of competition is something that we’ll be seeing after more than a decade, so as long as the global chip shortage doesn’t cripple the availability, things are really going to be worth looking forward to.