Intel Alder Lake ATX12V peak current recommendations are higher than Rocket Lake’s

Published: Aug 6th 2021, 07:39 GMT   Comments

Intel Alder Lake may need a bit more power

Intel’s latest power supplies guidelines for the upcoming 12th Gen Core Alder Lake-S processor have been unveiled by FCPOWERUP, a Chinese media dedicated to CPU, GPU, and PSU power analysis.


Although Intel had never released a 165W TDP SKU for Comet Lake or Rocket Lake series, such recommendations do exist. At least that’s what Intel’s own recommendations seem to suggest. FCPOWERUP managed to obtain a chart featuring the ALD-S series which stands for “Alder Lake-S”, the upcoming 12th Gen Core mainstream desktop processor series. The chart is actually a comparison between the 10th/11th Gen and 12th Gen series.

While the peak and continuous current recommendations have not changed when Intel was switching from Comet Lake to Rocket Lake, there clearly is an increase for Alder Lake, especially for the peak current. Since those are ATX12V currents, it is easy to calculate peak wattage as well.

In the case of the mysterious 165W TDP SKU, the peak power would increase from 480W to 540W. Other SKUs also see a peak power increase from 14.7% all the way up to 28.3%. The most popular SKUs, which are 65W Core series, would, for instance, see an increase of peak current from 30A to 38.5A, which increased peak power from 360W to 462W.

Intel PSU 12V2 Recommendations for ALder Lake-S, Source: FCPOWERUP

While Intel Alder Lake is expected to feature the same PL1/PL2 values, the peak current recommendations are more related to PL3 and PL4 values, which are often omitted when speaking about processor overclocking capability. Those are only relevant for peak currents and have no real impact on overall CPU performance. However, they do have a big impact on the power supply, which will have to be chosen much more carefully.

As noted by FCPOWERUP, power supplies that strictly comply with the 240VA limit will engaging its overcurrent protection already at 30A. People considering upgrading to Alder Lake will have to account for an additional 50 to 100W when choosing a new power supply. Verifying maximum current for a single-rail power supply may also be required.

Intel Power Recommendations for 12V PSU line
CPU TDP Segment10th / 11th Gen12th Gen10th / 11th Gen12th Gen10th / 11th Gen12th GenDifference
Continuous Current(Peak CurrentPeak WattagePeak Wattage Increase

Source: FCPOWERUP via @9550pro, Wccftech

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