Intel XTU Overclocking Utility Adds Alder Lake CPU And DDR5 Support

Intel Alder Lake
Intel has added "enhanced Alder Lake support" to its extreme tuning utility (Intel XTU for short), ahead of actually launching its 12th Generation Core desktop processors. Make no mistake, Alder Lake is coming soon, and Intel is getting its ducks in a row. Same can be said about its hardware partners, with a bevy of 600-series motherboards on tap.

We are all waiting to see what kind of performance Alder Lake will actually deliver. Early leaks have been a mixed bag, though mostly encouraging. What makes this launch so much more interesting than past ones, including Rocket Lake, is the a major architectural shift to a heterogeneous solution.

 As outlined during the Intel Architecture Day 2021 event, Alder Lake processors will wield up to 16 cores and 24 threads, utilizing a mix of high-performance Golden Cove cores (or P-cores) with Hyper Threading support, and power efficient Gracemont cores (or E-cores). So a max configuration will contain eight of each core (8P + 8E = 16 cores and 24 threads).

How this hybrid configuration will translate to x86 computing is the big question, and we'll find out soon. In the meantime, Intel is putting the pieces in place, adding enhanced Alder Lake overclocking support to XTU version 7.5.0. According to the release notes, the utility plays nice with both the high-performance and power efficient cores.

The utility also adds support for DDR5 memory. Alder Lake is the first consumer platform to support DDR5 RAM (it also supports DDR4), which is another aspect of this launch that heightens interest. DDR5 kits will start at 4,800MT/s and ramp up from there.

Another interesting tidbit is the mention of support for Intel Speed Optimizer for Alder Lake. This is an one-click performance tuning feature, so the suggestion by the release notes is that XTU will be able to overclock Alder Lake setups with little fuss.

Here are the key bullet points in full...
  • Enhanced Alder Lake support
    • Added support for hybrid Performance and Efficient core architecture
    • Added support for Intel Speed Optimizer
    • Added real time memory timings support
    • DDR5 support
    • Added per-core OC TVB support
    • Added package OC TVB support
    • Added VF Curve support
    • Removed BCLK UI control
  • Added HWBot integration for Benchmark 2.0
  • Removed HWBot integration for Benchmark 1.0
It's also nice to see real-time memory timings support added for Alder Lake processors, meaning users can make those adjustments in the utility rather than diving into the BIOS, if they prefer. Same goes for per-core and package overclocking Turbo Velocity Boost clocks. All in all, it looks like enthusiasts will have plenty to tinker with when Alder Lake arrives, right from within Intel's own utility.