12th gen CPU speculation

The 12th gen product lineup was leaked by fairly reliable sources to be the following:

Firstly Framework might for some reason or another, decide to skip Intel 12th gen, but I am going to assume for this post they don’t and that the CPU’s released are inline with the leak above.

The CPU’s listed in the slide are in the format big cores (“C”), little cores (“c”) and graphics execution units (“EU”). A key thing to note in this new lineup is that the small cores do not have SMT (Multithreading), so a 2C+4c cpu has 6 cores and 8 threads and a 6C+8c has 14 cores and 20 threads.

Firstly, Framework will have an interesting decision on their hands. Their current lineup of 11th gen Tiger lake CPU’s are 12-15-28W parts, meaning they can be configured in software to run at any of that wattages, however intel are splitting this power category in two, creating a lower 12-15-20W category called U15, and a new higher 20-28W category called U28.

U15 would be the safer call, and would result in a lineup with fewer large cores, but still larger overall core counts and threads. This would result in cooler laptops, but could be potentially a side-grade compared to 11th gen.

U28 would probably be pushing the thermal limits of this size/thermal solution, however would be a substantial upgrade to over the current parts.

As always, don’t base purchasing decisions based on rumours, but what do you think a 12th gen Framework would look like?

Also, sentiment poll:

  • I have or have ordered a 11th gen and will be keeping it for a while
  • I have or have ordered a 11th gen but would be interested in upgrading to 12th
  • I don’t have a framework ordered yet and will be waiting for 12th gen
  • I don’t have a framework but CPU version is not the reason why

0 voters


It sounds like the FW could support the 28w parts sufficiently, though it remains to be seen how well the parts actually perform and how well they stick to the stated TDP. Thermal density is also something to consider, it’s why ryzen CPUs spike to higher temps when you put a load on them. The 7nm process puts too many transistors on those tiny little dies so there’s not enough surface area to wick the heat away from.

It’ll be interesting to see how it performs. I’m super skeptical about the big.little arch for a desktop but I’m optimistic for a laptop application.

1 Like

Threw my hat into the second bucket (maybe interested in upgrade) for two reasons, I have an idea for an application for my current board to he used as a media PC eventually, so I won’t be tossing it. The second reason is the word “maybe”. We haven’t seen any real benchmarks for performance or battery life changes, so if Intel blows me away by who knows, doubling useful battery life or something equally ridiculous in another category, I’d definitely be interested. For anything less than making 11th gen absolutely obsolete though, I think I’ll wait.


I’m going to wait for an AMD framwork, (the only reason I got an 1165G7 was to slip into batch 4 at the last second) but until an AMD solution arrives CPU upgrades are a no go for me

But still, props to them for even making a laptop where “I’m going to switch processer vendors” is even a valid statement


I’ll wait to see what performance looks like on 12th gen. I’d also be interested in what thermal impacts it may have or if the cooling solution will need some tweaking.

I’m very excited for this as well, though it remains to be seen how long we should expect to wait for this or what the current status is, if any.

1 Like

Personally I’m waiting for an updated AMD APU with the newest Zen and RDNA graphics. When that becomes available, I’m going to turn this motherboard into a NAS.


Valve has got your back, go buy a Steam Deck…once the reviews are out of course

Yes I have a reservation set. Q2 2022. Still would prefer to have it in a regular laptop format for the physical keyboard. The steam deck is more a specialized device for gaming but I’m looking for something a little more versatile.

1 Like

The plan is to wait for Rembrandt or/and Alder Lake (12XXX) available versions before trying to pick. 4 cores aren’t enough for me anymore. From Alder Lake side I would prefer 6C + 8c + 98EU in U28 package.

Hopes are that Rembrandt gets USB4 and thus finally have “Thunderbolt”. No really sure which GPU will lead the fight here.

1 Like

Definitely waiting / watching Intel 12th gen (in the U9/U15 range) vs Ryzen 6000 Zen 4 series that will supposedly bring USB4. Too bad the socket had to change between 11th and 12th gen, as I’m sure that will slow down and add cost to bring the next mainboard out. Might be “more worth it” for F.w to bring the AMD action so many have been asking for instead, depending on supply issues and whatnot…

Curious to see what F.w brings to the table in 6 months to a year.

If Framework skipped this gen, I wouldn’t care.

I bought it knowing that it wasn’t a Ryzen, and I was fine because it offers a lot more than that. I bought it knowing what the battery life was, and it’s still satisfactory. I bought it to reduce waste in the future, and also so I wouldn’t panic-buy something unnecessary and new.

Consider that most of the gains in the past decade have been in things that aren’t the CPU (At least from a functional perspective), and again I ask: what are we rushing from, and where are we trying to go? Tell me that Alder Lake is 50% faster than Ivy Bridge, and I’ll tell you that Windows still takes about 8 seconds to boot and my VM’s work just fine, thank you.

The edge case I see is battery life, but that’s pretty much it, and in the greater scheme, it’s not really an issue for me; there are enough cafes, outlets at work, and transportation with plugs that I feel like short of a trip to China, I have nothing to worry about.

Now talk to me in two generations… :slight_smile:

…Or about an fn lock indicator…


I’m trying to extend the life of my current laptop to see how Framework handles a new generation of CPU/mainboards as I expect that to be the most difficult to support long-term. I hope they handle it very well.

Several people have mentioned here that for most users we are reaching a point of diminishing returns.

I’m doing small to moderate cad work so single thread performance is key. My best bet was and still is a desktop machine or rental of virtual server space if I need some bigger projects done.

I was thinking of holding off for 12th gen especially due to ddr5. I ordered an i5.

First reviews of desktop 12th gen are in, and it’s kind of a mixed bag.

But a highlight is that DDR5 performance needs improvement. Increased performance over DDR4 is minimal at best and it actually performs worse in some applications.

All this at a significant cost premium.

Maybe by the time mobile 12th gen is released, DDR5 prices will have come down and performance will have improved.

For now 12th gen and DDR5 isn’t looking like the savior most here want it to be. It’s an improvement, sure, especially for Windows 11. But for Windows 10 and Linux, it could be a marginal upgrade or even a downgrade depending on what applications you run.

1 Like

Yip. And that cost premium doesn’t consider the additional R&D premium that would be poured into a new architecture that’s shaping up to be kinda hit-or-miss with some new technology.

If we wait for the next-next gen platform, we’ll get all those sweet gains with the iterative improvements that go with it, supported by a pool of engineers with experience, and the additional time might enable some other cool new features we can integrate (including an fn-lock indicator!)

1 Like

Well, I’ll give you this much, you are both consistent and persistent in the message you preach lol

I’m also slightly tongue-in-cheek, but also quite serious.

I’d argue that it’s more important than a caps-lock indicator. IF I TYPE THIS, I can always backspace. If I press F10, I might get an F10 key, or I might lose my connection to the Internet, killing my downloads, and impacting connectivity to several hardware peripherals in the process. I I hit F11, I’ll either be in a full screen web browser session, or I’ll replace something in my clipboard with a screenshot.

The Fn Illuminati has spoken!


I’m realize I’m in the minority here but the CPU generation isn’t the primary reason for me holding off. I’m waiting for a 15.6" or even a 17 inch variant preferably with discrete graphics (possibly even Intel’s new ARC platform) but at least 2x M.2 NVMe slots, a CAPS Lock, a Function Key and more than just four expansion card slots.
But as far as the Gen2 Framework being possibly being Alder Lake it seems prudent to wait until PCIe Gen5 NVMe SSDs are available at least so that there is a convincing reason to upgrade (also the ability see what kind of thermal load the Gen5 NVMe’s create when it comes to prototyping the new motherboards.). It seems premature to switch to DDR5 as it isn’t yet fast enough to outrun its abysmal CAS latencies. ( While it would increase cost could it be feasible to have both sets of slots installed into the board (one on the top side the other on the bottom) and have it controlled by either BIOS or a dip switch?

I think I want … i7-1260P. Although … ehhh. 64W max Turbo. Can the little Framework handle that?
I think Framework will outright disable turbo on this one. I wouldn’t complain, either.
A i7-1255U fits the bill, but ewww… only 2 performance cores? Sure, efficiency cores are quite powerful but still…
Maybe I can take that. i7-2637M isn’t too bad, after all.

1 Like

Wonderful. This is good news. (how? between hardcore engineering and witchcraft I tend to think about the latter)

I mean, we know that Framework does have about 28W of cooling (and you can push it a tiny little bit further), so full-load base clock should handle just fine.