Although Intel does not give an exact release date for the 12th generation Alder Lake platform now, it is said that the new processors will be released in early 2022. However, according to YuuKi_AnS, which is known for recent hardware leaks, engineering samples of some Alder Lake processors have already started to be sold closed.
In particular, the qualification samples of the Core i9-12900K model find buyers in the middle of 1100 to 1200 dollars. Sales are said to be made in China, and this is not surprising when it comes to China. In addition, it should be noted that these processors, also known as quality samples, are the last CPU versions before they go on sale. These chips, which are sent to production partners, pass many tests and improvements are made according to the feedbacks.
It seems implied vendors are trying to sell Alder Lake samples in bulk and the minimum order is stated to be 100 units. According to the source, these vendors have little intention of selling Alder Lake motherboards. As you know, the new platform will switch to the LGA1700 CPU socket.
The Core i9-12900K packs a total of 16 CPU cores, with eight Golden Cove cores and eight Gracemont cores. Besides, it has 30 MB L3 cache size. In the flagship model, the high-performance Golden Cove cores will be able to reach 5.3 GHz frequency speeds. Gracemont efficiency cores will see a maximum of 3.9 GHz.