The episodic saga of 12th Gen AVX-512 support seems to be over for good this time around.
According to Tom’s equipment, an Intel spokesperson said, “While AVX-512 was not disabled by a fuse in some early Alder Lake desktop products, Intel plans to disable AVX-512 in Alder Lake products in the future.”When Intel launched its 12th generation processor line in November, we were told that AVX-512 was omitted. Most of the technical press agreed with this. Intel stated that it was not included due to the inclusion of two different architectures. The E kernels did not support it, even if the P kernels did.
Motherboard manufacturers used this information to cheekily allow users to turn on the AVX-512 after disabling the E cores. Intel obviously didn’t like it, so they released a new BIOS microcode to close this loophole. However, the matter did not end there, as MSI released a BIOS that bypassed the lock. This brings us to Intel’s decision to disable AVX-512 in silicon. This kernel option means no more workarounds to enable AVX-512 support. You’ll still have the opportunity if you’re running an earlier batch of 12th gen CPUs and don’t update your BIOS, but after a month or two or three, all 12th gen stocks will be blocked entirely by the AVX-512.
The AVX-512 instructions are not very important for gamers
But in some applications, they can lead to a significant performance boost. Some, like Linux creator Linus Torvalds, hate it. Its use leads to excessive power consumption and heat generation, and perhaps Intel decided that the PR blow from memes with a nuclear reactor is no longer worth the trouble. But this may not be the end of the AVX-512 for consumer processors. Rumor has that AMD will include it in their upcoming Zen 4 processors. That would be a twist.
According to the motherboard manufacturer we spoke with,
Intel’s decision to remove this feature was made late in the design process. This upset some in the industry as motherboards were designed with the high power requirements of the AVX-512 in mind. This doesn’t matter for premium boards but increases the cost for lower-end models that are already more expensive due to various supply chain issues. Intel is not only unhappy with AVX-512 support. There is also overclocking without K, although this feature is limited to expensive motherboards for now, which are unlikely to be paired with cheap processors in significant numbers. If the vendor released a more affordable B660 DDR4 motherboard that could do this, it would make me and a lot of gamers very happy, but Intel would likely be back in action again.