Thanks to Comptoir Hardware, (opens in new tab) we have our first look at performance benchmarks for Intel's Core i5-12400F 6-core, 6-threaded processor which could potentially vie to become one of the best CPUs for gaming. Comptior Hardware managed to grab an engineering sample of the processor and run it through a suite of gaming and synthetic benchmarks. According to the review, gaming performance is neck and neck with Intel's previous-generation 11900K flagship CPU and Ryzen 7 5800X.
The Core i5-12400F is one of Intel's most unique Alder Lake CPUs to date; it features six performance cores while disabling or deleting all efficiency cores. Comptior notes that its engineering sample appears to have the same die as the 12600K, 12700K, and 12900K. But to expect a new die on the official model that physically lacks efficiency cores.
Other specifications include a 65W TDP, 18MB of L3 cache, and a lack of Turbo Boost 3.0, limiting the CPU clock speed to a base frequency of 3.4 GHz and a flat 4 GHz peak boost frequency. Timed Turbo Boost limits are also back, with a peak power consumption of 117W for 56 seconds before the chip throttles back to 65W permanently for the rest of the workload.
With how invested Intel is in its hybrid architecture strategy, it's somewhat surprising to see a Core i5 that lacks efficiency cores. However, the advantages to this configuration could be more beneficial than it looks on paper. For one, lacking efficiency cores can drive costs down, especially with a new die.
Plus, the lack of E cores on the CPU can also provide better compatibility with operating systems like Windows 10 and applications that don't fully support Intel's hybrid architecture just yet. This means the 12400F could be one of the few Alder Lake chips that can run Windows 10 without encountering performance anomalies.
Looking at Comptior's Cinebench R23 scores, the 12400F does incredibly well in this synthetic test. In the single-threaded test, the chip managed to score 1721 points, giving it a near 100 point lead over AMD's fastest single-threaded beast, the Ryzen 9 5950X. The same also happens to the 12400F compared to Intel's 11900K.
But, when switching to the multi-core tests, the lack of efficiency cores makes a big difference to highly threaded workloads. The 12400F comes out with a score of 11546.
The 12400F does manage to beat all other six-core processors in the test, like the 5600X and previous-gen 11600K by 200-300 points. However, the chip gets decimated by all of its 8-core rivals and beyond.
This is in direct contrast to the 12400F's bigger brother, the 12600K, which scored a significantly higher 17769 points. This shows that Intel's efficiency cores can make a big difference to performance, despite being optimized for power efficiency.
Despite being weak in the multi-core test, the 12400F makes a huge comeback in the gaming department. In Far Cry 6, the 12400F goes toe to toe with its previous-gen relative, the Core i9-11900K, and matches performance with the Ryzen 7 5800X and Ryzen 9 5900X.
Remember that the 12400F is at a large clock speed disadvantage with a peak boost of just 4 GHz. So compared to the 11900K, the 12400F is operating at around a full 1 GHz deficiency in clock speed. This really shows how much raw IPC the Alder Lake architecture is capable of compared to Intel's final 14nm architecture Rocket Lake.
For more benchmark info, check out Comptoir's full review here.
Intel's new i5-12400F is shaping up to be a very good processor if the price is right. We don't have any details on pricing just yet, but if the 12400F is priced anywhere around the $200-$250 mark, it could make it on our list as one of the best gaming CPUs on the market for budget-oriented gamers.