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Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K Review: Retaking the Gaming Crown

Alder Lake
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Intel's $589 Alder Lake Core i9-12900K and $289 Core i5-12600K come to market with a powerful combination of competitive pricing and impressive performance, taking the lead in gaming over comparable Ryzen 5000 models and assuring a position on our list of Best CPUs for gaming. Intel's newest chips are also incredibly competitive in productivity work, ranking among the top chips on our CPU benchmark hierarchy. Combine that with Alder Lake's new next-gen connectivity technologies that bring big increases in throughput via DDR5 memory and PCIe 5.0 interfaces, outstripping AMD's venerable AM4 platform, and Intel has a winner on its hands.

With up to 16 cores and 24 threads on the flagship Core i9-12900K, Intel has finally achieved a comparable core count to AMD's halo mainstream PC chips that have held the core count lead since the first 16-core 32-thread Ryzen 9 landed back in 2019. In fact, the $589 Core i9-12900K even beats the ultra-impressive $799 Ryzen 9 5950X in many threaded applications that have become Ryzen's uncontested stomping grounds, like Cinebench.

That's enabled by a first for desktop PCs — Intel's new hybrid x86 design represents the company's most disruptive architectural shift in a decade. Alder Lake combines big and fast Performance cores (P-cores) with a smattering of small and powerful Efficiency cores (E-cores) that chew through background processes with surprising speed. The Golden Cove architecture powers the 'big' P-cores while the 'little' E-cores come with the Gracemont architecture, with both providing much-needed IPC improvements to Intel's core designs.

Intel etches those cores on its 'Intel 7' process, finally ending the misery of the 14nm node after six long years that ultimately cost the company its performance lead over AMD in desktop PCs. We previously knew this 'Intel 7' manufacturing tech as 10nm Enhanced SuperFin, but Intel recently renamed its process nodes to match industry nomenclature. Technically, this is the second generation of Intel's 10nm process, but it's a first for desktop PCs.

U.S. PriceCores | ThreadsP-Core Base/BoostE-Core Base/BoostTDP / PBP / MTPDDR4-3200L3 Cache
Core i9-12900K / KF$589 (K) - $564 (KF)8P + 8E | 16 Cores / 24 threads3.2 / 5.2 GHz2.4 / 3.9 GHz125W / 241WDDR4-3200 / DDR5-480030MB
Core i7-12700K / KF$409 (K) - $384 (KF)8P + 4E | 12 Cores / 20 threads3.6 / 5.0 GHz2.7 / 3.8 GHz125W / 190WDDR4-3200 / DDR5-480025MB
Core i5-12600K / KF$289 (K) - $264 (KF)6P + 4E | 10 Cores / 16 threads3.7 / 4.9 GHz2.8 / 3.6 GHz125W / 150WDDR4-3200 / DDR5-480016MB

Intel released three high-end overclockable K-series models today, along with their graphics-less KF counterparts that are slightly less expensive. The P-cores are hyper-threaded, while the E-cores only have a single thread, leading to what we would normally consider as non-standard thread counts. As a result, the chips stretch from a 10-core 16-thread Core i5-12600K up to the 16-core 24-thread Core i9-12900K.

The hybrid design is old hat for Arm processors, but it's groundbreaking for the desktop PC. Unfortunately, that comes with some baggage. The new heterogeneous design requires special accommodations to unlock the best performance: High-priority tasks execute best on the P-cores, while the background and threaded workloads should run on the E-cores. That requires operating system intervention.

The Alder Lake chips work with both newer and older versions of Windows, but Windows 11 unlocks the best of Alder Lake because it supports Intel's new Thread Director. The tech provides the operating system with information that assists in assigning work to the correct cores. Alder Lake's performance is still competitive in Windows 10, but you might encounter wayward performance and/or variability, meaning some workloads will be slower at times due to unoptimized thread scheduling. We have plenty of evidence of that in our tests below.

Intel's chips are competitively priced, but PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 are also significant cost-adders for motherboards. All signs point to DDR5 kits being expensive in the early days, so it's good that some motherboards support the more affordable DDR4.

You'll also need a new motherboard for an Alder Lake chip, and for now, Z690 boards are the only option on the menu (lower-end B- and H-Series boards won't come until later). According to our tests, most users will be fine with DDR4-equipped motherboards (especially if you're sticking with Windows 10), but that restricts you to lower-end Z-Series motherboards. Either way, you'll pay a hefty platform premium to access Alder Lake's leading gaming performance, at least until B- and H-series motherboards arrive.

Alder Lake takes the lead over Ryzen in most workloads, but it isn't a slam dunk in every regard — we ran into several odd performance trends with Windows 10, and a few programs even refused to run correctly. We do expect those issues to be fixed sooner rather than later, though, as the industry adapts to the hybrid architecture.

Conversely, Alder Lake is incredibly impressive in Windows 11 and takes the lead over AMD in gaming and performance in most types of workloads. Overall, the Core i5-12600K is now the best gaming CPU on the market, while the Core i9-12900K slots in as the best high-end processor for mainstream platforms.

We have plenty of testing with both Windows 10 and 11 below, not to mention DDR4 vs. DDR5, as we take a closer look at the next chapter in the AMD vs Intel rivalry.

Intel Alder Lake-S Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K Specifications and Pricing

Intel is only bringing its most expensive chips from the Core i9, i7, and i5 families to the retail market for now, but it is also shipping 28 more models to OEMs for prebuilt systems that arrive early next year. Intel isn't sharing details yet, but those models will eventually come to retail at an unspecified time.

We have deep-dive coverage of the Alder Lake SoC design and core microarchitectures here, along with a broader overview in our Alder Lake all we know article. Additionally, Intel has removed its 'TDP' (Thermal Design Point) nomenclature from the spec sheets, and now assigns a Processor Base Power (PBP) value in its place. The company also added a secondary Maximum Turbo Power (MTP) value to the spec sheets to represent the highest power level during boost activity. You can read more about that change here

U.S. PriceCores | ThreadsP-Core Base/BoostE-Core Base/BoostTDP / PBP / MTPDDR4-3200L3 Cache
Ryzen 9 5950X$79916P | 32 threads3.4 / 4.9 GHz-105WDDR4-320064MB (2x32)
Core i9-12900K / KF$589 (K) - $564 (KF)8P + 8E | 16 Cores / 24 threads3.2 / 5.2 GHz2.4 / 3.9 GHz125W / 241WDDR4-3200 / DDR5-480030MB
Ryzen 9 5900X$54912P | 24 threads3.7 / 4.8 GHz-105WDDR4-320032MB (1x32)
Core i9-11900K$5498P | 16 threads3.5 / 5.3 GHz-125WDDR4-320016MB
Core i7-12700K / KF$409 (K) - $384 (KF)8P + 4E | 12 Cores / 20 threads3.6 / 5.0 GHz2.7 / 3.8 GHz125W / 190WDDR4-3200 / DDR5-480025MB
Core i7-11700K$4098P | 16 threads3.6 / 5.0 GHz-125WDDR4-320016MB
Ryzen 7 5800X$4498P | 16 threads3.8 / 4.7 GHz-105WDDR4-320032MB
Core i5-12600K / KF$289 (K) - $264 (KF)6P + 4E | 10 Cores / 16 threads3.7 / 4.9 GHz2.8 / 3.6 GHz125W / 150WDDR4-3200 / DDR5-480016MB
Core i5-11600K$2726P | 12 threads3.9 / 4.9 GHz-95WDDR4-320012MB
Ryzen 5 5600X$2996P | 12 threads3.7 / 4.6 GHz-65WDDR4-320032MB

All Alder Lake chips support DDR4-3200 or up to DDR5-4800 memory, but caveats apply. Alder Lake chips expose up to 16 lanes of PCIe 5.0 (technically for storage and graphics only, no networking devices) and an additional four lanes of PCIe 4.0 from the chip for M.2 storage. We'll cover those details further below.

Intel's $589 16-core Core i9-12900K comes with eight P-cores that support hyper-threading, and eight single-threaded E-cores for a total of 24 threads. That's a 33% increase in thread count over the previous-gen Core i9-11900K. The P-cores have a 3.2 GHz base, and peak frequencies reach 5.2 GHz with Turbo Boost Max 3.0 (this feature is only active on P-cores).

This chip comes with 125W PBP (base) and 241W MTP (peak) power rating, but be aware that Intel has also changed its default boost duration for all K-series chips from the 56-second duration with Rocket Lake to an unlimited value. This means the chip will effectively always operate at the 241W MTP when it is under load.

The 12900K has a 100 MHz reduction in peak clock frequency compared to the 11900K, but that isn't too important given the entirely new hybrid architecture — the P-cores process ~19% more instructions per cycle and the SoC realizes performance gains from using different core types for different tasks. Speaking of which, the E-cores have a 2.4 GHz base and stretch up to 3.9 GHz via the standard Turbo Boost 2.0 algorithms. The chip is also equipped with 30MB of L3 cache and 14MB of L2.

At $589, the Core i9-12900K comes at a $40 premium over its prior-gen counterpart, squeezing in between the $799 16-core Ryzen 9 5950X and $549 Ryzen 9 5900X. That leaves a sizeable $185 gap between the Core i9 and i7 families that Intel inadequately plugs with the graphics-less $564 Core i9-12900KF. It's logical to expect a filler product between Core i7 and i9 in the future (possibly like the Core i9-10850K).

The Core i5-12600K's $289 price point remains the same as the prior-gen Core i5-11600K, meaning it lands right smack dab in gamer country, going toe-to-toe with the $299 six-core twelve-thread Ryzen 5 5600X and representing the lowest point of entry to the Alder Lake family (at least for now).

The 12600K comes with six threaded P-cores that operate at 3.7 / 4.9 GHz and four E-cores that run at 2.8 / 3.6 GHz, for a total of 16 threads. That's paired with 20MB of L3 and 9.5MB of L2 cache.

The $409 Core i7-12700K comes with the same $409 tray pricing as the previous-gen Core i7-11700K and has eight P-cores and four E-cores, for a total of 20 threads. The P-cores run at a 3.6 / 5.0 GHz base/boost, while the E-cores weigh in at 2.7 / 3.8 GHz, all fed by 25MB of L3 cache and 12MB of L2. The graphics-less $384 Core i7-12700KF comes with a $25 price reduction.

Intel Alder Lake

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
  • The Alder Lake SoC will span from desktop PCs to ultramobile devices with TDP ratings from 9W to 125W, all built on the Intel 7 process. The desktop PC comes with up to eight Performance (P) cores and eight Efficient (E) cores for a total of 16 cores and 24 threads and up to 30 MB of L3 cache for a single chip.
  • Alder Lake supports either DDR4 or DDR5 (LP4x/LP5, too). Desktop PC supports x16 PCIe Gen 5 and x4 PCIe Gen 4.
  • Intel's new hyper-threaded Performance (P) core, which comes with the Golden Cove microarchitecture designed for low-latency single-threaded performance, comes with an average of 19% more IPC than the Cypress Cove architecture in Rocket Lake
  • Intel's new single-threaded Efficiency (E) core comes with the Gracemont microarchitecture to improve multi-threaded performance and provide exceptional area efficiency (small footprint) and performance-per-watt. Four small cores fit in roughly the same area as a Skylake core and deliver 80% more performance in threaded work (at the same power). A single E core also delivers 40% more performance than a single-threaded Skylake core (at the same power) in single-threaded work (caveats apply to both).
  • Intel's Thread Director is a hardware-based technology that assures threads are assigned to either the P or E cores in an optimized manner. This is the sleeper tech that enables the hybrid architecture.

Intel Alder Lake Z690 Motherboards

Intel's Alder Lake drops into Socket 1700 motherboards with the Z690 chipset. You can read about the chipset and some of the first 60+ motherboards in our Z690 motherboard roundup here.

Because the new LGA1700 socket is physically larger and has a lower Z-height, existing air and water coolers for LGA1200 and LGA115x motherboards won't work with 600-series motherboards. As a result, upgraders will need to acquire a conversion kit from the cooler-maker or buy a new cooler. 

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Intel Alder Lake

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Intel Alder Lake

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Intel Alder Lake

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Alder Lake chips expose up to 16 lanes of PCIe 5.0 and an additional four lanes of PCIe 4.0 from the chip for M.2 storage. Those lanes are split into x16 or x8 for GPUs, or x4/x4 for storage slots. PCIe AICs (Add-In Cards) that support PCIe 5.0 M.2 SSDs (which don't exist yet) are already in the works.

Just like Z590, the 14nm Z690 chipset sports 16 lanes of PCIe 3.0, but Intel also added 12 lanes of PCIe 4.0, which is a nice boost to overall connectivity. Intel also doubled the throughput of the DMI connection between the chip and chipset from an x8 DMI 3.0 pipe, which clocks in at 7.88 GB/s, to an x8 DMI 4.0 connection that delivers 15.66 GB/s. This much-needed bandwidth improvement allows for more throughput from attached RAID arrays.

In that vein, Intel also added support for the Volume Management Device feature that supports creating and managing PCIe storage volumes, including bootable PCIe RAID configurations. The increased DMI throughput is also beneficial for Z690's bolstered connectivity options, like the new second USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 20 Gbps connection.

Intel Alder Lake DDR4 and DDR5 Support

Alder Lake chips support both DDR4 and DDR5 memory, but there are several caveats tied to DDR5. As a default, DDR5 runs in Gear 2 mode, resulting in higher latency. Additionally, standard motherboards only support DDR5-4800 if the motherboard has only two physical slots. Therefore, at stock settings, Alder Lake only supports DDR5-4400 on any motherboard with four slots — even if only two slots are populated. Support drops as low as DDR5-3600 if four slots are filled with dual-rank memory DIMMs. Here are the population rules for DDR5:

Alder Lake DDR5

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In contrast, Alder Lake supports DDR4-3200 in Gear 1 mode for all processors. That can yield latency and performance advantages for the tried and true memory.

There is a wide selection of DDR5 motherboards spread among the various motherboard makers' Z690 families, but it appears that you'll only find DDR4 support on lower-end Z690 boards. Also, unlike previous generations, no motherboard supports both DDR4 and DDR5, which is probably due to DDR5's much tighter signal integrity requirements and onboard power control circuitry.

Alder Lake's memory bus has four 32-bit DDR5 channels that create a 128-bit interface. Additionally, unlike DDR4, DDR5 DIMMs come with PMIC (Power Management ICs) chips that control three on-DIMM voltage rails – VDD, VDDQ, and VPP.

DDR5 supports the new XMP 3.0 standard that supports up to five memory profiles (SPDs) to define unique frequency, voltage, and latency parameters, and XMP 3.0 also lets you write and name two of the profiles. That means you can adjust the frequencies and all the timings and voltages to your liking, assign a profile name, and save the settings directly to the XMP profile stored in the SPD.

The new XMP profiles can also control the PMICs now present on DDR5 DIMMs. Intel has defined a common set of PMIC standards among the vendors to align maximum voltages and voltage steps, among other parameters. Naturally, there are variances in PMIC designs and quality, adding yet another variable to watch out for when selecting the Best RAM for overclocking.

Intel has also posted a new certification page on its website to help assure that each kit is compatible with certain motherboards and firmware revisions. You can read more about DDR5's new features here. We expect pricing for DDR5 to be substantially higher than DDR4, currently projected to be a 50 to 60% markup, for some time.

Intel Alder Lake Thread Director and Windows 10 Performance Problems

Alder Lake comes with a mix of both performance and efficiency cores, so it's important that the workloads land on the correct cores. It's easy to see that having a core that excels at high-performance workloads isn't much help if the high-performance workloads often land in the slower cores. It's not quite as bad if lighter workloads to land on the high-performance cores — they'll still run fine — but that could potentially burn extra power and slow down other tasks. Unfortunately, the current Windows 10 thread scheduling system is based entirely on static rules (priority, foreground, background) that are inefficient and create software programming overhead.

Intel's Thread Director technology is the quiet star of the Alder Lake show. This technology works by feeding the Windows 11 operating system with low-level telemetry data collected from within the processor itself, thus informing the scheduler about the state of the cores, be it power, thermal, or otherwise, and the type of workload being executed by any given thread. The Windows scheduler then uses this additional information to make real-time intelligent decisions about thread placement.

You can read the in-depth details of the Thread Director tech here, but it's important to know that this feature is only supported on Windows 11.

As you'll soon see, the lack of optimized thread scheduling can greatly impact performance with Windows 10 systems, at least in some situations. To be clear, Windows 10 does have limited support for hybrid-optimized thread scheduling due to optimizations for Intel's Lakefield chips. However, while Windows 10 is aware of hybrid topologies, meaning it knows the difference between the performance and efficiency of the different core types, it doesn't have access to the thread-specific telemetry provided by Intel's hardware-based solution.

As a result, threads can and will land on the incorrect cores under some circumstances, which Intel warned could result in higher run-to-run variability in benchmarks. It will also impact the chips during normal use with Windows 10, too.

Additionally, we found that performance can be inconsistent on Windows 10, with some programs running faster at times but slower at others. This seems to become more prevalent during multitasking, but we're still working to fully quantify the impact — its variable nature makes it hard to pin down. Toying with various settings, like assigning the priority of background tasks through the standard Windows settings, can help, but it isn't a cure-all.

Some programs may also need to be forced to run in the foreground for optimal performance, which Intel advises you can accomplish via the command line using powercfg commands. We'll cover that a bit later in the article. That type of intervention isn't ideal for all users, though, especially the casual type, so be aware that Windows 10 could require extra babysitting if you're searching for every last bit of performance. For most users planning on buying an Alder Lake CPU, Windows 11 is the best option.

Test Setup

Alder Lake's Thread Director technology works best with Windows 11, so we tested with a fresh install in addition to our standard Windows 10 test image. We updated to newer versions of our benchmarks for Windows 11, where applicable, and also added a few new application and gaming benchmarks.

In accordance with AMD's official guidance, we assured that our clean-install Windows 11 test system had all patches for a recent AMD L3 cache bug that impacted AMD processors. AMD says the patches resolve the L3 issues, and our own in-depth testing has also confirmed that the patches are successful. As an additional level of caution, we re-installed the chipset drivers every time we swapped chips and retested L3 cache latency for each chip both before and after each series of tests.

We also tested with secure boot, virtualization support, and fTPM/PTT active to reflect a properly configured Windows 11 install. This can drop performance as well, on both AMD and Intel CPUs.

Given that Alder Lake will also be used with the less-than-optimal Windows 10, we also tested with our existing test image (build 19041.450). This version of Windows isn't the latest, but Intel confirmed that it has the same Lakefield scheduling optimizations as newer versions of Windows 10, meaning that our testing is representative of trends you'll see in the real world. However, even though we have a few identical tests with both operating systems, you shouldn't interpret our results as being fully indicative of Windows 10 versus Windows 11 performance.

Our historical Windows 10 gaming results for Ryzen processors were dated. Several of the games have since had performance-impacting updates, not to mention that numerous chipset and BIOS updates have been issued in the interim. As such, we updated the chipset drivers and motherboard BIOS to reflect the current state of play and then retested all of the game benchmarks. All our gaming results for current-gen Intel and AMD processors were conducted within the last seven days.

With both Windows 10 and 11 covered, we also wanted to measure the difference between DDR4 and DDR5 performance on both operating systems. We used the MSI Z690 Carbon WiFi as our DDR5 platform and the decidedly lower-end MSI Z690-A WiFi for DDR4 testing.

We're sticking with our standard policy of allowing the motherboard to exceed Intel's recommended power limits, provided the chip remains within warrantied operating conditions. Our tests use the default lifted PL1 and PL2 restrictions. Almost all enthusiast-class motherboards come with similar settings, so this reflects the out-of-box experience with a high-end motherboard. Naturally, these lifted power limits equate to more power consumption, and thus more heat, as we'll cover in detail later in the review. We also have a full breakdown of the test system configurations at the end of the article.

Windows 11: Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K Gaming Benchmarks — The TLDR

Below you can see the geometric mean of our gaming tests at 1080p and 1440p, with each resolution split into its own chart to give us a decent overall view of the current landscape. As usual, we're testing with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 to reduce GPU-imposed bottlenecks as much as possible, and differences between test subjects will shrink with lesser cards or higher resolutions. You'll find further game-by-game breakdowns below. Most of the titles below show little meaningful differentiation at higher resolutions, so we only tested four of the seven titles at 1440p to analyze performance scaling.

Due to Alder Lake's hybrid architecture, there will be teething pains with some games. As we reported, Denuvo DRM falsely identified Intel's E-cores as a separate system, and thus 91 Denuvo-enabled game titles wouldn't work with Alder Lake chips. Intel has worked with Denuvo, and the software maker issued a flurry of game patches to fix the issue. However, some titles are still not patched, though more patches are incoming. Intel says that all games should eventually work with Alder Lake. We didn't encounter any issues with Denuvo in our testing, thanks to our gaming test suite

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Intel Alder Lake Review Core i9-12900K

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Intel Alder Lake Review Core i9-12900K

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Intel Alder Lake Review Core i9-12900K

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Intel Alder Lake Review Core i9-12900K

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The $549 12-core Ryzen 9 5900X is AMD's fastest gaming chip, but the $589 Core i9-12900K is 8.7% faster in the cumulative 1080p gaming measurement across our entire test suite. And that's with both the DDR4 and DDR5 memory configurations, so you won't have to drop serious cash on a DDR5 kit to get there.

Stepping down $300, the $289 Core i5-12600K with DDR5 memory is ~2.7% faster than the $299 Ryzen 5 5600X, but that gap widens slightly with less expensive DDR4 memory. The Core i5-12600K also effectively ties the Ryzen 7 5800X, but for $161 less.

Rocket Lake buyers will be plenty disappointed. The Core i9-11900K landed a mere six months ago at $539, but the 12900K is ~11% faster in gaming. It's also much faster in the threaded workloads that we'll see later in our application testing. We see a similar story unfold with the Core i5-11600K compared to the 12600K, with 9% more performance in gaming coming for $27 more.

Naturally, moving over to 1440p brings a GPU bottleneck into the equation, so the performance deltas between the chips shrink tremendously. Here the Core i5-12600K effectively ties the 5600X and 5800X, while the 12900K is a mere 3.6% faster than the Ryzen 9 5950X.

Flipping through the 99th percentile charts shows larger deltas, but we have to view those with caution as Windows 11 is still young and seems to suffer from more framerate variability than our Windows 10 test platform. This could result from yet-to-be-updated game code, the relatively new graphics drivers for Windows 11, or some other combination of factors that could be smoothed out in the future.

Intel's Alder Lake carves out a win in Windows 11, but large performance deltas in a few of the game titles can heavily impact these types of cumulative measurements. For instance, Intel enjoys a sizeable lead in Hitman 3, but that game is specifically tuned to leverage the E-cores effectively by offloading low-priority tasks like physics to the small cores. That can be seen as an advantage by some because more game devs could take this approach, or as a fluke by others that think this type of optimization will only come to Intel-sponsored titles.

The competition between Intel and AMD is absolutely closer now, so it's best to make an informed decision based on the types of titles you play frequently. Be sure to check out the individual tests below.

Windows 11: 3DMark, VRMark, Chess Engines on Intel Core i9-12900K

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Intel Core i9-12900K Review

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Intel Core i9-12900K Review

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Intel Core i9-12900K Review

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Intel Core i9-12900K Review

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Intel Core i9-12900K Review

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Synthetic benchmarks don't tend to translate well to real-world gaming, but they do show us the raw amount of compute power exposed to game engines. It's too bad most games don't fully exploit it.

The Core i9-12900K is a whopping 41% faster than the Ryzen 9 5950X in the 3DMark Time Spy CPU test, but as we've seen with most of the Windows 11 gaming benchmarks, it doesn't pick up too much additional performance by using DDR5.

We can't say the same for the 12600K, at least in this benchmark. The 12600K with DDR5 is 21% faster than it is with DDR4, and it easily leads the Ryzen 5 5600X in both configurations. Surprisingly, the DDR4 configurations yield tangible performance gains in the DX11 Fire Strike physics benchmark, with the 12900K with DDR4 being ~10% faster than the DDR5 config.

We've added the open-source neural network-based Leela chess engine to our benchmark roster. As evidenced by the DDR5 test results, this AI-powered engine obviously scales better with more memory throughput than the Stockfish engine.

Windows 11: 1080p Gaming on Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K 

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Alder Lake Gaming Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Gaming Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Gaming Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Gaming Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Gaming Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Gaming Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Gaming Benchmarks

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Windows 11: 1440p Gaming on Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K

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Alder Lake Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Benchmarks

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Windows 10: Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K Gaming Benchmarks — The TLDR

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Alder Lake Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Benchmarks

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Bear in mind that we're using different game titles in Windows 10 than we did in Windows 11, but it's clear that the race between Intel and AMD certainly narrows when we test the Alder Lake chips on the older operating system. We also must caution that we noticed much more variability in our Alder Lake test runs on Windows 10 than we see with other types of chips, so Intel's warnings that you can experience performance variability from poor thread scheduling in Windows 10 are warranted.

Naturally, unoptimized thread scheduling can lead to latency-sensitive threads running on the E-cores, but this occurs unpredictably and seems to increase during multi-tasking. That means you could see far more or far less of an impact in different types of gaming scenarios, like streaming while gaming or using chat clients. Due to time constraints and the sporadic nature of the variations, we haven't fully quantified the increased deviation yet, but we'll continue to look into this issue. Also, it's worth noting that we only see these variations in our detailed test outputs — we didn't notice any outwardly-visible signs of rough gameplay.

You'll also notice right away that the DDR5 configurations lose some steam in Windows 10 compared to the DDR4-equipped setup. This isn't ideal, as the DDR5-equipped motherboard we used for testing was much more handsomely equipped than the low-end DDR4 board. However, after a bit of follow-up, we're told that this isn't an entirely unexpected result.

The 12900K with DDR4 is 7% faster at 1080p, which naturally impacts its competitive footing. With DDR5, the 12900K is 2.4% faster than the Ryzen 9 5900X, which expands to a 9.5% advantage with DDR4 memory. That isn't the best result given the expected eye-watering pricing for DDR5.

The 12600K is also roughly 8% faster with DDR4 than with DDR5, which is the difference between beating the Ryzen 5 5600X or losing to it.

Once again, flipping to the 1440p results finds slimmer deltas between the chips, but the reduced gaming performance with DDR5 in Windows 10 is an undeniable trend here, at least in our test environment.

Again, remember that our cumulative results above are impacted by some sizeable Intel leads in specific titles, which we'll cover below, so be sure to check out the individual results.

Windows 10: 1080p Gaming on Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K

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Alder Lake Gaming Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Gaming Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Gaming Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Gaming Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Gaming Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Gaming Benchmarks

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Windows 10: 1440p Gaming on Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K

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Alder Lake Benchmarks 12900K

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Alder Lake Benchmarks 12900K

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Alder Lake Benchmarks 12900K

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Alder Lake Benchmarks 12900K

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Alder Lake Benchmarks 12900K

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Depending on the game, Alder Lake can either excel or stumble under Windows 10. Borderlands 3 clearly doesn't perform as expected, with the previous generation Intel CPUs leading the new Alder Lake models. Most of the other games perform more or less okay, but there's still more variability between runs. As noted above, the use of DDR5 memory can also negatively impact performance under Windows 10.

Windows 11: Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K Application Benchmarks — The TLDR

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Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K Application Benchmarks

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Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K Application Benchmarks

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We can boil down productivity application performance into two broad categories: single- and multi-threaded. These slides show the geometric mean (equal weighting to all tests) of performance in several of our most important tests in each category, but be sure to look at the expanded results below.

Alder Lake delivers a few stunning wins in the threaded workloads that Ryzen has dominated for so long, highlighting the advantages of the x86 hybrid architecture. It is quite surprising to see the 24-thread Core i9-12900K with DDR5 memory tie the 32-thread Ryzen 9 5950X in the multi-threaded ranking, but even more surprising to see it take a 3% lead with DDR4. That's pretty impressive in light of the 5950X's $800 price tag.

The Core i5-12600K is equally impressive in its price range as it is 38% faster in threaded work than the comparably-priced 5600X, and 7% faster than the 5800X that costs $161 more.

The deltas in favor of Alder Lake are even more convincing in the single-threaded metric, but you shouldn't put undue importance on this metric because it is comprised of a few very specific workloads. You can see a broader spate of lightly-threaded workloads below. Needless to say, Alder Lake dominates those types of workloads.

Windows 10: Application Benchmarks — The Ugly Side

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Alder Lake Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Benchmarks

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And then there's the gotcha, at least if you plan on using Windows 10.

We planned on presenting an overall geometric mean of our Windows 10 application testing here, just like we did with Windows 11, but we use several of these applications to generate those results. Unfortunately, as you can see in the charts, these applications absolutely did not respond well to Alder Lake and delivered what can only be described as terrible performance. However, as you'll see below, these same applications ran absolutely perfectly in Windows 11, even beating AMD's comparable chips. That shows that Intel's Thread Director is a powerful tool. 

There is an answer for this type of condition, at least in some cases. Intel's reviewer guide cited a similar condition, present in HandBrake x264 (but not x265), where the software developers assigned the program a lower priority that forces it to run on the E-cores only. Intel says that the software developers could update the code to fix the issue, but it appears that this condition (or a similar one) isn't confined to just Handbrake. We saw similar trends in y-cruncher, Corona, POV-Ray, and even Intel's own Open Image Denoise benchmark. 

Intel's recommendation is to use the in-built Windows powercfg command-line utility to prevent the process from lowering its priority, which resolves the issue. This is a simple process for experienced users, but most average folks would struggle with these types of alterations, and that could be a real downside to using Alder Lake with Windows 10 during the early days. If you tend to use older programs that won't be updated, this type of problem may never be fixed via a software update, but there are third-party software tools that could help. Additionally, we use an expansive selection of benchmarks, but our entire test suite is a speck compared to the universe of different software in the real world. That means these types of errata are inevitably going to pop up with other types of software.

We could have applied the fix and retested the Alder Lake chips, but it's important that you understand that you could encounter this type of reduced performance. Additionally, we also wonder if changing the thread priority on the AMD and last-gen Intel systems would impact performance there, too, meaning the adjustment could give Alder an unfair advantage. Unfortunately, retesting all of these systems to assure a level playing field wasn't possible within the tight NDA timeline. As such, we'll revisit these tests in the future. 

For now, let's move on to the Windows 11 benchmarks below, and then see how the remainder of the Windows 10 benchmarks look. 

Windows 11: Rendering Benchmarks on Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K

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Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K Benchmarks

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Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K Benchmarks

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Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K Benchmarks

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Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K Benchmarks

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Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K Benchmarks

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Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K Benchmarks

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Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K Benchmarks

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Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K Benchmarks

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Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K Benchmarks

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Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K Benchmarks

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Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K Benchmarks

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Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K Benchmarks

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Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K Benchmarks

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This series of tests, conducted within the Alder Lake-friendly confines of Windows 11, is nothing short of impressive. Here we can see the 16-core 24-thread 12900K battle toe-to-toe with the Ryzen 9 5950X in what used to be its uncontested turf.

You'll notice that two of the applications that performed so badly in Windows 10, Corona and POV-Ray, run flawlessly in Windows 11. These are the same versions of the benchmarks, too, so this is entirely the work of Intel's Thread Director tech in tandem with the optimized Windows 11 scheduler. 

The Core i9-12900K is 3.9% faster than the Ryzen 9 5950X in the threaded Cinebench test and 17% faster in POV-Ray, showing that the hybrid architecture exposes exceptionally strong performance despite the lesser thread count. On the other hand, the 5950X takes the lead in a few of the other threaded applications, but by surprisingly slim deltas given its much higher price tag. Remember, the 12900K's pricing is closer to the 5900X. 

The 12900K and the 12600K lead the entire Ryzen lineup in the single-threaded tasks, showing that the Thread Director works perfectly to ensure those tasks run on the fastest cores. 

Windows 11: Encoding Benchmarks on Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K

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Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K

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Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K

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Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K

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Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K

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Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K

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Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K

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Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K

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Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K

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Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K

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Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K

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Here we can see that Handbrake x264, which struggled in Windows 10, runs on the P-cores perfectly in Windows 11. This program is coded to deprioritize its threads, and here we can see that Thread Director works in tandem with the Windows 11 scheduler to rectify the issue.

Alder Lake dominates encoding workloads, be they lightly- or multi-threaded. 

Windows 11: Web Browsing on Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K

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Intel Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K Web Benchmarks

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Intel Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K Web Benchmarks

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Intel Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K Web Benchmarks

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The ubiquitous web browser is one of the most frequently used applications, and here we can see yet another commanding performance from the Alder Lake chips. 

Windows 11: Adobe Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Lightroom on Core i9-12900K

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Intel Core i9-12900k and i5-12600K Adobe Benchmarks

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Intel Core i9-12900k and i5-12600K Adobe Benchmarks

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Intel Core i9-12900k and i5-12600K Adobe Benchmarks

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Intel Core i9-12900k and i5-12600K Adobe Benchmarks

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Intel Core i9-12900k and i5-12600K Adobe Benchmarks

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Intel Core i9-12900k and i5-12600K Adobe Benchmarks

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We've integrated the UL Benchmarks Procyon tests into our suite to replace the aging PCMark 10. This new benchmark runs on Adobe Premiere Pro, Photoshop, and Lightroom. Here we can see that these types of workloads clearly prize the increased memory throughput from DDR5. 

Windows 11: Office and Productivity on Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K

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Intel Core i9-12900K Core i5-12600K Adobe Apps

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Intel Core i9-12900K Core i5-12600K Adobe Apps

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Intel Core i9-12900K Core i5-12600K Adobe Apps

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Intel Core i9-12900K Core i5-12600K Adobe Apps

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Intel Core i9-12900K Core i5-12600K Adobe Apps

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Intel Core i9-12900K Core i5-12600K Adobe Apps

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Intel Core i9-12900K Core i5-12600K Adobe Apps

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Intel Core i9-12900K Core i5-12600K Adobe Apps

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Intel Core i9-12900K Core i5-12600K Adobe Apps

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Intel Core i9-12900K Core i5-12600K Adobe Apps

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Intel's Alder Lake dominates the Microsoft Office testing and delivers the snappiest application load times. Meanwhile, AMD's Ryzen chips continue to lead in the GIMP benchmark suite.

Windows 11: Compilation, Compression, AVX Benchmarks

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Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K Benchmarks

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Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K Benchmarks

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Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K Benchmarks

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Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K Benchmarks

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Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K Benchmarks

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Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K Benchmarks

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Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K Benchmarks

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Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K Benchmarks

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Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K Benchmarks

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Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K Benchmarks

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Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K Benchmarks

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Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K Benchmarks

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Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K Benchmarks

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Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K Benchmarks

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This grab bag of various tests finds Alder Lake notching several more important wins. From the exceedingly branchy code in the LLVM compilation workload to the massively parallel molecular dynamics simulation code in NAMD, the Alder Lake chips impress.

Notably, Intel chose to ax AVX-512 support in Alder Lake chips, but the increased throughput of DDR5 helps the chips step forward past their AVX-512 equipped Rocket Lake predecessors in some vectorized work, like the multi-threaded y-cruncher benchmark. However, Rocket Lake still keeps the lead for the single-core y-cruncher test. AMD continues to benefit in the SHA3, AES, and HASH benchmarks from its cryptographic optimizations. 

Windows 10: Rendering Benchmarks on Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K

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Alder Lake

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Alder Lake

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Alder Lake

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Alder Lake

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We're back in the Windows 10 portion of our application testing now. Aside from the tests that refused to cooperate, many of these tests simply repeat the same themes that we've seen in Windows 11. We're including these tests for completeness, but we'll skip over commentary until we hit the power consumption section. 

Windows 10: Encoding Benchmarks on Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K

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Alder Lake Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Benchmarks

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Windows 10: Office and Productivity on Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K

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Alder Lake Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Benchmarks

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Alder Lake Benchmarks

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Windows 11: Compilation, Compression, AVX Benchmarks

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Intel Alder Lake

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Intel Alder Lake

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Intel Alder Lake

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Intel Alder Lake

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Intel Alder Lake

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Intel Alder Lake Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K Power Consumption, Efficiency, and Thermals

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Alder Lake

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Yes, Alder Lake still sucks more power than AMD's Ryzen 5000 series chips, but the arrival of the Intel 7 process does mark a big improvement. As we can see, the Alder Lake chips consume far less power than the Rocket Lake chips — we measured a peak of 238W with the 12900K, while the previous-gen 11900K drew nearly 100W more during the same Blender workload. 

Overall, Intel has reduced its power consumption from meme-worthy to an acceptable level. Besides, Alder Lake is much faster than its predecessor, earning it some leeway.

For instance, as you can see in our renders-per-day measurements, the Core i9-12900K and 12600K are both twice as efficient as their predecessors, which is commendable. This lower power consumption results in lower cooling requirements, too. 

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Alder Lake

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Alder Lake

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Alder Lake

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Alder Lake

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Here we take a slightly different look at power consumption by calculating the cumulative amount of energy required to perform Blender and x264 and x265 HandBrake workloads, respectively. We plot this 'task energy' value in Kilojoules on the left side of the chart. 

These workloads are comprised of a fixed amount of work, so we can plot the task energy against the time required to finish the job (bottom axis), thus generating a really useful power chart. 

Bear in mind that faster compute times, and lower task energy requirements, are ideal. That means processors that fall the closest to the bottom left corner of the chart are best. 

As you can see, Intel's chips have descended from the undesirable upper right of the chart down to the lower left hand, nearly matching AMD's chips in power consumption while actually being faster. That's an outstanding improvement after six years of power-guzzling 14nm chips. 

Putting 14nm in the Rearview

Intel's decision to adopt a hybrid x86 architecture was risky, but despite the early hiccups with Windows 10, the performance that we've seen today shows it has paid off. The Alder Lake processors mark a massive generational leap forward for Intel in nearly all facets, including gaming, performance in lightly- and heavily-threaded work, power consumption, and platform connectivity options.

Intel has coupled Alder Lake's expansive list of advantages with very aggressive pricing that gives them the overall lead against AMD's competing Ryzen 5000 chips. The competitive pricing could also take at least a little of the sting out of the inevitable high platform costs associated with the Z690 motherboards that are currently the only option for Alder Lake systems. 

Below, we have the geometric mean of our gaming test suite at 1080p and 1440p and a cumulative measure of performance in single- and multi-threaded applications. Bear in mind that we conducted the gaming tests with an RTX 3090, so performance deltas will shrink with lesser cards and higher resolution and fidelity settings. 

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Alder Lake

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Alder Lake

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Alder Lake

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Overall, it's easy to recommend an Alder Lake chip for a Windows 11 system, but much like we encountered in our own testing, there could be initial hiccups with Windows 10 systems. As we outlined above, those problems could include performance variability or programs that don't operate to their full potential. If you're averse to working around those types of problems, it might be best to either use Windows 11 or wait for the software ecosystem to adapt to the hybrid architecture. We do expect these problems to be fixed sooner rather than later, though.

It is surprising that Intel hasn't worked up a piece of software to provide more granular control over scheduling priority for both Windows 10 and 11, but it's possible that third-party tools could assist with priority management (Process Lasso comes to mind). We'll certainly be experimenting over the coming weeks.

Alder Lake's advantages also include platform connectivity. Leading-edge DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 interfaces will add some cost in the early days, but support for DDR4 can help reduce that overhead. Unfortunately, we haven't seen any flagship DDR4 motherboards yet; the highest-end models appear to be confined to DDR5.

Alder Lake delivers impressive gaming performance in both Windows 10 and 11, though the gains are more substantial in the latter. In either case, the chips outpaced AMD's competing models throughout both of our gaming test suites. It's also clear that enthusiasts won't need to adopt pricey DDR5 memory to unlock the best gaming performance — unless you have a very specific need for DDR5 throughput, it's probably best to skip it until it matures further. That applies doubly so for Windows 10, which appears to favor the more mature DDR4. 

Intel still consumes more power than AMD's competing chips, but the new 'Intel 7' process reduces power consumption by up to a third and nearly doubles power efficiency, reducing AMD's massive advantage in that key area.

For now, Alder Lake is the new gaming champion. AMD's next step is to fire back with its 3D V-Cache processors that will come with up to 192MB of L3 cache per chip, imparting up to 15% more gaming performance. Those chips arrive next year, and while the impact on gaming in a broad spate of titles is unknown, AMD has confirmed that the chips will drop into the AM4 platform. In the meantime, we could see some pricing adjustments on Ryzen 5000 series processors. 

The Core i9-12900K delivers incredible levels of threaded performance, often rivaling or beating the Ryzen 9 5950X, but at a much lower price point. That type of performance will pay off in all manner of productivity applications, and if you're looking for snappy performance in lighter fare, it's also the uncontested leader in x86 single-threaded performance. 

We would typically shy away from recommending the Core i9-12900K until we had a chance to evaluate the Core i7-12700K, but Alder Lake marks the return of meaningful segmentation between the Core i7 and i9 lineups. With an additional four efficiency cores and class-leading gaming performance, the Core i9-12900K is a good choice for a Windows 11 system.

The $289 Core i5-12600K is also an easy recommendation with up to 38% more threaded performance than the Ryzen 5 5600X and 7% more performance than the Ryzen 7 5800X. Coupled with the snappy single-threaded performance, this is the gaming chip to beat.

We aren't done with our Alder Lake testing, either. Time constraints prevented us from completing our overclocking tests, but we'll add the results to the article soon. Stay tuned. 

Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K Test System Configurations
Intel Socket 1700 DDR5 (Z690)Core i9-12900K, Core i5-12600K
MSI Z690 Carbon WiFi
2 x16GB G.Skill Ripjaws S5, DDR5-5200 @ DDR5-4400 36-36-36-72
Intel Socket 1700 DDR4 (Z690)Core i9-12900K, Core i5-12600K
MSI Z690A WiFi DDR4
2x 8GB Trident Z Royal DDR4-3600 - Stock: DDR4-3200 14-14-14-36
Intel Socket 1200 (Z590)Core i9-11900K, Core i7-11700K, Core i5-10600K
MSI Z590 Godlike
2x 8GB Trident Z Royal DDR4-3600 - Stock DDR4-3200/2933 Gear 1
AMD Socket AM4 (X570)AMD Ryzen 9 5950X, Ryzen 9 5900X, Ryzen 7 5800X, Ryzen 5 5600X

MSI MEG X570 Godlike
2x 8GB Trident Z Royal DDR4-3600 - Stock: DDR4-3200 14-14-14-36
All SystemsGigabyte GeForce RTX 3090 Eagle - Gaming and ProViz applications
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FE - Application tests

2TB Intel DC4510 SSD

Silverstone ST1100-TI
Open Benchtable

Windows 10 Pro version 2004 (build 19041.450)
Windows 11 Pro version
CoolingCorsair H115i, Custom loop
Paul Alcorn

Paul Alcorn is the Deputy Managing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage and enterprise hardware.

  • superop
    How is this a scientific test? No PBO on any of the AMD processors? A AMD 5600x still wrecks these new intel chips. Literally with the click of the button in the bios you enanble PBO and safely run AMD overlocking without any issues and you go straight to the leaderboards. Would love to see some more scientific and fair testing.
    Reply
  • TheAlphaFury
    Here, the review article is offline (Error 404) from the page, the following message appears: "Sorry! Page not found.
    The page you are looking for has been moved or removed from the site.

    Please try searching our website or start again from our home page. "
    Reply
  • JarredWaltonGPU
    TheAlphaFury said:
    Here, the review article is offline (Error 404) from the page, the following message appears: "Sorry! Page not found.
    The page you are looking for has been moved or removed from the site.

    Please try searching our website or start again from our home page. "
    Sorry, we had a little glitch. It's back up.
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    Admin said:
    We put Intel's new Core i9-12900K and Core i5-2600K through the wringer in Windows 10 and 11 testing with DDR4 and DDR5 memory.

    Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K Review: Retaking the Gaming Crown : Read more

    We're sticking with our standard policy of allowing the motherboard to exceed Intel's recommended power limits, provided the chip remains within warrantied operating conditions. Our tests use the default lifted PL1 and PL2 restrictions. Almost all enthusiast-class motherboards come with similar settings, so this reflects the out-of-box experience with a high-end motherboard. Naturally, these lifted power limits equate to more power consumption, and thus more heat, as we'll cover in detail later in the review.
    Why? Everybody is on the power conscious trip right now, why not show both so that people can actually choose which one is better for them?
    The 12900k shows so much improvement that running it with base power would still be fine.
    People need both PBP and MTP to make an informed decision.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    The test setup table incorrectly lists Alder Lake as LGA1200 and the memory specs doesn't make sense for either board:
    "2 x16GB G.Skill Ripjaws S5, DDR5-5200 @ DDR4-4400 36-36-36-72 "
    Can't use DDR5 DIMMs on the DDR4 board, can't spec DDR4 on a DDR5 board, timings don't make sense for DDR4-4400 which typically has 18-22 CAS latency. Wrong description copy-pasted to both places.
    Reply
  • Howardohyea
    personally I really like this one long page split into multiple smaller ones, makes scrolling way easier.

    Also is this review a bit early? I thought the embargo only lifts at 10 AM, while this review is 10 minutes before that
    Reply
  • m3city
    Synthetic tests show Intel is faster, real world tests: application - lets say its on par, or Intel slower. Gaming - TLDR shows 9% more FPS. But:
    with much higher power draw -> performance /watt lower by ~30 to 40%? power draw means bigger/costly cooling solution, more powerfull PSU etc.
    you get to pay extra for MB. And then one is penealted by Intel that will require a new MB for next generation (correct me if I'm wrong here)Personally, what matters for me is low power, silence, efficiency and performance at real world tasks. As it goes for gaming, there is really not much to show from intel, especially these differences will show up only with the monster-type GPU. And I couldnt care more for difference between 140 and 150 fps in Far Cry.

    And on top of that, Intel matched CPUs released 11.2020 to 01.2021.
    Reply
  • JarredWaltonGPU
    superop said:
    How is this a scientific test? No PBO on any of the AMD processors? A AMD 5600x still wrecks these new intel chips. Literally with the click of the button in the bios you enanble PBO and safely run AMD overlocking without any issues and you go straight to the leaderboards. Would love to see some more scientific and fair testing.
    Scientific and fair would be stock performance first, follow up with overclocking. Time is limited, games like to lock you out when you run them on too many different CPUs, and Windows 10 + Windows 11, DDR4 + DDR5, Stock + OC ends up being a LOT of permutations. PBO is good for about 2-5% more performance at best. It's not even remotely going to close the gap between 12600K and 5600X. It's okay for Intel to retake the gaming performance crown. The fact that AMD had the CPU lead for several years, at least in some respects, was a good run. Zen 4 might make a good counterattack. But Alder Lake is a very impressive set of architectural and software improvements and Intel deserves credit for that.
    Reply
  • 5j3rul3
    Where's ddr5 oc, iGPU test, iGPU Codec Test, core coverage test, abt/pbo and bios settings.
    Reply
  • JarredWaltonGPU
    Howardohyea said:
    personally I really like this one long page split into multiple smaller ones, makes scrolling way easier.

    Also is this review a bit early? I thought the embargo only lifts at 10 AM, while this review is 10 minutes before that
    Embargo was 6am Eastern, 9am Pacific.
    Reply