As Intel is gearing up to start sales of its 12th Generation Core 'Alder Lake' processors sometime in October (at least according to Noctua), the company is sending out samples of these CPUs to a wide range of its OEM customers, which is why it is inevitable that benchmark results will leak. This week we already saw Intel's Core i7-12700 Geekbenched, now it is time for the company's flagship Core i9-12900K chip to show its potential in Geekbench 5. Surprisingly, it outperforms AMD's beastly Ryzen 9 5950X in threaded work.
Intel's Core i9-12900K processor is meant to have all the advantages that the Alder Lake architecture has to offer, including eight high-performance Golden Cove cores (P-cores) with Hyper-Threading and eight energy-efficient Goldmont (E-cores) equipped with a 30MB L3 cache and operating at high clock speeds. The final frequencies of the Core i9-12900K chip are unknown, but if a recent Geekbench 5 database entry is to be believed, the CPU will have a 3.20 GHz base clock rate. For some reason, the benchmark could not determine the maximum Turbo frequency of the chip, but we believe that it is at or above the 5.0 GHz mark.
Just like with the Core i7-12700 earlier this week, we are not going to compare the overall single-thread and multi-thread scores of Alder Lake in Geekbench 5 (due to the unfairly overweighted impact of crypto performance in the benchmark and a lack of AVX-512 support in Alder Lake), but focus on integer and float performance.
|Core i9-12900K||Core i9-11900K||Ryzen 9 5950X||Apple M1|
|General specifications||8P, 8E, 3.20 ~ ? GHz, 30MB||8P, 3.50 ~ 5.10 GHz, 16MB||16, 3.40 ~ 5.0 GHz, 64MB||4P, 4E, up to 3.20 GHz|
|Single-Core | Integer||1614||1607||1435||1597|
|Single-Core | Float||1980||1872||1881||1896|
|Single-Core | Crypto||4990||6008||4089||2783|
|Single-Core | Score||1893||1907||1702||1746|
|Multi-Core | Integer||17133||12051||16695||7013|
|Multi-Core | Float||18588||13064||18695||8624|
|Multi-Core | Crypto||11717||10090||8145||10137|
|Multi-Core | Score||17299||12257||16868||7653|
As it turns out, the upcoming Core i9-12900K packs quite the punch. It outperforms all contemporary top-of-the-range CPUs from Intel, AMD, and Apple in single-threaded integer and single-threaded floating point workload. As a result, the new CPU not only leaves behind its rival from the red camp but even beats Apple's M1, which is known for its single-threaded performance because of its 'wide' execution pipeline. Of course, the Alder Lake has a massive L3 cache and microarchitectural advantages and consumes much more power, but its single-thread results are still very impressive.
Yet, the Core i9-12900K truly shines in multi-threaded workloads. Since the CPU packs in 16 cores in total and can process up to 24 threads at once, it naturally smashes Intel's eight-core Core i9-11900K and Apple's hybrid eight-core M1 SoC. Thus, it's remarkable that it beats AMD's 16-core Ryzen 9 5950X (which can execute 32 threads) in integer multi-threaded workloads but loses by 107 points in floating point multi-threaded workloads.
While the performance of the Core i9-12900K in Geekbench 5 looks quite remarkable, keep in mind that we are dealing with pre-production hardware, and some things may change. In any case, take these results with a grain of salt for now.