Windows 11: Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K Application Benchmarks — The TLDR
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.
Shifting gears to overclocking, the Core i9-12900K was a scant 1.5% faster in lightly-threaded work and 3.2% faster in multi-threaded, while the Core i5-12600K was
4% and 8.8% faster, respectively, in the geometric mean of our workloads. Notably, you'll see larger gains in individual applications below, while others only see a muted impact.
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.
Be sure to check the following page for the ugly side of Alder Lake — application benchmarks in Windows 10 encounter plenty of snags.
Windows 11: Rendering Benchmarks on Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K
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
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
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
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.
You'll notice that the Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K are actually slower in the Adobe Premiere Pro workload after overclocking. We're investigating these results, as they are repeatable.
Windows 11: Office and Productivity on Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K
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
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.