In 2021, there were many things that actually got me exciting and one of them has to be the new 12th Gen Intel processors, the first 10nm based desktop CPUs by Intel finally! Their Rocket Lake CPUs was nothing but a complete disaster and Pat Gelsinger quickly understood what Intel stands for.
Quickly launching these new 12th Gen processors in a short time showed how Intel was desperate to bring back the dominance in the gaming market. Indeed so their new small + BIG cores concept has worked out pretty well resulting in a huge increase in the number of cores as well as overall performance.
Yes, the Intel Core i9-12900K which I have spotted in multiple leaks only has been here for testing and boy I was surprised to see the performance! You are seeing a 100% jump in the number of cores and you cannot totally neglect the fact that even though they go up to 3.90 GHz max but is challenging a proper Ryzen 9 5950X with 16 performance cores.
Though the prices have been inflated, if you get it at Intel’s max MSRP of $599, it is cheaper than AMD’s flagship Ryzen 9 5950X (whose prices have also decreased recently). In India, though as of now currently, both are equally priced we will do a separate comparison for both of them, however, here let’s talk only about Intel.
A new FLAGSHIP is here, Unleasing new ERA FOR INTEL
The New Architecture
Yes, Alder Lake has made some huge changes in terms of architecture and the Core i9-12900K is dubbed as the world’s best gaming processor. With a max turbo boost of up to 5.2 GHz and as many as 16 cores and 24 threads, at launch, Intel promised a huge uplift in IPC as well as strong gaming performance.
Intel lost its gaming crown last year when AMD launched the Ryzen 5000 series processors while almost all test benches used AMD chips, the Rocket Lake was nothing but a waste of time. A lot of changes we saw in Rocket Lake as in the Golden Cove cores made those 14nm chips more power-hungry and inefficient, however, in Alder Lake, with shrunk 10nm process, Intel is able to stuff more cores inside.
We were surprised to see in leaks that Intel’s new 16 core CPU is giving a neck-to-neck battle against AMD’s proper 16 core champ Ryzen 9 5950X, however, actually it gives so. Though these are not as efficient as AMD’s Ryzen 5000 processors but still meeting the performance means Intel is back on track, the Core i9-12900K uses 125 W base TDP and can suck up to a whopping 241 W.
Also, you have the latest DDR5 RAM support and industry-first support for PCIe Gen 5 and bring new technologies like Intel Thread Director, who will work with Windows 11. Alder Lake is a scalable architecture, being used with an LGA1700 socket and being equipped with a capable iGPU that has 96 EUs of Xe architecture.
|Number of Performance-cores||8|
|Number of Efficient-cores||8|
|Max Turbo Frequency||5.20 GHz|
|Intel® Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 Frequency||5.20 GHz|
|Performance-core Max Turbo Frequency||5.10 GHz|
|Efficient-core Max Turbo Frequency||3.90 GHz|
|Performance-core Base Frequency||3.20 GHz|
|Efficient-core Base Frequency||2.40 GHz|
|Cache||30 MB Intel® Smart Cache|
|Total L2 Cache||14 MB|
|Processor Base Power||125 W|
|Maximum Turbo Power||241 W|
|Embedded Options Available||No|
|Max Memory Size (dependent on memory type)||128 GB|
|Memory Types||Up to DDR5 4800 MT/sUp to DDR4 3200 MT/s|
|Max Number of Memory Channels||2|
|Max Memory Bandwidth||76.8 GB/s|
|Processor Graphics||Intel® UHD Graphics 770|
|Graphics Base Frequency||300 MHz|
|Graphics Max Dynamic Frequency||1.50 GHz|
|Graphics Output||eDP 1.4b, DP 1.4a, HDMI 2.1|
|Max Resolution (HDMI)||4096 x 2160 @ 60Hz|
|Max Resolution (DP)||7680 x 4320 @ 60Hz|
|Max Resolution (eDP – Integrated Flat Panel)||5120 x 3200 @ 120Hz|
|Multi-Format Codec Engines||2|
|Intel® Quick Sync Video||Yes|
|Intel® Clear Video HD Technology||Yes|
|Number of Displays Supported||4|
|Direct Media Interface (DMI) Revision||4.0|
|Max Number of DMI Lanes||8|
|PCI Express Revision||5.0 and 4.0|
|PCI Express Configurations||Up to 1×16+4, 2×8+4|
|Max Number of PCI Express Lanes||20|
|Max CPU Configuration||1|
|Thermal Solution Specification||PCG 2020A|
Test Config Specifications:
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming WIFI Motherboard
- CPU: Intel Core i9-12900K
- RAM: 32GB (2X16) Astra Gandiva ARGB DDR5 Memory
- SSD: 240GB WD Sn550, 480GB Crucial SATA SSD
- Power Supply: Antec HCG-1000-EXTREME PSU
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti FE
- CPU Cooler: ASUS ROG RYUJIN II RGB AIO Liquid CPU Cooler
- Cabinet: Cooler Master MasterBox K501L
- OS: Microsoft Windows 11 Pro
Thanks to ASUS India for making this review possible, we will make a separate review for their new 12th Gen Intel-based motherboards and LGA 1700 socket AIO coolers. The ROG series of gaming accessories and motherboards are also great for making high-end PCs based on new Intel processors.
Till 11th Gen Intel processors with up to 8 cores, referring to any new Intel CPU for productivity was not a smart idea at all, however, things have changed a lot since the launch of 12th Gen or Alder Lake-S desktop CPUs. Now you have more cores, with smaller ones effectively handling tasks what doesn’t need as much power and bigger cores kicking in when needed the most.
The new cache architecture with 30 MB Intel Smart Cache you see in the Core i9-12900K along with 14 MB total L2 cache does make a difference in performance. The Alder Lake-S desktop CPUs have phenomenal single-core performance and so those applications which do profit from this will indeed benefit.
On the other hand, as I told you previously, these Small cores are not to be joked upon as they deliver significant performance and the benchmarks we have got goes to prove how close the competition is this time. I am completely amazed at Intel’s result and as an overall package, even though draws more power than AMD, still sets a new level that can excite you easily.
As you see in the benchmarks the Intel Core i9-12900K rips apart the competition in single-core and clearly edges with the Ryzen 9 5950X, also beating it in a lot of benchmarks. This easily makes it the proper flagship of Intel which is here to make its own statement and for productivity again we can recommend Intel.
However, one thing you should keep in mind is that if you are buying this CPU make sure you have a proper cooler, an AIO most importantly. You also need to have gold-rated PSUs because it consumes a lot of power, a downside compared to AMD, still for a great performance I think you can bear that.
The most important thing while using 12th Gen Intel processors will be using a good LGA 1700 socket-based motherboard. ASUS has a really strong lineup of 12th Gen Intel motherboards which you should definitely check out and use DDR5 RAMs for best performance.
Here we used the Indian brand Astra’s new DDR5 RAM with ARGB support via ASUS Aura Sync and others, while most importantly it boasts speeds of up to 4800MHz that actually helps these new Intel processors. Also, use Windows 11 for best performance as the new Thread Director technology from Intel only works with new Windows.
Though we didn’t overclock much but do bear in mind if you have an 800W+ gold rated PSU, you can easily overclock the Core i9-12900K and get phenomenal results. Obviously, the total build for these new Intel-based processors will cost you a lot no doubt but it is worth it if you want the best Intel setup.
Well, Intel had stressed its gaming performance repeatedly before and after the launch of these 12th Gen Alder Lake processors and indeed the Intel Core i9-12900K is easily the world’s best gaming processor. With insane single-core performance, it rips apart the competition and gives frame rates, I have never seen.
Here we used the RTX 3070 Ti purposefully to see how much difference the CPU could make difference in games all by itself. Intel’s new flagship CPU didn’t just make the games playable but really enjoyable which previously weren’t when I tried with my Ryzen 7 5800X.
I was truly blown away with the gaming performance of the Core i9-12900K as though it consumed a lot of power with a short burst in turbo frequency while gaming, which really made the experience fluid. As most games still enjoy the single-core performance, the numbers will truly reflect what the CPU is capable of.
Here are all the gaming benchmarks:
As you see in all of the games the Core i9-12900K single-handedly made a difference by boosting frame rates and even with a mid-range RTX 3070 Ti, helped to get 60FPS at 4K high settings in most modern games. While if you want to crunch numbers in Battle Royal games you will get huge numbers easily with the Core i9-12900K.
Overall, in gaming, Intel totally gets an edge now and easily beats the Ryzen 5000 series, want to see ahead to head comparison against Ryzen 9 5950X? Watch our space because soon we will bring a detailed comparison between both Intel and AMD flagship CPUs.
The best part about these new Intel chips is not only that consumers will get the best performance they always demanded from Intel but also finally we have got something excited about. Yes, you will have to spend a lot of money to make 12th Gen Intel PC builds but with new tech like DDR5 support, PCIe Gen 5 and more, Intel is really back in the race.
Until now, AMD was the only option for everyone who wanted the absolute best productivity performance, however, now the thing has completely changed. The Intel Core i9-12900K is obviously not as efficient as AMD’s Ryzen 5000, but, if you have proper cooling like the ROG RYUJIN II RGB AIO Liquid CPU Cooler, you can easily tame this beast.
So, if there was a phrase that money attracts performance, I would say the Core i9-12900K is worth spending for gamers as well as creators now. Bear in mind the TDP and heating, well, if you can tackle those you are getting the absolute best in both gaming and productivity.
Buy the Intel Core i9-12900K: https://amzn.to/3DjBArW