Monday, January 17, 2022

Intel Core i9-12900K review: The Blue team is back, monstrous performance is here

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Pros
  • Best gaming performance as of now
  • Phenomenal Architectural improvements
  • Standout features like DDR5, Wi-Fi 6E, PCIe Gen 5
  • More cores to crunch productivity numbers
  • Works best with new Windows 11
Cons
  • Draws more power and generates more heat than AMD Ryzen 5000
  • Not all games or softwares are optimized for biG.LITTLE architecture
  • The platform costs much higher than competition

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.

Intel Core i9 12900K Review- 6_TechnoSports.co.in

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

Intel Core i9 12900K Review - 4_TechnoSports.co.in

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.

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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.

Intel Core i9-12900K review: The Blue team is back, monstrous performance is here

Specifications

Total Cores16
Number of Performance-cores8
Number of Efficient-cores8
Total Threads24
Max Turbo Frequency5.20 GHz
Intel® Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 Frequency5.20 GHz
Performance-core Max Turbo Frequency5.10 GHz
Efficient-core Max Turbo Frequency3.90 GHz
Performance-core Base Frequency3.20 GHz
Efficient-core Base Frequency2.40 GHz
Cache30 MB Intel® Smart Cache
Total L2 Cache14 MB
Processor Base Power125 W
Maximum Turbo Power241 W
Supplemental Information 
Embedded Options AvailableNo
Memory Specifications 
Max Memory Size (dependent on memory type)128 GB
Memory TypesUp to DDR5 4800 MT/sUp to DDR4 3200 MT/s
Max Number of Memory Channels2
Max Memory Bandwidth76.8 GB/s
Processor Graphics
Processor GraphicsIntel® UHD Graphics 770
Graphics Base Frequency300 MHz
Graphics Max Dynamic Frequency1.50 GHz
Graphics OutputeDP 1.4b, DP 1.4a, HDMI 2.1
Execution Units32
Max Resolution (HDMI)4096 x 2160 @ 60Hz
Max Resolution (DP)7680 x 4320 @ 60Hz
Max Resolution (eDP – Integrated Flat Panel)5120 x 3200 @ 120Hz
DirectX Support12
OpenGL Support4.5
Multi-Format Codec Engines2
Intel® Quick Sync VideoYes
Intel® Clear Video HD TechnologyYes
Number of Displays Supported 4
Device ID0x4680
OpenCL Support2.1
Expansion Options 
Direct Media Interface (DMI) Revision4.0
Max Number of DMI Lanes8
Scalability1S Only
PCI Express Revision5.0 and 4.0
PCI Express ConfigurationsUp to 1×16+4, 2×8+4
Max Number of PCI Express Lanes20
Package Specifications 
Sockets SupportedFCLGA1700
Max CPU Configuration1
Thermal Solution SpecificationPCG 2020A
T-JUNCTION100°C

Test Config Specifications:

Intel Core i9 12900K Review - 9_TechnoSports.co.in0

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.

Productivity

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.

Intel Core i9-12900K review: The Blue team is back, monstrous performance is here

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.

  • Intel Core i9-12900K review: The Blue team is back, monstrous performance is here
  • Intel Core i9-12900K review: The Blue team is back, monstrous performance is here
  • Intel Core i9-12900K review: The Blue team is back, monstrous performance is here
  • Intel Core i9-12900K review: The Blue team is back, monstrous performance is here
  • Intel Core i9-12900K review: The Blue team is back, monstrous performance is here
  • Intel Core i9-12900K review: The Blue team is back, monstrous performance is here
  • Intel Core i9-12900K review: The Blue team is back, monstrous performance is here

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.

Intel Core i9-12900K review: The Blue team is back, monstrous performance is here

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.

Intel Core i9 12900K Review - 5_TechnoSports.co.in

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.

Gaming

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.

Intel Core i9 12900K Review_TechnoSports.co.in0

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:

  • Assassin's Creed Valhalla - Core i9 12900K + 3070 Ti Review_TechnoSports.co.in
  • Battlefield 2042 - Core i9 12900K + 3070 Ti Review_TechnoSports.co.in
  • Control - Core i9 12900K + 3070 Ti Review_TechnoSports.co.in
  • CS GO - Core i9 12900K + 3070 Ti Review_TechnoSports.co.in
  • Cyberpunk 2077 - Core i9 12900K + 3070 Ti Review_TechnoSports.co.in
  • Far Cry 6 - Core i9 12900K + 3070 Ti Review_TechnoSports.co.in
  • Far Cry New Dawn - Core i9 12900K + 3070 Ti Review_TechnoSports.co.in
  • FIFA 22 - Core i9 12900K + 3070 Ti Review_TechnoSports.co.in
  • Fortnite - Core i9 12900K + 3070 Ti Review_TechnoSports.co.in
  • Guardians of the Galaxy - Core i9 12900K + 3070 Ti Review_TechnoSports.co.in
  • NFS Heat - Core i9 12900K + 3070 Ti Review_TechnoSports.co.in
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider - Core i9 12900K + 3070 Ti Review_TechnoSports.co.in
  • Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order- Core i9 12900K + 3070 Ti Review_TechnoSports.co.in
  • Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege - Core i9 12900K + 3070 Ti Review_TechnoSports.co.in
  • Watch Dogs Legion - Core i9 12900K + 3070 Ti Review_TechnoSports.co.in

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.

Verdict

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.

Intel Core i9 12900K Review - 7_TechnoSports.co.in

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

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Productivity
Gaming
Thermals
Platform

SUMMARY

An ideal flagship from Intel which we all waited for in 2021 and 12900K is an absolute 16 core monster we waited to see from Intel.
Avatar of Raunak Saha
Raunak Saha
A cs engineer by profession but foodie from heart. I am tech lover guy who has a passion for singing. Football is my love and making websites is my hobby.

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