The Blue team launched its Alder Lake processors back in 2021 with a motive to reestablish its lead in the consumer CPU market that has not been well looked upon by Intel and has been limited up to 10 cores.
So, these 12th Gen SKUs did live up to their expectation and as we already had reviewed the top-end Core i9-12900K and Core i7-12700KF, we had to check out the budget Intel Core i5-12600K which now sports up to 10 cores and 16 threads. It costs around Rs.26k these days while the Core i5-12600KF without integrated graphics could be found for an even cheaper price.
We did get our hands-on with this 10 core CPU which gives a performance that is of some other world thanks to its new architecture and IPC gains which Intel has managed to bring while still being made out of 10nm process. In our extensive benchmarks, this CPU really performed very well, managing to beat out the likes of an expensive Ryzen 7 5800X.
Previously, AMD played the game of providing great multi-core performance, however, Intel has taken this very seriously as these efficient cores are really powerful enough to almost give a performance of ten full-fledged scores. Though one has to upgrade almost everything to get this Intel Core i5-12600K to perform at its peak it’s worth it as the new platform brings a lot of new features onboard making it more future-proof.
|Number of Performance-cores||6|
|Number of Efficient-cores||4|
|Max Turbo Frequency||4.90 GHz|
|Performance-core Max Turbo Frequency||4.90 GHz|
|Efficient-core Max Turbo Frequency||3.60 GHz|
|Performance-core Base Frequency||3.70 GHz|
|Efficient-core Base Frequency||2.80 GHz|
|Cache||20 MB Intel® Smart Cache|
|Total L2 Cache||9.5 MB|
|Processor Base Power||125 W|
|Maximum Turbo Power||150 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 # 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||1.45 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|
Test Config Specifications:
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE Z690 UD AX WIFI Motherboard
- CPU: Intel Core i5-12600K
- RAM: 32GB (2X16) Corsair Vengeance Performance DDR5 Memory
- Primary SSD: Western Digital SN850 500GB PCIe Gen 4 SSD
- Secondary/Game SSD: 480GB Crucial SATA SSD, WD Green 960GB SATA SSD
- Power Supply: Antec HCG-1000-EXTREME PSU
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti
- CPU Cooler: DEEPCOOL GAMMAXX L360 ARGB
- Cabinet: Cooler Master MasterBox K501L
- OS: Microsoft Windows 11 Pro
Already having seen the reviews of multiple media outlets and tech enthusiasts I really had high expectations from this chip which didn’t fail at impressing me at all. To be honest, seeing the benchmarks I felt as if I was holding an expensive chip but providing such high-level performance for the price is really very impressive.
Also, the temps were a bit on the higher side but less worrying than a Core i7 or Core i9s which generate a lot of heat, still, for best performance, I would recommend liquid cooling obviously. However, the fact that a budget chipset now gives up to 10 cores which could also be overclocked means you won’t have to break banks to make a high-end desktop anymore.
Basic productivity and creative applications that benefit from both great single and multi-core improvements as they can now use all the 10 cores inside this Intel Core i5-12600K for groud-breaking performance. In all of the benchmarks below, you can clearly see the stock performance of the Core i5-12600K without even overclocking:
As you see in the various benchmark applications, this 10 core Intel Core i5-12600K flys past the likes of Ryzen 7 5800X in every benchmark possible and also closing in with a 12 core Ryzen 9 5900X. So, undoutedly, the extreme gains in performance is noticed in all applications, also any workload which can optimize or make use of both the phenomenal single-core and multi-core performance will work like a charm using this CPU.
Here are some of the other 3DMark benchmarks for your reference:
Also, having an iGPU with the CPU is really a good thing as even if you do not have a dicrete GPU, can work by making a basic PC build and work using the inbuilt graphics. Or if you will indeed use a GPU for your work then go for the KF variant of this Intel Core i5-12600K which could save some more bucks.
Overall, in terms of productivity, you no longer have to spend for a high-end chip as with Core i5-12600K productivity performance is now sorted.
The IPC gains with Alder Lake architecture does also help them in gaming performance as well because gone are those days when you needed a powerful CPU for 4K gaming paired with strong graphics so there won’t be any bottlenecks. Intel is now offering even better 6 Performance cores while 4 extra cores to games that can benefit from the phenomenal multi-core performance.
As suspected from the strong single-core performance, this Intel Core i5-12600K doesn’t disappoint to compliment a strong GPU like RTX 3070 Ti even at 4K highest settings. Here are some of the gaming benchmarks in modern games at different resolutions and settings:
As you see in the games, the CPU does really handles gaming workloads pretty easily and bet it for 1080p or 1440p gaming, you will great results. Or suppose you don’t want to cut corners on the CPU and want to invest on GPU, this Core i5-12600K will not disappoint you at all, giving great FPS in almost every game.
If you are someone who is desparately looking for a solid budget CPU for work or play then the Intel Core i5-12600K is definitely the one you should look upon. The ground-breaking improvements in architecture is really revolutionary and Intel does really deserve credit for that but still draws more TDP.
You do have to keep in mind to have a robust cooling to tame these beasts, however, its worth the investment even if you talk about the platform costs or say DDR5 RAM costs are higher as of now. But if you are someone who is looking to invest on a new architecture with new DDR5 RAM or PCIe Gen 5 support then going for Alder Lake is worth the investment.
Also, its good to see the competition getting heated up and even an Intel’s budget Core i5-12600K is testing AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X and even Ryzen 9 5900X in some case. So, gone are those days when you need to spend more to get more performance, as this new Core i5 processor from Intel deserves all the praise.
For best performance, use liquid cooler, DDR5 RAM, a Z690 motherboard or a good B660 motherboard paired with a good PSU. As these days CPU prices have decreased a lot, the platform costs are also decreasing, making it ideal for gamers to switch to new 12th Gen SKUs.
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