The twelfth generation of Intel processors with the Alder Lake architecture has finally been officially launched and made available to end consumers. The 10-nanometer mobile processor architecture is no longer backed up for use in 14-nanometer desktop processors, and unlike the 11th generation, Intel 12th-generation processors are designed from the ground up for use in desktop and mobile PCs, and are built with Int 10nm scale is produced for socket processors. Advances have also been made in the area of communication with other parts of the system and main RAM, with PCI Express 5.0 at twice the speed and DDR5 memory being supported and implemented for the first time in the X86 chip industry.
Intel has promised a dramatic leap in performance with the twelfth generation of Intel processors, bringing the new hybrid design to the X86 family of processors for the first time in the industry with this generation. The use of hybrid in-processor design had a strong presence in Apple’s MM chips with ARM-based architecture, which eventually replaced older Intel processors in some new products. The supply of twelfth generation processors has received a lot of attention and it is important that after the acquisition of the crown of gaming processors by AMD’s Ryzen 5000 series of processors and increasing the company’s market share, the most serious action to compete with this company and regain credibility It is considered lost.
The new processors incorporate both the Performance cores (abbreviated P for high-efficiency cores) and the Efficient cores (abbreviated E for efficient, low-power cores). The idea behind the hybrid design is for the Thread Director to work together to manage Intel and Windows 11 processing threads to perform important tasks such as games and content programs on P-cores and lower-priority tasks such as updates and streaming on E-cores. To be.
The flagship Core i9-12900K processor comes with 8 P-cores and 8 E-cores, each with its own P-series core with Hyper-threading capability, so that the processor includes 16 physical cores and 24 threads. The Core i7-12700K processor also comes with 8 P cores and 4 E cores, which includes 12 physical cores and 20 strings, including Hyper-threading capability. Finally, the Core i5-12600K comes with 6 P-cores and 4 E-cores, which, including Hyper-threading capability, includes 10 physical cores and 16 threads.
These processors also have a larger L3 (third-level cache) than previous generations, which is reminiscent of AMD’s action on the Ryzen 5000 series processors, which significantly increased gaming efficiency. Combining all of this with a 10-nanometer process transition, a new architecture, a new cache, and a turbocharged frequency of up to 5.2 GHz, Intel promises to increase efficiency by up to 20 percent in games and up to 30 percent in content production. , Far beyond the usual single-digit efficiency we expected.
Twelfth generation processors also come with the new Z690 motherboards. These motherboards support the new Alderlick Series processors with LGA 1700 socket along with PCIe 5.0. Motherboards that support DDR4 and DDR5 separately are available from the start. We think DDR4 will be more valuable in the current situation, while DDR5 motherboards will gradually become more popular in the coming months and years. However, early DDR4 kits were also relatively slow and high-latency, but in the early years of commercialization, efficiency improved rapidly.
Content production efficiency
Here, to run a relatively brief test in the field of content development software, we first installed a new version of Windows 11 raw on the test reference system, and upgraded the motherboard BIOS to the latest version. It should be noted that the MCE or Multi Core Enhancement option for optimizing performance beyond the recommended recommendations of Intel and AMD was active on all platforms, so it is possible to increase efficiency and power consumption compared to the official table for these processors.
The ASUS Z690 Hero motherboard was used for the Z690 platform motherboard, and for the test software we used the Cinebench R20 with single-core and multi-core tests, as well as the Handbrake with H.264 and HEVC codecs to extract the results and plot them.
Cinebench efficiency in the single discipline can also be a predictor of in-game performance. Processors that score high in this area are likely to perform better than others in games like Far Cry 6, which are highly dependent on single-thread process efficiency. The scoring chart here is based on single-core performance, and as you can see, both twelfth-generation processors can score about 200 points higher than their predecessors, which is about a 29% efficiency upgrade, even better than the Ryzen 5000 AMD flagships. They belong.
The multi-threaded results are also influenced by the superiority of the twelfth generation speed in single-threaded processing, so much so that 12900K can surpass the 10,000 point mark for the first time in this benchmark. The 12600K processor even beat the 11900K under Windows 11, which will be especially interesting for users who have spent months buying high-end 11th generation processors in recent months. But keep in mind that we have used DDR5 RAMs in this system, which may increase the efficiency of DDR4 in some tests (this benchmark is not dependent on bandwidth and memory latency).
From the Handbrake benchmark point of view, the twelfth generation and DDR5 look too competitive. The 12900K’s 16-core, 24-core processor outperformed AMD’s 16.26-core, 32-core processor in the H.264 test, and only in the heavy-duty HEVC-based AVX command is it significantly less efficient. Even the Core i5-12600K managed to beat the Core i9-11900K by about 10%, while consuming about 100 watts less power in this test. Of course, the Core i9-12900K is unlocked and still high-powered with the help of MCE, especially when compared to the highly optimized Ryzen 5000 series processors.
Efficiency in games
Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition
Here we return to the initial scene from the Volga stage in the Metro Exodus story section of the optimized version. Even with the forced RTX effects in this title, the game remains at CPU-limited in 1080p and 1440p resolution. At 1440p, the Ryzen 9 5950X beat the 12900K by 9%, the 12600K by 10% and the 5600X by 4%. At 1080p, the Ryzen 9 5950X beat its rival, the 12900K, by 13 percent more efficiently.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
In this game, we enter one of the initial stages of a story called Fracture Jaw. The game is tested on DX12 mode and Low settings with TAA. The flagship Core i9-12900K processor is the ultimate winner here, surpassing the Core i5-12600K and Ryzen 9 5950X with an average frame rate of 142 frames per second at 1080p. The efficiency difference is only 6%, but it is clear that this game will cope better with Intel processors.
Cyberpunk 2077 is our second benchmark with RT capability, which shows how activating beam tracking can increase CPU load and cause bottlenecks in some scenarios. This is one of the biggest differences between the 12th generation of Intel and other processors among the benchmarks. At 113 frames per second, the Core i9-12900K tops the chart at 1080p, which is 13% faster than the 12600K and a whopping 45% better than the 5950X. The ratio of differences in 1440p resolution is the same, and it is only in 4K resolution that we see the performance of Intel chips in the upper 80-frame range and AMD models in the lower range.
Far Cry 6
The Farcry 6, like its predecessors in the series, relies heavily on monoprocessor CPU performance, so it’s no surprise to see 12900K and 12600K back on top of our charts. The new Intel flagship is 16% superior to the Ryzen 9 5950X in 1080p, while the difference with the 5600X is 26%.
Crysis 3 Remastered
The remastered version of Crysis 3 fixes a bug in the 65fps limit and adds RT interception to the game to make it more challenging to run the game on new hardware. At 1080p, with DLSS enabled in Performance mode, this is the 12900K, which could be the best at 313 frames per second, which is 8% faster than the 12600K and 10% better than the 5950X. The difference between the efficiency of the new flagship and the 5600X is 14%. At 1440p resolution, the distance increases and the advantage of 12900K over 5950X reaches 11%.
The Intel 7 production process for 10-nanometer chips, the new hybrid kernel architecture, the new Windows 11 operating system, the new DDR5 memory, and the new PCIe 5.0 bus are all enhancements that have been implemented at the same time as the new platform. The incompatibility of the supply of this number of technologies in the field of processor manufacturing is less experienced and potentially can both confuse ordinary users and be of interest to professional users. Early indications are that access to these technologies is worth migrating to and familiar with new technologies, and we are confident that application and game developers will soon become accustomed to these conditions.
From our point of view, the performance improvements that Intel has been able to incorporate into its new generation of processors this time around are satisfactory. There is a big gap in efficiency between the 11th generation Intel or AMD Ryzen 5000 series with DDR4 memory on one side and the 12th generation Intel with DDR5 memory on the other. This speed difference of up to 30% in some titles, which according to studies depends more on the power of new processors than the performance superiority of DDR5 memory. However, examining the performance difference between DDR4 and DDR5 itself requires a separate review.
The only drawback to choosing new Intel processors is their price. The Coore i9-12900K processor is about $ 50 more expensive than its predecessor, to which we must add the cost of the new motherboard. With the new features of the Z690 motherboards, such as the PICe 5.0 and DDR5, which require more sophisticated circuits, these motherboards themselves impose a significant price increase over the previous generation. However, the 12600K is more affordable and offers a performance close to that of the twelfth generation flagship in games, making it worth more than the 5600X and 11600K.
Coolers are another problem for this generation: the LGA 1700 socket is physically larger, which means you will need a cooler that is fully compatible with the new socket. Some reputable cooling manufacturers offer additional installation tools for old air conditioners on the new socket for free to their customers, and some are satisfied with just introducing new air conditioners made for the new socket. Our research shows that the new processors do not have higher temperatures than previous generations, which are more difficult to cool with existing air conditioners or not of the same quality. The only problem that may occur is the installation mechanism on the new socket and the proper pressure applied to the IHS processor, which some coolers may not be able to handle properly and the temperature may be higher than normal during operation.
Finally, we come to DDR5 memory. DDR5 kits are very expensive, and tasks that depend on memory latency will no doubt be affected by the increase in CAS characteristic latency from about 14 to 18 in DDR4 to above 38 in DDR5. However, a significant increase in operating frequency also seems to be a high efficiency for DDR5 modules due to the increase in overall memory bandwidth in this standard. High-speed DDR4 kits can now be used for this generation, and DDR5 use can only be postponed until the memory matures and becomes more affordable.
Although the cost of upgrading to the new platform is undoubtedly high, there are many reasons to do so. If you want the fastest gaming processor on the market, the Core i9-12900K with DDR5 seems to have got the title and you can go for it. If you want a more economical option, the Core i5-12600K looks great, and of course the Corei7-12700K, which was not available for review, could be another option with near-flagship performance and a more affordable price.
We will soon see the release of mid-range processors from the twelfth generation, such as the Core i5-12400, which are likely to have a much higher purchase value than existing models such as the Core i5-11400F. Early next year, we will see the release of new Raizen series processors with cache called 3D-stacked, which will probably take efficiency to a new level and make the competition hotter.
What do you think about the new 12th generation Intel processors? Are you planning to buy or upgrade to this generation or do you prefer to wait for the new AMD processors to be released?