The premiere tests of Intel Alder Lake processors focused on two models – Core i5-12600K and Core i9-12900K – but one more unit enters the family. The Intel Core i7-12700K was a bit neglected, just like the Core i7-11700K before, although it turned out to be much more interesting than the flagship. Will the average Alder Lake also be a processor worth attention? Of course, everything depends on how it fares against the competitor, the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X. The Intel competitor offers more cores and threads, has an integrated graphics chip, and should also be cheaper. Everything indicates that the Core i7-12700F can positively surprise.
Author: Sebastian Oktaba
Intel Alder Lake is the first hybrid processor architecture available on desktop computers, made in the big.LITTLE standard commonly used in the mobile device industry, where energy-saving systems using ARM architecture dominate. As a result, two types of x86 cores were introduced – Performance Core and Efficiency Core. The first one provides up to 28% increase in the efficiency of a single thread compared to Comet Lake, while the second should offer similar performance, but with a much lower power consumption. The 12th generation Intel Core processors were made in Intel 7 lithography, formerly known as 10 nm Enhanced SuperFin, which is an improved 10 nm processor, definitively closing the 14 nm epoch. The new architecture has brought fundamental changes to instruction decoding algorithms, rebuilding the memory subsystem, introducing faster interfaces, and improving the systems responsible for power management and internal communication. This also applies to the coordination of the Performance and Efficiency Core cores entrusted to the integrated ThreadDirector technology, based on a number of telemetry data. There are also new motherboards and DDR5 RAM. To sum up – Intel has made the biggest qualitative leap since the introduction of the Skylake architecture in 2015, setting a completely new direction for future hardware platforms. Is it right? We’ll see…
The Intel Core i7-12700K is an interesting processor that has a good chance to dethrone the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X – it offers more cores and threads, an integrated graphics chip and theoretically should be cheaper.
Intel Core i7-12700K is a processor with 8 P-Core (Golden Cove) cores, similar to the most powerful Intel Core i9-12900K, although the number of E-Core (Gracemont) cores here is 4, the same as in Intel Core i5-12600K. Additionally, remember that Hyper-Threading support has been reserved exclusively for more efficient computing units. Finally, the reviewed processor can perform 20 threads, which is a noticeable progress compared to its predecessors and competition. After all, the Intel Core i7-12700K is much closer to the aforementioned AMD Ryzen 7 5800X than the much more expensive AMD Ryzen 9 5900X, whose direct rival is the top Intel Core i9-12900K. The medium Alder Lake received 25MB of L3 Cache, again being exactly between the Core i5 and the Core i9. Of course, the clock speeds for the Performance and Efficency cores are different – the first work in the range of 3600-5000 MHz, and the second 2700-3800 MHz, depending on the load and set energy limits on the motherboards. We should also remember that Intel Core i7-12700K does not have Turbo Boost 3.0 mode, reserved only for Core i9 models. Traditionally, the box does not include a cooling set.
|Core i7-10700K||Core i7-11700K||Core i7-12700K||Ryzen 7 5800X|
|Architecture||Comet Lake||Rocket Lake||Alder Lake||Zen 3|
|Lithography||14 nm||14 nm||10 nm||7 nm|
|Timing||3800-5100 MHz||3600-5000 MHz||3600-5000 MHz||3800-4700 MHz|
|Configuration||8R / 16W||8R / 16W||8 + 4R / 20W||8R / 16W|
|L3 memory||16 MB||16 MB||25 MB||32 MB|
|Controller mode||Dual Channel||Dual Channel||Dual Channel||Dual Channel|
|TDP coefficient||125 W.||125 W.||125 W.||105 W.|
|Integrated GPU||UHD 630||UHD 750||UHD 770||–|
|Starting price||$ 379||$ 399||$ 409||$ 449|
|Platform||LGA 1200||LGA 1200||LGA 1700||AM4|
|Release date||May 2020||March 2021||November 2021||November 2020|
Test of the Intel Core i9-12900K Alder Lake processor vs AMD Ryzen 9 5900X. DDR4 vs DDR5 RAM performance comparison
The Intel Core i7-12700K received a RAM controller that supports two standards – DDR4 and DDR5 – depending on the motherboard used. The timing dividers have been retained, the Rocket Lake pattern being 1: 1 (Gear1) and 1: 2 (Gear2), but additionally 1: 4 (Gear4) has been added. Summa summarum on the charts you will find two results of the tested processor – basic with DDR4 3600 MHz CL18 modules, while as a supplement I added DDR5 Kingston Fury Beast 5200 MHz CL38. The set worked with CL 40 delays at the factory, but all 1/2/3 order timings were set the same as in the previous articles. The presented results are only illustrative, because the first set has a capacity of 16 GB (2x 8 GB), and the second 32 GB (2x 16 GB), because currently available DDR5 are only available in 32 GB variants. While the RAM can be selected as desired, Alder Lake absolutely requires the new LGA 1700 hardware platform, which includes motherboards with Intel 600 chipsets. Appropriate clips for the CPU cooling system are also required as the mounting hole spacing has changed.