Intel announced the launch of their new 12th Gen Intel Core family. These six processors mark the beginning of latest offerings in next-gen hardware, pushing toward DDR5 memory and PCIe 5.0. According to Intel, their new performance hybrid architecture is up to two times faster than the previous generation of CPUs. It’s clear that the company is set to compete directly with AMD’s Ryzen 5000 series CPUs.
12th Gen Intel Core Family
At the Intel Innovation event in San Francisco, Intel unveiled their latest CPU offerings, the 12th Gen Intel Core processor family. This family includes six unlocked desktop processors, the highlight of which is the 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900K. Set to replace its predecessors, the 11900K and popular 10900K, this CPU features 16 cores, 24 threads, and a turbo boost max of 5.2 GHz. Intel has dubbed the Core i9-12900K “the world’s best gaming processor”.
The new performance hybrid architecture features scalable multi-threaded performance, thanks to it’s combination of P-cores (Performance-cores) and E-cores (Efficient-cores). Intel Thread Director provides the technology that allows these cores to work together. Thread Director enables the two new core microarchitectures to work together seamlessly by communicating with the operating system- giving it the instructions to place the right thread on the right core, at the right time.
The Core i9-12900K provides an over 20% FPS increase in Troy: A Total War Saga, Hitman 3, and Far Cry 6 when compared to the Core i9-11900K. However, it’s worth noting that the Core i9-11900K was considered a disappointment for the time of its release, it did little to outperform the previous gen i9-10900K.
Intel seems to be improving their multi-threaded performance, no doubt to compete directly with AMD who have long been lauded for their performance in that realm. The Core i9-12900K features 36% faster photo editing, 32% faster video editing, 37% faster 3D modeling, and 100% faster multi-frame rendering over the previous gen CPU.
How this stacks up against AMD’s Ryzen 9 5950X, remains to be seen. We likely won’t see comprehensive head-to-head testing until the Core i9-12900K’s official release on November 4th. From early reviews the CPU seems to be at least on par with AMD’s offering. The Core i9 has performance advantages in Windows 11 due to the software’s optimization with the Intel Alder Lake platform.
Advantages of the new architecture include being the first desktop processors to offer DDR5 memory support, for up to 4800MT/s, and support for PCIe 5.0. For those interested in a next-gen system, these two features alone would be worth looking out for. DDR5 and PCIe 5.0, while not yet standard, both will likely become the new standard in the coming years.
Other performance enhancements with the latest 12th gen Intel Core CPUs include:
- 30MB Intel® Smart Cache (L3) and 14MB L2 cache
- Integrated high-speed wireless with Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6E
- Discrete Thunderbolt 4 universal cable connectivity for external device expansion.
The 12th Gen Lineup
See below for a chart with the full lineup of currently announced 12th Gen Intel Core CPUs and their specs. In addition to the i9-12900K, there’s also an Intel Core i9-12900KF, and the less expensive Intel Core i5-12600K.
The availability starts November 4th, with pricing ranging from $264 to $589 for the i9-12900K. Intel will release additional CPUs in this family over the next year. You can expect to see non K versions of these CPUs, which will be less expensive. However, with non-K CPUs, you’ll be unable to overclock to it’s fullest potential.
Rumor has it that an entry level 12th Gen CPU is on it’s way. According to leaked engineering samples, the entry level Intel Core i3-12100 outperforms the similar Ryzen offering by a wide margin. These 12th Gen Core i3 CPUs could really change the market for budget builds, lowering the entry price for current-gen hardware.
We currently offer 12th Gen CPUs on the VRLA Tech Centaur Gaming PC and VRLA Tech Helios Gaming PC . The Centaur features an Intel Core i7-12700KF, paired with an RTX 3080, while the Helios boasts an Intel Core i9-12900KF. Both PCs have CPU upgrade options, including the Intel Core i7-12700K and Intel Core i-9 12900K.