Please read our test setup information carefully below, we are now using Windows 11, and each testbed is customized for each CPU being compared. Each CPU required a different motherboard, but the AIO/cooling and RAM and PSU and SSD are all equal among them.
The CPUs being compared today are the Intel Core i5-12600K, Intel Core i5-11600K, and AMD Ryzen 5 5600X. We are using the MSI MEG CORELIQUID S360 AIO Cooler for every CPU at its maximum performance profile, all fans at the highest speed constant. We are using the same Crucial Ballistix DDR4-3600 CL16 16GB RAM Kit for each platform.
Let’s first talk about chipset drivers, because they have become very important, especially for AMD CPUs installed under Windows 11. We made sure all of our platforms used for testing used the latest possible chipset drivers we could get.
On the GIGABYTE Z690 GAMING X DDR4 motherboard’s support driver page had the latest possible Intel chipset driver, which was even newer than what was on Intel’s own webpage. The version GIGABYTE had available is 10.1.18836.8283 dated 11/04/2021 so we used this chipset driver for both the Z590/11600K and Z690/12600K. However, this was not all, we also installed three other Intel-based driver-related options on the GIGABYTE Z690 motherboard, which include: Intel HID Event Filter, Intel Management Engine Firmware, and Intel Serial I/O driver. We installed the latest versions GIGABYTE had on its website for each one so that we had all possible chipset and I/O-related drivers for the Intel platform.
For the AMD X570/5600X platform, we naturally went to AMD’s website to download the latest chipset driver. However, to our surprise, this wasn’t the latest possible driver for the chipset. We actually ended up finding out that for our motherboard, the ASUS TUF GAMING X570-PLUS WIFI, ASUS had an even newer chipset driver with an updated Power Plan Profile inside the package. This is especially important for Windows 11.
In the first screenshot above you will see a screenshot of the AMD chipset driver we found on AMD’s website which was package version 3.10.08.506 dated 10/21, at the time of testing this was the latest driver on AMD’s website. Note that it has AMD Processor Management Support Version 220.127.116.11. Now look at the second screenshot, in that screenshot is the package we downloaded from ASUS’s website for this motherboard, it is package 18.104.22.1686 dated 11/18. Everything is the same though on the version numbers, except for the AMD Processor Power Management Support, it is a newer version 22.214.171.124.
We ended up googling this, and lo and behold, 126.96.36.199. actually has some significant improvements over the previous version for Windows 11. Therefore on our X570/5600X testing platform in this review today we are using the absolute latest AMD Processor Management Support Version 188.8.131.52. in our testing. We have the absolute best AMD chipset drivers possible right now for Windows 11.
Take note that for the first time in any of our reviews we are using Windows 11. In fact, we are using Windows 11 Pro. In order to eliminate any issues with performance degradation we installed Windows 11 Pro fresh and clean on each platform/CPU, nothing was carried over, everything was freshly installed between systems. We also updated Windows 11 to the latest updates at the time of testing, the version used across all platforms was 21H2 22000.348. We have every update installed that mitigates the AMD cache latency issues.
Also, we streamlined our Windows install to disable background processes and enabled/disabled certain things noted in the table above. We have Core Isolation/Memory Integrity Virtual Based Security VBS DISABLED on all test systems, we also have Hardware Accelerated GPU Scheduling DISABLED on all test systems, and in the BIOS we have Resizable BAR disabled on all test systems. Importantly, we are using the preferred methods of enabling the highest level Power Profile plan in Windows 11. We prioritize the “Best Performance” profile under Windows Settings > System > Power, when that isn’t available set the “Ultimate Performance” power plan under Control Panel and Power Options.