Intel Core i5-12600K DDR4 Alder Lake CPU Review

Gaming Performance

Now we come to the interesting testing we are sure you all can’t wait for, we were also anxious to get to this part and see how it all ends up for gaming performance. In order to test this properly, and really get a good feel for it, and cover all the bases for the big picture, we decided to test 1080p, 1440p, and 4K resolutions, all three resolutions to see from top to bottom how these CPUs affect performance games. For testing, we are using an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition video card. This will ensure we are CPU bound at 1080p, but also some games will still be GPU bound at 4K. Since we are testing all 3 resolutions, it’ll be a good mix to see where the CPU matters and where it doesn’t. Oh, and yes, we are testing the new Battlefield 2042 as well!

Battlefield 2042

Let’s start with the newest game on the block, Battlefield 2042. Now, since this game is a multiplayer game, it is hard to test in a live environment and have consistency. Therefore, we chose to create a private Portal server, and test with no players, it’s the only way we can assure a consistent run-through. We created a custom team deathmatch and a manual run-through in the whole map.

Intel Core i5-12600K DDR4 Alder Lake Battlefield 2042

The first thing we notice is that indeed, at 1080p there is a difference in performance between each CPU. The Ryzen 5 5600X and 11600K are rather close, but the new Intel Core i5-12600K actually pulls ahead in performance at 1080p. It’s 6% faster than the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X and 5% faster than the 11600K. That’s actually very interesting, and without players, keep in mind with players there will be more burden on the CPU. Once we get to 1440p though, the difference lessens, though technically the 12600K is on top by 2%. At 4K it’s a wash, we are definitely more GPU bound, and CPU plays less of a role.

Cyberpunk 2077

Intel Core i5-12600K DDR4 Alder Lake Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 is of course a very graphically demanding game. It seems even at 1080p the CPU does not make a difference, and this is with an RTX 3080 Ti as well. Though we imagine if we were to lower graphics settings from Ultra, down to High or Medium that might change at 1080p. However, this game is very playable at Ultra on the RTX 3080 Ti up to 1440p, at 4K you will need DLSS to make it playable no matter the CPU.

Far Cry 6

Intel Core i5-12600K DDR4 Alder Lake Far Cry 6

Far Cry 6 is new, and here we have Ultra settings enabled plus the HD Textures installed and turned on. Yet, at 1080p we do see some significant differences between the CPUs. Here we find the 11600K actually faster than the Ryzen 5 5600X by 8%. However, it’s the new Intel Core i5-12600K that steals the show here, it’s 18% faster than the Ryzen 5 5600X at 1080p! It’s 9% faster than the 11600K. These are significant differences. We even see this trend continue at 1440p, so there you go, the CPU is affecting performance even at 1440p in this game. The 12600K is 13% faster than the Ryzen 5 5600X and 5% faster than the 11600K. This is at Ultra settings mind you, with HD Textures. It looks like we see a bottleneck, CPU bottleneck, between 1080p and 1440p on the Ryzen 5 5600X. Once we get to 4K though, all CPUs are even as it is GPU dependent.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Game Of The Year Edition

We have installed the latest huge patch to Microsoft Flight Sim 2020 which brings it up to the new Game of the Year Edition. This new edition has major performance changes, including a new DX12 API mode we are going to use for today’s testing.

Intel Core i5-12600K DDR4 Alder Lake Flight Simulator 2020 Game Of The Year Edition

We are running Flight Sim 2020 in DX12. This one surprised us, we thought we’d see some major differences in CPU performance, but it seems the updates Microsoft has made in this game recently alleviate many of the CPU bottlenecks it used to have. We see some slight differences at 1080p where the 12600K is faster than the 5600X by 6%, and at 1440p where the 12600K is 7% faster than the 5600X. It seems the 5600X lags behind the 11600K slightly, and the 12600K is, therefore, better than the 5600X, but not a whole lot faster than the 11600K. Once we get to 4K it’s a wash.

Watch Dogs Legion

Intel Core i5-12600K DDR4 Alder Lake Watch Dogs Legion

In Watch Dogs Legion we also find that the Intel Core i5-12600K has an advantage in performance at 1080p. It’s 11% faster than the Ryzen 5 5600X, and 7% faster than the 11600K. Even at 1440p, it’s 4% faster than the 5600X. Once we get to 4K, it’s a wash. It does seem the 5600X lags behind the 11600K again slightly.

Crysis Remastered

Intel Core i5-12600K DDR4 Alder Lake Crysis Remastered

We included Crysis Remastered because it can be very CPU dependent, however this time, it didn’t really appear to show much difference between the CPUs. Technically the Intel Core i5-12600K is faster at each resolution, but not by a significant amount. Still, the fact that it is even a little faster at 4K, is interesting.

Brent Justice
Former managing editor of GPUs at HardOCP for 18 years, Brent Justice has been reviewing computer components since the late 90s, educated in the art and method of the computer hardware review, he brings experience, knowledge, and hands-on testing with a gamer-oriented and hardware enthusiast perspective. You can follow him on Twitter - @Brent_Justice You can sub to his YouTube channel - Justice Gaming You can check out his computer builds on KIT - @BrentJustice

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