Power and Temperature

To test the power and temperature, we broke up this testing into two parts, two scenarios. The first scenario is an “all-out” “maximum threads maximum performance” “full load” scenario. In this scenario, we run Cinebench R23 for 10 minutes and record the power and temperature. This shows the power and temp with the CPUs flat out, foot to the floor, pushing them as hard as possible. That provides one set of data.

Then, we run a more normal workload. YOu see, you aren’t always running your CPU flat out, full bore, all the time. You are doing other things, like just playing a game. So we also wanted to look at the real-world power and temperature when doing something like just playing a game. So we fired up Cyberpunk 2077 and played it for 10 minutes at 1080p and “Ultra” settings on a GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, to stress the CPU as much as possible, not the GPU. Both of these scenarios show very different results, and both are relevant.

Maximum CPU Usage Cinebench R23

Intel Core i5-12600K DDR4 Alder Lake Maximum Utilization CPU Package Power

In the above graph, we are poling the “CPU Package Power” gained from HWiNFO64 running Cinebench R23 for 10 minutes. The most power-hungry CPU turns out to be the Intel Core i5-11600K at 155W. The most efficient CPU turns out to be the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X at just 76W. Right in the middle is the new Intel Core i5-12600K at 124W. It’s 63% more power than the Ryzen 5 5600X, but 20% less power than the 11600K.

Intel Core i5-12600K DDR4 Alder Lake Maximum Utilization CPU Max Temperature

In terms of temperature, the 11600K got the hottest at a whopping 82c. However, check this out, the Ryzen 5 5600X and 12600K ran at a similar 62-63c degree temperature. The 12600K is consuming 63% more power, but it’s still running the same temp as the 5600X. It’s a vast improvement over the 11600K.

CPU Usage While Playing a Game

Intel Core i5-12600K DDR4 Alder Lake Power Playing a Game CPU Package Power

This graph shows why we wanted to include this data. When doing something like playing a game, the 11600K eats a tremendous amount of power at 114W. While the Ryzen 5 5600X is at 75-76W, so is the new Intel Core i5-12600K at 78W. Therefore yes, in Cinebench it’s consuming 63% more power, but when playing a game it most certainly is not. It’s on par with the Ryzen 5 5600X in terms of power usage!

Intel Core i5-12600K DDR4 Alder Lake Temperature Playing a game CPU Max Temperature

It gets even better when you look at the temperatures. The Intel Core i5-12600K is actually returning the lowest temperature at just 50c while playing Cyberpunk 2077! That’s lower than the 56c of the Ryzen 5 5600X. The power has come down, and so has the temp. It means when you are playing games, the 12600K is by no means a hog, it is in fact better than the 5600X on temperature, and equal on power.

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Brent Justice

Brent Justice has been reviewing computer components for 20+ years, educated in the art and method of the computer hardware review he brings experience, knowledge, and hands-on testing with a gamer oriented...

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6 Comments

  1. Good review. Have to say I was surprised at the results. Nice to see Intel back in the hunt, and that power draw wasn’t off the charts

    Would love to see a short follow on that pits Pcores vs Ecores just out of curiousity.

  2. Nice review indeed! I am pleasantly surprised by the results. Keep up the improvements Intel. Things get good when both AMD and Intel are competetive.

  3. Thanks for the review [USER=3]@Brent_Justice[/USER]. I really enjoyed the informative breakdown of what Alder Lake, E core, P core is along with the heads up about the AMD updates. I also enjoyed seeing Intel coming back swinging with an impressively efficient processor than perform well with a multitude of workloads.

    edit: Also loved the use of arrows in the review pic to indicate the DDR4 detail. At first I was like, what?, huh?, oh I get it.

  4. I admit a follow up with various Intel specific features turned on to see what further gains could be had would be nice as well.

  5. Nicely done on the review.

    I wonder. Will Intel have an advantage in place if running an Intel processor with an Intel Arc?

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