Intel Core i7-12700K vs AMD Ryzen 7 5800X Performance Review

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Intel Core i7-12700K CPU tilted on left side with AMD Ryzen 7 5800X titled on right side with the text 12700K vs 5800X in the middle


Continuing our reviews of the new Intel Alder Lake CPU product stack, we are now up to the Intel Core i7-12700K 12th Generation Intel Core Processor part of the Core i7 series.  Thanks to MSI for providing us with the Intel CPU and MSI motherboard, we will be able to review the Intel Core i7-12700K and pit it directly against the competitors AMD Ryzen 7 5800X.  These two CPUs directly compete with each other, so what’s better than to compare them and do a “versus” review between them in benchmarks and gaming.  This is our Intel Core i7-12700K vs. AMD Ryzen 7 5800X review.

Intel launched its 12th Generation Intel Core Processors as of October 27th, 2021.  To this date, we have evaluated the Intel Core i5-12600K on DDR4 and then compared DDR4 vs. DDR5 performance with the 12600K.  To get our full introduction on the 12th Generation Processors check out the 12600K review to see what makes the Alder Lake architecture new.  We are also not going to go over DDR5 again, in this review, so check out our DDR4 vs. DDR5 review to read all about what makes DDR5 new.

As a quick refresher, the 12th Gen Intel Core Processors are based on a hybrid architecture with Performance Cores (P-Core) and Efficiency Cores (E-Core) components.  The P-Cores support hyperthreading but the E-Cores do not.  It is the combination of these cores, plus Cache differences, and frequencies that make up the Intel SKUs for these CPUs.  These new CPUs can also support new DDR5 memory, but also support DDR4.  It depends on the motherboard, and with the new Intel Z690 chipset, PCI-Express 5.0 is supported.

Intel Core i7-12700K Specs

Unlocked 12th Gen Intel Core Desktop Processors SKU sheet
SpecificationsIntel Core i5-12600KIntel Core i7-12700KIntel Core i9-12900K
Architecture/Process Node12th Gen/Intel 712th Gen/Intel 712th Gen/Intel 7
Cores/Threads10 (6P+4E)/1612 (8P+4E)/2016 (8P+8E)/24
L2/L3 Cache9.5MB/20MB12MB/25MB14MB/30MB
Intel Turbo Boost Max 3.0N/A5GHz5.2GHz
P-Core Max Turbo4.9GHz4.9GHz5.1GHz
E-Core Max Turbo3.6GHz3.8GHz3.9GHz
Base Power/Max Turbo Power125W/150W125W/190W125W/241W
RCP Pricing USD 1K$289$409$589

In the product stack, the Intel Core i7-12700K sits above the Core i5-12600K we reviewed.  This is a faster CPU, with a higher turbo power and more cores.  The Intel Core i7-12700K has 12 cores total made up of 8 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores.  This is two more performance cores than the 12600K, but the same number of efficiency cores.  Since Performance cores support Intel hyper threading, this means the 12700K supports 20 threads in total.  The 8 Performance Cores deliver 16 Threads, and then the 4 Efficiency cores are 1 thread each, for a total of 20.  This is four more threads than the 12600K.

The Intel Core i7-12700K also has more L2 and L3 Cache than the 12600K.  It has a total of 12MB of L2 Cache which is 2.5MB more than the 12600K.  The 12700K has 25MB of L3 Cache which is 5MB more than the 12600K.

The Intel Core i7-12700K can ultimately boost higher than the 12600K in terms of frequency.  Firstly, the 12700K supports Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 at up to 5GHz, while the 12600K does not support this technology at all.  This potentially lets the 12700K boost higher than the 12600K.  The P-Core Max Turbo Frequency on the 12700K is up to 4.9GHz which is the same as the 12600K, but because of the aforementioned Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0, it could boost to 5GHz in the right circumstances.  The E-Core Max Turbo Frequency is up to 3.8GHz which is faster than the 12600K’s 3.6GHz on the E-Cores.  Therefore, the E-Cores should be even faster on the 12700K.

The 12700K’s Processor Base Power is 125W just like the 12600K, but the Maximum Turbo Power is a higher 190W versus 150W on the 12700K.  Therefore, to get that high 5GHz boost you will be at the higher 190W power level.  The 12700K also supports Intel UHD Graphics 770 built-in and support for DDR4 or DDR5 at up to 128GB.

As we mentioned, our CPU was purchased by MSI for us, so thank you to MSI for providing the hardware for us. You can see the familiar Intel box above, ours is i7-12700K S-spec SRL4N Socket LGA1700 Alder Lake-S 841 CPU with product code and batch number is shown, this is a retail CPU.

In terms of RCP Pricing (USK 1K) the 12700K is priced at $409 versus the 12600K at $289.  Looking around at online pricing, it has been available anywhere from as low as $400 to $450.  The AMD Ryzen 7 5800X can potentially be found a little cheaper, but pricing has varied a lot and is apparently between $355-$400 right now.  So, we will see if the slightly higher price of the 12700K pays off or not.

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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