Intel Core i9-12900K vs AMD Ryzen 9 5900X Performance 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, 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. Since we are testing all 3 resolutions, it’ll be a good mix to see where the CPU matters and where it doesn’t.

Forza Horizon 5

Let’s start with one of the newest games in our testing suite today, Forza Horizon 5 on the PC. For this game, we are using the built-in benchmark and using the “Extreme” graphics profile setting.

Intel Core i9-12900K Forza Horizon 5 Game Performance Graph

Starting at 1080p we do find the Intel Core i9-12900K to be faster than the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X. It’s 5% faster, or 6FPS average faster. This isn’t major of course, but it is interesting that even at 1080p on Extreme settings the CPU is affecting performance that much, and the 12900K is faster. Even at 1440p we still see a 5% performance difference, or 5FPS average, which is pretty amazing at this higher resolution. Even at 4K, there is a difference of 4% toward the 12900K. At every resolution, the 12900K edges out the Ryzen 9 5900X.

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 i9-12900K Battlefield 2042 Game Performance Graph

In Battlefield 2042 we see a significant difference at 1080p with the 12900K performing 7% faster than the 5900X. At 1440p the 12900K is about even, edging out the 5900X by merely 1%, and it’s even less at 4K. If you play at 1080p though, that 7% could be even greater when you take into account other players in multiplayer performance.

Cyberpunk 2077

Intel Core i9-12900K Cyberpunk 2077 Game Performance Graph

When you think of Cyberpunk 2077 you typically think this game is going to completely be GPU dependent. However, at 1080p we do find a difference between these CPUs, it’s a small 2%, and even at 1440p, there’s a 2% difference. It’s not enough to affect gameplay, but interesting nonetheless for such a graphically demanding game.

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 i9-12900K Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Game Of The Year Edition Game Performance Graph

The Intel Core i9-12900K in MS Flight Sim 2020 at 1080p is 6% faster than the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X. It’s enough that in the game the minimum lows are higher on the 12900K, and that makes a difference in a game like this. Even at 1440p, the 12900K is 6% faster, which is amazing considering the higher resolution. We also saw on both CPUs that 1440p performed faster than 1080p. This is because at 1080p we are very CPU bottlenecked, and the GPU isn’t utilized as hard, but at 1440p the GPU is able to provide a higher GPU utilization and therefore the game performs better. At 4K it’s a wash between the CPUs.

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

Recent News