Intel Core i7-12700KF Review: Better than Core i9?

Nanochip

Posts: 66   +110
Intel's comeback with Alder Lake is impressive, makes you wonder how long Golden Cove + Gracemont were in Intel's labs, waiting for Intel's manufacturing process to be fixed such that it could commercialize the 10nm designs with volume ramp and excellent yields. I wonder when Intel decided to go Hybrid? Did AMD's resurgence 'inspire' Intel to go Hybrid, or was Hybrid always on their roadmaps? If Intel 10nm was working back in 2016-17, would we have seen Golden Cove equivalent with no Gracemont?

Second thing I want to say is Zen3 is very impressive and really pushed the x86 ball forward. Very power efficient. Excellent gaming performance. Amazing work by AMD. Even though prices crept up compared to the prior generation.

My personal take: as impressive as Alder Lake is, I am going to skip it and let: (1) the platform's kinks/bugs be worked out (e.g., sleep/wake, thunderbolt hotplug, various quirks such as MSI's z690 motherboards consuming 50W more power than the Asus Z690 Hero with the same CPU in the same benchmark); (2) BIOSes mature; (3) Win11 get debugged and stable; and (4) DDR5 prices decline; (5) PCIe5 devices such as NVME storage come to market.

Thus, I'm looking forward to Raptor Lake or Zen 4, or even Meteor Lake. Raptor Lake is rumored to double the E cores, so the 13th gen i7 will have 8+8(16C, 24T), and the i9 will have 8+16 (24C, 32T). So basically the current i9 (8+8) will become the new i7 (hopefully at the same $430 price), with bump in IPC from Raptor Cove (or whatever nomenclature Intel decides to use).

At that point in mid to late 2022, the software (Linux kernel, Win11, games, rendering programs like handbrake) should be well optimized for a Hybrid x86 architecture, and properly schedule and load balance threads on the Big and Little cores.
 

enemys

Posts: 266   +295
TechSpot Elite
"The 12700K, on the other hand, pushed total system usage 24% higher but delivered 31% more performance doing so, and was therefore more efficient than the 5800X."

That means your Intel system was more efficient than the AMD one, not necessarily that the CPU itself was more efficient. It might have better or worse efficiency than AMD - we don't really know, as you didn't measure the CPU power draw, but the total system power. A quick look at other reviews and benchmarks suggest that in most compute workloads Intel's power efficiency is still rather poor, at least for i7 and i9 models. They pump up single cores to about 60W peak, which is about 3x what a single Zen 3 core uses at 5GHz. Intel's power usage looks much better in gaming, though.

Other than that it's a good review and a nice CPU overall, though I feel hybrid cores aren't a great fit for desktop platform. I'm waiting for their mobile (and low power server) products, E-cores should be a lot more useful in power-constrained scenarios.
 

Nanochip

Posts: 66   +110
Other than that it's a good review and a nice CPU overall, though I feel hybrid cores aren't a great fit for desktop platform. I'm waiting for their mobile (and low power server) products, E-cores should be a lot more useful in power-constrained scenarios.

How are the E-cores not a good fit when the 12600K destroys the 5600X and the 12700K not only destroys the 5800X but also trades blows with the 5900X? Those E-cores are definitely punching quite hard, with roughly Skylake IPC. Allows Intel to optimize performance per watt per die-size area. 4 E-cores fit in the die area of 1 P core. So if the E-cores were not there, and were instead substituted by P-cores, then for the 12700K, that would roughly leave die space for one more P core. So that would be a 9 core design. I'd argue that multithreaded performance with a 9 (Golden Cove) core 12700K would be lower than the 8+4 design that made it to market. And the 9-core design would likely consume more power as well.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,366   +5,601
I doubt it because there's usually a big difference between "can they" optimize and "should they" optimize. Past what you mention of the core count of the consoles right now there's also other reasons why they probably shouldn't.

It's not as simple as saying "Ok get better performance on more cores now" This is like say, building a house. You've got a size for the house you need so for 1 person to build it that would take 3 months, fair enough. Add more people? 2 persons probably can manage 45 days. 3 people can manage 30 days good. This might keep going until you reach say, about 10 people: once you have maybe 2 or 3 people on each major task, you can't just bring more people in

You could, but people start getting in the way of each other. You now need 15 people plus 1 or 2 that need to just coordinate the teams and even that's not guaranteed: there is such a thing as the maximum amount of people on any one task and once you reach that number, adding more people even if you could, just wont help.

So it's not as simple as saying "Well have your game use more available cores for more tasks" it becomes really, really expensive and difficult to do and it's probably not worth it.

It would feel like the equivalent of inventing new materials, new construction methods even new civil engineering principles just to build a single house or group of houses faster. It can be done but it's unlikely to ever happen at that level.

That being said you gotta think that at least 1 full year but more likely 2 to 2.5 years of supply problems for the AAA PC Gaming market will have an effect. It's not immediate but companies know that even if they were hessitant of all the above points before this crisis, now that they expect gaming PC sales to at the very least slow down if not start regressing well that's gotta be on their minds. Specially because there's not a single thing being done to not only stop this from happening but to prevent it from happening in the future: it truly is looking that PC gamers might only get like 6 months or a year to get decent prices on hardware in between cycles of crypto currency expansion where they go 2 years without buying new hardware.
The overhead of running parallel tasks gets worse the mroe cores you add. I thinkt he biggest gains would be simpyl fromt he OS shoving everythign that isnt a game onto the e cores freeing up resources and limiting task switching in the P cores.

And if the rumor is true that nvidia is limiting 3000 series production to create artificial scarcity to justify current pricing being the "new normal" next generation, I can see a lot of game devs targeting console specs first, like during the 360 era, simply due to market penetration. The Pc market will become an expensive fanboy club like it was in the late 2000s dealign with subpar ports and $3000 builds to play the latest games.
 

BadThad

Posts: 1,039   +1,194
Based on power usage, temperature and performance this is clearly the winner over the 12900.

Great article, thanks!
 

Nintenboy01

Posts: 217   +174
The overhead of running parallel tasks gets worse the mroe cores you add. I thinkt he biggest gains would be simpyl fromt he OS shoving everythign that isnt a game onto the e cores freeing up resources and limiting task switching in the P cores.

And if the rumor is true that nvidia is limiting 3000 series production to create artificial scarcity to justify current pricing being the "new normal" next generation, I can see a lot of game devs targeting console specs first, like during the 360 era, simply due to market penetration. The Pc market will become an expensive fanboy club like it was in the late 2000s dealign with subpar ports and $3000 builds to play the latest games.
Man, we need Intel's GPUs to be good and priced well to take Nvidia down a peg.
 

Crinkles

Posts: 245   +220
Lol I think an AMD price drop is imminent.

Canada:
5950X (in stock) - $1039
12900K (minimal stock) - $749
5800X (in stock) - $619 / $499 sale price
**12700K (in stock) - $529
12700KF (not in stock yet) - $499
**12600K (in stock) - $369
12600KF (not in stock yet) - $329

If buying a system now, I'd go ADL, because X570 is dead as in no Zen 4 support.

Canada prices are not very close to US. Used to be..
12700K, $470 - subtract 59.
12600K, $319 - subtract 50.



It's not as simple as saying "Ok get better performance on more cores now" This is like say, building a house. You've got a size for the house you need so for 1 person to build it that would take 3 months, fair enough. Add more people? 2 persons probably can manage 45 days. 3 people can manage 30 days good. This might keep going until you reach say, about 10 people: once you have maybe 2 or 3 people on each major task, you can't just bring more people in


These two building industries are not that close, either. Man, we're discussing CPU's which are printed with metals in a vapor state not these hand-built frame houses made with 2x4's, sheetrock, shingles, pipes, glass...damn. I'm aware of what you're trying to do, please don't explain.

Hah, try CPU building with a 3d printer. /cut

Amazing. Intel's comeback is quite impressive, despite the comparatively less efficient Alder Lake processors.

Ryzen series processors almost sealed the fate of Intel, but it couldn't have been further than the truth.

I just got myself a 5900X and I can feel some sort of regret, unless some people can console me on my purchase.

As I have mentioned before, I'm not a fanboy of either, but as a consumer I would purchase the best with what I can afford.

If Intel won this round, I'm happy for it.


Intel won this round. Categorically, Intel has won.


I could drive to my local Micro Center store and purchase a 5800X for $300.

The remaining 99.98% of the country, cannot.


Man, we need Intel's GPUs to be good and priced well to take Nvidia down a peg.


Unleash the Dogs Of War for computer components are too damn high. woot
 

Crinkles

Posts: 245   +220
Based on power usage, temperature and performance this is clearly the winner over the 12900.

Great article, thanks!

To me it was nothing, literally. Best article I've ever written too, thanks and you're welcome. ☺
 

Crinkles

Posts: 245   +220
...Past what you mention of the core count of the consoles right now there's also other reasons why they probably shouldn't.

Mike Bruzzone has elaborated on Intel's manufacturing process, one that covers -several years- after the introduction of a new 'type' of CPU. It's pretty amazing, concerning the longer-range production of their fabrication plants.

Intel works something like this: A new CPU (dated) is mixed with other devices - or not- and put into production after being spread about on the silicon disks (wafers). This CPU is known as "Premium Hotness V9" and it's sold in several speeds at different prices. Intel gets $30 each, no matter what.

Over here in the CEO' s offices they're studying production before it starts, they're ultimately going to make predictions and everyone will have to live with the results. At 100% utilization their fab for these chips will produce 450 million CPU's per year. They decide a run should be 44 months, just short of four years or roughly 1.8 BILLION of these CPU's.

Production soon begins for 60 tons of fancy boxes to transport Premium Hotness V9's in Intel blue, inner boxes. 1.8 BILLION is exactly the same as 1,800 million, and millions are a thousand piles of a thousand, each.

Now, it's my job and it's your job and it's the job of these other five guys to take1000 of these every month until they're gone. But I'm out of room, and you're out of room, they're all running out of room. What do we do INTEL??

Can't you hear us? STOP THE TRAIN. Please we have $459 cpu's piled up everywhere. wtf? Gamers. Never trust a gamer again, or a contract with a data center, or this guy Bruzzone, the THEORTICAL analysist, he's not even real.

DarkFlashness comes and everything has died now it's covered with magnetic rust....then someone makes art with it and they call it Cyberphunk 2909.

This is crazy but Fine!

Any other reasons why they shouldn't?
 

Alfatawi Mendel

Posts: 205   +307
Lol I think an AMD price drop is imminent.

Canada:
5950X (in stock) - $1039
12900K (minimal stock) - $749
5800X (in stock) - $619 / $499 sale price
12700K (in stock) - $529
12700KF (not in stock yet) - $499
12600K (in stock) - $369
12600KF (not in stock yet) - $329

If buying a system now, I'd go ADL, because X570 is dead as in no Zen 4 support.
Indeed. As is socket 1700. Your shiny new alder lake will be useless on the next round of Intel's 'upgrades' And don't forget to factor in a top of the range 360 liquid cooler for your 'cheap' new Alder Lake chip.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,465   +2,435
Indeed. As is socket 1700. Your shiny new alder lake will be useless on the next round of Intel's 'upgrades' And don't forget to factor in a top of the range 360 liquid cooler for your 'cheap' new Alder Lake chip.
lol Tech isn't for you, bro.
If you can respect and understand it, it's actually pretty cool.

Take care.
 

Watzupken

Posts: 607   +504
I feel this is probably the next best Alder Lake chip after the i5 12600 series. From a gaming standpoint, the efficient cores are unlikely to do anything as I recall ADL only uses the P-cores when gaming. For people that need a processor for multithreaded workload, I feel I will either recommend the 12700 series or even the Ryzen 9 5900X if power is a concern.

In my opinion, this is no clear win for Intel. They reclaimed performance at the expense of power. With very high peak power draw, it may not win a lot of users back. To add on to the insult, Intel is launching the chips with top end chipset only. The problem with top end chipset is that you need to pay a steep price for at least a mid end board to keep up with the high power consumption. And in most cases, most people will not be overclocking their CPU because of the high heat output. So the overclocking feature that we paid for is going to be largely unused. Intel should have at least released the H670 series in tandem for people not looking to overclock. DDR5 is very expensive, but at least there are boards that allow us to use DDR4.
 

Daniele 00

Posts: 159   +121
It's amazing how quickly CPU generations are advancing. I can still use an 8-core 5960x with 32GB DDR4 and a 3090 to run virtually any game on the market

Dunno. I think game producers are concerned about the many resolutions gamers can use to play. The demanding performance vary a lot between 1080p 60hz and 4k 120hz. Surely the Cpu generation advancing is a thing, but also the variety of resolutions is something new in comparison with years ago.
 

Toju Mikie

Posts: 278   +265
Good review. I just bought a 3600xt this year, so I'll stick with AM4 for the time being. I could really make use of those extra cores with the i7 but it's not a big priority. Pricing on 12th gen Intel Core is competitive as well, but the heat and energy output may be a problem, since it could bring the cost up due to maybe needing a larger power supply and also needing good water cooling.

If you live near a microcenter, the 5800x just went on sale for $299 right now, which is a steal if you need a new CPU. I just thought I would mention this
https://www.microcenter.com/product...ore-am4-boxed-processor-heatsink-not-included
 

Dimitrios

Posts: 1,058   +863
I'm curios.................... Every time INTEL makes a new CPU architecture will there also be another WINDOWS version that will be forced down our throats? You gotta credit to Microsoft for working hard to increase the efficiency.

Being serious though, I'm wondering what the future holds with INTEL & AMD & WINDOWS...
 

Dimitrios

Posts: 1,058   +863
I feel this is probably the next best Alder Lake chip after the i5 12600 series. From a gaming standpoint, the efficient cores are unlikely to do anything as I recall ADL only uses the P-cores when gaming. For people that need a processor for multithreaded workload, I feel I will either recommend the 12700 series or even the Ryzen 9 5900X if power is a concern.

In my opinion, this is no clear win for Intel. They reclaimed performance at the expense of power. With very high peak power draw, it may not win a lot of users back. To add on to the insult, Intel is launching the chips with top end chipset only. The problem with top end chipset is that you need to pay a steep price for at least a mid end board to keep up with the high power consumption. And in most cases, most people will not be overclocking their CPU because of the high heat output. So the overclocking feature that we paid for is going to be largely unused. Intel should have at least released the H670 series in tandem for people not looking to overclock. DDR5 is very expensive, but at least there are boards that allow us to use DDR4.

Even though I hate INTEL it was a smart move to focus on performance instead of efficiency because at the end of the day only two things matter. 1.) Shareholders 2.) 1st place bragging rights.
 

Strawman

Posts: 565   +290
Amazing. Intel's comeback is quite impressive, despite the comparatively less efficient Alder Lake processors.
Actually alder lake are extremely efficient. Only in rendering they have bad efficiency, and that's because of the PL1=PL2=240w. Lowering the power limits makes them efficient in rendering as well, with a minimal loss of performance. For other tasks though, like autocad / solidworks / gaming etc. they are far more efficient than zen 3. Check igor's lab review
 

Strawman

Posts: 565   +290
Indeed. As is socket 1700. Your shiny new alder lake will be useless on the next round of Intel's 'upgrades' And don't forget to factor in a top of the range 360 liquid cooler for your 'cheap' new Alder Lake chip.
I'll be running a 12900k on a u12s. It will be absolutely fine. Wanna bet?

Also that shiny new 1700socket is going to get as many upgrades as the x570, namely, 1. So stop making **** up, who are you trying to convince and why?
 

HardReset

Posts: 1,665   +1,322
Actually alder lake are extremely efficient. Only in rendering they have bad efficiency, and that's because of the PL1=PL2=240w. Lowering the power limits makes them efficient in rendering as well, with a minimal loss of performance. For other tasks though, like autocad / solidworks / gaming etc. they are far more efficient than zen 3. Check igor's lab review
Yeah, more efficient because CPU load is far from 100%. That's how you cherry pick testing methods :D
Also that shiny new 1700socket is going to get as many upgrades as the x570, namely, 1. So stop making **** up, who are you trying to convince and why?
Socket 1700: 2021
Socket AM4: 2017

Basically Alder Lake is hot as hell, has very poor software compatibility, requires ultra-expensive DDR5 to run properly and upgrade paths are abysmal.

Intel just sucks, admit it already :bomb:
 

Jack Deth

Posts: 67   +105
Somewhat better, yes.

Crushing ryzen? Lol no.

Waiting to see what 3d v-cache can do. And quite frankly, the real show will be zen 4 vs. Raptor lake.