Intel Core i9-12900K Review: Alder Lake Arrives

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Watzupken

Posts: 597   +500
Good review. Good to see Intel back in the game, but I agree power consumption is still looking really ugly. And this unfortunately hit cooling hard because the high end chip is going to be very difficult to keep cool unless you go custom water cooling. It just shows that Intel went all out to win back the single core performance and left power consumption as the lowest priority despite the supposed efficient cores that's part of the Alder Lake. It is clear that the e-cores is there just for the sake of bumping up multicore performance, and less of lowering power consumption. The Golden Cove core is very power hungry.
 

BSim500

Posts: 901   +2,120
So as predicted, the E cores are primarily there to artificially inflate the synthetics (Cinebench, etc) in the MOAR CORE number-chasing p*ssing contest (and even then Alder Lake seems to get thrashed by the Ryzens in 7zip, Corona, Blender, etc), whilst gaming benchmarks are barely 9% higher on average vs the 2 generation old i9-10900K, and at least part of that 9% includes "+20% higher" IPC & faster RAM? Also, no thank you to 355w CPU's.

Some ideas for future articles - It would be nice to see 1. The benchmarks retested with the E cores disabled just to see how much 'improvement' is down to extra cores and how much is RAM / IPC, and 2. W10 vs W11 (for those who don't want to 'upgrade' to W11 but want to see how the scheduler would impact it, eg, potential problems with heavy game threads getting assigned to the 'wrong' cores).
 

Geralt

Posts: 1,125   +1,738
If you overclock the 5950X so it consumes as the new Alder Lake CPU, I guess that performance would be similar. Ryzen is already 1 year old technology. So, I am not impressed by the new hot potato.

Additionally, as I play at 4K I don't care about the performance at 1080p.

Those levels of temperature are not acceptable in Alder Lake. Intel overclocked it too much to compete with Ryzen. Bad thing.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,980
Well, nice to see some competition... I'd like to see you benchmark some NON-GPU INTENSIVE games so that we can actually see which CPU is better... most of the games provided were "ties" but only because they maxed out the 6900 used (still think you need to spring for a 3090 - but I understand that's really expensive).

 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,203   +4,240
Still watching reviews myself but it kinda looks like their BIG little did the trick for them to *match* Zen 3.

And yes I know best case scenario technically it actually surpasses the 5950x by about 10% from what I've seen but they should lead by more because if we take DDR5 out of the equation, they actually look more closely matched: 16 core chips and lots of threads (More for AMD but more powerful for Intel so overall matched)

I just don't think Lisa Su is losing any sleep over this launch: AMD might actually match them with just Zen3+ and their new v-catch and then it's back to a better position (And likely, better fab node) for AMD on Zen 4.

Still in the grand scheme of things, small victories do help intel slow down their big customer bleeding but I don't think it reverses anything yet.

EDIT: I forgot to mention: I fully expect AMD to actually lower the 5950x price to USD 650 in the coming weeks or slightly above since they seem to have been getting a good steady flow of those now so they might as well move them faster at a smaller price and not let intel have the seemingly better pricing (Seemingly, cause DDR5 makes Alder Lake significantly more expensive than even current pricing 5950x and DDR4 which is very cheap right now)
 
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Yenega

Posts: 302   +206
The watt usage in gaming is as good or even better than Zen 3. This is also the case with all other Intel chips even at 5+ GHz. They can hit alot of watts in synthetics and burn-in apps, however in gaming they are barely using 100 watts on average.

Looks like a great release, the i5-12600K and i7-12700K especially brings very good performance for the money. i9-12900K is pretty bad value compared to those two and I bet performance would be pretty much identical between the i7 and i9 with same clocks.
 

winjer

Posts: 423   +1,931
Although average frame rates are somewhat similar to Zen3.
The thing that impressed me was how in a couple of games, the minimum frame rate was increased by a significant margin. Especially with DDR5.
I'm guessing the extra bandwidth might help with data streaming in some games.
 

Irata

Posts: 2,104   +3,633
I don‘t really see the 12900K‘s point.

For gaming, the 12600K is probably more interesting from a price / performance perspective and for MT it looks underwhelming considering its atrocious perf/W and Cinebench results don‘t appear to scale to other MT apps.

Still, the architecture looks good, can‘t deny that.

One last thing:

but we feel those investing in a 5900X or 5950X are better off going X570.

Why, besides better IO ? A decent B550 board should be more than fine enough for a 5950x as it does not need to handle that much power.

You also forgot to factor in cooling when it comes to total price, although you do mention this in the beginning.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,421
Intel have destroyed AMD after just one year. The 12900K is significantly cheaper than the 5950X and it’s smoking it. This is where things should be, Ryzen 5000 is 2020 hardware. It should be par for the course for 2021 hardware to beat it.

Buyers won’t be put off by the power consumption. You don’t buy a top end unlocked K series CPU if you care about power efficiency. These Alder lake parts will outsell their competitors by an order of magnitude.

I look forward to seeing the benchmarks of the 12600K. Which I feel is a more realistic purchase for most people.
 

Nintenboy01

Posts: 217   +174
Not a complete slam dunk, and productivity power usage is certainly unimpressive. Zen 3 with 3D V-Cache will likely retake the gaming performance crown too in Watch Dogs Legion since that can compensate for the lack of fast DDR5. The real battle I think will be Zen 4 versus Raptor Lake on Intel 4.
 

Nintenboy01

Posts: 217   +174
Intel have destroyed AMD after just one year. The 12900K is significantly cheaper than the 5950X and it’s smoking it. This is where things should be, Ryzen 5000 is 2020 hardware. It should be par for the course for 2021 hardware to beat it.

Buyers won’t be put off by the power consumption. You don’t buy a top end unlocked K series CPU if you care about power efficiency. These Alder lake parts will outsell their competitors by an order of magnitude.

I look forward to seeing the benchmarks of the 12600K. Which I feel is a more realistic purchase for most people.
not a massive improvement though especially when Intel has far deeper pockets. But baby steps I guess.
 

dangh

Posts: 573   +909
Intel have destroyed AMD after just one year. The 12900K is significantly cheaper than the 5950X and it’s smoking it. This is where things should be, Ryzen 5000 is 2020 hardware. It should be par for the course for 2021 hardware to beat it.

Buyers won’t be put off by the power consumption. You don’t buy a top end unlocked K series CPU if you care about power efficiency. These Alder lake parts will outsell their competitors by an order of magnitude.

I look forward to seeing the benchmarks of the 12600K. Which I feel is a more realistic purchase for most people.
I think we just read two different articles.
 

mrSister

Posts: 73   +101
Not really impressed to be honest. Zen3 is like a year old and while Intel has been able to take back the crown, it has done so at the expense of high power consumption.

Performance wise it might be ok for workstation use, but really not impressed by its gaming performance. Even less impressed when factoring the power consumption.

Let's see those i5 and i7 but I don't expect them to be any better at power usage than their Zen3 competition.
 

Nintenboy01

Posts: 217   +174
Not really impressed to be honest. Zen3 is like a year old and while Intel has been able to take back the crown, it has done so at the expense of high power consumption.

Performance wise it might be ok for workstation use, but really not impressed by its gaming performance. Even less impressed when factoring the power consumption.

Let's see those i5 and i7 but I don't expect them to be any better at power usage than their Zen3 competition.
Not sure if it's the architecture itself or perhaps more likely their manufacturing process is just way behind TSMC at this point.
 

EdmondRC

Posts: 247   +333
I would be impressed if Intel was able to offer this performance at similar power consumption of the Ryzen Gen 3 processors. But, it consumes nearly 2X the power to offer a modest performance uplift in most scenarios.

Could you imagine buying a truck that could tow 5-10% more, but used nearly 2X the fuel? You'd be crazy. Even if it was a little cheaper, you know in the long run that truck would cost you more and offer you very little day to day benefits.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,421
not a massive improvement though especially when Intel has far deeper pockets. But baby steps I guess.
Its a massive improvement over the 11th gen. But yes, I do think there is big progress to come. It seems Intel have been awoken.

At this point I’m more worried about AMD. The last time they got beat by Intel it took them over a decade to come back with a competitive product. I pray that does not happen again.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,980
I would be impressed if Intel was able to offer this performance at similar power consumption of the Ryzen Gen 3 processors. But, it consumes nearly 2X the power to offer a modest performance uplift in most scenarios.

Could you imagine buying a truck that could tow 5-10% more, but used nearly 2X the fuel? You'd be crazy. Even if it was a little cheaper, you know in the long run that truck would cost you more and offer you very little day to day benefits.
Except that gas actually costs money... a couple hundred watts costs almost nothing for people in North America....

Power requirements are really only an issue for mobile parts... for 99% of the purchasers of these PCs, they plug it in and forget all about the power it uses.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,421
Except that gas actually costs money... a couple hundred watts costs almost nothing for people in North America....

Power requirements are really only an issue for mobile parts... for 99% of the purchasers of these PCs, they plug it in and forget all about the power it uses.
Comments complaining about power consumption are just desperate fanboys clutching at straws. Intel have beaten AMD on both price and performance and it’s literally all they have left to argue. You don’t buy an unlocked K series flagship part if you give a dam about power consumption, or a Ryzen 5950x for that matter.

The difference in power costs will never equal the extra money you currently pay for a 5950x in most countries.
 

Rdmetz

Posts: 373   +181
Well, nice to see some competition... I'd like to see you benchmark some NON-GPU INTENSIVE games so that we can actually see which CPU is better... most of the games provided were "ties" but only because they maxed out the 6900 used (still think you need to spring for a 3090 - but I understand that's really expensive).

Spring for a 3090? They has several they just tend to be amd biased around here so they keep the 3090's in their personal rigs at home (that way they can continue to enjoy the benefits without giving up their "we are AMD fans like you all" approach to engagement.
 

Rdmetz

Posts: 373   +181
If you overclock the 5950X so it consumes as the new Alder Lake CPU, I guess that performance would be similar. Ryzen is already 1 year old technology. So, I am not impressed by the new hot potato.

Additionally, as I play at 4K I don't care about the performance at 1080p.

Those levels of temperature are not acceptable in Alder Lake. Intel overclocked it too much to compete with Ryzen. Bad thing.

1 you can't overclock the 5950x enough to make it match as really none of the tip end chips have enough oc headroom these days to make it worthwhile.

2. The fact you forget about temps is that's only when doing very CPU intensive productivity tasks if you care about gaming (especially at 4) then the power usage is the same or possibly even Lower than what AMD is doing leading to the same or lower temps.
 
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