i9-12900k vs i7-12700k
The launch of AMD’s 5000 series processors appeared to be the end of the game for Intel, as those processors drew immediate attention and buyer response due to their outstanding performance and benchmarks. However, Intel responded by launching their 12th generation processor lineup, dubbed “Alder Lake,” on November 4th, 2021. You might be here for the i9-12900k vs i7-12700k comparison, but don’t worry; we’ll get to that after the introduction and these fundamental differences.
What’s new in Intel 12th Generation Alder Lake
The x86 hybrid architecture is used in the Intel Alder Lake 12th generation, which consists of larger high-performance cores based on ‘Golden Cove’ cores and smaller high-efficiency cores based on ‘Gracemont’ microarchitecture based on Intel 7 (the new name for 10 nm Enhanced SuperFin process) process node. These Golden Cove cores, also known as P-cores (Performance cores), are Intel’s most powerful CPU cores, with architectural benefits such as increased single-thread performance and response time on highly computational tasks such as gaming and 3D design.
Gracemont cores, on the other hand, or E-cores (Efficient cores), are designed to scale highly threaded workloads. They have been improved to reduce interference from the background task management module in order to provide better multitasking support. They also improve multi-threading performance for concurrently running tasks. Intel’s ‘Intel 7’ Enhanced SuperFin 10nm process has been improved by Alder Lake. In addition, for improved coherence with the operating system, they have introduced a new hardware technology called ‘Intel Thread Director.’
This technology, which is built directly into the cores, is an intelligent workload distributer that improves efficiency by utilising the cores at their peak performance and prioritising the workload to an optimised thread. This feature ensures that P-cores and E-cores are assigned in an optimised and dynamic manner. Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 11, now includes support for Intel Thread Director. This time, the 12th generation of processors is jam-packed with new technologies. Intel Gaussian and Neural Accelerator 3.0 is one of them. In our daily lives, we hear the term AI, or Artificial Intelligence. Intel has developed a low-power neural coprocessor to aid in AI applications of speech and audio, such as neural noise cancellation. The Intel Deep Learning Boost is the icing on the cake (Intel DL Boost). It is a set of features designed for their CPUs to optimise AI workloads.
Intel 12th Generation Alder Lake Specs Overview
- Socket: LGA 1700
- Architecture Type: Hybrid
- Instruction Set: x86-64
- CPU Cores Info: Combination of Golden Cove P-cores and Gracemont E-Cores.
- RAM Support: DDR4 and DDR5
- PCIe Support: PCIe 5.0
- Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi 6E
- I/O: Thunderbolt 4 support.
- Support for noise suppression, auto-framing, and bandwidth enhancement.
Difference between Intel Core i7 and Intel Core i9
Let’s start with the fundamentals before diving into i9-12900k vs i7-12700k benchmarks and performance. To begin, a Core is a component of a processor that serves as the CPU’s brain. It receives instructions from the user via threads, processes them, and outputs the results. A CPU/processor has multiple cores that work in tandem. Each core can work on its own set of instructions, and in the case of multiple cores, parallel processing on the cache can be performed.
Intel Core is a series of efficient processors introduced by Intel Corporation in January 2006. These included CPUs for midrange PC and Workstation users. They began with the Pentium series and progressed to the Core i3, Core i7, and Core i9 processors. In general, the i7 and i9 have more cores and consume more power than their predecessor series; the primary difference is the greater number of cores, higher clock speed, and more cache. Let’s dig a little deeper.
Intel Core i7
Intel Corporation introduced the Core i7 in 2008, with 64-bit x86 processors with up to 8 cores. They were one of the most powerful processors in the ‘Core I lineup until the introduction of the i9 series in 2017. During its hype, the i7 processor series was found in high-end performing PCs. Their scalability, combined with their performance at the time, caused them to sell like hotcakes.
If you needed top-tier gaming performance as well as low- to mid-tier content creation capabilities, the i7 lineup was a no-brainer. The Intel Core i7 processor featured a novel technology known as Hyperthreading, which allows each core to be used twice concurrently, giving the impression of having twice the number of cores. To accomplish this, it creates two processing threads for each physical core. The Intel i7 also supported multi-threading, allowing for multitasking and top-tier gaming performance. Intel Core i7 processors also include Turbo Boost technology, which boosts performance per core while drawing more power.
Intel Core i9
The Core i9 was made by Intel in 2017, and it has 64-bit x86 microprocessors with high performance and a lot of cores. It is now the most up-to-date and powerful Core I line. They use the Skylake microarchitecture, which is manufactured on a 14nm process. Also, i9 processors could run up to 128GB of DDR4 RAM in quad-channel mode, which is more than 44 PCI Express lanes (i7 had 28 PCI Express channels). Some of these CPUs have 6 to 18 core. If Hyperthreading is turned on for each core, there are two threads per core.
If you use Turbo Boost, you can make it go even faster. Its base speed is between 2.9 and 3.36 GHz. In terms of how much power it uses, it is best known for its ability to run multiple threads. The Core i9 has better stats and better performance, so it can do Hyperthreading, which takes multi-tasking to a whole new level. As a result, it has a lot of processing power to do things like play games. An unlocked CPU called Intel i9 can be overclocked, which makes it faster. People overclock things so that they can run at speeds that they were not meant to be able to.
It allows the CPU to perform more operations per second at the cost of more heat being dissipated. Intel Core i9 processors can also use Intel Optane memory for more speed. It is a smart technology that makes the computer experience more personalised and easier to use. It learns which files are most commonly used and keeps them close at hand for easy access. It, in turn, significantly speeds up the system’s boot time and performance.
Core i9-12900k vs Core i7-12700k
Both processors are based on the Alder Lake architecture and are the most powerful in their respective series. AMD gained market share with the release of their new 5000 series CPUs in the AMD-Intel battle for market dominance, but Intel reclaimed the throne with the launch of the 12th generation. In the benchmarks, Intel’s multitasking and gaming performance has improved across the board, with AMD taking only a few victories. Let’s take a closer look at both of these CPUs to help you make a decision.
The Intel Alder Lake-S processor series includes the i9-12900k and i7-12700k. They have different core/thread counts and a hybrid x86 architecture soldered on a 10nm process. Both CPUs support HyperThreading and Overclocking, as well as Turbo Boost Max 3.0.
With 16 cores, the Intel Core i9-12900k has eight “Performance Core” cores and four “E-Cores,” which are used for other things (Efficient Cores). The i7-12700k has 12 cores. For example, the Core i9 has the same number of P-cores as the Core i7-12700k, but it has four more E-cores than the Core i7-12700k. This means there are eight E-cores on the machine. Twenty threads are in the i7-12700k, while 24 are in the i9-12900k. When it comes to core count and thread count, the i9 has more of both.
However, this isn’t very big of a difference. Because of the turbo speed, the i7 CPU can run at up to 5.00 GHz, while the i9 CPU can run at up to 6.20 GHz. The speed of both CPUs for Turbo Boost 3.0 Frequency is the same. Because of this, when the i7-12700k is running, the P-base core’s speed is 3.60 GHz, and its maximum turbo speed is 4.90 GHz. If you want to run your computer at its fastest speed, you’ll need a computer with an i9-12900k P-Core that has a base frequency of 3.20 GHz. Analyzing the E-core frequency of this computer, we found that the i7-12700k E-core Base Frequency is 2.70 GHz, and its Turbo Frequency is 3.80 GHz. Base frequency: i9-12900k has a frequency of 2.40 GHz. Turbo frequency: i9-12900k can go from 2.40 GHz to 3.90 GHz.
There won’t be a big difference in how well it works in real-world situations, like when you play games. However, if you do a lot of work in the background, the four cores in the i9-12900k may be useful (depends on usage). It has a 12MB L2 cache and a 25MB L3 cache. It has a 14MB L2 cache and a 30MB L3 cache. This will make instruction processing and system performance better in both of the systems that use these CPUs. The more L3 cache there is, the better. Their “base power” (TDP) is 125W. If you want to get the most out of your computer, the i7-12700k needs 190W of power, while the i7-12900k needs 241W of power. UHD Graphics 770 is built into both processors. It is based on the Xe Architecture and has a base frequency of 300MHz, which is the same for both.
Credits: Forbes/Antony Leather
Intel Core i7-12700k CPU Specs
Here are some high-level CPU specifications for i7-12700k clearly laid out, showing essential stats such as cores, threads, number of P-cores, and others.
- Cores: 12
- Threads: 20
- Number of Performance Cores (P-cores): 8
- Number of Efficient Cores (E-cores): 4
- P-core Base Frequency: 3.60 GHz
- P-core Max Turbo Frequency: 4.90 GHz
- E-core Base Frequency: 2.70 GHz
- E-core Max Turbo Frequency: 3.80 GHz
- Max Turbo Frequency: 5.00 GHz
- Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 Frequency: 5.00 GHz
- L3-Cache: 25MB
- TDP: 125W
- Maximum Turbo Power: 190W
Intel Core i9-12900k CPU Specs
Below are some on-paper stats provided for better clarification and helping you reach a decision based on facts and figures.
- Cores: 16
- Threads: 24
- Number of Performance Cores (P-cores): 8
- Number of Efficient Cores (E-cores): 8
- P-core Base Frequency: 3.20 GHz
- P-core Max Turbo Frequency: 5.10 GHz
- E-core Base Frequency: 2.40 GHz
- E-core Max Turbo Frequency: 3.90 GHz
- Max Turbo Frequency: 5.20 GHz
- Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 Frequency: 5.20 GHz
- L3-Cache: 30MB
- TDP: 125W
- Maximum Turbo Power: 241W
An important thing to look at when we compare i9-12900k to the i7-12700k is how much it costs. The price of the Intel Core i9-12900k when it first came out was $589.99. At this point, you can get it for as much as $610 to $650. On the other hand, the MSRP price for the Intel Core i7-12700k was $409. You can get it for $400 to $450.
Memory Specifications and Expansion Options
The Intel Core i7-12700k and Intel Core i9-12900k processors can handle up to 128GB of RAM (depending on memory type). DDR4 and DDR5 memory can be used in dual channel with the Intel Core i7-12700k. It can be used with DDR5 memory up to 4800MT/s. The Intel Core i9-12900k can also run dual-channel DDR4 and DDR5 memory at speeds of up to 3200MT/s and 4800MT/s, too. There is no difference between the i7-12700k and the i9-12700k when it comes to the amount of memory bandwidth they can handle.
The Z690 Chipset was also released by Intel along with its 12th generation processors. It has an LGA 1700 socket and can be used with all 12th generation processors. The new Z690 chipset and LGA 1700 socket type means your old chipsets and motherboards won’t work with these 12th generation CPUs because they won’t work with the new ones. Each of the two processors from Intel has PCIe 2.0 or 3.0, which means they can use their PC’s GPU and hard drive to the fullest. Some of these CPUs have up to four PCIe 4.0 lanes and sixteen PCIe 5.0 lanes. This means that they can send a lot of information very quickly when they work with compatible devices. PCI Express 5.0 will have a lot of speed: 64GB/s across 16 lanes. Any PCIe 5.0-enabled device will have faster storage speeds and graphics in applications such as video processing or gaming. This means faster loading times.
There are 8 DMI Lanes in both CPUs. DMI 4.0 is a new version of the interface between the CPU and the chipset. FCLGA1700 (LGA 1700) is a new socket type that these processors use. It is bigger than its predecessor, LGA 1200. Because the socket size is getting bigger, the way the cooling works will also change. There’s a chance that the previous cooling method didn’t work as well as it should have. They already have upgrade kits for their products that can be used with motherboards with LGA 1700 sockets, like Noctua, which is one of the big players in the game right now.
Because of the increased TDP for both processors, you may need a good cooling solution to get the most out of these soldered semiconductors and avoid thermal throttling. On the other hand, the motherboard you choose will have a big impact on how well these CPUs work. Both the i7 and i9 processors will need the same amount of power. You’ll also have to think about the type of memory for each motherboard because DDR5 RAM isn’t as common as it was a few years ago. Because new technologies like a new chipset Z690, a new socket LGA 1700, and processor support for PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 memory types will make motherboards more expensive, they will be more expensive than they used to be There will be a lot of choices on the market, depending on the design, memory, Wi-Fi, Overclocking, and VRM efficiency. There aren’t any PCIe 5.0 devices that are available to the general public right now, but choosing one will be a smart move for the future.
Intel Core i7-12700k and Core i9-12900k Memory and Expansion Specs:
- Max Memory Size: 128 GB
- Memory Support: DDR4 and DDR5
- Memory Transfer Rates: DDR5-4800MT/s, DDR4-3200MT/s
- Number of Memory Channels: 2 (dual channel)
- DMI (Direct Media Interface) Version: 4.0
- Maximum Number of DMI Lanes: 8
- PCI Express Revision: 4.0 and 5.0
- PCI Express Configurations: Up to 1×16+4, 2×8+4
- Maximum Number of PCI Express Lanes: 20
A lot of people say that Intel Core i9-12900k and Intel Core i7-12700k are some of the best processors out there, and they are a threat to AMD right away. Game play could be a good way to figure out who is the best at their job. Both processors are pretty powerful, and their gaming performance doesn’t have a lot of big differences, but some statistics will show how well they do in the long run. To see how well different games run, let’s take a look at some tests. With an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 GPU, an MSI MPG Z690 CARBON motherboard, and Corsair Dominator Platinum 4800 CL 36 (DDR4) RAM, the tester ran the CPUs through their paces.
- CPU: Intel Core i9-12900K, Intel Core i7-12700K
- Motherboard: MSI MPG Z690 CARBON
- GPU: MSI NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080
- RAM: Corsair Dominator Platinum 4800 CL 36 (DDR4)
- Storage: SSD Samsung EVO 970 500GB
- Power Supply: Super Flower Leadex Platinum 1000W
- OS: Windows 10
Tests were done to see how well CS:GO worked at 1080p resolution with high settings. For this configuration, we get the stats shown below in i7-12700k vs i9-12700k, which are the same.
YT and Benchmark Lab are to blame for this. It’s called “CS:GO.” There, we can see that our big winner, the i9-12900k, has a usage rate of 29% at 63°C with an average of 645 FPS. The i7-12700k, on the other hand, is only using 20% of its power at 58°C and is averaging 629 FPS. 5000 MHz clock speed and almost 95W TDP are two more things to note. This means that i9 is getting hotter than our i7 competitor. It has a TDP of 71.4W and a clock speed of 4700 MHz, which makes it hotter than the i7. This change shows that the temperature difference between the two CPUs is almost 5°C, which is important!
During the performance test for Cyberpunk 2077, the game was played at 1080p resolution with high settings and Ray Tracing turned off. The results are shown below.
Cyberpunk 2077 is indeed a game that needs a lot of resources, and the game’s stats show that. 59 percent of the i9-12900k was used at 75°C with an average FPS of 115. However, the i7-12700k, on the other hand, uses 61% of its CPU resources at 67°C and gives an average of 112 FPS at the same time. i9-12900k is still running at about 5000 MHz and almost 153.1W. There is more power being used by i9 than by i7. It has a TDP of 126.9W and a clock speed of 4700 MHz. Almost 8°C is also different. These stats show that the i9-12900k is doing more work and using more power, but getting the same results as the i7-12900k. Our next games will help us come up with a better answer.
Red Dead Redemption 2 (RDR2)
i9-12900k vs i7-12900k Benchmarks: It would be unfair not to include RDR2 because it is a beautiful game that takes a lot of resources. There was a test run of RDR2 at 1080p with “High Setting.” If you want, we can take a look at how our Alder Lake competitors fare.
YT/Benchmark Lab RDR2 are to blame. For RDR, the i9-12900k only uses 26% of the processor at 60°C with an average FPS of 145. When we look at the i7-12700k, 34 percent of it is used at 56°C and it gives an average of 138 FPS. I9’s TDP is 115.3W, which is more than twice as much as ours. Again, we are getting almost the same performance from both processors, even though the i9 has more cores and threads than the other one. Due to a bottleneck, the Intel Core i9 might also speed up and use more power because it can’t keep up. A bottleneck is a situation that happens when a component can’t use some resources to their fullest because of a hardware problem. This makes a component not be able to do its best work.
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 (MSFS 2020)
While we set up a mid-tier to top-tier gaming rig, we don’t get to play Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 on it. It gives you the immersive experience of a flight simulator, allowing you to travel around the world while sitting in front of your Desktop PC! On MSFS 2020 ON 1080p High Settings, we put our i7 and i9 challengers to the test. Let’s see what the statistics say.
As far as I can tell, MSFS 2020 doesn’t seem to be very CPU-heavy. This is what we saw on the i9-12900k: 22 percent of the CPU was used at 62°C when the FPS was at 167. At 53°C, the CPU usage for the i7-12700k was 18%. This resulted in an average frame rate of 158 FPS. For MSFS 2020, we can see that the i9-12900k and i7-12900k both do well. We can see that the i7-12700k has a lower CPU temperature, TDP, CPU usage, and clock speed than the i9-12700k.
This means that both processors are almost as good as each other. It’s easy to figure out that the Intel Core i9-12900k and i7-12700k both do about the same amount of work, even though the i9 is more power-hungry and runs cooler. However, the i9 CPU has more cores and threads. This also makes more heat, but it has little effect on the performance metrics that are shown in the stats. It doesn’t make sense to spend more money on better resources if you can get the same results as the last generation. Because each game is different, this won’t be true for each one. Your other computer parts will also play a role in how well your computer runs.
i9-12900k vs i7-12700k – Which One is Better?
There were times when we had to compare the two 12th-generation microprocessors side by side because both of them caught us off guard. They are both powerful and efficient, and they have the best performance in the world. It’s not good that they need a new motherboard, a new Z690 Chipset, and a new LGA 1700 socket to start with. Second, the cooling system will need to be changed because the old setups won’t work here until the brands come out with new kits. As long as we have a plan in place, we can make it easy for you to buy.
Proceed with care! The Intel Core i9-12900k is by far the most powerful of the bunch. With performance and efficiency in mind, Intel has made a piece of art that includes market-leading new technologies. In any case, it’s for people who like it. Because they’re so powerful, some PCs can’t make the most of them. However, if you want to be more productive or protect yourself from the future, it’s an option to think about. However, we won’t just recommend it for gaming because its i7 counterpart can do the same thing. It also costs less than its AMD counterparts. It also needs a good cooling system because it makes a lot of heat. A good thing to keep in mind is that the Z690 Motherboard you choose could make a big difference in how well it works. On a cheap Z690 motherboard, it won’t be able to give you enough power to do anything.
The Intel Core i7-12700k is also very powerful. It has the same gaming performance as its bigger brother, the i9, but it takes less power. It does well with the hardware it has, even though it has fewer cores and threads and uses less power. People who play games want to get the best value for their money, so they’ll go with this over other AMD chips. If you look at how much it costs and how much it does, it also beats the Ryzen 5800X and Ryzen 5900X chips. If you want to play games, get the i7-12700k and spend a little more on your motherboard and cooling system, because they will make everything look better. If you like games, editing, and rendering and want to be the first to use resources that get the most out of an i9-12900k, there is nothing better for you. However, if you’re a gamer who needs an upgrade, the i9-12900k isn’t worth the extra $200 for almost the same performance as the i7-12900k, which costs $200 more.
Frequently Asked Questions – i9-12900k vs i7-12700k
Will my previous motherboard work with Intel Core i7-12700k?
In order to use the i7-12700k processor, your motherboard must have both the Z690 Chipset and the LGA 1700 socket. If your motherboard does not have both, you will be unable to use it. Because the LGA 1700 socket is a different size from its predecessor, your CPU will not fit in it. A possibility exists that your old cooling equipment will not fit in this location as well. We recommend that you read our Best Z690 Motherboards article before making a purchase decision on a new motherboard.
Is i9-12900k an immediate choice for the best gaming experience?
It all depends on the situation. If you’re eager to take advantage of the Intel i9-full 12900k’s potential, then the answer is definitely yes. Without a doubt, it gives the most enjoyable gaming experience. However, if you are on a tight budget and demand a comparable level of performance, the i7-12700k is a good fit for your needs. Spend a little more money on your motherboard, and you’ll be all set to go.
My name’s George Owens and from past 10 years I am working as hardware engineer and built many PCs for myself and my friends. I love gaming, programming, graphics designing and basically anything that has to do with computers and technology. If you ever need a hand with anything, feel free to contact me and I will be more than happy to help you out.