Video Games Tutorials and News - Damn, Intel. 12th-gen Core (alder Lake)
That's right intel jumped on the bandwagon with Arm and Apple for their best generational upgrade in at least a decade, but let's back up a sec. Our sponsor, Corsair, doesn't know. Thanks to Corsair for sponsoring this article. Corsair's Xenion gaming monitor is an ultra slim 32-inch qhd gaming monitor with up to 165hz, one millisecond response times and more.
The 12th Gen Core codenamed Alder Lake is a paradigm shift for desktop processors, but it's also one that we've had in mobile for quite some time, and the TL DR is that instead of stuffing as many full power cores into the CPU then turboing them down when they're all active, the cores are now split up between performance and efficiency cores called p and e-course, respectively.
The launch lineup ranges from 10 to 16 total cores, with the main differences between them being, of course, clock speed and that the performance cores are capable of running two threads at once via hyper threading.
A note about windows 11 and test setup
Great question, but we need to talk about Windows 11 first. It's kind of a prerequisite for testing Elder Lake's radical new design. The thing is, Windows 10 just doesn't have a scheduler that's capable of taking full advantage of this new architecture. This is a huge problem because, up until now, Windows 11's new scheduler hasn't been kind to AMD.
Thankfully, the fixes for performance issues on Ryzen came out just as we were starting our benchmarks, so our numbers should be fair to both sides, in spite of the fact that we're benchmarking on Windows 11. We do need to address another big variable here, though. Alder Lake supports both ddr4 and ddr5, which each have their own trade-offs.
We chose DDr5 for our launch review, meaning that our numbers are going to represent a best-case scenario for performance, but maybe won't represent a best-case scenario for value due to DDr5's higher cost , f1.
Intel starts things off with a bang for Intel with the core i9 12900k coming in at 5 to 10 faster than its Ryzen nine competitors and the core i5 just a hair's breadth away.
Can Intel keep it up with Forza? Yeah, they can. That is anywhere from eight to eleven percent faster depending on the parameters you're looking at and whatever advantage Intel has here, probably clock speed. It's paying off in Far Cry 6 too, with an even bigger lead. It is up to 25 faster than the competition and has never dipped below 100 frames per second, and if you've been paying close attention to the graphs, the core i5 has never been far behind, making life really difficult for our previous value gaming darling, the Ryzen 5 5600x.
Moving on to the Microsoft Flight Simulator, well, this is a bit of a mess, isn't it? The Ryzen 9 5900x beats out the core i9 with the higher turbo, not to mention a higher core count, while the 5950x falls behind even the Ryzen 5. Given how lightly threaded the flight simulator has been so far, this might just be an example of the new Windows 11 scheduler running up against something that it didn't expect.
In spite of the fixes, we almost threw this test out due to the weirdness. We felt like whatever's going on, this is one scenario where Intel's new silicon isn't as dominant as they'd like it to be and is possibly also an area of investigation for AMD and Microsoft. Then you've got situations like CS: GO, where Intel treats us to even more ludicrous frame rates in the dust 2 benchmark and civilization 6, where our turn times are a good 7 to 10 percent shorter than on team red, which could make that one more turn before bed go by a little quicker overall.
Our testing has firmly demonstrated that Intel has reclaimed its crown for gaming performance, with the core i9 enjoying a solid 7-overall lead over the Ryzen 9 and the core i5 pulling ahead even further compared to the Ryzen 5. For example, Intel famously thinks that Cinebench is not really a real-world test, but they've got the courage to celebrate these numbers for a change.
Cinebench tends to scale linearly with core count, so the fact that a CPU that has only eight proper performance cores could dethrone the Ryzen 9 is an achievement.
Perhaps fueled in part by its ddr5 memory, it also demonstrates that those efficiency cores ain't your grandma's efficiency course. They clearly pack some punch. While the Firefox compile did take a little longer on the core i9 versus the 5950x. Intel still won out in the bursty bmw blender render, although they lost ground on the higher endurance gooseberry test, showing that for really serious multi-core work.
AMD is still the more compelling option. And aside here, the core i5 is looking more like a 5800x than a 5600x. Keep that in mind for when we discuss pricing later. For some reason, the Corona benchmark seems to come back in favor of AMD's additional cores, which shows that 3D rendering may be becoming more than simply a raw how many cores do you have game.
For its part. Intel benefits from what it's got on tap with a healthy lead, especially in Photoshop over AMD, although Intel falls short in spec workstation, where the only consistent wins are against the 5900x. The core i5, on the other hand, is over 30. AMD's competing Ryzen 5 is just $10 more at retail, making it very compelling.
That is, at least if you were already down to spending the extra to move to DDr5. We're going to have a follow-up comparing DD4 to DD5 performance at various clock speeds coming, so make sure that you're subscribed to that.
Did intel cheat?
How is Intel doing all this, though? Well, first is the Intel 7 manufacturing process. It's basically just a rebrand of their 10 nanometer process that we've already seen in laptops, but this is its first appearance without thin and light power constraints. And boy did they ever unconstrain it.
Another big part of the equation is Intel effectively making support for multi-core enhancement official. What this does is throw the processor's base power rating completely out the window in favor of always running at maximum turbo power, letting the CPU be unrestrained as long as there's thermal and power budget available.
It makes such a dramatic difference to performance that motherboard manufacturers who enabled this by default in the past were accused of cheating on benchmarks.
Of course, like all overclocking, it comes at a cost. The processor base power for the core i9 12900k is 125 watts, the same as the rest of the lineup.
However, when loaded down with a long blender render, this thing easily sucked back over 230 watts. That is nearly double what our Ryzen 9 chips drew. Thankfully, this doesn't carry over to gaming, where F1 2021 stayed within the processor base power of 125 watts, often remaining lower than Ryzen, so as it turns out, those efficiency cores can make a big difference to lighter workloads, as for the core i5 12600k.