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Intel Core i9-12900K (12900KF) Alder Lake CPU (2021)

MSRP 589 USDNEX score 75%

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Photo 0of Intel Core i9-12900K (12900KF) Alder Lake CPU (2021)Photo 1of Intel Core i9-12900K (12900KF) Alder Lake CPU (2021)

Product Overview

Intel Core i9-12900K is a flagship 10nm desktop microprocessor based on the Alder Lake architecture. It uses a new-to-x86 "hybrid" architecture with 8 performance cores and 8 efficiency cores in a 16-core, 24-thread setup. At its launch, it has the most extensive support for modern hardware and peripherals in the PC market.
Most notably, the new Alder Lake CPUs support DDR5 and PCIe 5. Thunderbolt 4 is also supported. There is still only 20 PCIe lanes, and those who wish for support for more expansion cards (such as in machine learning applications) have to look for workstation-grade processors instead.
With the efficiency cores taken out, the i9-12900K is suspiciously similar to the i9-11900K otherwise. Still, we cannot discount the added computing power as well as the possibilities to run more efficiently with this hybrid design.
The i9-12900K comes with an integrated UHD 770 GPU with some basic, though hardly exciting, graphics capabilities. Those who do not need it can opt for the i9-12900KF instead. As usual, the "K" designation means that this CPU is unlocked, though in recent years overclocking the CPU is less of a sport than it was two decades ago.
Intel now refers the 10nm process as Intel 7, ostensibly in an attempt to close the "nanometer" gap.

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Ratings

Product not yet rated.

What external reviewers found***

NEX score: 75% (not directly comparable across industries)
Pros
  • Good value for money
  • Excellent performance at 1080p and 4K
  • Great performance for single-threaded workloads
  • Strong overclocking performance
  • High-quality case
  • Competitive performance
Cons
  • Lacks AVX-512 support
  • Expensive compared to the competition
  • Lackluster performance on Alder Lake platform
  • Power consumption could be better
  • No overclocking
Read More

Price Comparison (incl. referral links)*

Specifications

Variants:
i9-11900K

Connectivity

CPU Socket
FCLGA1700
PCI Express
20 lanes of 5.0 or 4.0 (1x16 + 1x4, 2x8 + 1x4, or 1x8 + 3x4)

Construction

Form Factor
Desktop microprocessor
Lithography
10 nm (Intel 7)
Platform
Alder Lake

Dimensions

Size | Depth
45.0 mm
Size | Width
37.5 mm

Function

i9-11900KGraphics
Intel UHD Graphics 770, base 300MHz, boost 1.55GHz, max memory 64GB
Operating Temperature
Max 100°C T Junction
Processor | Cores
8 Performance + 8 Efficiency cores
Processor | Threads
16 Performance + 8 Efficiency threads
i9-11900KResolution
Max Resolution 8K UHD via DP (7860x4320@60Hz) or 4K DCI via HDMI (4096 x 2160@60Hz)
Security
Intel AES New Instructions, Secure Key, Intel OS Guard, Intel Trusted Execution, Execute Disable Bit , Intel Boot Guard
Supported Technologies
Intel® Gaussian & Neural Accelerator 3.0, Intel Deep Learning Boost, Intel Turbo Boost Max 3.0, Intel vPro, Intel Hyper-Threading Technology, Intel Virtualization Technology, Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology
Thermal Solution
PCG 2019A

Performance

Cache
30 MB Intel Smart Cache
Frequency
2.4 GHz base / 3.9 GHz turbo Efficiency-core | 3.2 GHz base / 5.1 GHz turbo / 5.2 GHz Max Turbo Performance-core
Memory | Capacity
Supports up to 128GB
Memory | Type
DDR5 4800MHz or DDR4 3200MHz, max 2 channels, max 76.8GB/s bandwidth
Power Consumption
125 W TDP / 241 W Turbo TDP

Production

Debut
2021-11

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3rd-Party Review Videos

External Reviews

anandtech[1]

Sentiment Score 76%
Reviewers from anandtech have found the following***:
The new memory standard offers a substantial uplift when it comes to memory bandwidth. DDR5 had a minor lead in single threaded tests but in a lot of multithreaded tests, the lead was significant. The Golden Cove core inside Alder Lake has reclaimed the single-threaded performance crown with an uplift in SPEC of 18-20%.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Great performance for single-threaded workloads
  • Dedicated E-cores
  • Good value for money
Cons
  • Expensive compared to the competition
  • Lacks AVX-512 support

digitaltrends[2]

Sentiment Score 73%
Reviewers from digitaltrends have found the following***:
The Core i9-12900K boasts a single-core boost of 5.2GHz, which I hit time and again during testing. In a 30-minute AIDA64 stress test, the chip managed an all-core frequency of 4.8GHz, reaching a peak of 84 degrees Celsius while drawing 210W of power. The chip represents a lot of things for Intel, but more than anything, it represents a company that’s ready to get competitive again.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Competitive performance
  • High power demands
  • Strong overclocking performance
Cons
  • Power consumption could be better

pcmag[3]

Sentiment Score 70%
Reviewers from pcmag have found the following***:
The Intel Core i9-12900K is an impressive first showing for its desktop processors built off the new 7 Process. For content creators, the cost proposition of 12th Gen perks up, thanks to several outright wins. But on cost of adoption, the percentages are still skewed in AMD's favor.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Competitive price-per-core for a desktop processor built off Ryzen 9 5950X
  • Competitively priced
Cons
  • Lackluster performance on Alder Lake platform

trustedreviews[4]

Sentiment Score 81%
Reviewers from trustedreviews have found the following***:
The Intel Core i9-12900K was the most powerful processor in the group test, but only saw marginal gains over its 11th Gen predecessors. It’s certainly a power hog, consuming more power than any of the other processors on test – but it didn’t consume quite as much power as you might expect. You’ll still need a fairly high-spec power supply if you’re going to pair this chip with a high-end power supply. The added outlay of a cooler also pushes up the cost of the chip.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Extremely powerful
  • Excellent performance at 1080p and 4K
  • High-quality case
Cons
  • No overclocking

User Reviews

References

1. ^ The Intel 12th Gen Core i9-12900K Review: Hybrid Performance Brings Hybrid Complexity. [anandtech]. https://www.anandtech.com/show/17047/the-intel-12th-gen-core-i912900k-review-hybrid-performance-brings-hybrid-complexity. 2021-11-04. Retrieved 2021-11-19.
2. ^ Intel Core i9-12900K review: Call it a comeback. [digitaltrends]. https://www.digitaltrends.com/desktop-computer-reviews/intel-core-i9-12900k-review/. 2021-11-04. Retrieved 2021-11-19.
3. ^ Intel Core i9-12900K Review. [pcmag]. https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/intel-core-i9-12900k. 2021-11-04. Retrieved 2021-11-19.
4. ^ Intel Core i9-12900K Review. [trustedreviews]. https://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/intel-core-i9-12900k. Retrieved 2021-11-08.

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