Rumors suggest that Intel's Core i5-12600K Alder Lake CPU is going to bring the 'i5' segment back to form with its competitive pricing and performance figures, making it an attractive option in the mainstream gaming segment.
Intel Core i5-12600K Rumored To Be An Attractive Mainstream Gaming CPU, Alder Lake i5 To Surpass Ryzen 7 5800X Performance at Ryzen 5 5600X Pricing
Details on the Intel Core i5-12600K's pricing and performance come straight from Moore's Law is Dead who explains why he thinks the Alder Lake chip is going to reignite the popularity of Intel's Core i5 segment. For several generations now, Intel's Core i5 chips have been losing popularity against AMD's Ryzen 5 CPUs which offer attractive pricing and performance within the sub-$300 USD segment.
CPUs such as the AMD Ryzen 5 2600, Ryzen 5 3600X, & Ryzen 5 5600X have dominated sales charts across various retailers. These chips offer the best gaming and multi-threaded performance in their price category, something which Intel has been unable to get a solid grip on since they moved the i5 series to 6 cores. In fact, the 6 core variants were introduced to tackle AMD's Ryzen 5 chips that were 6 core as a standard.
With Alder Lake though, Intel seems to be upping its game by offering their Core i5 CPUs with up to 10 cores. Yep, the 10 core variant would include 6 standard Cove cores & 4 Atom cores. So it is still technically a 6 core part but with added efficiency cores for increased multi-threaded performance. MLID explains who even under the worst-case scenario, the Core i5-12600K would offer better CPU performance than the Ryzen 7 5800X in multi-threaded workloads. In single-threaded workloads, it looks like Intel will regain some of its lost performance lead with the added 19% IPC uplift and clock speeds that boost up to 4.9 GHz. We have yet to see the overclocking potential of Alder Lake CPUs based on the 'Intel 7' process node.
So we know that the performance should match or surpass the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X but what's the pricing going to be like. It is stated that the Core i5-12600K should follow the pricing of the previous Intel Core i5 chips. If we look at the historical pricing of Intel's Core i5 CPUs starting with 7th Gen & up till the recent 11th Gen Rocket Lake parts, you will see that the MSRP has remained within the $260-$270 US price range. Intel is unlikely to change the pricing model of Core i5 CPUs with its 12th Gen processors so if that's the case, we will be looking at the Core i5-12600K at around $260 US. It should also be noted that a 'KF' variant would also be introduced that could retail around $25-$30 US lower, bringing the overall pricing down to the $235-$245 range.
Now think about it this way, you are essentially getting slightly better performance than the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X, a $400 US+ chip, in a processor that costs $30 US lower than the Ryzen 5 5600X. It sounds like an absolutely phenomenal deal. Obviously, there are a few drawbacks which include investing in a brand new platform and migrating to a new OS platform (Windows 11 in this case) which would raise the cost and effort but if you set your mind aside from these short-term concerns, the Core i5-12600K could end up serving you far better performance at an insane value proposition. Furthermore, it is also stated that owing to the 12600K being segmented in the Core i5 lineup, its power consumption and thermals won't be as rampant as the high-end models.
Intel Core i5 Desktop CPU Generational Comparison
|CPU Name||Core i5-12600K||Core i5-11600K||Core i5-10600K||Core i5-9600K||Core i5-8600K||Core i5-7600K||Core i5-6600K|
|Family||12th Gen Alder Lake||11th Gen Rocket Lake||10th Gen Comet Lake||9th Gen Coffee Lake||8th Gen Coffee Lake||7th Gen Kaby Lake||6th Gen Skylake|
|Architecture||Golden Cove (P-Core)|
|Process Node||Intel 7 (10nm ESF)||14nm||14nm||14nm||14nm||14nm||14nm|
|CPU Cores||10 (6+4)||6||6||6||6||4||4|
|CPU Threads||16 (12+4)||12||12||6||6||4||4|
|Base Clock||3.70 GHz (P-Core)|
2.80 GHz (E-Core)
|3.90 GHz||4.10 GHz||3.70 GHz||3.60 GHz||3.90 GHz||3.50 GHz|
|Boost Clock||4.90 GHz (P-Core)|
3.60 GHz (E-Core)
|4.90 GHz||4.80 GHz||4.60 GHz||4.30 GHz||4.20 GHz||3.90 GHz|
|Cache||20 MB L3||12 MB L3||12 MB L3||9 MB L3||9 MB L3||6 MB L3||6 MB L3|
Intel Core i5-12600K 10 Core / 16 Thread Desktop CPU
Lastly, we have the full specifications of the Intel Core i5-12600K Alder Lake CPU from the previous leak. The CPU will carry 6 Golden Cove and 4 Gracemont cores for a total of 10 cores (6+4) & 16 threads (12+4). The P-cores (Golden Cove) will operate at a maximum boost frequency of up to 4.9 GHz with 1-2 active cores and 4.5 GHz with all-cores active while the E-cores (Gracemont) will operate at 3.6 GHz across 1-4 cores & up to 3.4 GHz when all cores are loaded. The CPU will feature 20 MB of L3 cache and TDP values are maintained at 125W (PL1) and 228W (PL2).
Intel 12th Gen Alder Lake Desktop CPU Specs
|CPU Name||P-Core Count||E-Core Count||Total Core / Thread||P-Core Base / Boost (Max)||P-Core Boost (All-Core)||E-Core Base / Boost||E-Core Boost (All-Core)||L3 Cache||TDP (PL1)||TDP (PL2)||Expected (MSRP) Price|
|Core i9-12900KS||8||8||16 / 24||3.4 / 5.5 GHz||5.2 GHz||2.4 / 3.9 GHz||3.7 GHz||30 MB||150W||260W||$739 US|
|Core i9-12900K||8||8||16 / 24||3.2 / 5.2 GHz||5.0 GHz||2.4 / 3.9 GHz||3.7 GHz||30 MB||125W||241W||$599 US|
|Core i9-12900||8||8||16 / 24||2.4 / 5.1 GHz||TBA||1.8 / 3.8 GHz||TBA||30 MB||65W||202W||$489 US
$464 US (F)
|Core i9-12900T||8||8||16 / 24||1.4 / 4.9 GHz||TBA||1.0 / 3.6 GHz||TBA||30 MB||35W||106W||$489 US|
|Core i7-12700K||8||4||12 / 20||3.6 / 5.0 GHz||4.7 GHz||2.7 / 3.8 GHz||3.6 GHz||25 MB||125W||190W||$419 US|
|Core i7-12700||8||4||12 / 20||2.1 / 4.9 GHz||TBA||1.6 / 3.6 GHz||TBA||25 MB||65W||180W||$339 US
$314 US (F)
|Core i7-12700T||8||4||12 / 20||1.4 / 4.7 GHz||TBA||1.0 / 3.4 GHz||TBA||25 MB||35W||99W||$339 US|
|Core i5-12600K||6||4||10 / 16||3.7 / 4.9 GHz||4.5 GHz||2.8 / 3.6 GHz||3.4 GHz||20 MB||125W||150W||$299 US|
|Core i5-12600||6||0||6 / 12||3.3 / 4.8 GHz||4.4 GHz||N/A||N/A||18 MB||65W||117W||$223 US|
|Core i5-12600T||6||0||6 / 12||2.1 / 4.6 GHz||TBA||N/A||N/A||18 MB||65W||74W||$223 US|
|Core i5-12490P||6||0||6 / 12||3.0 / 4.6 GHz||TBA||N/A||N/A||20 MB||65W||74W||~$250 US|
|Core i5-12500||6||0||6 / 12||3.0 / 4.6 GHz||TBA||N/A||N/A||18 MB||65W||117W||$202 US|
|Core i5-12500T||6||0||6 / 12||2.0 / 4.4 GHz||TBA||N/A||N/A||18 MB||35W||74W||$202 US|
|Core i5-12400||6||0||6 / 12||2.5 / 4.4 GHz||4.0 GHz||N/A||N/A||18 MB||65W||117W||$192 US
$167 US (F)
|Core i5-12400T||6||0||6 / 12||1.8 / 4.2 GHz||TBA||N/A||N/A||18 MB||35W||74W||$192 US|
|Core i3-12300||4||0||4 / 8||3.5 / 4.4 GHz||TBA||N/A||N/A||12 MB||60W||89W||$143 US|
|Core i3-12300T||4||0||4 / 8||2.3 / 4.2 GHz||TBA||N/A||N/A||12 MB||35W||69W||$143 US|
|Core i3-12100||4||0||4 / 8||3.3 / 4.3 GHz||TBA||N/A||N/A||12 MB||60W|
$97 US (F)
|Core i3-12100T||4||0||4 / 8||2.2 / 4.1 GHz||TBA||N/A||N/A||12 MB||35W||69W||$122 US|
|Intel Pentium Gold G7400||2||0||2 / 4||3.7 GHz||N/A||N/A||N/A||6 MB||46W||N/A||$64 US|
|Intel Pentium Gold G7400T||2||0||2 / 4||3.1 GHz||N/A||N/A||N/A||6 MB||35W||N/A||$64 US|
|Intel Celeron G6900||2||0||2 / 2||3.4 GHz||N/A||N/A||N/A||4 MB||46W||N/A||$42 US|
|Intel Celeron G6900T||2||0||2 / 2||2.8 GHz||N/A||N/A||N/A||4 MB||35W||N/A||$42 US|