Intel Core i5-12600K CPU Performance & Pricing Rumors: Faster Than Ryzen 7 5800X In Gaming & Multi-Threading at Ryzen 5 5600X Pricing

Hassan Mujtaba

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.

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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.

The Intel Alder Lake Desktop CPUs would be made using a cluster of Golden Cove P-Cores and Gracemont E-Cores.

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 NameCore i5-12600KCore i5-11600KCore i5-10600KCore i5-9600KCore i5-8600KCore i5-7600KCore i5-6600K
Family12th Gen Alder Lake11th Gen Rocket Lake10th Gen Comet Lake9th Gen Coffee Lake8th Gen Coffee Lake7th Gen Kaby Lake6th Gen Skylake
ArchitectureGolden Cove (P-Core)
Gracemont (E-Core)
Cypress CoveSkylakeSkylakeSkylakeSkylakeSkylake
Process NodeIntel 7 (10nm ESF)14nm14nm14nm14nm14nm14nm
CPU Cores10 (6+4)666644
CPU Threads16 (12+4)12126644
Base Clock3.70 GHz (P-Core)
2.80 GHz (E-Core)
3.90 GHz4.10 GHz3.70 GHz3.60 GHz3.90 GHz3.50 GHz
Boost Clock4.90 GHz (P-Core)
3.60 GHz (E-Core)
4.90 GHz4.80 GHz4.60 GHz4.30 GHz4.20 GHz3.90 GHz
Cache20 MB L312 MB L312 MB L39 MB L39 MB L36 MB L36 MB L3
TDP (PL1)95W95W95W95W95W91W91W

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 NameP-Core CountE-Core CountTotal Core / ThreadP-Core Base / Boost (Max)P-Core Boost (All-Core)E-Core Base / BoostE-Core Boost (All-Core)L3 CacheTDP (PL1)TDP (PL2)Expected (MSRP) Price
Core i9-12900KS8816 / 243.4 / 5.5 GHz5.2 GHz2.4 / 3.9 GHz3.7 GHz30 MB150W260W$739 US
Core i9-12900K8816 / 243.2 / 5.2 GHz5.0 GHz2.4 / 3.9 GHz3.7 GHz30 MB125W241W$599 US
Core i9-129008816 / 242.4 / 5.1 GHzTBA1.8 / 3.8 GHzTBA30 MB65W202W$489 US
$464 US (F)
Core i9-12900T8816 / 241.4 / 4.9 GHzTBA1.0 / 3.6 GHzTBA30 MB35W106W$489 US
Core i7-12700K8412 / 203.6 / 5.0 GHz4.7 GHz2.7 / 3.8 GHz3.6 GHz25 MB125W190W$419 US
Core i7-127008412 / 202.1 / 4.9 GHzTBA1.6 / 3.6 GHzTBA25 MB65W180W$339 US
$314 US (F)
Core i7-12700T8412 / 201.4 / 4.7 GHzTBA1.0 / 3.4 GHzTBA25 MB35W99W$339 US
Core i5-12600K6410 / 163.7 / 4.9 GHz4.5 GHz2.8 / 3.6 GHz3.4 GHz20 MB125W150W$299 US
Core i5-12600606 / 123.3 / 4.8 GHz4.4 GHzN/AN/A18 MB65W117W$223 US
Core i5-12600T606 / 122.1 / 4.6 GHzTBAN/AN/A18 MB65W74W$223 US
Core i5-12490P606 / 123.0 / 4.6 GHzTBAN/AN/A20 MB65W74W~$250 US
Core i5-12500606 / 123.0 / 4.6 GHzTBAN/AN/A18 MB65W117W$202 US
Core i5-12500T606 / 122.0 / 4.4 GHzTBAN/AN/A18 MB35W74W$202 US
Core i5-12400606 / 122.5 / 4.4 GHz4.0 GHzN/AN/A18 MB65W117W$192 US
$167 US (F)
Core i5-12400T606 / 121.8 / 4.2 GHzTBAN/AN/A18 MB35W74W$192 US
Core i3-12300404 / 83.5 / 4.4 GHzTBAN/AN/A12 MB60W89W$143 US
Core i3-12300T404 / 82.3 / 4.2 GHzTBAN/AN/A12 MB35W69W$143 US
Core i3-12100404 / 83.3 / 4.3 GHzTBAN/AN/A12 MB60W
58W (F)
89W$122 US
$97 US (F)
Core i3-12100T404 / 82.2 / 4.1 GHzTBAN/AN/A12 MB35W69W$122 US
Intel Pentium Gold G7400202 / 43.7 GHzN/AN/AN/A6 MB46WN/A$64 US
Intel Pentium Gold G7400T202 / 43.1 GHzN/AN/AN/A6 MB35WN/A$64 US
Intel Celeron G6900202 / 23.4 GHzN/AN/AN/A4 MB46WN/A$42 US
Intel Celeron G6900T202 / 22.8 GHzN/AN/AN/A4 MB35WN/A$42 US
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