Intel Core i5-12600K Review

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Verdict

The Intel Cadre i5-12600K is the all-time value gaming CPU bachelor, offering a similar level of performance to the i9 while besides boasting future-proofed features such equally DDR5 and PCIe 5.0. It also packs a respectable multi-core performance, making it a versatile flake for those who want to both create and play.

Pros

  • Excellent gaming functioning
  • Huge improvements to multi-core performance
  • Future-proofed with PCIe 5.0 and DDR5
  • Keen power efficiency

Cons

  • Teething issues for game compatibility
  • Requirement of Z690 motherboard drives upwardly price

Availability

  • USA
    RRP: $289

Key Features


  • 12th Gen Intel Core compages
    The new Alder Lake compages boosts operation, while using two dissimilar types of cores to improve efficiency.

  • 10 cores and 16 threads
    By featuring 10 cores, the i5-12600K flaunts a better multi-core performance compared to previous Intel Cadre i5 chips.

  • Support for DDR5 and PCIe 5.0
    By supporting the latest engineering science, this flake raises the performance ceiling of your unabridged organization.

Introduction

The Intel Core i5-12600K is one of the cheapest CPUs in the new twelfth Generation Intel Core range. It lags behind its more than powerful siblings in terms of core and thread counts, just still benefits from all the generational upgrades that Alder Lake brings.

This includes the ‘hybrid compages’ that enables the scrap to piece of work more than efficiently, and back up for new features such as PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 RAM.

And of course, you’re likewise getting a reported 19% functioning lift compared to 11th Gen for single-core workloads, making this an ideal processor option for gaming.

But is it a worthwhile alternative to its more powerful sibling, the Intel Core i9-12900K? The i5 may not be the “globe’s
best
gaming processor”, but it could well be the best gaming CPU when information technology comes to value for money.

Specs

  • New Alder Lake architecture provides large performance gains
  • Mix of P-cores and East-cores improves processor’s efficiency
  • Future-proofed with new applied science such equally DDR5 and PCIe five.0

The Intel Core i5-12600K processor is function of the new twelfth Generation of Intel Core chips, with the Alder Lake architecture baked inside.

This ways it benefits from many of the aforementioned upgrades as the i9-12900K, most notably the hybrid architecture that allows Intel to incorporate 2 different types of cores into the fleck: Performance Cores (P-Core) and Efficient Cores (East-Cores).

P-Cores focus specifically on single-cadre workloads, such every bit gaming. Meanwhile, E-Cores are improve equipped at handling less-intensive background tasks, therefore boosting the multi-threaded performance.

The i5-12600K features a balance of 6 P-Cores and 4 East-cores – that’s but two fewer P-Cores than its i9 sibling, just one-half the number of E-Cores. This immediately shows this chip prioritises workloads such equally gaming over content cosmos, which is no surprise.

Architecture

Number of Cores

Number of Threads

Base Clock Speed

Boosted Clock Speed

Intel Core i5-12600K

Intel Core 12th Generation

10

16

3.70 GHz

4.ninety GHz

Intel Core i5-11600K

Intel Cadre 11th Generation

6

12

3.nine GHz

4.9 GHz

Intel Cadre i9-12900K

twelfth Gen Intel Core (Alder Lake)

xvi

24

3.twenty GHz

5.xx GHz

Intel Core i9-11900K

Intel Core tenth Generation

8

xvi

iii.50 GHz

5.thirty GHz

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

Ryzen 5000

viii

16

iii.viii GHz

4.7 GHz

Only why is a hybrid architecture more impressive than a standard 1? It essentially improves the efficiency of the CPU, with the Intel Thread Director capable of assigning workloads to the nigh relevant core. This could foreclose piffling background tasks (such as running video recording software) from increasing the workload of a core that’s already nether stress from maintaining a loftier FPS performance for a game.

This new ‘hybrid architecture’ is very impressive, only that’s non the simply do good of Alder Lake. It also sees a 19% single-core performance uplift compared to 11th Gen, which will be a big boost for gamers.


There’s support for DDR5 RAM, raising the functioning ceiling significantly for memory. Intel Alder Lake likewise plays nice with PCIe 5.0, doubling the bandwidth for supported SSDs, which tin slash in-game loading times.

Having back up for these next-gen features ensures this Intel chip is time to come-proofed for years to come up, while also offer backwards compatibility so you don’t demand to make all the upgrades right away if the price is getting steep.

Unfortunately, you’re going to have to buy a new motherboard with a Z690 chipset in order to get the Intel Core i5-12600K up and running. This adds to the price even further, then you’re going to accept to factor in plenty more than than just the price of the Intel bit when upgrading. You can find out which motherboards work with Alder Lake in the fastened guide.

Test setup

  • Maintained consistent specs across PC builds where possible
  • Used DDR5 memory with Intel 12th Gen rig
  • Used both constructed tests and in-game benchmarks

To evaluate the functioning of the Intel Core i5-12600K, I tested several other processors using the aforementioned components where possible. Of course, motherboards had to be changed when swapping betwixt processors from different companies and generations.

I too had to criterion the Intel Core i5-12600K with DDR5 memory, equally the Z690 motherboard I called in does not support DDR4. This means the performance differences between 11th and 12th gen may be partly due to the DDR5 memory upgrade, although I did ensure it features the same 16GB memory capacity every bit the DDR4 memory I used with the not-Alder Lake fries.

You can see the PC builds I used for testing below:

  • Intel Motherboard: ROG Maximus XIII Hero (11th Gen) / ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming WiFi (twelfth Gen)
  • AMD Motherboard: TUF Gaming X570-Plus Wi-Fi
  • RAM: Corsair Vengeance, 16GB DDR4 / Adata, 16GB DDR5 (Intel 12th Gen)
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti
  • Cooler: Corsair Hydro Series H150i PRO RGB 360mm liquid cooler
  • OS: Windows 11

I used a variety of benchmark tests to evaluate the performance of the processor, including PCMark 10 and Geekbench five for general use and Cinebench R23 for creative applications.

And since Intel is conspicuously pitching the i5-12600K equally a gaming processor, I’ve too tested the processor with a number of in-game benchmarks, making sure to max out the graphics settings and using 1080p, 1440p and 4K resolutions. Keep scrolling down for the findings below.

Performance

  • Similar gaming functioning to Intel Core i9-12900K
  • Competitive multi-core performance
  • Select games have seen early compatibility issues

Intel is heralding the i9-12900K, as the “world’southward all-time gaming processor” just I actually believe the i5-12600K is the better value pick for the majority of gamers after comparison the benchmark results.

The i5 processor oftentimes saw identical frame rate results to its more powerful i9 sibling, with the biggest margin institute in the Clay Rally 1080p test, just with simply a 10fps difference – and information technology all the same managed to hit a very impressive 220fps here when paired with Nvidia’south RTX 3060 Ti.

Nevertheless, Intel has revealed a number of games that may suffer incompatibility problems with Alder Lake at launch. Intel claims this issue should be remedied with an upcoming patch, just it’s still an issue that’s worth keeping your eye on.

As expected, information technology’s the multi-core performance where the i9 really shines more than the i5, seeing significantly superior results for the Geekbench five and Cinebench R23 multi-threaded tests. This means that the i9 is arguably the better selection for content creation, but the i5-12600K is hardly a slouch in this department, seeing better scores than both the Intel Core i9-11900K and AMD Ryzen vii 5800X.

Scroll down for a more detailed await at the benchmark results.

PCMark ten Extended

Intel Core i5-12600K

9470

Intel Cadre i5-11600K

9177

Intel Core i9-12900K

9966

Intel Core i9-11900K

9778

The PCMark x benchmark provides a holistic view of your computer’south performance, measuring everything from productivity to gaming.

The Intel Core i5-12600K scored a 9470 upshot, lagging behind the more expensive i9-12900K and i9-11900K processors. However, it managed to beat the Ryzen 7 5800X despite being more than affordable. The PCMark 10 result may not cause whatever shockwaves, simply it certainly backs up my thoughts that this is 1 of the best value fries around.

Geekbench 5

Geekbench 5 single cadre

Geekbench 5 multi core

Intel Cadre i5-12600K

1742

12049

Intel Core i5-11600K

1647

7602

Intel Core i9-12900K

1899

16810

Intel Core i9-11900K

1740

9823

AMD Ryzen seven 5800X

1585

9028

Geekbench v is a benchmark test that evaluates 24-hour interval-to-24-hour interval performance, but splits the results upwards betwixt single-cadre and multi-cadre. The erstwhile is important for workloads such equally gaming where Intel has previously excelled, while the latter is a good measure of performance for the likes of content creation apps.

And so how did the Intel Cadre i5-12600K perform? The unmarried-core performance is spectacular, with a 1742 score not as well far backside the i9-12900K, while narrowly beating out the Intel Cadre i9-11900K. This is an early signal of its gaming prowess.

For the multi-core functioning, it barbarous quite a distance behind the i9-12900K which is unsurprising since its more powerful sibling has six additional cores and eight extra threads. Withal, the i5 chip managed to accomplish a higher score than both the i9-11900K and Ryzen vii 5800X, which is remarkable.

Cinebench R23

Intel Core i5-12600K

16892

Intel Core i5-11600K

10904

Intel Core i9-12900K

26503

Intel Cadre i9-11900K

13814

The Cinebench R23 is a similar benchmark test to Geekbench in that it measures both the single-cadre and multi-cadre performance of a processor, simply it also gives your arrangement more intensive workloads to see how it would cope with the likes of content creation.

The i9-12900K won this test by a significant margin, proving information technology’s a far improve option for creators. But the i5-12600K nevertheless did reasonably well, with ameliorate results than any of the other chips on exam.

If you want a processor for both gaming and content creation, then I’d happily recommend the i5-12600K – you just won’t be getting the best performance bachelor for the latter workload.

Horizon Goose egg Dawn

Horizon Nada Dawn frame rate (4K)

Horizon Zero Dawn frame rate (Quad HD)

Horizon Nada Dawn frame rate (Full HD)

Intel Cadre i5-12600K

54 fps

95 fps

116 fps

Intel Core i5-11600K

53 fps

92 fps

108 fps

Intel Cadre i9-12900K

54 fps

95 fps

117 fps

Intel Core i9-11900K

53 fps

88 fps

99 fps

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

54 fps

91 fps

92 fps

Now onto gaming. I picked Horizon Naught Dawn because it’s a modern AAA game with a massive world to explore. Information technology likewise has an in-game benchmark.

I was impressed with the i5-12600K results here, seeing well-nigh identical benchmark scores as the i9. You’re absolutely not getting huge gains on the preceding generation, simply there are still undeniable improvements to the frame charge per unit, especially at a 1080p resolution.

Diary Rally

Dirt Rally (4K)

Clay Rally (Quad Hd)

Dirt Rally (Total HD)

Intel Core i5-12600K

99 fps

172 fps

220 fps

Intel Core i5-11600K

98 fps

167 fps

187 fps

Intel Core i9-12900K

99 fps

172 fps

230 fps

Intel Core i9-11900K

99 fps

169 fps

208 fps

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

95 fps

158 fps

203 fps

With Dirt Rally launching back in 2022, information technology’south not very taxing on your system, allowing you to reach higher frame rates more than easily. This examination demonstrated how big of a difference the i5-12600K can make on your gaming performance, seeing a 33fps boost at a 1080p resolution when compared to the i5-11900K from the previous generation.

Over again, the i5 saw identical results to the i9 in the 4K and Quad HD benchmark tests, but fell short past 10fps when testing at a 1080p resolution. That’s not a massive divergence, but still emphasises that the i9 is the nearly powerful CPU effectually for gaming.

Borderlands 3

Borderlands iii frame rate (4K)

Borderlands 3 frame rate (Quad HD)

Borderlands 3 frame rate (Total Hard disk drive)

Intel Core i5-12600K

41 fps

74

102

Intel Core i5-11600K

74 fps

73

95

Intel Core i9-12900K

41 fps

74

104

Intel Cadre i9-11900K

74 fps

115

120

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

41 fps

74

108

Borderlands three is another modern AAA game that tin can be very taxing on your system. It saw unusual results compared to my other benchmarks, being the just game to see the older i9-11900K processor reign supreme across all resolutions.

My but guess here is that Borderlands 3 currently lacks the driver back up to play nice with Alder Lake. Intel warned me most some early compatibility bug with select games, which is currently existence resolved via game patches and Windows updates.

It’due south understandable that there are some early on teething issues, with Intel’southward hybrid compages and back up for DDR5 memory being so cutting edge. And I’yard sure such issues will be resolved before long, but it’s still something to be wary about if you plan on upgrading to Alder Lake equally shortly as possible.

Total War: Warhammer 2

Warhammer two: Campaign (in FPS) Warhammer 2: Battle (in FPS)
Intel i9-12900K 62.7 49.2
Intel i5-12600K 62.seven 49.2
Intel i9-11900K 61.vi 48.iv
Intel i5-11600K 61.8 48.2
Ryzen 7 5800X 61.8 46.7

I fabricated sure to include Total War: Warhammer ii as a representative of the strategy genre. It’s a fairly old game, merely tin can still exist taxing on your organisation, especially during the boxing scenes.

The Intel i5-12600K performed admirably hither, seeing identical results to the i9 at a 4K resolution. Yet, information technology didn’t see huge improvements over 11th Gen, just that’s seemingly the norm at such a loftier resolution – if you really want a boost when playing games in 4K, but a GPU can provide the required firepower.

Civilization Vi

Civilization VI (Turn Fourth dimension in seconds)
Intel i9-12900K 6.85
Intel i5-12600K 6.90
Intel i9-11900K half dozen.92
Intel i5-11600K 7.07
Ryzen 7 5800X 6.83

Civilization Half dozen differs from the other games on test here, measuring the time it takes for the CPU to make calculations between game turns instead of the frame rate.

The i5-12600K performed well hither, seeing better results than both of the 11th Gen fries on test. However, the deviation is marginal, then you likely won’t find a difference in real-time play. Still, it further emphasises that the i5-12600K is a better gaming chip than the i9-11900K.

Power consumption and heat

  • Impressive power efficiency
  • Has a low top temperature nether stress

Information technology’s not all about the performance when evaluating a processor – the power consumption and temperature are also important considerations. For power consumption, I measured the wattage of my system with a ability meter, recording the peak figure during the Cinebench R23 benchmark.

Idle power draw Meridian power draw
Intel i9-12900K 69.ane W 335.five W
Intel i5-12600K 65.5 W 195.half-dozen W
Intel i9-11900K 67.vii W 330 W
Intel i5-11600K 65.5 West 201.4 W
Ryzen 7 5800X 66.ix W 193.iv W

Remarkably, the i5-12600K saw one of the lowest peak ability consumptions of all the processors on test. Information technology fifty-fifty undercut the i5-11600K processor, despite flaunting far more power. This demonstrates how ability efficient Alder Lake truly is, which is very welcome if you lot’re conscious about energy bills or existence more eco friendly.

Its idle ability consumption wasn’t quite as impressive, seeing a very similar result to the rest of the chips. But it was still a trivial less power hungry than the i9-12900K.

Idle CPU temperature Peak CPU temperature
Intel i9-12900K 28°C 97°C
Intel i5-12600K 24°C 68°C
Intel i9-11900K 29°C 75°C
Intel i5-11600K 30°C 64°C
Ryzen 7 5800X 45°C 86°C

I was every bit impressed with the temperature scores, which I recorded via PCMark 10. The i5-12600K ran a whopping 29°C cooler than the i9-12900K during the test, while besides recording the lowest temperature (24°C) when idle.

This means yous probably won’t need to invest in an expensive libation to maximise the functioning power of this scrap, which is a relief since the need for a new Z690 motherboard is already a costly outlay.

Latest deals

Should yous purchase it?

If you want a future-proofed gaming CPU:
The gaming functioning is hither is nearly-enough the best you can expect from a processor. Factor in future-proofed features such as DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 and this chip represents outstanding value.

You don’t want to spend large on a CPU upgrade:

The Intel Core i5-1600K isn’t an expensive CPU, just the demand for a new motherboard and possibly even DDR5 RAM can drive up the cost. It may be worth investing in a new GPU instead if y’all just want to meliorate gaming performance.

Final Thoughts

The Intel Core i5-12600K offers outstanding value, with a similar gaming performance to the i9 and a multi-core performance that can outpace pricier Ryzen chips. What’due south more, back up for DDR5 and PCIe raises the performance ceiling for your entire system and keeps it futureproofed for years to come up.

Those craving a fleck for high-terminate content creation may exist swayed by the i9, while the need to upgrade to a Z690 motherboard may make a new GPU a more than price-effective upgrade for gamers. All the same the Intel Core i5-12600K remains i of our top recommend desktops processors you tin can currently buy.

How we test

Nosotros always review multiple CPUs at in one case to compare data, using consequent components for fair testing where possible.

We use a mix of both synthetic and in-game benchmarks to gauge performance, while too considering additional features and pricing.

Use the aforementioned components where possible for fair testing.

Use both synthetic and in-game benchmarks for testing

Test both CPU temperature and ability consumption.

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FAQs

Is the Intel Core i5-12600K good for gaming?

Yep, this processor posted some of the all-time gaming results I’ve seen yet, making it a superb option for such workloads.

Which socket does 12th gen utilise?

Alder Lake processors use the LGA 1700 socket and is supported past the Z690 chipset.

Is Intel Core i5 outdated?

The naming convention “i5” only refers to the fact this is a mid-range CPU, and has no correlation with the time of release. You’ll demand to pay attention to the generation number to determine how old a processor is instead. The Intel Cadre i5-12600K is role of the 12th Generation, which is the latest Intel has released.

Trusted Reviews test data

Tiptop temperature

Borderlands 3 frame rate (4K)

Dirt Rally (Full HD)

Dirt Rally (Quad HD)

Horizon Nix Dawn frame rate (Full Hard disk drive)

Clay Rally (4K)

Horizon Nix Dawn frame rate (Quad Hard disk drive)

Horizon Aught Dawn frame rate (4K)

Borderlands iii frame charge per unit (Full HD)

Borderlands 3 frame rate (Quad Hard disk drive)

Power consumption

Geekbench five multi core

Cinebench R23

Geekbench 5 single cadre

PCMark ten

Intel Cadre i5-12600K

68 °C

41 fps

220 fps

172 fps

116 fps

99 fps

95 fps

54 fps

102

74

195.half dozen W

12049

16892

1742

9470

Full specs

USA RRP

Manufacturer

Release Appointment

First Reviewed Date

Ability Consumption

Boosted Clock Speed

Architecture

Base Clock Speed

Number of Cores

Number of Threads

Motherboard Chipset

Graphics

Intel Core i5-12600K

$289

Intel

2022

04/11/2021

195.6 W

four.90 GHz

Intel Core 12th Generation

three.70 GHz

10

sixteen

Z690

Intel UHD Graphics 770

Source: https://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/intel-core-i5-12600k

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