Experts agree that Intel's 12th Gen CPUs bring the fight back to AMD
After years of falling behind AMD, Intel won over reviewers with its Alder Lake chips.
Intel launched its 12th Gen processors on October 27, 2021, including the Core i5-12600K, Core i7-12700K, and Core i9-12900K. Reviewers have now had some time to share their thoughts on the CPUs and run extensive benchmarks and performance tests. The 12th Gen CPUs from Intel marked a significant jump from the 14nm process to the Intel 7 process, which was formally known as Intel 10nm Enhanced SuperFin (10ESF).
Nanometers, threads, and core counts aren't everything when it comes to CPUs. AMD proved that with its Ryzen processors, and Intel looked to return serve with its 12th Gen Alder Lake chips. Across the board, Intel's latest lineup earned praise. Here's what experts think of the 12th Gen Intel processors. Spoiler alert: The processors are being called some of the best CPUs you can buy.
Intel Core i5-12600K
Linus Tech Tips did a deep dive on the new chips as well (see video above), noting the Core i5 is a "legit generational leap over even the [AMD Ryzen] 5600x ... and is the big winner today."
Our very own Rich Edmonds said the new midrange chip from Intel stacked up well against its competition from AMD in his Intel Core i5-12600K review:
PCMag gave the Core i5-12600K a solid review as well, though the company highlighted some of the added costs to get into the ecosystem, such as a motherboard and DDR5 RAM:
Hot Hardware also lauded the midrange chip for its performance and value:
XDA is very bullish on the Core i5, while acknowledging, "You'll pretty much have to build a whole new PC for this":
Intel Core i7-12700K
The 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700K didn't receive quite as much attention as its peers. However, TechPowerUp performed an extensive review of the CPU. The outlet said of the chip:
Intel Core i9-12900K
Our PC expert Rich Edmonds ran Team Blue's high-end offering through its paces for his Intel Core i9-12900K review:
Anantech has an extensive review of the Core i9-12900K as well. It also concluded that Intel's most powerful new processor competes well with AMD:
Eurogamer came away impressed with both the Core i5 and Core i9 chips from Intel's 12th Gen:
XDA also liked the Core i9 a lot remarking:
Picking a processor
If you like the sound of Intel's latest processors but aren't sure which one is right for you, make sure to check out our guide on how to pick the right 12th Gen Intel CPU for your PC.
We also have guides on the best motherboards for Intel's 12th Gen processors.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com.