It’s fair to say that Intel’s new 12th generation Core processors have a lot of ground to make up, with the company losing substantial market share to AMD’s Ryzen CPUs for the past few years. However, Alder Lake is different from every x86 desktop chip we’ve ever had, featuring a hybrid design of performance and efficiency cores which could lead the way for all future processors from not just Intel but AMD as well.
There’ve been numerous leaks surrounding the Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K, with Intel formally confirming their specifications and prices at its Intel Innovation event this past October. The price of the Alder Lake lineup ranges between $264-$589 USD, which is comparative to the cost of AMD’s existing Ryzen 5000 offerings.
However, the question remains whether these Alder Lake processors can rank among the best gaming CPUs on the market, and how much of a lead team blue can create of over team red before the arrival of Zen 4 in 2022.
Based on the games you play, these new processors could help you boost fps. Here’s a round-up of reviews for Intel’s Alder Lake CPUs:
- Digital Foundry (12600K/12900K): A radical architecture change pays dividends. / Costly but exciting
- GamersNexus (12900K): An excellent first volley from Intel / Price and performance have crept up, but so too has performance
- Linus Tech Tips (12600K/12900K): Damn, Intel! / The Core i5-12600K is a legitimate generational leap over even the 5600X
- PC Gamer (12600K): The best CPU for gaming in 2021 / A suitably high-end chip masquerading as a mid-range hero, and doing a great job of it
- Wccftech (12600K/12900K): Solid return to the gaming throne / The Core i9-12900K is the new gaming king
- Eteknix (12600K/12700K/12900K): Intel is back on top once again / The Intel Core i9-12900K is extremely fast, thrashing everything
It looks like Intel’s bet on its hybrid design approach has truly paid off. While it’s not a clear win for Intel, with AMD Ryzen processors providing a small lead in certain production workloads, the CPU market is finally competitive again.
However, given the ongoing chip shortage, you might find it difficult to find an Alder Lake processor in stock if you haven’t already pre-ordered one. Nonetheless, waiting a while for DDR5 gaming RAM and Z690 motherboards to come down in price might be worth it in the long run.