Intel 12th gen Alder Lake CPUs won’t arrive until later this year, but they’re worth waiting for if you’re building a new gaming PC, especially if the latest leaked benchmark popping up on CPU-Monkey’s Cinebench R20 leaderboard is anything to go by. Last week, we saw signs that a new Intel i9 12900K qualification sample could outperform AMD’s current flagship, and after being tested for real this week, the predictions seem pretty accurate.
The i9 12900K put in a score of 11,632, which isn’t far off week’s guesstimate of 11,300. That’s very nearly double the 6,419 achieved by the preceding i9 11900K Rocket Lake flagship, while being the 11th fastest CPU tested, only falling behind Xeon, Epyc, and Threadripper processors.
All these signs suggest that Intel dropping its process down to 10nm from 14nm and using a revamped big.LITTLE design is going some way to help boost performance over the previous generation. Of course, synthetic benchmarks aren’t everything, and we’ll have to see how the chip performs in real gameplay before we can decide whether it’s a contender for the best gaming CPU.
While it also beats the AMD flagship Ryzen 9 5950X’s score of 10,428, Intel shouldn’t be complacent, as it might not sit comfortably on the benchmark leaderboards for much longer. The gap is notably smaller here, so if the red team can deliver similar gains to Intel when its Zen 4 lineup arrives next year, it could take the lead with its future flagship processor.
The leaderboard also shows a score set by the i7 12700K CPU of 8,975. While not as impressive as the 81% increase between the two i9 chips, it still has a score 57% higher than its predecessor’s 5,709.