Intel Core i5-12600K Review

Intel Core i5-12600K Review

Intel’s new Core i5-12600K desktop CPU may be the last of the company’s 12th Gen CPUs to be released. However, it outperforms its Intel forebears in some ways. Due to the new (and expensive) Z690 motherboard platform, expect to pay a hefty coin to have yours up and running.


The Intel Core i5 12600K is a 6+4 processor with six Performance Cores and four Efficient Cores. This is owing to the new hybrid approach of the Alder Lake design, which we discuss in detail in our Intel Core i9 12900K review. The majority of 12th Gen CPUs use one of two Core architectures: Golden Cove or Gracemont. The maximum drain of these processors at particular workloads is shown by PBP and Turbo Boost Power. To get the most out of these processors, Intel recommends running Windows 11. You’ll need a new motherboard to connect this chip onto because it’s a brand new chip with a brand new socket (LGA 1700).

Application Benchmarks:

The 12600K is in an entirely different league than the 5600X, outperforming it by 63 percent and even outperforming the 5800X. We’re also looking at a 61 percent improvement over the 11600K, which is outstanding especially when you consider the 23 percent price increase. When it comes to code compilation performance, the 12600K outperforms the 5600X by a whopping 57 percent. We’re also looking at a generational improvement of 43% over the 11600K, which is kind of a bummer if you bought one in the last 9 months. With the 12700K, the top Alder Lake portion, the Core i9-12900K, was less of a problem.


The Intel Core i5-12600K is currently one of the most cost-effective processors available. Similar to the Intel Core i9-12900K in terms of gaming performance, but at a lower price. With barely a 10fps differential, the i5 processor produced nearly equal frame rate results to its more capable i9 sister. Some games may have compatibility difficulties with Alder Lake when it launches, but these should be addressed in a future patch. Still, if you’re looking for a processor that can handle both gaming and content creation, this is the finest option.

Intel forewarned me about some early game compatibility difficulties, which are now being addressed through game patches and Windows upgrades. The older i9-11900K processor was the only one that reigned dominant across all resolutions in Total War: Warhammer 2. Although it is an older game, it can still be hard on your computer, particularly during battle scenes. At a 4K resolution, the Intel i5-12600K worked wonderfully, with identical results as the i9.

Gaming Performance:

In this racing simulator, the 12600K managed 373 frames per second on average, with a 1% low of 260 frames per second. The 5600X is 10% faster, though it’s difficult to say how much it means given that all of the CPUs tested here were capable of pushing high frame rates. Under these test conditions, both came close to extracting the maximum number of frames per second from the 6900 XT.

When analyzing single-core performance in Cinebench R23, the Core i5-12600K was 26% faster than the 5600X, which translates to a nearly 20% advantage here. Because Age of Empires 4 is a single-threaded game, the results are more representative of performance in older games, such as StarCraft 2. The gaming performance gap between the 12600K and 5600x is non-existent in most games, as we can witness in Horizon Zero Dawn.

Power Consumption and heat:

Of all the processors tested, the Intel i5-12600K had the lowest peak power usage. This displays how energy efficient Alder Lake is, which is great if you’re concerned about your utility bills. I was equally impressed with the temperature results, which were 29°C cooler than the i9-12900K during the test, as measured by PCMark 10.


  • In bench testing, CPU performance outperforms its peers. 
  • Cost-per-core is reasonable. 
  • Overclocking ceiling is high.


  • Ryzen is still more power-hungry. 
  • Some games don’t get along with it.


Intel’s “Alder Lake” Core i5-12600K outperforms the competition in gaming and content creation for PC gamers and creative people on a budget. Just keep in mind that the expense of adoption (memory, motherboard, and cooler) may make delaying an update a preferable alternative.

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