GuidesComparisonsi7-12700K Vs i5-12600K: Our Recommendation

i7-12700K Vs i5-12600K: Our Recommendation

We compared the i7-12700k vs i5-12600k, based on their gaming performance obtained from across AAA titles to see which one emerged to the top!

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Two of the most popular processors of all time are none other than the Core i7-12700K vs Core i5-12600K. These two CPUs have made their name for a reason; therefore, today we’ll explore their gaming abilities by putting them to the test so you know the reason for their increased popularity.  

Key Takeaways
  • The Core i7-12700K showed us a 4.9% boost in gaming performance when compared to the Core i5-12600K in terms of average FPS across games played at 1080p.
  • We observed that the Core i7-12700K showed about 1.3% better power efficiency. Whereas, the Core i5-12600K showed 16.6% better thermal efficiency.
  • The Core i5-12600K has a better price-to-performance ratio while the Core i7-12700K is for those who want higher gaming & productivity performance without budget constraints.
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  • 500+ components tested and compared by our team of comparison experts (Tech4Gamers Team).
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  • Objective testing criteria (See how we compare PC hardware).

At Tech4Gamers, ensuring you get reliable information is our priority. That’s why every comparison undergoes a meticulous review process by our team of experts and editors. Each comparison is carefully examined against our strict editorial guidelines, guaranteeing you trustworthy insights you can depend on.

Comparison Table

SpecificationsIntel i7-12700KCore i5-12600K
Cores & Threads12 Cores & 20 Threads10 Cores & 16 Threads
Hybrid CoresP-Cores: 8 | E-Cores: 4P-Cores: 6 | E-Cores: 4
Memory SupportDDR4 up to 3200 MHz
DDR5 up to 4800 MHz
DDR4 up to 3200 MHz
DDR5 up to 4800 MHz
Unlocked For OverclockingYesYes
Current Price$317$229
Launch DateNov 4, 2021Nov 4th, 2021
Best CPU CoolersBest CPU Coolers for Intel i7-12700KBest CPU Coolers For Core i5-12600K
Best MotherboardsBest Motherboards for Intel i7-12700KBest Motherboards For Core i5-12600K
Best MemoryBest RAM for Intel i7-12700KBest RAM For Core i5-12600K

Architectural Differences

  1. Process Node & Socket: Both processors are manufactured using Intel’s 10nm process node and support Intel’s LGA 1700 socket.
  2. Base & Boost Clock: Intel’s Core i7-12700K arrives with a base clock of 3.6 GHz which can be ramped up to 5.0 GHz (with E-Core of 2.7 GHz up to 3.8 GHz). The Core i5-12600K has a base frequency of 3.7 GHz, which can exceed up to 4.9 GHz (with an E-Core of 2.8 GHz up to 3.6 GHz).
  3. PCIe & Chipsets: The two CPUs support PCIe Gen 4 with 20 lanes (CPU only) and support the same Z690, H670, B660, and H610 motherboard chipsets.
  4. TDP & Integrated Graphics: Both the Core i7-12700K and the Core i5-12600K arrive with a TDP rating of 125W. They have integrated graphics of Intel’s UHD Graphics 770.

Core i7-12700K Vs Core i5-12600K: Gaming Benchmarks At 1080p

Aside from the technical details of the two processors, it is time we share with you their gaming capabilities by putting them to the test in games. Therefore, here are the average FPS and 1% lows in five games played at 1080p.

Testing Rig

Forza Horizon 5

Forza Horizon 5 Gaming Performance At 1080p
Forza Horizon 5 @1080p (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  • In our first game, we saw the Core i7-12700K take the immediate lead by obtaining an average of 222 FPS over Core i5-12600K’s 214 FPS – showcasing an exact 3.6% difference in performance.
  • As for the 1% lows, the Core i7-12700K maintained the lead with an average of 167 FPS. In contrast, the Core i5-12600K displayed an average of 163 FPS.

Hitman 3

Hitman 3 Gaming Performance At 1080p
Hitman 3 @1080p (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  • In Hitman 3, the Core i7-12700K outperformed the Core i5-12600K with a 6.7% edge by having an average of 200 FPS over 187 FPS, respectively.
  • In terms of 1% lows, the i7-12700K came out victorious with an average of 158 FPS whereas, the i5-12600K showed an average of 146 FPS.

Shadow Of The Tomb Raider

Shadow Of The Tomb Raider Gaming Performance At 1080p
Shadow Of The Tomb Raider @1080p (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  • Here, the Core i7-12700K displayed its lead by achieving an average of 201 FPS. On the other hand, the Core i5-12600K obtained 191 FPS, displaying a 5.1% margin.
  • The 1% lows were in favor of the Core i7-12700K which averaged 140 FPS over Core i7-12700K’s average of 124 FPS.

Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 Gaming Performance At 1080p
Cyberpunk 2077 @1080p (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  • The Core i7-12700K reached an average of 156 FPS in Cyberpunk 2077. Whereas, the Core i5-12600K obtained an average of 149 FPS, making the i7-12700K gain an edge by 4.5%.
  • We noticed that the 1% lows result was also close where the Core i7-12700K acquired 124 FPS and the Core i5-12600K performed closer with 115 FPS.

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Microsoft Flight Simulator Gaming Performance At 1080p
Microsoft Flight Simulator @1080p (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  • In our last game, the Core i7-12700K outshined the Core i5-12600K by gaining an average of 114 FPS over i5-12600K’s 109 FPS. This makes the Core i7-12700K 4.4% better. 
  • Here, we observed that Core i7-12700K dropped to an average 1% low of 89 FPS. This is higher in Core i5-12600K’s case which obtained 90 FPS.

Overall Gaming Performance

Average FPS & 1% Lows (Image By Tech4Gamers)

We saw the Core i7-12700K averaged 178.6 FPS over the Core i5-12600K’s 170 FPS.  This makes the Core i7-12700K emerge victorious by having a 4.9% performance difference over its rival. However, in terms of the 1% lows, the i7-12700K displayed better performance by achieving an average of 135.6 FPS over the i5-12600K which had 127.6 FPS.

Thermal Efficiency

Average Temperatures Across 5 Games At 1080p
Average Temperatures (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Despite the difference in average FPS and 1% lows, we observed a clear difference when it comes to temperatures. The Core i7-12700K operated at an average of 89.8ยฐC, while the Core i5-12600K reached an average of 76ยฐC. On average, the Core i5-12600K operated 16.6% cooler when compared to the Core i7-12700K 

Power Consumption

Power Consumption Across 5 Games At 1080p
Average Power Consumption (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Throughout the five games, we noticed both the processors showed almost the same amount of power consumption. Where the Core i7-12700K consumed 58.6W, the Core i5-12600K consumed 59.4W – making the Core i7-12700K slightly more power-efficient than its counterpart, with a 1.3% better power-efficiency. 

Pricing And Availability

CPUMSRPCurrent Price
Core i7-12700K๐Ÿ’ฒ409๐Ÿ’ฒ284
Core i5-12600K๐Ÿ’ฒ289๐Ÿ’ฒ229
Price Difference34%21%

The Core i7-12700K, which came out at a price point of $409, is now being sold for around $284. Whereas, the Core i5-12600K was released with a price tag of $289 and is currently being sold for almost $229. Both CPUs are readily available both separately as well as with other PC components over online sites.

Core i5-12600K Vs Core i7-12700K: Which One Do We Recommend?

Picking one from these two efficient processors could be a head-scratching task but we have tried to ease the process by presenting them in digestable points.

Core i5-12600K: If you’re on a budget and want ultimate gaming performance, we highly recommend you go for the Core i5-12600K. It has a higher gaming performance with only a 4.9% performance difference while having better thermal efficiency – all the while costing less than its rival.

Core i7-12700K: We recommend you get the Core i7-12700K if you’re not bound by any budget constraints. because it showed better performance and power efficiency and its price has been reduced from its MSRP over the years, making it closer to that of the Core i5-12600K. Its higher cores and threads can also allow you to get better performance in productivity tasks.

Whichever processor you choose, it should go well with your preferences, budget, and your PC setup. This will ensure maximum pleasure in the long run.

Pros And Cons 

Intel i7-12700Kโœ… Price greatly reduced from MSRP.
โœ… Better performance & power efficiency.
โŒ Slightly higher temperatures performance
โŒ Higher price compared to Core i5.
Core i5-12600Kโœ… Better price-to-performance ratio
โœ… Better thermal efficiency
โŒ Might have lower productivity due to less cores & threads.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Core i7 12700K an overkill for gaming?

Core i7 12700K is surely an overkill for gaming due to its price compared to the Core i5 12600K which is entitled as a fit processor mainly for gaming. If you have diverse plans with the CPU like rendering and production alongside gaming, then we recommend you buy the 12700K CPU in certain cases

Can the Core i7 12700K run 4K?

The Core i7 12700K can easily handle 4K gaming. However, it is crucial to note that a high-end GPU and RAM are also important to pair it with.

What is the i5-12600K equivalent to?

The i5-12600K has 10 cores and 16 threads, which makes it equivalent to a Ryzen 7 5800X.

More From Intel Core i7-12700K

More From Intel Core i5-12600K

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