Since the launch of Alder Lake late in 2021, the CPU gaming market has certainly turned toward Intel’s side. AMD fans impatiently await the Ryzen 7000 series launch, expected to launch later in 2022. This Ryzen 7000 series is going to be AMD’s fightback against Alder Lake.
At the moment, however, Intel’s 12th Generation chips are being compared against the Ryzen 5000 series and one of the most interesting competitions is the i7-12700K vs Ryzen 7 5800x. The 12700K is Intel’s highest-end i7 chip, and the 5800x was AMD’s most powerful Ryzen 7 chip at launch. (Also read: Ryzen 7 5800x vs i5 12600K)
Comparing 5800x vs 12700K Specifications
Before getting into the specifics, we will be comparing the key specifications between the two chips.
|Product Line||Intel i7 Series||AMD Ryzen 7 Series|
|Product Generation||Intel 12th Generation||AMD Ryzen 5000 Generation|
|Core Architecture||Hybrid Core Architecture||Zen 3|
|Processing Node||TMSC 10nm FINFET||TMSC 7nm FINFET|
|Supports Motherboard Chipsets||Z690, H670, B660, H610||X570, B550, X470 B450 A520 A320|
|No. of Cores (Threads)||8P (16), 4E (4) = 12 (20)||8 (16)|
|L2 Cache||12 MB||4 MB|
|L3 Cache||25 MB||32 MB|
|Base Clock Speeds||3.60 GHz for P Core 2.70 GHz for E Core||3.8 GHz|
|Boost Clock Speeds||4.9 GHz for P Core 3.8 GHz for E Core||4.7 GHz|
|Base Power Draw||125 W||105 W|
|Boost Power Draw||190 W||Not Advertised|
|Integrated Graphics||Intel UHD 770||N/A|
|Memory Support||DDR4 up to 3200 MHz DDR5 up to 4800 MHz||DDR 4 up to 3200 MHz|
|PCIe Support||PCIe 4.0 and 5.0||PCIe 4.0|
|Launch Date||Nov 4, 2021||Oct 8, 2020|
So the most obvious differences between the two is in the manufacturing process and the core architecture. We will discuss these two and the lesser significant details, as well.
Intel’s 12th Generation chips, codenamed Alder Lake, are based on Intel’s Hybrid Architecture design.
Hybrid Architecture Design
Intel’s Hybrid Architecture design was first implemented in its Ice Lake mobile CPUs, launched way back in late 2019. This Hybrid Architecture involves combining two different microarchitectures into a single CPU die. This means that two different CPU cores will be fit into a single CPU, as well. These two different microarchitectures are Gracemont (for Efficient cores) and Golden Cove (for Performance cores).
The performance cores (P cores) are high-performance full-sized cores based on the Golden Cove microarchitecture. This Golden Cove microarchitecture succeeds Cypress Cove, which was designed for the 10nm node, but was backported to 14nm in Intel’s 11th Generation Rocket Lake CPUs. Intel advertised a 19% improvement in IPC (Instructions Per Cycle) over Cypress Cove.
This essentially means that you can expect these performance cores to deliver roughly 19% better performance over the full-power cores of Rocket Lake. This Golden Cove architecture will also be implemented in Intel’s soon-to-launch 4th generation of Xeon CPUs, codenamed Sapphire Rapids.
The Efficiency Cores (or E cores) are based on Intel’s Gracemont microarchitecture. Gracemont is the successor to Intel’s Tremont architecture, which was the architecture used in Intel’s low-power Atom, Celeron and Pentium CPUs. This Gracemont microarchitecture will also be implemented in Intel’s 13th Generation chips, codenamed Raptor Lake.
For ease of understanding, we will sum up the differences between the two cores in the form of a table.
|Performance Core||Efficiency Core|
|Based on Golden Cove microarchitecture||Based on Gracemont Architecture|
|High-Performance core with higher power consumption||Low-Performance core which is more power efficient.|
|Larger than E cores||Small-sized cores packed in clusters of four|
|Each P core has two threads
|Each E core has a single thread (no Hyper-threading)|
|Optimized for Single-Threaded tasks||Optimized for Multi-Threaded tasks|
|Up to 80 KB L1 Cache
per P core
|Up to 96 KB L1 Cache
per E core
|Up to 1.25 MB L2 Cache
per P core
|Up to 2 MB L2 Cache
per E core
Performance Cores vs Efficiency Cores
In short, the main difference between Performance and Efficiency Cores is that the P cores are meant to handle heavier tasks such as gaming and rendering workloads (foreground tasks), and the E cores are intended to handle the lighter tasks such as browsing (background tasks). It’s important to note that while these two types of cores handle different types of workloads, the two cores work in harmony to maximize performance and efficiency.
The performance and efficiency cores are managed by the Task Scheduler in Windows 11 so that the two cores are used for their intended workloads, and also so that the P cores remain parked when there are no heavy workloads running. This greatly benefits us in terms of power efficiency.
Intel 7 is the new name of Intel’s 10nm manufacturing process (called 10nm Enhanced Superfin). Intel promises a 10-15% improvement in performance per watt over the previous node.
Intel’s Alder Lake lineup became the first CPU lineup to be supporting DDR5 memory. DDR5 memory is supported on selective motherboards of the 600 series chipsets but these motherboards are more on the expensive side.
DDR5 memory brings us many improvements over DDR4 memory. Firstly, DDR5 memory supports up to 64 GB of memory for a single module, whereas DDR4 supports only up to 16 GB. It also features two 32-bit channels instead of a single 64-bit channel; this reduces latency, leading to faster performance. DDR5 memory runs at a minimum frequency of 4800 MHz, over 2133 MHz for DDR4 memory. DDR5 memory also features a power management integrated circuit (PMIC), meaning voltage regulation will not be dependent on the motherboard, but the RAM itself. Here are our Ram For i7-12700k Recommendations through.
In the real world, however, DDR5 memory provides little to no benefits over DDR4 memory in terms of performance. At the same time, DDR5 memory costs considerably higher than DDR4 memory, and DDR5 supported motherboards are also quite expensive.
AMD’s Ryzen 5000 series does not support DDR5 memory; however, their anticipated Ryzen 7000 series are set to provide DDR5 support. Read our Article on DDR5, and get familiar with everything there is need to know.
Intel’s Alder Lake also supports PCIe 5.0 which is the latest PCIe standard. PCIe 5.0 doubles the bandwidth to 128 GB/s (over 64 GB/s) and the transfer speed to 32 GT/s over PCIe 4.0’s 16 GT/s.
At the moment, there are no graphics cards that need the bandwidth provided by PCIe 5.0. There are no PCIe 5.0 SSDs either; however, Samsung became the first to manufacture PCIe 5.0 SSDs, named PM1423. According to Samsung, these SSDs will feature read speeds of up to 13000 MB/s and write speeds of up to 6600 MB/s.
Just like DDR5 memory, PCIe 5.0 is only supported on Intel’s Alder Lake platform as of yet and AMD chips do not support it yet.
Intel’s i7 12700K is the most powerful i7 CPU from Alder Lake’s bunch, and is also the fastest i7 chip till date. Priced at 409$ at launch, it is one of the best options for mid-to-high range builds and delivers stellar gaming and productivity performance.
It features 8 Performance Cores and 4 Efficiency Cores for a total of 12 cores. Paired with these cores are 20 threads (2 threads for each performance core, and a single thread each for the efficiency cores). The performance cores have a base clock of 3.60 GHz, while the efficiency cores are clocked at 2.70 GHz for the stock speeds.
Ryzen 5000 Series
AMD’s Ryzen 5000 series was launched late in 2020. It was a solid hit back at Intel’s 10th Generation lineup, with the Ryzen 5000 chips comprehensively beating out Intel’s 10th generation CPUs (Comet Lake) aimed around the same price mark. The Ryzen 5000 series also proved to be too hot to handle for Intel’s 11th Generation CPUs codenamed Rocket Lake.
This Ryzen 5000 series is based on AMD’s Zen 3 architecture.
AMD Zen3 Architecture
Introduced with the Ryzen 5000 series, AMD’s Zen 3 architecture really packed a punch as AMD took a solid lead against Intel’s 10th generation CPUs, as well as its own Ryzen 3000 series.
Zen 3 was based on the same 7nm manufacturing process. This is the second time that AMD has used this process, and the upcoming Ryzen 7000 series will be based on TMSC’s more efficient 5nm process.
AMD advertised that, on average, the Ryzen 9 5900x (the most powerful 5000 series chip after 5950x) delivered an improvement of 26% in 1080P gaming performance over the 3900XT (the most powerful 3000 series chip). (Also read: R9 3900x vs R9 5900x)
(Read: Ryzen 9 5900x vs Intel Core i9-12900K)
So the question arises, how did AMD achieve such massive performance hikes over its Ryzen 3000 series? Well, the answer is the Zen 3 Architecture. AMD improved its core architecture. Now, there are a few changes to discuss here.
To start, AMD banished the concept of splitting of core complexes (CCX) in a single CPU die. Each Zen 2 die featured 2 core complexes, each 4 cores and 16 MB of L3 cache being shared amongst the 4 cores. But in Zen 3, there is a single core complex, having 32 MB of L3 cache which is shared among 8 cores. So each core now has access to double the bandwidth, and the latency from splitting the cache is eliminated. This, in turn, improved core-to-core and core-to-cache communications by a mile.
Secondly, AMD saw an improvement in its Branch Predictor. This improved branch predictor can “predict more branches per cycle.” More specifically, there is a redistribution in L1 BTB, which is doubled from 512 to 1024 entries, leading to reduced branch predictor latency. There is also an increase in the Indirect Target Array (ITA) from 1024 to 1536 entries. Furthermore, there is a lower “misbranch latency.” This basically means that if the branch predictor makes an incorrect prediction, the CPU can write itself much more quickly and a new stream is initiated much quicker.
Lastly, there is an improvement of “streamlined op-cache“. This OP Cache stores decoder functions so that they don’t have to be decoded again, in the case that they are repeated. Faster sequencing of OP Cache leads to faster fetching of instructions, which are then executed.
All these changes lead to an IPC improvement of 19% as compared to Zen 2.
Ryzen 7 5800X
The Ryzen 7 5800x was the most powerful Ryzen 7 chip at the time of launch, and it comprehensively beat its similarly priced Intel counterpart, the 10700K. The Ryzen 7 5800X still remains AMD’s best CPU for the mid-range, with the CPU seeing a price cut-down to $300 from its launch price of $450, following the release of Intel’s Alder Lake lineup.
The Ryzen 7 5800X features 8 cores and 16 threads. As discussed before, all the 8 cores share 32 MB of L3 Cache. These cores have a base clock of 3.8 GHz.
Chipset Compatibility Difference
Intel’s Alder Lake chips, being based on a new architecture and manufacturing process, are based on a different socket (LGA1700) as well. So there’s no option to upgrade from a previous generation, and you have to buy a new supporting 600 series chipset board.
The Ryzen 5000 series run on the same socket AM4, and so, you can run the 5800x on an cheaper and older B450, X470 or A320 series motherboard with the help of a BIOS update.
Ryzen 7 5800x vs i5-12700K Benchmarks
In terms of gaming performance, as seen above, the i7-12700k performs slightly better in most modern titles; however, the performance increase that the 12700k provides over the Ryzen 7 5800x is nothing significant; the Ryzen 7 5800x puts up a fair fight against the 12700k, falling only slightly behind it in most games.
The difference in performance is expected, given the price gap between the two processors. With the i7 12700k’s price being higher than the Ryzen 7 5800x, its performance gains are completely justified.In terms of the one percent lows, the i7-12700k maintains its lead over the Ryzen 7 5800x in most games tested. There are a few exceptions to this, as seen with “Shadow of the Tom Raider” and “Rainbow Six Siege,” but the 12700k remains dominant for the most part.
A quick overview of our test bench:
- CPU: Ryzen 7 5800x @ Stock
- Motherboard: MSI MEG X570 ACE
- Memory: G.SKILL Trident Z RGB: 3600MHz 16-19-19-39 (2x16GB)
- CPU: i7-12700K @ Stock
- Motherboard: MSI Z690 Unify
- Memory: Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB: 5200MHz 36-38-38-74 (2x16GB) AND G.SKILL Trident Z RGB: 3600MHz 16-19-19-39 (2x16GB)
The two test benches will be sharing the following components for even results:
- Graphics Card: MSI RTX 3080 GAMING X TRIO
- CPU Cooler: Corsair iCue H115i Elite Capillex
- Power Supply :Corsair RM1000X PSU
- Storage: 2 TB SSD
- OS: Windows 11
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the two CPUs are quite neck in neck, with the Ryzen 7 5800x taking a tiny lead.
In Cyberpunk 2077, the Ryzen chip falls behind by a reasonable distance and also sees a larger gap between average FPS and %1 Lows, meaning worse performance.
The Ryzen 7, again, falls behind the 12700K, but not by a lot. The DDR5 memory provides no benefit in terms of average FPS, but frame-time is improved as is evident from the %1 Lows.
Far Cry 6
In Far Cry 6, the i7 12700K paired with DDR4 memory is almost absolutely in line with the Ryzen 5800x. The i7 12700K, paired with DDR5 memory, gets a significant boost in Far Cry 6.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
Our Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy sees the Ryzen 7 5800x again being neck in neck with the 12700K, however, it does fall behind in terms of %1 Lows.
In Hitman 3, the Ryzen 7 5800x is left far behind compared to the i7 12700K. The DDR5 memory provides no benefits to the 12700K in this test.
Tom Clancy’s: Rainbow Six Siege
In the very popular first-person shooter, the two CPUs are again neck and neck. The i7 12700K gets a slight boost paired with the DDR5 memory.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive
The i7 12700K takes a very small lead in our CS:GO benchmark. However, the performance difference is completely irrelevant since both the CPUs are crossing the 750 FPS mark. Therefore, the 12700K vs 5800x competition is even in CS:GO.
In Dota 2, our Ryzen 7 chip again falls behind slightly. The 12700K sees worse performance coupled with DDR5 memory. This isn’t surprising since Dota 2’s Source 2 engine likely can’t utilize any of the benefits that DDR5 memory offers.
8 Game Average (minus CS:GO)
Deriving an average from the games we’ve tested (minus CS:GO, which yielded comparable results), we learn that our Alder Lake 12700K only leads the Ryzen 5800x by 4.3% in terms of average FPS. Conclusively, the two CPUs provide very identical gaming performance.
Adobe Photoshop 2021
The i7-12700K takes a decent lead in our Adobe Photoshop benchmark with the DDR5 memory showing slightly better numbers.
Adobe Premiere 2021
Identical to the Adobe Photoshop test, the 12700K again takes a significant lead over the Ryzen chip. The 12700K coupled with DDR4 memory falls slightly short of the DDR5 system.
In our Handbrake conversion test, the Ryzen 7 5800x falls significantly behind, again. DDR5 memory doesn’t provide any advantages in this test.
Geek Bench 5
Our productivity tests are following the same pattern at the moment, with the Ryzen 5800x being comprehensively beaten in the Geek Bench test, as well. The DDR5 memory gives us a significant improvement in this test.
Our V-Ray benchmark shows the i7 12700K take a healthy lead over the Ryzen 5800x.
The i7-12700K is far ahead of the Ryzen chip in both Multi-Core and Single-Core Cinebench tests.
The Ryzen 7 5800x takes roughly 50% more time to render in our Blender render test.
The i7-12700K betters the Ryzen 5800x yet again, in our Corona benchmark test.
Chromium Code Compile
Compiling is a CPU-intensive task that relies a lot on the CPU cache. In our code compiling test, the Ryzen 5800x, again, falls very short compared to our Alder Lake i7.
i7-12700k vs Ryzen 7 5800x 1440p
With a higher resolution, like 1440p, the performance gap narrows down quite a lot since more of the load is shifted to the GPU. With the games becoming more GPU-bound, a higher resolution leads usually results in lower fps in games.
Even with a higher resolution, the i7-12700k consistently outperforms the Ryzen 7 5800x; however, with this resolution, the fps difference is lower, making it even less noticeable in games.
Temperatures and Power Draw Difference
Let’s compare the temperatures and power draws of the two CPUs. This would tell you the comparison fo Intel Core i7-12700k vs Ryzen 7 5800x in which is more hotter, requires cooler, and likewise.
Comparing the idle and load temperatures between the two CPUs, we see that the i7 12700K runs considerably hotter both at idle and under loads.
Comparing the power draws between Intel Core i7-12700k vs Ryzen 7 5800x is very important. We see that the i7 12700K draws over a massive 260 watts during our Blender stress testing. The Ryzen 5800x, on the other hand, draws just under 220 watts. The two CPUs have comparable power draws when idle, however, with both CPUs drawing just around 75 watts of power.
One thing is for sure; you’ll need a beefy power supply to provide the Alder Lake 12700K with adequate power.
CPU and Platform Costs
As discussed earlier in our table, the 12700K was launched at $470, while the Ryzen 7 5800x was launched at an MSRP of $440. Following the launch of Intel’s Alder Lake chips, however, the first move in AMD’s power was to reduce the pricing of their Ryzen 5000 chips since Alder Lake proved a stiff competition.
Consequently, AMD dropped and cut the cost of this CPU by around $100. The 12th Generation 12700K’s cost has seen a somewhat significant drop, too. At the moment, the 12700K retails at around $370, while the 5800x is priced at around $345. So their prices are quite similar.
There is also a question of the motherboard and DDR5 memory (Read: Best Motherboard for 12700K). In the case of AMD, you can buy a B550 motherboard for as low as $100, which gives you out-of-the-box support for Ryzen 5000 series, and decent I/O capabilities. Similarly, there is also X570, for which we recommend going through B550 vs X570 Comparison.
You can also upgrade to the 5000 series on an older 3000 series supporting board which are far cheaper. On the other hand, a B660 motherboard with decent I/O capabilities will set you back $140 at the lowest, on which you get no CPU overclocking support either. DDR5 memory isn’t a considerable choice since it provides you little to no benefits in gaming or productivity as seen in our tests. With that being said, if you opt for DDR5 memory, you will be spending a lot more on your motherboard and the memory itself.
Now that we’re done discussing the performance and prices of Core i7-12700k vs Ryzen 7 5800x, we can compare their price-to-performance ratios.
The i7-12700K gives you vastly better productivity performance, but gaming performance isn’t really “significantly better” when compared to the Ryzen chip. Moreover, the 12700K runs much hotter and draws considerably more power.
Hence, the i7-12700K gives you much better price-to-performance for productivity performance, but the honors are quite even in terms of gaming. This is based on the CPU’s cost, though, and it’s important to keep in mind that a PC with this Alder Lake platform will set you back more as compared to Ryzen.
The Ryzen 7 5800x delivers awe-inspiring gaming performance at a somewhat lower price as compared to the 12700K. It also saves you costs on power, and you don’t need a very beefy cooler to support it, as opposed to the 12700K. If you go with i7-12700k though, check out our Coolers For i7-12700k Article.
Productivity performance is quite lackluster, though, and the 12700K took a strong lead in every productivity test and benchmark. So, again, you’re looking for a CPU purely for gaming, the 12700K vs 5800x competition is quite even in terms of price-to-performance. But in productivity performance, the price-to-performance ratio is not so impressive.
Verdict – Core i7-12700K vs Ryzen 7 5800x
Having discussed the important and necessary factors that differentiate 12700K vs 5800x, let us sum things up to help you decide which CPU you should choose.
Why Choose i7 12700K?
The 12700K provides incredible gaming and productivity performance in the mid-to-high range. It also brings us DDR5 support and PCIe 5.0 with the 600 series chipset platform. With that being said, its power consumption is on the higher side and it also runs much hotter, crossing the 80 degrees Celsius mark, despite being cooled by a 280mm AIO cooler. So in conclusion, the 12700K should be your choice if you want the best productivity performance and also if you want futureproof DDR5 memory, along with PCIe 5.0. If you need a CPU for gaming as well as rendering-based work, the 12700K is, again, the best choice.
Why Choose Ryzen 7 5800x?
The Ryzen 7 5800x is a solid competitor in terms of gaming performance. It falls slightly short of the 12700K in gaming performance but then its also slightly cheaper. Productivity performance isn’t very impressive compared to the 12700K. It saves you on power consumption and an expensive CPU cooling solution. Therefore, you should opt for the Ryzen 7 5800x if you’re only interested in gaming, and don’t have the budget for a more expensive cooler.
Frequently Asked Questions
The i7 12700K is much better than the Ryzen 7 5800x in terms of productivity performance, and marginally better in gaming performance. The 12700K also gives you DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 support, which the 5800x does not have.
No. DDR5 memory is not necessary for any Alder Lake CPU. Intel’s 600 series chipset boards come with either DDR4 or DDR5 support, so you can choose a DDR4 motherboard to run DDR4 memory.
No. You can run the i7 12700K on any 600 series chipset motherboard. However, you can only overclock the unlocked 12700K on a Z690 motherboard.
AMD’s Ryzen 9 5900x is more neck in neck with the 12700K in terms of productivity performance.
Related Reads: i9-12900k vs i7-12700k
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