Intel’s Alder Lake Intel Core i7-12700KF central processing units (CPUs) have been making significant waves in the desktop processor industry with their dual-core design and two new microarchitectures, one optimized for optimum performance and the other for optimal efficiency. Now, we will discuss the widely used Core i7-12700KF and review it.
Both the 12700KF and 12700K processors are the same, with the only difference being that the KF version does not have the integrated graphics support present in the 12700K model, which comes with Intel UHD 770. Apart from that difference, they are comparable, yet the KF chip will help you save money.
The Core i7-12700KF is the epitome of Intel’s new bare-knuckle pricing approach, serving as an excellent example. The Ryzen 7 5800X is easily defeated by the 12700KF, which also dethroned the more expensive Ryzen 9 5900X in terms of gaming performance, all while providing nearly the same level of gaming prowess as the world’s quickest gaming chip.
Additionally, Alder Lake offers the most significant increases in overclocking ability that we have observed in the past several generations of chip architecture. As a result, we now recommend the Core i7-12700KF as one of the best CPUs for gaming.
Surprisingly, most of these improvements may be achieved without using Alder Lake’s new next-gen networking capabilities, which substantially boost performance via DDR5 memory and PCIe 5.0 interfaces. With modern DDR4 memory and PCIe devices, you can unleash higher performance compared to AMD’s ancient AM4 architecture, but with DDR5, you can get an extra performance spike in specific workloads.
While the Core i5-12600K is still the most acceptable mid-range CPU for gaming, the 12700KF offers nearly identical performance and is the new high-end champion among performance addicts. Overclocking testing, which revealed the most increases we have observed from recent Intel CPUs, is also included for the performance-obsessed.
Intel Core i7-12700KF Specifications
The 12700K central processing unit has a total of 12 cores, eight dedicated to performance, while the remaining four are optimized for efficiency; this corresponds to 20 threads. That is nearly identical to the Core i9, with four fewer E-cores.
There has been a decrease in the L3 cache size from 30 MB to 25 MB, indicating a 17% reduction in capacity. After that point, the turbo clock frequencies on the 12700KF drop very slightly, with the processor hitting speeds of up to 4.9 GHz on the P-cores and 3.8 GHz on the E-cores.
Depending on the program’s requirements, the Core i7-base 12700KF’s clock speed of 3.6 GHz, and its 25 MB of L3 cache can be up to 5 GHz. Intel’s Core i7-12700KF is manufactured on a 10 nm production node, although the exact number of transistors is classified information. With the Core i7-12700KF, the unlocked multiplier feature makes overclocking significantly easier, as it enables the user to set the desired frequency without restrictions.
The Core i7-12700KF has a thermal design power (TDP) of 125 W; hence it requires effective cooling to function correctly. The Intel processor is equipped with a dual-channel interface that supports both DDR4 and DDR5 memory types.
Core i7-12700KF utilizes a PCI-Express Gen 4 interface for talking to the rest of the computer’s parts. You will need a dedicated graphics card in addition to this processor because it does not feature built-in graphics.
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Intel Core i7-12700KF Performance and Benchmark
It is expected that the 12700KF will provide over 50% greater performance than the 5800X and around 54% more than its previous, the 11700K. Despite its 25% higher cost, the latest 12th-generation Core i7 CPU delivers an 11% faster performance than the 5900X.
Due to its lack of E-cores, smaller L3 cache, and marginally lower operating frequencies, the 12700KF’s performance is much lower than that of the 12900K. However, this is an outstanding achievement, especially considering the 12700KF is about 30% less expensive than the 12900KF.
The 12700KF has a 23% performance advantage over the 5800X when testing P-core performance, which is expected given the 12700KF’s superior single-core performance.
The 12700KF performs admirably in games and shows promise in titles like Age of Empires 4. However, the improvements over the 5800X and other high-end CPUs are modest and would not change players’ decisions.
Alder Lake is unnecessary if you are already set up with a previous AM4 system running a popular combination like the Ryzen 5 2600 on a B450 board since you can upgrade to a Zen 3 CPU instead.
Also, people who have a 10th- or 11th-generation Core processor, or any Intel processor from before, would not be able to update to Alder Lake on their current motherboard. So, Alder Lake is for people who are building a new PC or getting rid of their old platform to create something new.
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Intel Core i7-12700KF Pros and Cons
There are numerous advantages to adopting the Intel Core i7-12700KF processor. However, it is important to consider some of the downsides as well. In the following section, we will evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the Intel Core i7-12700KF processor.
Pros of Intel Core i7-12700KF
- Excellent Multi-Threaded and Single-Core Performance
Intel’s Core i7-12700K outperforms its previous, the 11th-generation Core i9-11900K, by a wide margin. It is around 69% quicker in the multi-core and 17% in the single-core tests. The improvements over the previous Core i7 CPU are much more noteworthy.
Alder Lake is a powerful tool for games and software like Adobe After Effects and Photoshop, thanks to its impressive single-core and multi-core speed. The Intel Core i7-12700KF, on the other hand, performs admirably in games and lives up to every expectation.
- Improved UHD Integrated Graphics
To begin, the Intel Core i7-12700KF includes an integrated graphics processor (IGP) in the form of Intel’s UHD Graphics 770; hence, a separate graphics card is not required unless you intend to play games that are not many years old.
Additionally, it is worth noting that in the F1 2021 game, the Intel UHD Graphics 770 integrated in the Core i7-12700K delivers a significant improvement of approximately 30% in performance compared to the Intel UHD Graphics 630 in the Core i5-11600K, which marks a notable advancement over the previous generations of UHD Graphics solutions.
- Support for DDR5 and PCI-Express 5.0
DDR5 memory capability is another innovation, but Alder Lake is backward compatible with DDR4. However, you cannot combine DDR4 memory with a 12th-generation processor, so you must choose between the two.
PCIe 5.0 support is built into the Intel Core i7-12700KF, which means quicker storage speeds (loading times for videos and games) and higher graphics performance (video games and rendering).
- Unlocked and Overclockable
It is safe to overclock an Intel Core i7-12700KF, increasing the CPU’s clock speed and improving its performance, extending a processor’s helpful life by allowing it to keep up with increasingly demanding software requirements.
- Matches 12900K Gaming Performance
When it comes to gaming performance, the Intel Core i7-12700KF is on the level with the 12900K. Knowing that the i7-12700KF is, on average, 25% less expensive than the Core i9-12900K is a bonus.
The more affordable Intel Core i7-12700KF also performs better than the more costly Core i9-12900K in a few games, including Fortnite.
Cons of Intel Core i7-12700KF
- Pricier than 12th-gen Core i5 and Ryzen alternatives:
However, the Core i7-12700KF may not be worth the extra money when compared to the 12th-generation Core i5. The difference in gaming performance between the two is minimal in most other tests, and the Core i5 even excels in some games.
It is more financially efficient for PC gamers to go with the Core i5, as this will free up some funds for a better graphics card. As soon as motherboards featuring lower-end chipsets become widely accessible, it will be more practical to consider lower-end processors such as the Core i5.
- No Bundled Cooler
Like most other unlocked Intel processors, the Core i7-12700KF does not include a cooling. Assuming adequate cooling, the temperature of the 12700KF processor should not present any issues.
Due to its exceptional performance capabilities, it is crucial to maintain an optimal temperature for the Intel Core i7-12700KF processor, especially during heavy usage.
Price and Availability of Intel Core i7-12700KF
Right now, you can purchase an Intel Core i7-12700KF processor for around $350-$400 USD. The Core i7-12700KF has competition from the likes of the AMD Ryzen 5 and 7 CPUs as well as Rocket Lake. Although at its price point, the Core i5 “K”-series sister may end up being the more powerful rival.
We can estimate that the 5800X with an X570 motherboard will cost around $500, while the 12700KF with a similar Z690 board will set you back around $600. Is there really a 20% premium for the Intel bundle? The Core i7-12700KF is the way to go if you care primarily about productivity, as it is about consistently over 20% faster.
Who is it for?
The Intel Core i7-12700KF is widely regarded as the most powerful central processing unit currently available. Everyone has something to gain from the Core i7-12700KF. To be more specific, however, what kind of people are intended to be its target audience? Let us investigate it a little bit further.
A selection of them has been provided for your reference down below. If any of the following are true, then selecting this central processing unit will most likely be the best option if:
- A powerful CPU that is fast and efficient in all tasks is essential.
- If you spend a significant amount of time gaming, it is essential to ensure that your PC’s frame rate is adequate for a smooth gaming experience.
- Performing multi-core workloads enables the processor to execute multiple tasks simultaneously, which leads to improved efficiency in utilizing the system’s resources.
- You need a robust CPU that performs admirably across the board.
The Intel Core i7-12700KF is an exceptional Central Processing Unit for desktop computers; it has outstanding single- and multi-threaded performance, as well as high clock speed and good memory performance. It is hardly shocking that Intel’s 12th Generation Core i7 processor outperforms the 11th Generation model, but the extent of the improvement is remarkable.
The Core i7-12700K may be worth the investment, but that decision must be made in light of your overall budget and computing requirements. Even while it offers improved performance, it can not compare to the Core i9-12900K in terms of raw processing power, and it is not worth the extra cost just for gaming over the Core i5-12600K.
As previously mentioned, when motherboards with lower-end chipsets become readily available, it will be more practical to opt for midrange processors such as the Core i5. Many of the currently available Z690 boards are high-end ones that necessitate DDR5 memory, which is nowadays hard to come by.
However, there is no reason not to go for the upgrade if you already have the necessary funds in your budget and could benefit from the additional multi-threaded processing power: The Core i7-12700K performs admirably in the majority of tasks.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Is the 12700KF a good gaming CPU?
In-game performance on Intel’s Core i7 12700KF processors ranges from outstanding with high-performance CPU cooling to good with a primary or stock CPU cooler.
- Which is best for gaming, 5800X or 12700KF?
There is no clear winner between the 5800X and 12700KF when it comes to gaming performance. Both of these CPUs and their respective platforms would fulfill my gaming needs.
- Is i7 12700KF suitable for editing?
The Intel Core i7 12700KF is one of the most cost-effective options if you are looking for a new processor. This CPU demonstrates the highest performance in online video editing tools and graphics rendering.
- What does KF mean in Intel?
The only difference between Intel KF and Intel K processors is that the KF models do not include graphics processing. Intel KF central processing units are less expensive than K CPUs since they do not have graphics processing.
- Is the i7 better than the i9 in gaming?
Both i9 and i7 feature eight performance cores, and while there are more E cores in the i9, the i7’s individual P cores seem to run at a faster base rate (but not the boost clock). Games could benefit more from this, as it is likely that only the P cores will be relevant in the future.