Intel Core i7-12700K Review

Layout, design and features …

In order to be able to examine every detail, there is first of all a 360° view again.


Let’s take another closer look at the Intel Core i7-12700K.

In addition to the type description, the serial number, the clock frequency and the Intel product code were lasered onto the heatspreader.

On the CPU’s backside, we see the usual picture. Like all current Intel processors, the CPU is manufactured as an LGA version.

Intel Alder Lake news …

The underlying product generation behind the Core i7-12700K is Alder Lake in the Intel 7 10nm manufacturing process. This is the latest generation after the 11th generation codenamed Rocket Lake from Intel. In addition to various tweaks, the core count has been increased to 16, and the socket has been changed from LGA1200 to LGA1700, which means the CPU is no longer backwards compatible and also requires new cooler mounts with modified holes in addition to the new motherboard. New additions include PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 support up to DDR5-4800, though DDR4 up to DDR4-3200 is still supported if the motherboard has DDR4 slots. Here you can see the DDR5-4800 timings from the DDR5 XMP 3.0 profile.

Hybrid CPU with P-Core and E-Core …

In addition, there is a distinction between a P-core and E-Core in some Intel 12th generation processors – the so-called Performance Cores and Efficient Cores, whereby the E-Cores work in the background with a lower frequency, while the P-cores can do the more demanding work in Windows or Linux. We show which CPU has E-Cores in the following table. If you switch the Task Manager’s performance display to logical processors in Windows, you can see very nicely that the last 4 cores are the Core i7-12700K’s E-Cores (circled in red in the picture), since they do their work in the background completely independently of the P-cores’ 16 threads.

And with the well-known tool CPU-Z, you can see an overview of the respective P-core and E-core clock rates.

Currently, the following processors are available in the 12th generation:

Overview of Intel Alder Lake processors
Intel Celeron G6900 2C/2 3.40GHz
Intel Celeron G6900T 2C/2 2.80GHz
Intel Core i3-12100 4C/8 3.30-4.30GHz
Intel Core i3-12100F 4C/8 3.30-4.30GHz
Intel Core i3-12100T 4C/8 2.20-4.10GHz
Intel Core i3-12300 4C/8 3.50-4.40GHz
Intel Core i3-12300T 4C/8 2.30-4.20GHz
Intel Core i5-12400 6C/12 2.50-4.40GHz
Intel Core i5-12400 6C/12 2.50-4.40GHz
Intel Core i5-12400F 6C/12 2.50-4.40GHz
Intel Core i5-12400T 6C/12 1.80-4.20GHz
Intel Core i5-12500 6C/12 3.00-4.60GHz
Intel Core i5-12500T 6C/12 2.00-4.40GHz
Intel Core i5-12600 6C/12 3.30-4.80GHz
Intel Core i5-12600K 6C+4E/16 3.70-4.90GHz
Intel Core i5-12600KF 6C+4E/16 3.70-4.90GHz
Intel Core i5-12600T 6C/12 2.10-4.60GHz
Intel Core i7-12700 8C+4E/20 2.10-4.90GHz
Intel Core i7-12700F 8C+4E/20 2.10-4.90GHz
Intel Core i7-12700K 8C+4E/20 3.60-5.00GHz
Intel Core i7-12700KF 8C+4E/20 3.60-5.00GHz
Intel Core i7-12700T 8C+4E/20 1.40-4.70GHz
Intel Core i9-12900 8C+8E/24 2.40-5.10GHz
Intel Core i9-12900F 8C+8E/24 2.40-5.10GHz
Intel Core i9-12900K 8C+8E/24 3.20-5.20GHz
Intel Core i9-12900KF 8C+8E/24 3.20-5.20GHz
Intel Core i9-12900KS 8C+8E/24 3.40-5.50GHz
Intel Core i9-12900T 8C+8E/24 1.40-4.90GHz
Intel Pentium Gold G7400 2C/4 3.70GHz
Intel Pentium Gold G7400T 2C/4 3.10GHz

Besides the Intel Core i7-12700K with unlocked multiplier and 125-190W TDP that we tested, there are also various variants, among them the Intel Core i7-12700 with locked multiplier and 65-180W TDP, the Intel Core i7-12700F without integrated graphics unit, the Intel Core i7-12700KF with unlocked multiplier without iGPU and the Intel Core i7-12700T with lower frequency but only 35-99W TDP.

Speaking of TDP, the power consumption including all components like memory and SSD with integrated Intel UHD Graphics 770 GPU was 324.8 watts under full load and only 42.2 watts in idle, both including the motherboard’s RGB bling-bling :rgb:

In terms of compatibility, the Intel Core i7-12700K works with the Intel H610, H670, B660 and the Z690 chipset. The Z690 supports the most PCI-E lanes (1 x16 or 2 x8 slots for PCI-E 5.0) and up to 8 SATA 3.0 ports with 28 lanes, whereas the B660 only supports 14 PCI-E lanes and 4 SATA 3.0 ports. It is interesting that you can also overclock RAM with the H670 and B660. Intel only officially supports CPU overclocking for the Intel Z690 chipset, but you can even unofficially overclock locked Non-K Intel Alder Lake processors via BCLK with Intel B660 motherboards.

Next, let’s take a look at the Intel Core i7-12700K installation …