Who will be the winner of this battle? All of us are dying to find out. Let's head onto it right away!
Intel's 16-core i9-12900K has eight hyperthreaded P-cores and eight single-threaded E-cores, totaling 24 threads. It is a 33% boost in thread numbers over the Core i9-11900K from the previous generation.
That is due to Intel's dual architecture, enabling what is often referred to as 'abnormal' thread configurations. That is because P-cores are multi-threaded, but E-cores have only one thread.
The E-cores start at 2.4 GHz and boost to 3.9 GHz through Turbo Boost 2.0. The chip has a 30MB L3 and a 14MB L2 cache. Meanwhile, The P-cores operate at a base frequency of 3.2 GHz and reach a peak speed of 5.2 GHz when Turbo Max 3.0 is enabled (this accessory is only available on P-cores).
The Z690 platform from Intel has an edge in connectivity: AMD's old AM4 architecture is completely outclassed with PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 support. While these new capabilities result in more costly Team Blue motherboards, there are DDR4 models available that will save you some money.
AMD deserves a lot of credit for sustaining the AM4 architecture for five years (and continuing), partly because fans don't have to replace motherboards every time a new processor is released. However, it has hindered connection advancements.
While Intel's Alder Lakes takes a massive step-up on Windows 11, large victories in a few games may significantly influence cumulative metrics. For example, Intel outperforms AMD in Hitman 3. However, the game is tailored to use the E-cores by outsourcing low-priority activities like audio and dynamics to the tiny cores.
That arrangement, though, may become increasingly prevalent. For instance, Intel claims that broadcasting a gaming session using OBS, which now operates on the lower E-cores, may increase up to 84 percent in frame rate over previous-generation CPUs.
We're still testing that, but it demonstrates that the E-cores have the potential to influence gameplay as more titles and apps support them significantly.
AMD's fastest gaming CPU is the 12-core Ryzen 9 5900X, while the Core i9-12900K is 8.7 percent quicker throughout our whole test suite in the total 1080p gaming measurement. That's true for both DDR5 and DDR4 memory configurations. Thus you won't need to invest much in a DDR5 package to get there.
We're currently testing on an Nvidia RTX GeForce 3090 to minimize GPU-induced bottlenecks, and discrepancies between test groups will narrow as cards become more affordable or resolutions increase.
At 1440p, this 12900K is only 3.6 percent quicker than the Ryzen 5950X 9, which means pricing may be a key factor for those who play at higher resolutions.
By increasing the resolution to 1440p, the bottleneck is shifted to the GPU, dramatically narrowing the gap between the devices. Gamers using lower-resolution displays and faster refresh speeds will benefit from the 12900K's increased frame rates.
When we flip over the 99th percentile charts, the deltas between the chips are greater, but we must proceed with care.
Windows 11 is in its infancy and seems to have a greater frame rate variance than Windows 10. That might be due to yet-to-be-updated game code, relatively new GPU cabbies for Windows 11, or a mix of reasons that will improve in the future.
Furthermore, we took into account our general gaming performance on Windows 10. These data were generated using a different collection of games than those used in our earlier Windows 10 validation set.
Still, they demonstrate that most of what we find in Windows 11 is also present in Windows 10. Except for one point: on Windows 10, DDR4 memory outperformed DDR5 memory in terms of gaming performance. That is likely to change when DDR5 becomes more mature.
AMD and Intel's gaming battle is becoming more competitive, with certain titles preferring one technology over the other. As such, it's wise to make an educated choice depending on the games you usually play.
Under Windows 10, the DDR4-supported 12900K is 7% quicker at 1080p than the 12900K with DDR5, which inevitably affects its ranking compared to the Ryzen 5900X and 5950X.
With DDR5, experts concur that the 12900K outperforms the Ryzen 5900X-9 by 2.4 percent, but that advantage increases to 9.5 percent with DDR4 memory.
Overall, Intel maintains an advantage in any circumstance.