Intel i9-12900K vs i7-10700K processors for PC

Intel i9-12900K is the 12th generation processor from the i9 family of core processors. Intel i7-10700K is the 10th generation processor from the core family of i7 processors. i9-12900K is one of the best processors that are available in 2022 for a scintillating gaming experience. We look at the key differences between the i9-12900K and i7-10700K processors. This may help you in picking the more suitable processor for gaming, intensive applications, or graphic processing.

CPU specifications

The most fundamental difference between i9-12900K and i7-10700K lies in the number of cores and processor performance.

  • i9-12900K has 16 cores. Of these, 8 are efficient cores and 8 are performance cores. i7-10700K has 8 cores in all. The base frequency of the performance core is 3.20 GHz. It can go up to a max Turbo frequency of 5.10 GHz. The base frequency of efficient cores is 2.40 GHz and the Max Turbo frequency can go up to 5.20 GHz.
  • i7-10700K has 8 cores. The base frequency of an i7-10700K is 3.8 GHz and you can go up to 5.00 GHz on Turbo Boost.
  • i9-12900K has an L3 cache of 30 MB. i7-10700K has an L3 cache of 16 MB.
  • i9-12900K and i7-10700K have an L1 cache of 64K per core. That comes to 512 KB L1 cache on i7-10700K. But, the vast difference lies in the L2 cache. i9-12900K has an L2 cache of 14 MB and i7-10700K is 256K per core. This translates to a 2 MB shared L2 cache. There is a huge difference in the cache capacity between the i9-12900K and i7-10700K.
  • Multi-threading support on i9-12900K is based on 24 threads. i7-10700K has 16 threads. i9-12900K has a much better multithreading architecture.

The CPU specifications of the i9-12900K are higher than i7-10700K. Depending on the use case scenario, you may opt for either of these processors.

PCI Express Support

PCIe 5 and PCIe 4 are supported by Intel i9-12900K processors. If your motherboard supports PCIe 5 standards, the i9-12900K would demonstrate outstanding performance. i9-12900K can work with PCIe 5 and PCIe 4 compatible motherboards. But, we strongly suggest using a PCIe 5 compatible motherboard. A PCIe 5 Express processor can achieve data transfer speeds of 32 Gigatransfers per second. In comparison, the PCIe 4 processor and motherboard can participate in data transfer rates of 16 Gigatransfers per second.

Intel i9-12900K can support 20 PCI lanes. You are looking at a bandwidth of over 128 Gigabytes per second on an i9-12900K system with a PCIe 5 compatible motherboard. The remaining 4 lanes are compatible with the PCIe 4 standards.

Intel i7-10700K can work with PCIe 3 standards. It can achieve a data transfer rate of 8 Gigatransfers per second. i7-10700K can support up to 16 PCI lanes. In terms of bandwidth pushed out, the i7-10700K is nearly a fourth of the bandwidth transferred on i9-12900K.

PCIe 5 support on Intel i9-12900K makes it preferable over the i7-10700K processor. The effect can be felt on gaming performance and graphic processing performance on an Intel i9-12900K.

RAM or Memory

In terms of RAM support, an i9-12900K can work with a DDR 5 RAM and a DDR 4 RAM as well. We look at some key pointers about RAM performance on i9-12900K vs i7-10700K.

  • i9-12900K can support DDR 5 RAM at a frequency of 4800 MHz.
  • i9-12900K can also work on DDR 4 RAM at a speed of 3200 MHz.
  • i9-12900K can also work with ECC RAM, while an i7-10700K is not compatible with ECC RAM.
  • Intel i7-10700K can work with DDR 4 RAM at speeds of 2933 MHz.

The difference in RAM performance between a DDR 5 4800 MHz and DDR 4 2933 MHz is quite substantial. It is more than 50 percent higher. Both processors support 2 memory slots and can go up to a total memory capacity of 128 GB.

  • Intel i9-12900K can achieve maximum memory bandwidth of 76.8 GB per second on a DDR 5 memory.
  • Intel i9-10900K can achieve maximum memory bandwidth of 45.8 GB per second.

Display Specifications

Intel i9-12900K and i7-10700K have integrated Intel graphics.

  • i9-12900K has an integrated display based on Intel UHD 770. The base frequency of the GPU is 300 MHz and the GPU could be boosted to 1.55 GHz.
  • i7-10700K has an integrated display based on Intel UHD 630. The base frequency of the GPU is 350 MHz and the GPU could be boosted to 1.2 GHz.
  • i9-12900K can support up to 4 display monitors. i7-10700K can support up to 3 display monitors.
  • The maximum resolution on i9-12900K is 7680 x 4320 @ 60Hz on the display port. i7-10700K can go up to 4096 x 2304 resolution on the display port.

GPU performance of the i9-12900K is ahead of the i7-10700K.


  • Intel i9-12900K supports a socket of FCLGA1700 with 1700 pins.
  • Intel i7-10700K supports a socket of FCLGA1200.

Compared to the 1700 pins of FCLGA1700, the FCLGA1200 socket has 1200 pins that connect to the CPU. Due to the higher number of pins on the LGA1700 socket, the size of i9-12900K is higher at 45.0 mm x 37.5 mm. i9-10900 has a size of 37.5mm x 37.5mm.


The motherboard chipsets that are compatible with i9-12900K include the following:

  • Intel Q670 chipset
  • Intel H610 chipset
  • Intel H670 chipset
  • Intel B660 chipset
  • Intel Z690 chipset

All these chipsets support PCIe 4 and PCIe 3 standards.

The motherboard chipsets that are compatible with i7-10700K include the following:

  • Intel W580 chipset
  • Intel Q570 chipset
  • Intel Z590 chipset
  • Intel B560 chipset

All these motherboard chipsets support PCIe 3 standards.


Intel i9-12900K is better than i7-10700K on the following parameters:

  • A higher number of processor cores
  • Higher cache on the processor
  • DDR5 support for RAM
  • PCIe 5 and PCIe 4 compatibility for better throughput

Intel i7-10700K works well if your applications or games can work with 8 cores and PCIe 3 standards and DDR4 RAM at 2933 MHz. For most graphic processing projects, an Intel i7-10700K should offer good performance.

You may like to read the following content related to Intel processors:

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Rajesh Dhawan

Rajesh Dhawan is a technology professional who loves to blog about smart wearables, Cloud computing and Microsoft technologies. He loves to break complex problems into manageable chunks of meaningful information.