Intel i9 12th generation processors are some of the fastest processors around for an excellent gaming experience. While the i9 12th generation offers exceptional performance, the cost may be a deterrent for many. This gives us an option to consider i7 12th generation processors in lieu. We look at the key differences between the i9 12th generation processor (i9-12900K) and the i7 12th generation processor (i7-12700K). This comparison study may help you in taking a fair decision about your next processor, given the fact that the i7-12700K is almost 40% cheaper than an i9-12900K. Both processors were released in the last quarter of 2021. So, in terms of age, both processors are the latest processors in the i9 and i7 families of core processors.
Processor Specifications – i9-12900K vs i7-12700K
The major differences between i9-12900K and i7-12700K processors are in terms of the processor specifications. Intel i9-12900K has an incremental configuration of the CPU. We look at the key differences between i9-12900K and i7-12700K processor specifications below:
- i9-12900K has 16 cores and the i7-12700K has 12 cores. i9-12900K has 8 performance and 8 efficient cores. i7-12700K has 8 performance and 4 efficient cores.
- The performance core of i9-12900K works between a base frequency of 3.60 GHz and a Max Turbo Frequency of 4.90 GHz. The performance core of i7-12700K works between a base frequency of 3.20 GHz to a Max Turbo frequency of 5.10 GHz.
- The efficient cores of i9-12900K work between a base frequency of 2.40 GHz to a Max Turbo Frequency of 3.90 GHz. The efficient cores of i7-12700K work between a base frequency of 2.70 GHz to a Max Turbo Frequency of 3.80 GHz.
- Multi-thread processing is available on i9-12900K and i7-12700K. i9-12900K has 24 threads and i7-12700K has 20 threads for multi-thread processing.
Clearly, i9-12900K has a better configuration than the i7-12700K. However, is the difference really huge? We look at the CPU scores to find if the processors’ performance is a concern.
CPU Scores – i9-12900K vs i7-12700K
We look at the performance scores of the i9-12900K and i7-12700K below. This should help you arrive at a broad indicator in terms of processor performance.
- Geekbench scores – i9-12900K has a single-core score of 1990 and a multi-core score of 17270. i7-12700K has a single-core score of 1904 and a multi-core score of 14093.
- Passmark scores – i9-12900K has a single-core score of 4211 and a multi-core score of 41173. i7-12700K has a single-core score of 4055 and a multi-core score of 34307.
Looking at the Passmark scores, it is clear that the i9-12900K has a 20 percent higher score than the i7-12700K. This would give a fair idea about the incremental speed of processing of the i9-12900K processors. However, i7-12700K looks equally good for gaming enthusiasts and professional graphic processing tasks.
Cache – i9-12900K vs i7-12700K
- Intel i9-12900K has an L1 cache of 64K per core. With 16 cores, the L1 cache is a little over 1 MB. The L2 cache on i9-12900K is 14 MB and the L3 cache is 30 MB.
- Intel i7-12700K has an L1 cache of 64K per core. With 12 cores, the L1 cache is a little under 1 MB. The L2 cache on i7-12700K is 12 MB and the L3 cache is 25 MB. The differ
In terms of cache, i9-12900K is marginally better than the i7-12700K. The difference from the point of view of gamers is not substantial.
RAM – i9-12900K vs i7-12700K
- i9-12900K and i7-12700K support DDR5 4800 MHz and DDR4 3200 MHz memory standards. Both processors have identical RAM compatibility.
- Both processors can support two memory banks. The maximum RAM capacity for i9-12900K and i7-12700K is 128 GB.
- The total memory bandwidth for i9-12900K and i7-12700K is 76.8 GBps. In other words, RAM throughputs on i9-12900K and i7-12700K are identical.
- i9-12900K and i7-12700K also support ECC RAM.
Since both processors are similar in terms of memory support, RAM or internal memory cannot be treated as a difference between the i9-12900K and i7-12700K processors.
PCIe 5 – i9-12900K vs i7-12700K
- PCIe 5 and PCIe 4 are supported by i9-12900K and i7-12700K. PCIe 5 can achieve data transfer rates of 32 Gigatransfers per second. PCIe 4 can attain data transfer rates of 16 Gigatransfers per second.
- i9-12900K and i7-12700K support an equal number of PCI lanes. Both can support up to 20 PCI lanes for transfer between the processor and motherboard.
You will need a PCIe5 compatible motherboard to make the most of PCIe 5 support on the i9-12900K and i7-12700K processors.
CPU Socket – i9-12900K vs i7-12700K
- i9-12900K and i7-12700K are compatible with the FCLGA1700 socket. LGA1700 socket is the newest socket for Intel processors. It has a 1700-pin architecture.
- Both processors have a similar thermal standard -PCG2020A.
- i9-12900K and i7-12700K have an identical size of 45.0 mm x 37.5 mm.
Integrated Display – i9-12900K vs i7-12700K
i9-12900K and i7-12700K come with an integrated display. We list the main points about the i9-12900K and i7-12700K processor display support.
- i9-12900K and i7-12700K are based on Intel UHD 770 display standards. i9-12900K can achieve a turbo GPU frequency of 1.55 GHz. i7-12700K can attain a turbo frequency of 1.5 GHz.
- Both processors can support up to 4 display monitors.
- i9-12900K and i7-12700K support DirectX 12.
- The maximum display resolution on i9-12900K and i7-12700K can be 7680 x 4320 @ 60Hz on the display port.
There is hardly a difference in the display configuration of i9-12900K and i7-12700K.
There is no doubt that the i9-12900K is ahead of the i7-12700K in terms of performance. However, the gap in performance is narrow. The CPU scores also suggest the same. Therefore, you could do well with an i7-12700K. Especially, if you are building a PC for gaming or professional engagements.
You may like to read more content related to the latest Intel processors:
- Intel i9 11th gen vs 12th gen processors
- Intel i9-12900K vs Apple M1 Max
- Intel i9-12900K vs i7-10700K processors for PC
- Intel i9-12900K vs Ryzen 9 5900X
- Intel i9-12900K vs i9-10900K
- Intel i9-9900K – 9th generation Intel Processor
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.