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Intel was rather misleading in its comparisons between the Core i9-12900K and Ryzen 9 5950X

The Core i9-12900K is a powerful processor, but Intel did not benchmark it on a level playing field. (Image source: Intel)
The Core i9-12900K is a powerful processor, but Intel did not benchmark it on a level playing field. (Image source: Intel)
It seems that Intel was not telling the full story when it compared the Core i9-12900K against the Ryzen 9 5950X, currently AMD's most comparable processor. As it turns out, Intel allowed the Core i9-12900K to consume 2.4x the power of its AMD competitor and benchmarked the Ryzen 9 5950X using an older version of Windows 11 with AMD performance issues.

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Last week, Intel published the official specifications, performance statistics and prices for its Alder Lake desktop CPUs. As we discussed at the time, Intel sought to compare its flagship SKU against the Core i9-11900K and the Ryzen 9 5950X. Unsurprisingly, Intel's preferred benchmarks showed the Core i9-12900K in a favourable light, with the Core i9-12900K outscoring the Ryzen 9 5950X in seven of the nine gaming benchmarks.

However, Intel left out numerous details about how it tested the processors, which it subsequently published. As the slides below show, Intel allowed the Core i9-12900K to consume 241 W at PL1, with the Ryzen 9 5950X restricted to 105 W, also PL1. Correspondingly, the Core i9-12900K could operate at significantly higher clock speeds than the Ryzen 9 5950X, influencing benchmark results. For some reason, Intel has not shared the PL2 consumption of either processor.

Additionally, Intel benchmarked the Core i9-12900K and Ryzen 9 5950X using Windows 11 Pro 22000.9, a version known for performance issues with AMD Ryzen processors. For reference, Microsoft fixed the L3 caching issue for AMD Ryzen processors in mid-October with Windows 11 Build 22000.282.

Ultimately, we would recommend waiting for independent reviews of the Core i9-12900K to arrive rather than relying on Intel's results. We shall be publishing our reviews of Alder Lake-S processors later this month.

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(Image source: Intel)
(Image source: Intel)
(Image source: Intel)
The Core i9-12900K can only manage its impressive benchmark results when consuming 241 W, much more than the Ryzen 9 5950X. (Image source: Intel via TechSpot & @WolStame)
The Core i9-12900K can only manage its impressive benchmark results when consuming 241 W, much more than the Ryzen 9 5950X. (Image source: Intel via TechSpot & @WolStame)
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Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - Senior Tech Writer - 4892 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.
contact me via: @aldersonaj
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 11 > Intel was rather misleading in its comparisons between the Core i9-12900K and Ryzen 9 5950X
Alex Alderson, 2021-11- 2 (Update: 2021-11- 3)