Superlative Intel Core i9-12900HK outbenches AMD Ryzen 9 5950X on UserBenchmark as a last hurrah for Alder Lake before Zen 4 comes along
A single sample of the Intel Core i9-12900HK mobile processor has appeared on UserBenchmark and has been awarded an average bench score of 102%. This places the Alder Lake-H part on an equal footing with AMD’s desktop beast, the Ryzen 9 5900X, while also outbenching the Ryzen 9 5950X with its average bench of 101%. Before exploring a multitude of caveats, taken out of comparison it can still be said that the i9-12900HK has performed at a very high standard, which should be expected from a 14-core (6P/8E)/20-thread chip that can clock at up to 5.0 GHz under the right conditions.
The first thing that should be mentioned here is that the i9-12900HK has a base power requirement of 45 W. The desktop Ryzen 9 5900X and Ryzen 9 5950X processors are obviously much more power-hungry, requiring a TDP of 105 W. This power difference shows just how impressive the Intel Core i9-12900HK is, as it racks up an intimidating 4-core score of 690 points, with the highest 4-core score for the Ryzen 9 5950X sitting at 670 points while the average for the Zen 3 chip is 621 points. But first caveat: This is a theoretical maximum for the Alder Lake-H chip as this is currently based on a single sample’s results as part of an unnamed Lenovo system.
In addition, it is likely there will be some justified complaints about the synthetic benchmark used here, as UserBenchmark’s scoring method is notoriously weighted (the massive 64-core % for the Ryzen 9 5950X apparently counts for little) and the site is often accused of Intel bias. With an average bench chart that features just two AMD processors in the top 20 at the time of writing, it seems like a fair criticism from supporters of Team Red. It’s also worth pointing that even though the i9-12900HK laptop processor has mixed it up with two very powerful desktop processors here, there is quite an age difference: The Zen 3 parts were released in November 2020.
This could be considered a last hurrah for Intel Alder Lake, and at least Team Blue can finish strongly here. While AMD has been busy with the Ryzen 6000 series launch, it's arguable that this Zen 3+ refresh is just the calm before the storm. Early and official benchmarks have shown the Rembrandt processors to be decent, although the iGPU part with RDNA 2 microarchitecture is the main upgrade. It will be the Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 series (Phoenix and Raphael), with its adoption of a 5 nm manufacturing process and inclusion of support for both PCIe5 and DDR5, that should really test Intel's hybrid-architecture processors and UserBenchmark’s rocky credibility. Team Blue will have to work wonders with Raptor Lake if Zen 4 ends up being anything like the game-changer it’s expected to be.