The Intel® Core™ 12th Gen range features a processor to meet the needs of every type of gamer, no matter the budget. Intel Core processors are categorised according to their overall performance and pricing; the higher the brand number, the more powerful the processor:
- Core i5 – Up to 10 cores
- Core i7 – Up to 12 cores
- Core i9 – Up to 16 cores
Most 12th Gen CPUs can overclock, the easy way to tell is that the model number ends with a ‘K’. If the model number ends in ‘KF’, the ‘F’ denotes that the CPU doesn’t have an integrated GPU built in. Most gamers prefer to have a dedicated GPU so an integrated one is not required but a built in GPU can be useful if your dedicated one fails or if using software packages like Adobe which rely on integrated graphics to run more smoothly. All of our top picks feature integrated graphics.
If the model number ends in ‘KS’ like our recommended high-performance CPU below, the ‘S’ denotes that it is a special edition model.
Recommended for top performance = the i9-12900KS
If you want the best of the best, look no further than the i9-12900KS, it’s the fastest gaming processor on the market right now, and the best for gaming performance. This is Intel’s current flagship 12th Generation processor for gamers and content creators. It features 16 cores (8 Performance-cores and 8 Efficient-cores) and 24 threads, up to 5.5 GHz max turbo frequency with Intel® Thermal Velocity Boost, 150W processor base power, 30MB Intel® Smart Cache and Intel® Adaptive Boost Technology (Intel® ABT) for even more gaming power and performance. Please bear in mind that all of this performance will come at a high cost.
Most suitable for serious gaming enthusiasts and high-performance workstations.
“Hot, hot, hot! Intel’s supercharged i9 is a blazing speedster.” Ukpcmag.com
Recommended for best value gaming – is the i7-12700K
If you want to balance price vs performance to get the best of both worlds, look no further than the i7-12700KF. Featuring 8 Performance-cores and 4 Efficient-cores with a total of 20 threads and a boost clock speed of 5.0GHz. The i7-12700KF delivers excellent performance but with a lower price tag than that of our high-performance pick.
As you’d expect, the Core i7 range delivers more performance over the Core i5 range and makes an excellent choice for gamers and content creators alike, offering the best value.
“The Core i7-12700K comes with all of the gaming performance of its higher-priced i9 counterpart while beating competing Ryzen chips, but it’s significantly less expensive. That makes the Core i7-12700K the go-to chip for gamers looking for the highest performance at a forgiving price point.” Tomshardware.com
For gaming on a budget – choose the i5-12600K.
The Intel Core i5-12600K is the best 12th Gen CPU for gamers on a budget and can be overclocked. It represents great value, featuring 6 Performance-cores and 4 Efficient-cores, 16 threads with a boost clock speed of 4.9GHz and up to 20MB of L3 cache for less than £300.
“The Intel Core i5-12600K is the best value gaming CPU available, offering a similar level of performance to the i9 while also boasting future-proofed features such as DDR5 and PCIe 5.0. It also packs a respectable multi-core performance, making it a versatile chip for those who want to both create and play.” Trustedreviews.com
Click here to find out more about the Intel Core 12th Gen processor range.
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