Hullo chaps! Yes, it’s another US processor deal, as there have been quite a few good ones recently. The 12700K is my personal pick of the new Intel 12th-gen family, as it offers the same number of performance cores and therefore much the same performance as the flagship 12900K – all while producing far less heat and costing much less too. It normally retails for around $385, but today a $45 discount code on Newegg brings it to just $340.
That’s a really good price for the level of performance you’re getting. This is a CPU I’ve had the pleasure of testing for RPS sister site Eurogamer, and over there I reckoned that the 12700K achieved 96% of the performance of the 12900K while costing 69% of the price – nice. (RPS hasn’t yet benchmarked the 12700K – although the 12400F, 12600K and 12900K are all covered.) After that review, I also popped the 12700K into one of our work PCs, and it’s proved a reliable workhorse for everything from gaming to content creation.
Looking closely at the specs reveals how the Core i7 can be so close to the i9 in gameplay. The performance cores on the Core i7 turbo boost to 5.0GHz, compared to 5.2GHz for the Core i9 part, and the E cores manage 3.8GHz compared to 3.9GHz on the i9. So you’re getting the vast majority of the single-core performance and the same number of P cores; the only noticeable drawback is that the number of efficiency cores is halved. That might become a bigger deal down the road, as Intel and Windows’ scheduling continues to improve, but for the moment the 12700K seems like the obvious buy for most people considering a high-end Intel CPU – and that’s without considering the fact that the 12900K runs a bit hot and therefore requires investment into a beefier thermal solution, like a big AiO or tall tower cooler that may not even fit in your case.
So: a great price on a processor that remains outside the official RPS list of the best CPUs for gaming but ought to be included once it’s tested by this hallowed institution.
What do you think – are you happy with what you have, tempted by 12th-gen, or maybe waiting to see what AMD will deliver next? Let us know in the comments below.