Intel’s 12th-gen desktop processors promise a dramatic leap forward, courtesy of the long-awaited shift to a modern 10nm process, dubbed Intel 7, and a radical new hybrid design that echoes Apple’s powerful M1 chips. It’s the most exciting Intel release for years, and it comes at the perfect time: just as AMD’s Ryzen 5000 processors prised the gaming crown (and significant market share) from Team Blue.
We’ve been testing the $589 Core i9 12900K and $289 Core i5 12600K for the past week against their 11th-gen predecessors and AMD’s Ryzen 5000 processors, and have come away impressed with what Intel has accomplished here. However, all this horsepower comes with a cost – and we’re not sure that 12th-gen makes sense for everyone just yet. In this review, we’ll explain the gaming performance you can expect, explore the new features of the Z690 platform and everything else you need to know.