Last November we took a look at Intel’s first 12th generation desktop processors, and today we’re back to finish the job. In that initial piece, we reviewed the Core i9 12900K and Core i5 12600K and came away impressed. As it turns out, a modern 10nm process, a larger L3 cache and a new hybrid architecture with ‘Performance’ and ‘Efficient’ cores adds up to a very capable CPU lineup. However, both the $589 12900K and $289 12600K have cheaper equivalents with fewer E-cores that ought to provide very similar gaming performance – so this time we’re taking a look at those chips, the $409 Core i7 12700K and the $167 Core i5 12400F.
Looking at the specs for each CPU in the table below, you can see that the logic behind the 12900K/12700K and the 12600K/12400F pairings. In each case, we have the same number of hyper-threaded Performance cores – eight for the high-end (i9/i7) parts and six for the mid-range (i5) offerings – with four fewer Efficient cores in the lower-end example. That means moving from eight E-cores in the 12900K to four in the 12700K, while the 12600K’s four E-cores turn into zero E-cores on the 12400F.