Excellent processor for high-end games

Intel’s new Alder Lake processors have shown a significant performance boost over their last-gen counterparts, and the new Core i7-12700 is no different. It’s basically a locked version of the Core i7-12700K processor, but it offers almost the same level of performance as the fully unlocked part. For $350, the Intel Core i7-12700 is, without a doubt, one of the best options currently available for high-end gaming rigs.

You can easily pair it with, say, a good quality B660 motherboard and walk away with this package for less than $500. That’s less than you’d spend to buy just a Ryzen 9 or equivalent CPU. The Core i7-12700 is a great chip and I highly recommend considering it above the 12600K or even the 12700K if you’re not into overclocking. Pair it with a powerful CPU cooler like I did, and it’ll approach the general performance of even the Core i9-12900K in many applications without breaking a sweat.


    Intel Core i7-12700 processor

    The Intel Core i7-12700 is a fantastic processor worth considering over both the Core i5-12600K and the Core i7-12700K.

Navigate through this review:

Intel Core i7-12700 Processor Review: Price and Availability

  • The Intel Core i7-12700 is priced at $350 and is available for purchase now.

The Intel Core i7-12700 went on sale earlier this year along with a bunch of other new desktop parts from the Alder Lake family. The Intel Core i7-12700 is priced at $350, which puts it slightly above the unlocked Core i5-12600K processor. If you plan on using a discrete GPU, we recommend going with the Core i7-12700F variant of the chip, which is essentially the same as the 12700, except it doesn’t have an integrated GPU. Both processor variants are already available on the market. You can also buy the Core i7-12700K if you want to overclock to get more performance from your CPU.

Intel Core i7-12700 Processor Review: Specifications

Here is a brief overview of the specifications of the Intel Core i7-12700 processor:

specification Core i7-12700
Lithography Intel 7
Total number of cores (P + E) 12 (8+4)
Core frequency P 8
E-core frequency 4
Hidden 25MB Intel Smart Cache
L2 cache 12 MB
base power 65W
Turbo power 180W
Maximum memory size 128 GB
Memory Types Up to DDR5 4800MT/s
Up to DDR4 3200MT/s
Number of memory channels 2
Maximum memory bandwidth 76.8 GB/s
Graphic Intel UHD Graphics 770
Graphic frequency 300Mhz to 1.5GHz
Execution units 32
Maximum resolution
  • HDMI: 4096 x 2160 @ 60Hz
  • DP: 7680 x 4320 @ 60Hz
  • eDP: 5120 x 3200 @ 120Hz
Number of screens supported 4
PCIe Review 5.0 and 4.0
PCIe configurations Up to 1×16+4, 2×8+4
Maximum number of PCIe lanes 20
Socket LGA1700
Price $339.00 – $349.00

As part of the new Alder Lake family, the Intel Core i7-12700 requires a new motherboard with an LGA1700 CPU socket and Intel’s 600 series chipset. You can either choose one of the more expensive Z690 motherboards like the Gigabyte Aorus Pro or choose one of the newer B660 motherboards to swap out some features at a relatively cheaper price. Either way, you’ll definitely need a new motherboard to run one of these new 12th Gen Intel Core processors.

With that being said, let’s now take a look at the benchmark I’ve put together just in time to examine this particular processor:

Intel Core i7-12700 Processor Review: Benchmark

Part Model
CPU Intel Core i7-12700
GPUs Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super FE
CPU cooler ASUS ROG Ryujin II 360 AIO
RAM 16GB ADATA XPG Gammix D30 DDR4-3200Mhz
Storage room WD SN550 Blue NVMe PCIe 3.0 500GB SSD
power supply Gigabyte GP-P750GM
Motherboard ASUS TUF Gaming Z690-Plus Wi-Fi D4

The Intel Core i7-12700 processor comes with one of the new Laminar CPU coolers. However, Intel shipped a review sample of the Core i7-12700 without the original cooler, so I was only able to test CPU performance with an aftermarket cooler. Although general CPU performance with the stock CPU cooler may vary slightly, I believe you will be fine if you choose to use the included cooler. The Core i7-12700 is a locked processor, meaning you’ll only be running it at stock frequency at any given time. It is relatively easier to cool the non-K version of these processors than the fully unlocked versions.

Intel Core i7-12700 Processor Review: Performance

  • The Core i7-12700 comes close to the general performance of the fully unlocked Core i9-12900K.
  • Delivers better multi-core performance than a 12600K, that too at stock settings and while consuming significantly less power.
  • Impressive benchmark scores overall.

While the Intel Core i7-12700 supports DDR5 memory, we’ll only be looking at CPU performance paired with a DDR4 RAM kit. This, however, shouldn’t really be a problem considering that the new memory standard doesn’t offer any significant improvement over the old one. You can read more about the performance difference between the two in our DDR4 vs DDR5 RAM comparison.

Core i7 12700 Specifications

But other than that, the test bed I managed to put together for this review is quite powerful. The specs are more in line with what most people will have in mind for a high-end gaming rig with a Core i7-12700. I managed to run a long list of tests on this particular platform, although I only produced a few important results in an effort to keep this review short and simple. That said, I’ve added some performance numbers from our Core i5-12600K and Core i9-12900K review to give you a better understanding of where this particular CPU stands.

Starting with the Cinebench R23 test, the Core i7-12700, as you can see, performs better than the Core i5-12600K in the multi-core test. Well, that’s not really a surprise as we’re looking at more cores and matching threads to do the heavy lifting for the 12700. But what’s most impressive about the performance of the Core i7-12700 is is that it approximates the overall performance of the Core i9-12900K, especially in the single-core test.

I’ve noticed this behavior across the board and even in some apps and gaming workloads. The performance number drops across the board for the Core i7-12700 when you run the 65W spec, but that’s understandable given how little power it draws at 65W compared to those fully unlocked chips. Here’s also a quick look at the PCMark 10 score of the Core i7-12700:

Intel Core i7-12700 PCMark 10 Benchmark Score

Here’s a quick look at some other Core i7-12700 CPU benchmarks:

Test Intel Core i7-12700 score Intel Core i9-12900K score
7-Zip file manager compression
(The higher the better)
81,293 84,790
7-Zip File Manager Unzip
(The higher the better)
109755 136974
Crown 1.3
(Lower is better)
67 58
Single-threaded CPU-Z
(The higher the better)
761 807
CPU-Z Multi-threaded
(The higher the better)
8849 11420
PC Mark 10
(The higher the better)
8070 8329

I also ran a suite of 3D workloads and tests to see how the CPU supported the GPU with graphics. While graphics performance is largely dependent on the discrete graphics card you’re using, it’s safe to say that the 12700 won’t prove to be a bottleneck, even when paired with the most powerful GPUs on the market. . Even though the Core i7-12700 comes with onboard GP, it goes without saying that it’s best paired with a discrete graphics card for the best performance. Here’s a look at the gaming performance of the Core i7-12700 paired with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super graphics card:

Games Average frames per second (FPS)
Dying Light 2
(High settings 1080p)
god of war on pc
(Ultra 1080p settings)
Forza Horizon 5
(Ultra 1080p settings)
Infinite Halo
(Ultra 1080p)
Apex Legends
(Ultra 1080p settings)
far cry 6
(Ultra 1080p settings)

The Core i7-12700 runs slightly warmer than the Core i5-12600K at stock settings. That being said, it’s still below acceptable limits and it’s not particularly difficult to cool this CPU. My test sample with a 360mm AIO didn’t even cross the 80 degree mark even under heavy load, so it’s safe to say that the included Laminar cooler should be able to do the trick. I’ll try to revisit this particular review if/when I get my hands on the included original cooler and add some performance numbers to give you a better idea. Although the general CPU performance should stay about the same.

Intel Core i7 12700 Processor Temperature

Is it worth buying?

The Intel Core i7-12700 is one of the best processors around, and I highly recommend it. But as with all other products, it’s not for everyone.

Who should buy the Intel Core i7-12700 processor?

  • If you are someone who is looking to buy a reliable CPU for gaming and doesn’t care too much about overclocking or performance tweaking.
  • It’s a great option to consider if you’re looking to build a high-end gaming rig in 2022.
  • Also good for those who don’t want to spend extra on an aftermarket CPU cooler.

Who shouldn’t buy the Intel Core i7-12700?

  • It is not a good option for overclocking.
  • Not the best option for an avid gaming rig.

The Core i7-12700 looks very promising, especially considering the performance against fully unlocked parts like the Core i5-12600K and even the 12900K. Of course, you can also buy the 12600K for a little less money, but the Core i7-12700 offers better multi-core performance, and it does so while running at stock settings that consume relatively less power. It will be interesting to see how it compares to the non-K Core i9-12900 given that it was only a bit slower on average compared to the Core i9-12900K processor.

    Intel Core i7-12700 processor

    The Intel Core i7-12700 is a fantastic processor worth considering over both the Core i5-12600K and the Core i7-12700K.

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