12th Gen Intel Core™ processors—a generation like no other before it. With unprecedented new performance hybrid architecture, 12th Gen Intel Core processors offer a unique combination of Performance and Efficient-cores (P-core and E-core). And that means real-world performance, intuitively scaled to match whatever you’re doing.

Efficient-cores (E-core), with workload intelligently routed by Intel® Thread Director—it divides, so you can conquer.

Get the world’s best gaming performance and create without compromise. Intel’s performance hybrid architecture makes it possible with up to eight Performance-cores and up to eight Efficient-cores.

Intel Thread Director sends the right workload to the right core at the right time. It helps prioritize and manage the distribution of workloads, sending tasks to the most optimized thread. This new feature is on by default and works in tandem with the operating system for intelligent workload distribution. To get the full capabilities of Intel Thread Director, pair a select 12th Gen Intel Core desktop processor with Windows.

The launch desktop CPUI models are

Core i912900K8 performance 8 efficiency 5.2GHz241W$589
Core i912900KF 8 performance 8 efficiency5.2GHz241W$564
Core i712700K8 performance 4 efficiency5.0GHz190W$409
Core i712700KF 8 performance 4 efficiency5.0GHz190W$384
Core i512600K6 performance 4 efficiency4.9GHz150W$289
Core i512600KF 6 performance 4 efficiency4.9GHz150W$264

The model range of processors will expand quickly over the coming months as Intel makes more dies. The K-series chips come with the UHD Graphics 770 engine that’s effectively the same as the UHD 750 engine present on the Rocket Lake processors. The media engine, the same Gen12 Xe LP architecture found in Tiger Lake but ported to the Intel 7 process, comes with 32 EUs (GT1) for desktop PCs. The Xe LP engine supports limited 1080p gameplay and has a 12-bit end-to-end video pipeline. The UHD 770 engine clocks in at (up to) 1550, 1500, and 1450 MHz for the 12900K, 12700K, and 12600K, respectively.

The new Intel Z690 brings PCIe 4.0 performance to the Intel platform. Z690 has 12 lanes at PCIe 4.0 and 16 lanes at PCIe 3.0 for motherboard designs. Better PCI device management is now available to reduce the problems seen with earlier chipsets.

Intel is not initially supporting the full DDR5 speeds which span to DDR5-6400 at present. Intel enthusiasts often overclock memory. Support for both DDR4 and DDR5 allow for lower upgrade costs.

Intel has a slide suggesting the new i9-12900K can beat the R9-5950X suggests DDR5 does have some advantages early on.


The MSI PRO Z690-A WIFI is the Intel equivalent of the X570-A PRO with DDR5 support with less slots. There are now four PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots for additional SSD drives. The integrated Wi-Fi saves one slot and a USB 2.0 header and there are two USB 3.0 headers available. The Ethernet now supports 2.5 gigabits. Dual EPS12V are excessive for even a 250W CPU but the AX1600i in the studio is there for a reason. This board is selling for $319 in Canada which is more than the AMD board set me back on launch day. There is still no DDR5 RAM in stock and a CPU is also needed.