Intel Core i9-12900K Alder Lake CPU Smashes Ryzen 9 5950X In AOTS Benchmark Debut

Intel Alder Lake
The CPU wars are not coming to an end anytime soon, and instead, we can expect some interesting skirmishes in the months and years ahead. It starts with Intel's next-gen Alder Lake launch that is now right around the bend. Early leaks have mostly been encouraging, including the latest one that shows a Core i9-12900K curb-stomping AMD's flagship Ryzen 9 5950X.

Put the pitchforks down, there are indeed some heavy caveats and disclaimers that come with this leak. One of them is, simply, that this is a leak, and so by it's very nature, the data is not wholly reliable. Secondly, this is an Ashes of the Singularity (AOTS) benchmark comparison. AOTS is nowhere near the end-all-be-all for evaluating performance, and often the results can be misleading.

Nevertheless, there are some numbers to digest while we wait for Alder Lake's big entrance, and as with several previous leaks, they shine a positive light on Intel's next flagship CPU. Here's a look...

Intel Alder Lake AOTS Benchmark
Click to Enlarge - Intel Core i9-12900K Benchmark (Source: AOTS)

The Core i9-12900K is wired up with 16 total cores and 24 threads, including 8 high performance Golden Cove cores with Hyper Threading support for heavy lifting, and 8 power efficient Gracemont cores without Hyper Threading support for lighter duties. Each physical cores counts as a thread, hence the 24 threads (8 big cores + 8 threads + 8 little cores = 24 threads).

Paired with a GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card, it scored 14,000 points at the High 1440p preset in AOTS. How does that compare? Well, here's a recent benchmark entry with a Ryzen 9 5950X with the same GPU and benchmark settings...

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X AOTS Benchmark
Click to Enlarge - AMD Ryzen 9 5950X Benchmark (Source: AOTS)

The Ryzen 9 5950X is a monstrous Zen 3 CPU with 16 cores and 32 threads, clocked at 3.4GHz to 4.9GHz, with 64MB of L3 cache. We've already seen what this chip can do in our Ryzen 9 5950X review, and it is a beast in virtually every kind of task. In this instance, however, it scored 10,100 points, coming up well short of the aforementioned Alder Lake chip.

By the numbers, the Core i9-12900K scored 38.6 percent higher. That is quite significant...except for the caveats we mentioned. And to add to them, we also don't know what kind of overclocks might have been in play, for either the GPU or CPU. For example, comparing a liquid cooled and overclocked setup to a air-cooled configuration at stock settings gives the former a decided advantage. We're not saying that's the case here, but we're not saying it's not the case either, because there's just no way of knowing.

That's to say, while this is interesting, it shouldn't be taken as the final word on performance, or even close to it. Think of it more as an appetizer before the main course, after which we can properly evaluate the full meal.