Core i9-12900KS Review: Intel’s Fastest Alder Lake CPU Tested


Intel Core i9-12900KS Review: CPU, System And Browser Benchmarks

When configuring our test systems for this article, we first made sure all firmwares were up to date, then we entered each system's respective BIOS / UEFI and set each board to its "Optimized" or "High performance" defaults. We then saved the settings, re-entered the BIOS and set the memory frequency to the maximum officially supported speed for the given platform (without overclocking) with optimal XMP timings for the respective memory kits installed. The SSDs were then formatted, and Windows 11 Pro was installed and fully updated.

intel 12900ks chip

When the Windows installation was complete, we installed all of the drivers necessary for our components, disabled Auto-Updating and Windows Defender, and installed all of our benchmarking software. When that process was done, we performed a disk clean-up, cleared any temp and prefetch data, and optimized all of the SSDs using Windows' built-in utility. Finally, we enabled Windows Focus Assist to minimize any potential interruptions and let the systems reach an idle state before invoking a test.

Our Test Systems: Revamped For Windows 11

ryzen benchmarks system specs

Geekbench v5.4.1 CPU Compute Benchmark

In the GeekBench tests, we're stressing only the CPU cores in a system (not the graphics card and GPU), with both single and multi-threaded workloads. The tests are comprised of encryption processing, image compression, HTML5 parsing, physics calculations and other general purpose compute processing workloads.

geekbench 12900 ks performance

The Core i9-12900KS puts up top scores in Geekbench. In both the single and multi-threaded tests, the chip leads the pack, thanks to the strong performance of its P-cores and higher-clocks. The Core i9-12900K already offered excellent performance here, and the KS just kicks things up a notch.

UL PCMark 10 Benchmarks

Next, up we have some full-system testing with PCMark. We're reporting all test results from the PCMark 10 benchmark suite, including the Essentials, Productivity, Digital Content Creation and and total PCMark score. The Essentials test covers workloads like web browsing, video conferencing and app start-up times, while Productivity tests everyday office apps from spreadsheets to word processing. Finally, the Digital Content Creation test evaluates performance of a machine with respect to photo and video editing, as well as rendering and visualization.

pcmark 10 12900 ks performance

The Core i9-12900KS also led the pack in our PCMark 10 tests. Here, its higher clocks give it a slight edge over in the Core i9-12900K in the individual tests, which culminate in the best overall score of the bunch.

Bapco Crossmark Testing

Crossmark is a new cross-platform benchmark from Bapco that's available for Windows, Android, iOS and MacOS. Like PCMark, Crossmark measures overall system performance and using real-world applications. It characterizes system responsiveness as well, based on the results of its Creativity and Productivity benchmarks.
crossmark 12900 ks performance

Are you beginning to see a pattern yet? In the BapCo CrossMark benchmark, the Core i9-12900KS also offers up class-leading performance. Thanks the to Alder Lake architecture and higher-frequencies, the Core i9-12900KS is particularly strong in the responsiveness test versus competing AMD processors.

Browser & Web App Benchmarks: Jetstream 2 And Speedometer 2

Next up, we have some numbers from the Speedometer 2.0 and Jetstream 2 tests available at browserbench.org. The Speedometer Benchmark Suite uses a wide array of latency and throughput benchmarks to evaluate web application performance and Jetstream evaluates Javascript and WebAssembly performance; both tests take all of their individual results and tabulate them into a final score.

These benchmarks measures performance of an array of browser-based technologies used on modern, rich web applications. Scores in these benchmark are an indicator of the performance users would see when browsing the web and running advanced web apps. All of the systems were tested using the latest version of Microsoft's Edge browser, with default browser settings, on a clean, fully-updated install of Windows 11.

jetstream 12900 ks performance


speedometer 12900 ks performance

When you couple a bunch of short-bursty, single-threaded workloads, with the Core i9-12900KS' higher clocks and top-performing P-cores, you get scores like this. Once again, the Core i9-12900KS led the pack in both JetStream and Speedometer. Obviously, this processor won't have any issues with web apps or browsing.

7-Zip Data Decompression Tests

The 7-Zip benchmark measures compression and decompression performance using the LZMA method, which leverages the Lempel–Ziv–Markov chain algorithm to perform lossless data compression. The benchmark produces a final rating in GIPS (giga instructions per second).

7zip 12900 ks performance

There is no overcoming the additional cores and threads of AMD's high-end Ryzen processors in the 7-Zip decompression benchmark. Here, the Core i9-12900KS trails both Ryzen 9 processors, but offers a measurable lead over the Core i9-12900K.

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