Intel 12th Gen Core i9
Intel

Intel announced the 12th Gen Core i9-12900K processor last week, and now the reviews are here. Turns out, it’s an absolute beast of a chip that currently sits atop the throne as the pinnacle of processors.

12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900K Reviews

Whenever there’s a big leap forward in processors, it’s always exciting to see what the reviewers think after they put it to the test. In the case of the $589 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900K, the critics have been very kind to it.

Make sure to read our guide to processor reviews to make sure you understand what you’re looking at. There’s a lot of jargon used in the reviews that follow, so make sure you understand everything before you dig in.

Over at PC World, the title of the review really hammers home how great this chip is: “Intel. Is. Back.” Reviewer Gordon Ung actually called it a better value than AMD, which is the one place Intel has been defeated repeatedly by AMD. Sure, there are some places where AMD Ryzen slightly outperforms the new i9, for example, the Ryzen 9 5950X wins in Rendering / High-thread count. However, the performance to price ratio falls in Intel’s favor according to PC World’s tests. “In the end, the Core i9-12900K is a stunning return to greatness and one hell of an impressive CPU. Alder Lake was worth the wait. Bravo, Intel,” said Ung.

The Verge also put the new 12900K through its paces and found incredible results. Tom Warren rounded out his review, saying, “Intel is back and ready to usher in the DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 era.” When compared to last generation’s Core i9 chip “The 12900K is a big improvement over the 11th Gen 11900K, in both productivity workloads and gaming,” Warren said.

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Windows Central also ran the new chip through a barrage of tests and was impressed with the results. Reviewers Rich Edmonds and Daniel Rubino said that Intel is “Striking back at AMD and Apple with a single deadly Alder Lake swing.” The review gave the chip a perfect 5 out of 5 score, citing its “Exceptional performance,125W TDP at stock, PCIe 5.0 support, DDR5 RAM support, and great price.”

PC Mag gave Intel’s 12th Gen Core i9-12900K a solid 4 out of 5, calling it “Intel’s first truly innovative high-end desktop CPU in years.” Reviewer Chris Stobing cited “outright benchmark wins across many different runs.” The review also called out the numerous overclocking features, which will be great for power users.

RELATED: What Is Overclocking? The Beginner's Guide to Understanding How Geeks Speed Up Their PCs

Good Luck Finding One

While the processor retails for $589, you’ll have a hard time actually finding one for that price, as they’re selling quickly. For example, NewEgg is completely out of them. They’re for sale on Amazon from third-party sellers for a whopping $1,349.99.

If you can manage to find one and you’re looking to upgrade your motherboard and do all the other stuff that comes with changing chipsets, it sounds like this chip is a no-brainer, though. Check out all of the reviews above for full benchmarks and breakdowns to make sure you’re making the right decision for yourself and your computing needs.

RELATED: How to Choose a Motherboard for Your PC: What to Look for

Profile Photo for Dave LeClair Dave LeClair
Dave LeClair is the News Editor for How-To Geek. He started writing about technology more than 10 years ago. He's written articles for publications like MakeUseOf, Android Authority, Digitial Trends, and plenty of others. He's also appeared in and edited videos for various YouTube channels around the web.
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