Intel Core i7-12700K: high performance a little more affordable and tame

The Intel Core i9-12900K processor we recently tested is a performance beast, but there are complications:


The price is clearly not affordable, and it can be difficult to control when it comes to heat.

That is why we tested the Intel Core i7-12700K , an option closer to the pocket of the demanding user who, in addition to playing, wants to work on tasks such as design and/or editing.

Intel Core i7-12700K specifications: don’t let the numbers make you dizzy

The Intel Core i7-12700K features added elements for the 12th generation of Intel.

It has a total of 12 cores, of which 8 are performance and 4 efficiency. Performance cores have two threads each. The total sum is 20 threads.

Intel Core i7-12700K data sheet.

The performance cores go up to 5.0 GHz and these are the ones that will work the hardest for demanding tasks. Efficiency cores clock in at 3.8 GHz and specialize in second-rate tasks, so they don’t have to be the fastest.

It’s built on the 10-nanometer process , which the company now calls Intel 7 .

Intel’s 12th generation can run on either DDR4 or DDR5 RAM and has PCIe 5 support , a technology that mainstream consumer products still seem in the oven for.

Building a PC with the Intel Core i7-12700K: What to consider?

Intel ‘s 12th generation arrives with the LGA-1700 socket . This will mean a new motherboard and a new cooling solution (or an adapter if the manufacturer provides one).

This is the system we tested the Intel Core i7-12700K with :

  • MSI PRO Z690-A Motherboard
  • 2 RAM T-Force Vulcan DDR5 (5,200MHz)
  • Cooler Noctua NH-U12A
  • RTX 3070 Ti video card
  • Storage T-Force Z SATA SSD
  • Western Digital Black SN 770 PCIe 3 Storage

If you already have a system and are looking to upgrade , it is possible to purchase a board for DDR4 RAM . Before a new purchase, the DDR4 option is still attractive for its price, but the DDR5 gain more ground. And for now, the performance difference is not abysmal.

Intel Core i7-12700K: much more manageable temperatures

Although the Intel Core i7-12700K and Intel Core i9-12900K share the same base consumption of 125W, the former reaches 190W in Turbo, much less than the 241W of its smaller brother.

The Noctua NH-U12A has had no problems controlling this processor, without reaching thermal limits even when applying a slight overclock.

This fan cooling is as good as AIO systems on the market today. And speaking of the market, it is necessary to remember that the offer of coolers with LGA 1700 compatibility is still growing.

Is the Intel Core i7-12700K worth it?

At this point in the year, it is a purchase to look at carefully. Intel’s 12th-gen performance jump is going to get a response from AMD , due in late August.

In turn, we know that Intel is already preparing the launch of the 13th generation. The Intel Innovation event taking place on September 27-28 seems like the most likely time window.

If you’re looking for a computer for something other than gaming right now, the Intel Core i7-12700K is a pretty reasonable choice. If you just want to play games, a system with Intel Core i5 will most likely be a better option, allocating more budget to the video card.

I just have to warn you: you may regret it because great things are expected to come to PCs.