Intel Core i9-12900K E-Cores Only Performance Review 2022

Intel Core i9-12900K E-Cores Only Performance Review 2022 –¬†Intel’s Core i9-12900K “Alder Lake” heralds the heterogenous CPU-core era in the desktop PC space.

The biggest change to processors since x64, multi-core, and Hyper Threaded processors hit the scene about two decade’s ago. The new Intel processors combine two kinds of CPU-cores operating at very different efficiency bands. While Intel has managed to iron out most software stability issues by using its hardware based of “Thread Director” component that provides hints to the OS on how to distribute activity among the CPU-cores, stability is not the same as optimization.

Your software won’t crash to runtime an errors, but it may not be fully aware of the heterogeneous-architecture, and even Thread Director may not know how to properly schedule a particular software that causing sub-optimal performance. We have seen several instances of this behavior in our Alder Lake launch day review’s. The easiest way to ensure performance with such software has been to simply disable the Efficiency cores(E-cores), letting the larger Performance cores(P-cores) do all the work.


The eight “Gracemont” E-cores on the Alder-Lake silicon are tiny! Eight of them take up roughly the same die area as two “Golden Cove” P-cores, which also means they each have roughly a quarter of the transistors as a Pcore! However, these core’s are no slouch, according to Intel, they have more than 1/4th the IPC or performance of the P-cores at ISOfrequency.


Extensive testing has shown that Intel pulled off an engineering-miracle with “Gracemont,” bringing its ISOperformance close to that of a “Skylake” core (SMT disabled). This combined with the 30% IPC-boost of P-cores over Skylake and high clock-speeds, ensures the Core-i9-12900K is performing in the same league as the Ryzen-9 5950X 16 core-processor in several multi-threaded tests, while in games’ the eight P-cores are proving more than plenty that rounding off a brilliant product.

Intel Core i9-12900K E-Cores Only Performance Review 2022


Test Setup

Test System
Processor : Intel Core i9-12900K
8+8 Cores / 24Threads
3.9 GHz Base, 5.2GHz Boost
Intel default power limits (PL1=PL2=241W).
Motherboard : ASUS Z690 Maximus Hero / BIOS-0702
Memory : 2x 16 GB G.SKILL Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-6000
36-36-36-76 2T / Gear-2
Graphics : EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 Ultra
Storage : Neo Forza NFP065 1 TB M.2-NVMe SSD
Air Cooling : Noctua NH-U14S.
Water Cooling  : Arctic Liquid Freezer II 360mm
Thermal Paste : Arctic MX-5.
Power Supply : Seasonic SS-860XP.
Software : Windows 10 Professional 64-bit /21H1
Windows 11 Professional 64-bit / 10.0.22000.282.
Drivers : NVIDIA GeForce 496.49WHQL


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