A Geekbench benchmark of what’s possibly a qualification sample of the Intel Core i9-12900K, the Alder Lake-S flagship has surfaced. The sample is faster than the Ryzen 9 5950X in both single-threaded and multi-threaded metrics, albeit by relatively small margins. With a base clock of 3.2GHz, the operating clocks of the 12900K don’t seem that far from the final retail values, however, most benchmarking apps are yet to differentiate between the performance and efficiency cores. As such, expect the actual single-core score to be at least another ~10% higher than Zen 3, putting the overall ST lead over the Ryzen 5000 parts at around 20%.
In multi-threaded workloads, you can expect Alder Lake to be slightly faster or on par with Zen 3 SKUs with the same core count, depending on the application. Here, the 12900K is just around a couple of percents faster than the 5950X at the “Balanced” power preset. Intel’s lead may increase a smidge with the high-performance preset, as we’ve seen in some Ice Lake/Rocket Lake benchmarks.
Having a detailed look at the single-core capabilities of the two architectures, you can see that the Golden Cove core powering the Alder Lake SKU is superior to Zen 3 in both Integer and Floating-Point workloads. The deltas are more pronounced in the Integer test which is surprising as both the integer and FP units have gotten an additional port with Golden Cove. This is likely a result of the increase in load-store bandwidth and the larger cache buffers.