Intel’s 12th Gen Alder Lake-S processors are known not only for their strong single-threaded performance but potent multi-threaded grunt as well. The higher-core SKUs including the Core i5-12600K, i7-12700K, and the i9-12900K combine six to eight high-performing Golden Cove cores with the same number of (low-power) Gracemont cores to bolster their overall multi-threaded capabilities. The lower-end Core i5 and Core i3 parts lack the efficiency cores, but still manage to impress on account of the cutting-edge lightly threaded performance. The Core i3-12300 is an excellent demonstration of this:
Despite being a modest quad-core part, the Core i3-12300 manages to outmaneuver all previous Core i5s, even catching up and beating the Core i7-11700K when overclocked to 5GHz.
At 1080p, the Core i3-12300 outwits the 10-core Comet Lake-S flagship (Core i9-10900K) while being just 7% slower than the previous-gen flagship, the Core i9-11900K. Looking at the power consumption, in heavily multi-threaded workloads, the 12300 draws 124W of power when paired with DDR4 memory which rises to 135W when switching to DDR5.
In comparison, the Core i5-12400F draws 138W under load while the 11400F slurps 136W. When the 12300 is overclocked to 5GHz, the system power draw surges up to 187W, higher than the Core i5-10600K, but lower than the i5-11600K. Overall, these benchmarks show that most games still benefit massively more from single-threaded performance than sheer multi-threaded grunt and this trend will likely continue through this generation.