Is the Core i5 12th-Gen Good for Gaming?

are 12th gen Intel CPUs good for gaming?

Intel’s 12th generation chips have entered the market and this time there’s something new to them. Especially, if you look at the 12th generation Core i5 line-up, then you will see more cores count and base clock speed as compared to the previous generation. So, we have come across a lot of queries regarding the performance of Core i5 12th generation CPUs in PC gaming. So, in this guide, we would be focusing on the gaming part only.

Yes, the 12th generation Core i5 CPUs are excellent for gaming as they are packed with 10 physical cores and 16 threads. Pairing a 12th-gen i5 with a reliable GPU can let you play most AAA titles at 1080p resolution with over 60fps.

What Makes 12th Generation Core i5 Chips Better in Gaming?

Before we dig down into this, let’s start with the basics of how Alder Lake CPUs are designed by Intel. In the previous generation of Intel CPUs, although there were a lot of cores, however, this turned out to have a lower clock speed at the end.

But with the 12th Gen (Alder Lake) CPUs, the cores are now split between “Performance” and “Efficiency” also called P-Cores & E-Cores.

Most CPUs in the Alder Laker line-up are equipped with 10 to 16 cores as of now. Moreover, the Alder Lake chips supports both the DDR4 and DDR5 ram modules. If you after a budget build, then you can go with a DDR4 modules. On other hand, if you want better peformance, you have a choice to go for DDR5 memory as well.

So, the question is, how all of this stuff packed inside a 12th Gen i5 CPUs affects your gaming performance?

Gaming on Core i5-1200K Alder Lake CPU,

For the purpose of testing the gaming performance, we’ve chosen the Core i5-12600K clocked at 3.7 GHz. We’ve paired this chip with the EVGA GTX 1660 Super 6GB GDDR6 graphics cards to see how it reacts to different games.

We managed to play Far Cry 6 at 1080p-Ultra-High Settings, and the Core i5-12600K performed way better than the Ryzen 9-5950X and Core i9-11900K.

Although, the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X is a powerful processor in terms of single-core and multi-core performance, but it gets beaten by the Alder Lakes’s i5-12600K.

And the same goes for the Flight Simulator 2020 in which the Core i5-1200K again outpeforms the Ryzen 9 5950X. However, the i5-1200K gets beaten by the Core i9 12900K, a same member of the Alder Lake family.

Even when playing CS:GO and Civilization V, the Core i5-12600K stays delivers way better peformance at base clock speed.

By looking at the gaming performance so far, it looks like that Intel has reclaimed its lost crown for being the best gaming CPU on the planet.

Cinebench Score of 12th Gen Core i5 CPU
Cinebench R23 Score of Core i5-12600K and Core i9-2900K- Sourced from LinusTechTips

As you can see from the Cinebench R23 benchmark results, the Alder Lake chips hold the top position in terms of single-core and multi-core performance.

A Bit About Thermal Performance of Alder Lake Chips

Well, as far as the thermal performance is concerned, it looks like Intel hasn’t learned from anything in the past. Alder Lake CPUs are can easily climb over 80 Degrees as soon as you throw workload on them. So, you have to go with high-end air or liquid cooler to dissipate that massive amount of heat.

List of Core i5 Processors in the 12-Gen Alder Lake

  • Intel Core i5-1230U Processor
  • Intel Core i5-1235U Processor
  • Intel Core i5-1235U Processor
  • Intel Core i5-1240P Processor
  • Intel Core i5-1240U Processor
  • Intel Core i5-1245U Processor
  • Intel Core i5-1250P Processor
  • Intel Core i5-12400 Processor
  • Intel Core i5-12400F Processor
  • Intel Core i5-12450H Processor
  • Intel Core i5-12600 Processor
  • Intel Core i5-12600H Processor
  • Intel Core i5-12600K Processor


Yes, the 12th Gen Core i5 CPUs are a solid choice for PC gamers right now. And if there’s a CPU that you should consider from the Alder Lake line-up, then it would be the Core i5-12600K. Not only it’s affordable in price, but it also has 4 extra efficiency-cores to take your gaming venture to the next level.

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