Intel Core i7-12700 vs AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D: Which CPU should you pick for gaming?

Intel Core i7-12700 vs AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D: Which CPU should you pick for gaming?

AMD launched a bevy of new processors as a part of its Spring update a couple of days back. The announcement was headlined by the company’s new Ryzen 7 5800X3D, an upgraded version of the Ryzen 7 5800X with more L3 cache. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the Intel Core i7-12700 vs the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D comparison to find out which one’s the better CPU to buy for gaming.

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Before we take a look at the comparison, let’s first take a quick look at the specs table to see what each processor brings to the table:

Specification AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D Intel Core i7-12700
CPU Socket AMD AM4 LGA 1700
Cores 8 12 (8P + 4E)
Threads 16 20
Lithography TSMC 7nm FinFET Intel 7 (10nm)
Base Frequency 3.4GHz 2.10GHz (P-core) | 1.60GHz (E-core)
Boost Frequency 4.5GHz 4.80GHz (P-core) | 3.60GHz (E-core)
Unlocked for overclocking? No No
L3 Cache 96MB 25MB
Default TDP 105W 65W
Max. Operating Temperature (Tjmax) 90°C 100°C
Memory Support DDR4 up to 3200MHz
Up to 128GB
DDR4 3200MT/s | DDR5-4800MT/s
Up to 128GB
Integrated Graphics NA Intel UHD 770

Intel Core i7-12700 vs Ryzen 7 5800X3D: Performance Difference

As you can see from the specs table above, the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D is an octa-core CPU with 16 threads. The Intel Core i7-12700, on the other hand, features Intel’s new hybrid architecture with performance and efficiency cores. The Core i7-12700 gets a total of 12 cores out of which eight are performance and four efficiency cores. And as we pointed out in our review of the Core i7-12700 processor, this hybrid core architecture allows the chip to yield better results across different benchmarks while going against even some of the high-end parts. We haven’t had the chance to test the Ryzen 7 5800XD just yet but the new Ryzen chip is going to show better results, especially in gaming. This is because of the added L3 cache.

The AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D, as you can see, packs 96MB L3 cache whereas the Intel Core i7-12700, in comparison, only has 25MB. This will allow many apps to quickly store and pick up the necessary resources straight from the cache memory instead of having to deal with any latency issues. TIt’s likely to play a huge role in increasing the overall performance output of the chip, especially when it comes to gaming.

According to AMD’s internal testing, the new Ryzen 7 5800X3D performs significantly better than the Ryzen 7 5800X just because of the addition of more cache memory. The additional L3 cache memory is said to have resulted in a massive performance gain of up to 40% over the older chip. In fact, AMD is going as far as to say that its new chip with 3D V-cache is currently the best gaming processor out there. This means, it’s likely going to match the general performance of even the Core i9-12900K, which is Alder Lake’s Halo product in the desktop space. Here, take a look:

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D vs Intel Core i9 comparison

But when we tested the Intel Core i7-12700 and compared the performance numbers with 12900K, we noticed that this locked chip comes close to matching the general performance as the 12900K in gaming and similarly threaded tasks. And going against the Ryzen 7 5800X3D chip, the Intel Core i7-12700 processor also has slightly faster P-cores at max boost frequency. It’s really not an apples-to-apples comparison when it comes to the overall CPU architecture or the core clock, but 12700 has faster boost cores coming in at 4.80GHz compared to Ryzen 7 5800X3D’s 4.5GHz. AMD reduced the clock speeds on the new chip from its older counterpart, presumably because of thermal concerns. In fact, AMD has confirmed that it’s not even unlocked for overclocking as they’re yet to figure out a proper way to tune these new chips with 3D V-cache. This could potentially mean that the Intel chip should be able to match the general performance of the Ryzen 7 5800X3D or at least come close to it.

Another thing that’s worth pointing out about these chips is that the Core i7-12700 supports both DDR4 as well as DDR5 memory modules, whereas the Ryzen 7 5800X3D only supports DDR4 memory. While there’s no immediate need to upgrade to the new memory standard, we think the DDR5 memory performs better overall, even though it has some latency issues. You can check out our DDR4 vs DDR5 memory to learn more about the difference in detail.

No stock cooler with Ryzen 7 5800X3D

Another thing that’s worth pointing out about the new AMD chip is that it’s not bundled with a stock CPU cooler. It’s not really a surprise considering how the Ryzen 7 5800X also didn’t have one. The Intel Core i7-12700, however, comes with its own stock CPU cooler, which means you don’t have to worry about spending more on a CPU cooler. Also, the new Laminar RM1 stock should be able to handle the thermal output of the Ryzen 7 5800X3D chip without any issues since you can’t overclock and push it beyond its stock settings.

The Ryzen 7 5800X3D has a max operating temperature of 90°C, whereas the 12700 has a max operating temperature of 100°C. During our testing, the Core i7-12700, however, managed to stay well below the acceptable limits as far as the thermals are concerned. We’ll have more to talk about the Ryzen 7 5800X3D’s thermal performance once we’ve had a chance to test it.

Intel's new Laminar CPU cooler with a blue color LED

Pricing and availability

The AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D will go on sale starting April 20 for $449. That’s the same price at which the Ryzen 7 5800X was originally launched. The Intel Core i7-12700, on the other hand, is available for just $359. You can also pick up the Core i7-12700F without the integrated GPU for just $312.

    The Intel Core i7-12700 is a fantastic CPU that's worth considering over both the Core i5-12600K and the Core i7-12700K.




Intel Core i7-12700 vs Ryzen 7 5800X3D: Which one should you buy?

The Ryzen 7 5800X3D is probably going to perform better overall but you’ll also be spending around $100 more, plus the additional cost of a CPU cooler. Unless you are looking to get the absolute best performance for an enthusiast-grade build for 4K gaming, we suggest you pick up the Core i7-12700 processor. Not only does it match the general performance of the unlocked 12700K and the even comes close to the 12900K CPU, but you also get a stock cooler included in the box. You can easily build a mid to high-end gaming rig without having to spend a lot of money with this processor. It’s also worth pointing out that AMD’s new Ryzen 7000 series chips will be here in a few months, bearing Zen 4 cores and new features like PCIe 5.0 support.

If you want to check out your other CPU options, then be sure to check out our collection of the best CPUs. You can also check out the Ryzen 6000 series chips if you want to explore the options in the laptop space. Alternatively, you can also join our XDA Computing Forums to discuss your build or get more product recommendations from the experts in our community.

About author

Karthik Iyer
Karthik Iyer

Karthik covers PC hardware for XDA Computing. When not at work, you will find him yelling at his monitors while playing video games.

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