SOVLED! Intel Core i9 12900K vs AMD Ryzen 9 5950X: Which one is the best?

It is easy to get confused when it comes to choosing the right kind of CPU for your build. But, it can become a real hassle when we have to choose between the best options. Yes, we are talking about Intel’s latest CPU 12900K, and Ryzen 5950X.

Both of these CPUs come in the high-end CPU category offering great performance to power users. So, whether you want to play 4K games, design 3D Graphics, edit videos, or do other hardcore tasks, these CPUs are going to help you in a way no other low-end CPUs could.

So, if you are confused between both and want to buy the right one depending on your budget and requirements, I am going to help you with the same. On this website, we have made numerous comparisons but I am very excited about this one.

To give you an overview, the 12900K is a 16-Core/24-Threads CPU while the 5950X is a 16-Cores/32 Threads CPU. The maximum turbo frequency of 12900K is 5.20 GHz while 5950X has 4.9 GHz.

The 5950X is a little older in the market but equipped with all the latest technologies along with a 7nm architecture. The 12900K is the latest addition to the Intel Core line-up. But, it can clearly beat the 5950X in most single-core benchmark tests. 5950X, on the other hand, is pretty powerful when it comes to multi-core performance. The price of 12900X is a lot cheaper compared to the 5950X. So, there are ups and downs on both sides.

But, don’t worry.

We are going to make a perfect decision by the end of this article depending on your requirements. We will see which CPU suits you the best in which case. So, without any further delays, let’s get started.

Theoretical Specifications (Comparison)

SpecificationRyzen 9 5950xIntel Core i9 12900K
CPU Generation4th Generation12th Generation
Base Clock/Boost Clock3.4/4.9 GHz3.20/5.20 GHz
Cache (L1/L2/L3)-/8MB/32MB30MB/14MB/-
PCle VersionPCle 4.0PCle 5.0 and 4.0
Memory SupportDDR4 (up to 3200 MHz)Up to DDR5 4800 MHz
Up to DDR4 3200 MHz
Cooling SolutionNot inbuiltNot inbuilt
Integrated Graphics CardNoIntel® UHD Graphics 770

The main advantage of the 12900K is that it supports DDR4 memory. Also, it has got integrated graphics.

Synthetic Benchmark Scores (Comparison)

ParameterRyzen 9 5950xIntel Core i9 12900K
CPU Mark Score45,86141,473
Single-Core Score (Geekbench)1,6841,990
Multi-Core Score (GeekBench)16,47117,333
Single-Thread Rating (PassMark)3,4644,209

Cinebench Scores (Comparison)

Cinebench BenchmarkRyzen 9 5950xIntel Core i9 12900K
Cinebench R23 (Single Core)1,6842003
Cinebench R23 (Multi Core)28,78227,483
Cinebench R20 (Single Core)649778
Cinebench R20 (Multi Core)10,43510,632

Which one is good for gaming?

Both are great in terms of gaming. Even with a high-end graphics card like RTX 3080, 3080 Ti, or 3090, you will get to see no GPU bottleneck. You can expect very high FPS even on 4K resolution while playing any game. But, I know you have to make the final decision. So, I would suggest going for Intel Core i9 12900K. This is because it performs well when it comes to the single-core CPU performance. You can confirm the same in the benchmark comparison video below.

5950X will also not let you down but 12900K is comparatively better in terms of single-core performance which is still important to play games. Most games are now coming with the ability to utilize multiple cores but single-core performance is the thing you will have to check when it comes to choosing a good CPU for gaming.

Which one is good for productivity?

Again, both the CPUs offer a pretty impressive performance when it comes to using productivity software. But, there is going to be one winner.

In terms of raw processing power, the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X has an advantage, as it has 16 cores and 32 threads, compared to the 16 cores and 24 threads of the Intel Core i9-12900K. This makes the Ryzen 9 5950X better suited for tasks that can take advantage of multiple cores and threads, such as video editing, 3D rendering, and scientific simulations.

On the other hand, the Intel Core i9-12900K has a higher base clock speed (3.2 GHz) and a higher boost clock speed (5.2 GHz) than the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X (3.4 GHz base clock, 4.9 GHz boost clock). This may make the Core i9-12900K slightly faster for single-threaded tasks or tasks that do not fully utilize all of the cores and threads of the processor.

In terms of overall performance, both processors are very capable and should be able to handle a wide range of productivity tasks with ease. If you need a processor with a lot of cores and threads for highly parallelized workloads, the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X may be the better choice. If you need a processor with a high base clock speed and a strong single-threaded performance, the Intel Core i9-12900K may be a better fit.

Chipset Support

The 12900K is supported by Intel’s 700 and 600-Series chipsets. These chipsets are Z790, Q670, W680, H610, H670, B660, and Z690.

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X is supported by 400 and 500-series consumer chipsets. These chipsets are X570, B550, A520, X470, and B450. Some motherboards from some manufactures may need you to update the BIOS in order to allow this CPU. So, confirm this before proceeding further.

Cache Difference

Intel Core i9 12900K comes with 30MB of SMART Cache. It has 14MB of L2 Cache. On the other hand, 5950X comes with an 8 MB of L2 Cache and 64MB of L3 Cache. Overall, 5950X has a higher amount of cache which helps it in performing multiple tasks much more efficiently.

Intel has worked a lot on its Smart Cache with these 12th generation of CPUs. So, you can expect great performance. But, 5950X is going to handle more random data in an efficient manner.

Memory Difference

All the 12th-generation Intel CPUs including 12900K comes with support for DDR5 memory. This could be a big thing for content creators, gamers, and professionals. You can use up to 128GB of RAM in dual-channel configuration (DDR4-3200MHz, DDR5-4800MHz).

With the 5950X, you can’t use DDR5 memory. It supports DDR4 memory up to 3200 MHz.

So, clearly, 12900K is offering you some more advantages in terms of memory specifications. 12900K also supports PCIe 5.0 which 5950X doesn’t.

TDP and Heat Management

The maximum (TJUNCTION ) temperature of 12900K is 100°C while 5950X has 90°C. Both of these don’t come with a boxed cooler. So, you will have to go for an external cooler. I would recommend using a 360mm AIO but 240 will also do the job. For low-end applications, a tower air cooler will also do the job.

The 12900K is going to generate more heat but the difference isn’t substantial. Both the CPUs are pretty efficient if we talk about heat management. So, you don’t have to worry about throttling when you equip a good cooler as per your requirements and applications.


Final Verdict: 5950X or 12900K

Clearly, the 12900K is a winner when it comes to better gaming and overall single-core tasks. But, 5950X is good if you want to multitask. For example, if you want to play games and stream along with it, 5950X can offer you good results.

12900K comes with integrated graphics and is cheaper than the 5950X. So, if gaming is your goal, just go for the 12900K without much thinking. Even if you want to go for an external graphics card, 12900K is going to save you some money and its integrated graphics will be there for the support.

However, for productivity and multitasking, 5950X will give you better performance.

Let me know your thoughts on the comments.