SkatterBencher #32: Intel Core i5-12600KF Overclocked to 5500 MHz

We overclock the Intel Core i5-12600KF processor up to 5500 MHz with the ROG Strix Z690-A Gaming DDR4 motherboard and EK-AIO 360.

Intel Core i5-12600KF: Introduction

The Intel Core i5-12600KF is part of the 12th generation Intel Core processor lineup.

Intel Alder Lake has an all-new core design with performance hybrid architecture featuring Performance Cores and Efficient cores. It’s built on the Intel 7 process technology formerly known as 10nm Enhanced SuperFin (ESF). It’s a scalable SoC architecture which means Alder Lake will cover all client segments from 9W for ultra-thin notebooks to 125W for gaming and workstation desktops.

Well … 125W+.

The overclockable K-SKU processors again come in three flavors: Core i9, Core i7, and Core i5. Each of the three flavors has a -K and a -KF variant. The only difference between the two variants is that the -KF comes without integrated graphics.

The Core i5-12600KF processor has 6 P-cores and 4 E-cores with a total of 16 threads. The base frequency is 3.7 GHz for the P-cores and 2.8 GHz for the E-cores. The maximum single-core boost frequency is 4.9 GHz for the P-cores and 3.6 GHz for the E-cores. The all-core boost frequency for the P-cores is 4.5 GHz. There are no favored cores on the 12600K as it does not support Turbo Boost Max 3.0. The processor base power is 125W and the maximum turbo power is 150W.

A major change from previous architectures is that Alder Lake is seemingly moving away from the TDP concept and instead has two power-related specifications:

  • Processor Base Power, formerly the TDP and PL1
  • Maximum Turbo Power, formerly PL2

This is sort of in line with how the processor frequency has a base frequency and a maximum turbo frequency.

Another major difference between Alder Lake and really any other Intel Core processor is that, at least for the K-SKU CPUs, PL1 is by default equal to PL2. That effectively means that Intel has enabled near-unlimited peak turbo by default!

In this video we will cover three different overclocking strategies:

  1. First, we increase the performance headroom by enabling ASUS Multi-Core Enhancement and XMP
  2. Second, we let ASUS AI Overclock tune our system
  3. Lastly, we do manual overclocking to get even more performance out of our system

However, before we jump into overclocking let us quickly go over the hardware and benchmarks we use in this video.

Intel Core i5-12600KF: Platform Overview

Along with the Intel Core i5-12600KF processor and ASUS ROG Strix Z690-A Gaming WiFi D4 motherboard, in this guide, we will be using a pair of G.SKILL Trident Z DDR4-4266 memory sticks, an ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2080TI graphics card, an 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD, a Seasonic Prime 850W Platinum power supply, and the EK-AIO 360 D-RGB. All this is mounted on top of our favorite Open Benchtable. 

The cost of the components should be around $2,919

  • Intel Core i5-12600KF processor: $264
  • EK-AIO 360 D-RGB cooler: $155
  • ASUS ROG Strix Z690-A Gaming WiFi D4 motherboard: $350
  • ASUS ROG Strix RTX 2080 TI graphics card: $1,500
  • G.SKILL Trident Z DDR4-4266 memory: $140
  • AORUS RGB 512 GB M.2-2280 NVME: $110
  • Seasonic Prime 850W Platinum power supply: $200
  • Open Benchtable: $200

Intel Core i5-12600KF: Benchmark Software

We use Windows 11 and the following benchmark applications to measure performance and ensure system stability.

12600kf benchmarks

Prime95 doesn’t quite work out of the box with Alder Lake due to the complicated configuration with P-cores having hyperthreading and the E-cores not. You can still set up Prime95 to run on all cores by manually setting the local.txt configuration.

For the Core i5-12600KF, set:

  • NumCPUs=16 (that’s the total amount of logical processors)
  • NumHyperthreads=1 (that means every logical processor will run 1 thread)

Intel Core i5-12600KF: Stock Performance

The first thing we must do before we start any overclocking is checking the system performance at default settings.

Please note that out of the box, the ASUS ROG Strix Z690-A Gaming WiFi D4 enables ASUS MultiCore Enhancement. So, to check the performance at default settings you must

  • Go to the Ai Tweaker menu
  • Set ASUS MultiCore Enhancement to Disabled – Enforce All Limits

Then save and exit the BIOS.

asus rog strix z690-a bios multicore enhancement

Here is the benchmark performance at stock:

  • SuperPI 4M: 36.433 seconds
  • Geekbench 5 (single): 1,833 points
  • Geekbench 5 (multi): 10,467 points
  • Cinebench R23 Single: 1,882 points
  • Cinebench R23 Multi: 17,190 points
  • CPU-Z V17.01.64 Single: 772.6
  • CPU-Z V17.01.64 Multi: 7,309.4
  • V-Ray 5: 11,579 vsamples
  • AI Benchmark: 2,681
  • 3DMark Night Raid: 67,087 points
  • CS:GO FPS Bench: 561.96 fps
  • Final Fantasy XV: 171.15 fps
core i5-12600kf stock benchmark performance

Here are the 3DMark CPU Profile scores at stock

  • CPU Profile 1 Thread: 1,046
  • CPU Profile 2 Threads: 2,037
  • CPU Profile 4 Threads: 3,854
  • CPU Profile 8 Threads: 6,435
  • CPU Profile 16 Threads: 8,144
  • CPU Profile Max Threads: 8,157
core i5-12600kf stock 3dmark cpu profile benchmark

When running Prime 95 Small FFTs with AVX enabled, the average CPU P-core clock is 4500 and the average CPU E-core clock is 3600 MHz with 1.093 volts. The average CPU temperature is 69 degrees Celsius and the average CPU package power is 144.8 watts.

core i5-12600kf stock prime 95 avx

When running Prime 95 Small FFTs with AVX disabled, the average CPU P-core clock is 4500 and the average CPU E-core clock is 3600 MHz with 1.101 volts. The average CPU temperature is 61 degrees Celsius and the average CPU package power is 120.3 watts.

core i5-12600kf stock prime 95 no avx

Now, let us try our first overclocking strategy.

However, before we get going, make sure to locate the Clear CMOS button

Pressing the Clear CMOS button will reset all your BIOS settings to default. This is useful in case you want to start your BIOS configuration from scratch after your system failed to boot. The Clear CMOS button is located on the rear I/O panel.

OC Strategy #1: MCE + XMP

In our first overclocking strategy we simply take advantage of Intel XMP 2.0 and ASUS MCE.

Intel Extreme Memory Profile

Intel Extreme Memory Profile, or XMP, is an Intel technology that lets you automatically overclock the system memory to improve system performance. It is an extension to the standard JEDEC specification that allows a memory vendor to program different settings onto the memory stick. The settings include the memory frequency, the memory timings as well as the memory voltage.

There are two types of XMP certification:

  • XMP ready: the module was programmed with an uncertain, but stable, profile
  • XMP Certified: the module was programmed with settings that have passed supplier tests for the CPU and motherboard.

You can find the list of XMP Certified products on Intel’s website.

Intel XMP 1.0 was developed for DDR3 and was later superseded by XMP 2.0 for DDR4. With the launch of DDR5 memory, there is now an XMP 3.0 too. As Alder Lake CPUs supports both DDR4 and DDR5, it also supports Intel XMP 2.0 and Intel XMP 3.0 technology.

I almost always run XMP on my systems because it is an incredibly easy and safe way to improve system performance. Do note that some motherboards may adjust CPU memory controller voltages to support extremely high-frequency memory.

ASUS MultiCore Enhancement

ASUS MultiCore Enhancement is a single BIOS option that removes all limits constraining the Turbo Boost 2.0 algorithm. Effectively, it allows the CPU to run at maximum turbo boost frequencies indefinitely. On Z690 motherboards, ASUS has enabled this option by default.

A major difference with the performance impact of MCE on Alder Lake versus the previous Intel generations is that Intel by default is very generous with the maximum power for Alder Lake.

Whereas in previous generations, the sustained power limit was always set to the specified TDP. So that’s 125W for K-SKU CPUs. MCE would enable the power limit to run at maximum, so by enabling it you’d get 280W to 300W of sustained power consumption with the Core i9 (when you have sufficient cooling of course).

As mentioned before, for Alder Lake K CPUs the sustained power limit has been set higher than TDP. For the 12900K it’s 241W, for the 12700K it’s 190W, and for the 12600K, it’s 150W.

Unlocking the Alder Lake Turbo Boost power with MCE will therefore yield less of a performance increase over default compared to previous platforms. On the Core i5-12600KF, we expect that we won’t see that much of a boost considering the all-core maximum power consumption in Prime 95 Small FFTs with AVX enabled is only 144W. So still below our maximum boost power of 150W.

Upon entering the BIOS

  • Go to the Ai Tweaker menu
  • Set Ai Overclock Tuner to XMP I
  • Set ASUS MultiCore Enhancement to Enabled – Remove All Limits

Then save and exit the BIOS.

We re-ran the benchmarks and checked the performance increase compared to the default operation.

  • SuperPI 4M: +1.28%
  • Geekbench 5 (single): +1.25%
  • Geekbench 5 (multi): +14.62%
  • Cinebench R23 Single: +2.02%
  • Cinebench R23 Multi: +2.66%
  • CPU-Z V17.01.64 Single: +0.08%
  • CPU-Z V17.01.64 Multi: +0.01%
  • V-Ray 5: +1.02%
  • AI Benchmark: +16.75%
  • 3DMark Night Raid: +0.97%
  • CS:GO FPS Bench: +2.69%
  • Final Fantasy XV: +9.42%
core i5-12600kf asus mce benchmark performance

Here are the 3DMark CPU Profile scores at stock

  • CPU Profile 1 Thread: +0.10%
  • CPU Profile 2 Threads: +0.25%
  • CPU Profile 4 Threads: +0.57%
  • CPU Profile 8 Threads: +0.22%
  • CPU Profile 16 Threads: +0.16%
  • CPU Profile Max Threads: +0.09%
core i5-12600kf asus mce 3dmark cpu profile benchmark performance

Enabling XMP and unlocking the Turbo Boost 2.0 limits helped significantly increase the performance in select benchmarks such as Geekbench5 Multi and AI Benchmark, while other benchmarks didn’t see much improvement.

When running Prime 95 Small FFTs with AVX enabled, the average CPU P-core clock is 4500 and the average CPU E-core clock is 3600 MHz with 1.093 volts. The average CPU temperature is 67 degrees Celsius and the average CPU package power is 145.7 watts.

core i5-12600kf asus mce prime 95 avx

When running Prime 95 Small FFTs with AVX disabled, the average CPU P-core clock is 4500 and the average CPU E-core clock is 3600 MHz with 1.101 volts. The average CPU temperature is 60 degrees Celsius and the average CPU package power is 120.7 watts.

core i5-12600kf asus mce prime 95 no avx

OC Strategy #2: AI Overclock

In our second overclocking strategy we use the Asus AI Overclocking feature integrated into the ASUS ROG BIOS.

ASUS AI Overclocking

For many years board vendors have tried to implement automatic overclocking features in their BIOS for simpler performance enhancement. This has always been a mixed bag as most of the preset OC profiles are overly optimistic in frequency target or overly generous with the voltage selection. So often you would end up with a slightly unstable or overheating system.

ASUS AI overclocking uses a different strategy. Instead of working with preset profiles, the system will monitor the CPU and cooling system throughout an initial phase of testing, then based on its findings predict the optimal settings. The system will then automatically guide the overclocking process and adjust voltages and frequency to match your cooling system.

The better your cooling, the higher your AI overclock.

There are three steps to enabling AI overclocking. First, reset the BIOS to default settings. Then, reboot and enter the operating system. Run a couple of heavy workloads such as Prime95, Realbench, or Intel XTU for 10 to 30 minutes. Then return to the BIOS and enter the AI OC Guide menu from the top. Make sure to read through the explanation and when ready simply click Enable AI.

After enabling AI Overclock the frequency for P-cores and E-cores increased as follows:

  • +400 MHz to 5.3 GHz for up to 2 active P-cores
  • +600 MHz to 5.3 GHz for up to 3 active P-cores
  • +400 MHz to 5.1 GHz for up to 4 active P-cores
  • +600 MHz to 5.1 GHz for up to 6 active P-cores
  • +400 MHz to 4.0 GHz for up to 2 active E-cores
  • +600 MHz to 4.0 GHz for up to 3 active E-cores
  • +500 MHz to 3.9 GHz for up to 4 active E-cores

For the all-core load with 6 active P-cores, I did notice the ratio would adjust between reboots from 51X to 50X and back. This is due to the AI Overclock updating the cooler score based on the workloads I’m running.

core i5-12600kf ai overclock frequency improvement

Upon entering the BIOS

  • Go to the Ai Tweaker menu
  • Set Ai Overclock Tuner to XMP I
  • Set ASUS MultiCore Enhancement to Enabled – Remove All Limits
  • Set Performance Core Ratio to AI Optimized
  • Set Optimized AVX Frequency to Heavy AVX
  • Set Efficient Core Ratio to AI Optimized

Then save and exit the BIOS.

We re-ran the benchmarks and checked the performance increase compared to the default operation.

  • SuperPI 4M: +9.22%
  • Geekbench 5 (single): +10.64%
  • Geekbench 5 (multi): +23.73%
  • Cinebench R23 Single: +8.08%
  • Cinebench R23 Multi: +13.29%
  • CPU-Z V17.01.64 Single: +6.33%
  • CPU-Z V17.01.64 Multi: +10.97%
  • V-Ray 5: +11.75%
  • AI Benchmark: +19.21%
  • 3DMark Night Raid: +7.22%
  • CS:GO FPS Bench: +7.32%
  • Final Fantasy XV: +9.99%
core i5-12600kf ai overclock benchmark performance

Here are the 3DMark CPU Profile scores at stock

  • CPU Profile 1 Thread: +7.46%
  • CPU Profile 2 Threads: +7.17%
  • CPU Profile 4 Threads: +5.42%
  • CPU Profile 8 Threads: +7.46%
  • CPU Profile 16 Threads: +8.57%
  • CPU Profile Max Threads: +8.75%
core i5-12600kf ai overclock 3dmark cpu profile benchmark performance

With a 400MHz to 600MHz boost in frequency, the performance after Ai Overclocking improves dramatically across the board. We see up to 23.73% improvement in Geekbench 5 Multi and even up to 6.33% in a single-threaded benchmark like CPU-Z.

When running Prime 95 Small FFTs with AVX enabled, the average CPU P-core clock is 4855 and the average CPU E-core clock is 3900 MHz with 1.254 volts. The average CPU temperature is 90 degrees Celsius and the average CPU package power is 222.3 watts.

core i5-12600kf aioverclock prime 95 avx

When running Prime 95 Small FFTs with AVX disabled, the average CPU P-core clock is 5100 and the average CPU E-core clock is 3900 MHz with 1.278 volts. The average CPU temperature is 81 degrees Celsius and the average CPU package power is 194.0 watts.

core i5-12600kf ai overclock prime 95 no avx

OC Strategy #3: Manual Overclock

In our third and final overclocking strategy we will pursue a manual overclock. We will be using a range of overclocking features on the Alder Lake CPUs including By Core Usage CPU Ratios, Per Core Ratio Limit for both Performance and Efficient cores, AVX2 Negative Ratio Offset, and Adaptive Voltage mode.

By Core Usage CPU Ratio

Generally speaking, on Intel platforms, there are two ways to manually configure the CPU ratio: Sync all cores and By Core Usage.

Sync All Cores sets 1 ratio that is applied to all cores. This is very much the traditional way of overclocking.

Of course, back in the day when we only had 1, 2, 3, or four cores, the quality difference between the cores was relatively small. So, there was not that much benefit to max out each core independently.

intel single core dual core quad core

Nowadays, even mainstream CPUs have up to 16 cores. That means the quality difference between the cores can vary greatly. In addition, the heat produced by 16 cores at full load will be much higher than the heat produced by just a couple of cores at light load. So, if you tune your system for the worst-case scenario, you will miss out on some performance in the most common scenarios.

By Core Usage allows us to configure the overclock for different scenarios ranging from 1 active core to all active cores. This enables us to run some cores significantly faster than others when the conditions are right. On Alder Lake, we can configure the by core usage ratio for P-cores and E-cores separately. So, we can set the maximum ratio for 1-active P-core to 8-active P-cores and 1-active E-core to 8-active E-cores.

Note that By Core Usage is not the same as configuring each core specifically. When using By Core Usage, we determine an overclock according to the actual usage. For example, if a workload is using 4 cores, then the CPU will determine by itself which cores should execute this workload and will apply our set frequency to those cores.

Per Core Ratio Limit

First introduced on Rocket Lake and now inherited by Alder Lake, each CPU core has its own PLL.

PLL stands for phase-locked loop or phase lock loop. Simply put, the PLL generates an output signal such as clock frequency. Each core has its PLL means the processor cores can operate at independent frequencies. Before Rocket Lake, on mainstream desktop, all CPU cores of the CPU would run the same CPU ratio.

Alder Lake inherits this functionality from Rocket Lake and offers Per Core Ratio Limits for each of the P-cores and both clusters of 4 E-cores.

alder lake topology

The Per Core Ratio Limit allows the bios to configure each physical core to its independent maximum boost ratio. This enables two important new avenues for CPU overclocking.

  • First, it allows users to individually overclock each of the cores and find the maximum stable frequency.
  • Second, it allows users to set an aggressive by core usage overclock while constraining the worst cores. This is particularly interesting considering Alder Lake CPUs have multiple favored cores and different types of cores. With Per Core Ratio Limit you can now prioritize one favored core to potentially run one ratio higher than the other core.

Note that while each of the CPU cores now has its independent PLL (and its independent V/F curve), still only one voltage is applied across all cores. The voltage applied is the highest of all active cores.

alder lake per core ratio limit

AVX2 Negative Ratio Offset

Intel first introduced the AVX negative ratio offset on Broadwell-E processors. Successive processors adopted this feature and eventually expanded it with AVX2 and AVX-512 negative offsets.

AVX negative ratio offsets are very useful to achieve maximum performance for both SSE and AVX workloads. Generally speaking, an offset of 2 or 3 is recommended but it is highly dependent on not only your cooling solution but also the motherboard you’re using. That is because AVX workloads are very demanding and therefore require great cooling and power delivery.

While the function carried over in principle, there are some big differences in the implementation of AVX ratio offset between Alder Lake and Rocket Lake.

  1. First, on Alder Lake, the AVX2 negative ratio offset is only applied to the P-cores. The E-core frequency is unaffected.
  2. Second, by default, the maximum ratio during an AVX workload is the Turbo Boost 2.0 ratio. If you want an offset of 0, so AVX workload doesn’t reduce the frequency, you’ll need to manually set 0. Note that on some BIOSes programming 0 means programming “default”, in which case you’ll be limited to a maximum 51X for the AVX ratio on the 12900K. Just like on Rocket Lake, the AVX negative offset is referenced against each core as Alder Lake supports independent ratios for each P-core. Before Rocket Lake, the AVX offset would be referenced against the all-core maximum ratio. As the AVX offset will be applied to each core separately, you’ll have to be a little careful when your overclock has different ratios for different cores.
  3. Third, Intel has made some changes to how it flags an AVX workload. The effect is that some light AVX workloads will no longer trigger the AVX negative offset.
alder lake avx offset

I discussed this behavior in a separate article on this blog.

Adaptive Voltage Mode

The voltage for the CPU cores, P-core, and E-core, as well as the Ring, are all driven by the VccIA input. That means you can only set a single voltage for all these parts of the CPU.

The voltage can be set in two ways: adaptive or override.

  • Override mode specifies a single static voltage across all ratios. It is mostly used for extreme overclocking purposes where stability at very high frequencies is the only consideration.
  • Adaptive Mode is the standard mode of operation. In Adaptive Mode, the V/f curve used is generated automatically by the CPU and covers the CPU ratios from the lowest supported ratio to the default maximum turbo ratio. In the case of the 12600K, that’s from 8x to 49x.

V/f curve stands for voltage-frequency curve. Lots of parts in your CPU have a V/f curve, including:

  • Every P-core
  • The E-core cluster of 4 cores
  • The Ring
  • The integrated graphics

The V/f curve determines which voltage the CPU should set for a certain frequency. Since some cores are better than others, it’s possible to see different voltages for the same frequency across the cores of your CPU.

The adaptive voltage set in the BIOS is mapped against what’s called the “OC ratio”. The “OC Ratio” is the highest ratio that’s configured for the CPU. When you leave everything at default the OC ratio is the default maximum turbo ratio plus 1. In the case of the 12600K, that ratio is 49X which is the Turbo Boost 2.0 frequency. So, the default OC ratio is 49+1=50X.When you manually overclock, the OC ratio is the highest ratio you configure across all the various settings and options.

There are specific rules that govern what adaptive voltage can be set.

A) the voltage set for a given ratio n must be higher than or equal to the voltage set for ratio n-1.

For our 12600K, the V/f curve is defined up to 49X so the OC ratio is 50X. If the voltage for 49X is 1.25V then setting the adaptive voltage which is mapped against the 50X ratio to anything below 1.25V is pointless. Since 49X is specified to run at 1.256V, 50X will always run at 1.25V or higher. Usually, BIOSes will allow you to configure lower values. However, the CPU internal mechanisms will override your configuration if it doesn’t follow the rules.

B) the adaptive voltage configured for any ratio below the OC ratio will be ignored

Take the same example of the 12600K which is specified to run 45X at 1.10V. If you try to configure all cores to 45X, use adaptive voltage mode, and set 1.30V, the CPU will ignore this because it has its own factory-fused target voltage for all ratios up to 49X and will use this voltage. You can only change the voltage of the OC Ratio, which, as mentioned before, on the 12600K is 50X and up.

12600kf adaptive voltage vf/curve

C) for ratios between the OC Ratio and the next highest factory-fused V/f point, the voltage is interpolated between the set adaptive voltage and the factory-fused voltage.

Returning to our example, our 12600K is specified to run 49X at 1.25V, and let’s say we manually configure the OC ratio to be 55X at 1.45V. Now the target voltage for ratios 50X, 51X, 52X, 53X, and 54X will be interpolated between the V/f point 49X at 1.25V and our OC Ratio 55X at 1.45V.

12600kf adaptive voltage oc ratio

So, in conclusion.

The adaptive voltage set in BIOS is mapped against the “OC Ratio”. The OC Ratio is the highest ratio configured for the CPU across all settings including by core usage, per core ratio limit, and OCTVB. The voltage for ratios lower than the OC ratio are set either by its factory-fused V/f point or, if no there’s no V/f point, interpolated between the next and previous V/f point.

Upon entering the BIOS

  • Go to the Ai Tweaker menu
  • Set Ai Overclock Tuner to XMP II
  • Set ASUS MultiCore Enhancement to Enabled – Remove All Limits
  • Set Performance Core Ratio to By Core Usage
    • Set 1-Core Ratio Limit to 55
    • Set 2-Core Ratio Limit to 55
    • Set 3-Core Ratio Limit to 54
    • Set 4-Core Ratio Limit to 54
    • Set 5-Core Ratio Limit to 53
    • Set 6-Core Ratio Limit to 52
  • Enter the Specific Performance Core sub-menu
    • Set Performance Core0 Specific Ratio Limit to 54
    • Set Performance Core1 Specific Ratio Limit to 54
    • Set Performance Core2 Specific Ratio Limit to 55
    • Set Performance Core3 Specific Ratio Limit to 55
    • Set Performance Core4 Specific Ratio Limit to 54
    • Set Performance Core5 Specific Ratio Limit to 54
  • Leave the Specific Performance Core sub-menu
  • Set Efficient Core Ratio to By Core Usage
    • Set Efficient 1-Core Ratio Limit to 40
    • Set Efficient 2-Core Ratio Limit to 40
    • Set Efficient 3-Core Ratio Limit to 40
    • Set Efficient 4-Core Ratio Limit to 39
  • Enter the Specific Efficient Core sub-menu
    • Set Efficient Core0 Group0 Specific Ratio Limit to 40
  • Leave the Specific Efficient Core sub-menu
  • Enter the AVX Related Controls sub-menu
    • Set AVX2 Ratio Offset to per-core Ratio limit to User Specify
    • Set AVX2 Ratio Offset to 5
  • Leave the AVX Related Controls sub-menu
  • Set CPU Core/Cache Voltage to Adaptive Mode
    • Set Additional Turbo Mode CPU Core Voltage to 1.45

Then save and exit the BIOS.

We re-ran the benchmarks and checked the performance increase compared to the default operation.

  • SuperPI 4M: +12.93%
  • Geekbench 5 (single): +17.68%
  • Geekbench 5 (multi): +26.00%
  • Cinebench R23 Single: +13.34%
  • Cinebench R23 Multi: +15.86%
  • CPU-Z V17.01.64 Single: +11.91%
  • CPU-Z V17.01.64 Multi: +14.51%
  • V-Ray 5: +16.31%
  • AI Benchmark: +21.48%
  • 3DMark Night Raid: +10.98%
  • CS:GO FPS Bench: +8.12%
  • Final Fantasy XV: +10.31%
core i5-12600kf manual overclock benchmark performance

Here are the 3DMark CPU Profile scores at stock

  • CPU Profile 1 Thread: +10.04%
  • CPU Profile 2 Threads: +8.54%
  • CPU Profile 4 Threads: +7.63%
  • CPU Profile 8 Threads: +10.89%
  • CPU Profile 16 Threads: +11.90%
  • CPU Profile Max Threads: +12.48%
core i5-12600kf manual overclock 3dmark cpu profile benchmark performance

As expected, we achieve the highest performance when manually overclocking. The performance increase ranges from +8.21% in CS:GO to +26% in Geekbench5 Multi.

When running Prime 95 Small FFTs with AVX enabled, the average CPU P-core clock is 4936 and the average CPU E-core clock is 3900 MHz with 1.246 volts. The average CPU temperature is 89 degrees Celsius and the average CPU package power is 221.5 watts.

core i5-12600kf manual overclock prime 95 avx

When running Prime 95 Small FFTs with AVX disabled, the average CPU P-core clock is 5200 and the average CPU E-core clock is 3900 MHz with 1.333 volts. The average CPU temperature is 90 degrees Celsius and the average CPU package power is 224.3 watts.

core i5-12600kf manual overclock prime 95 no avx

Intel Core i5-12600KF: Conclusion

Alright, let us wrap this up.

I put together this system a couple of weeks before the Alder Lake launch and was mainly interested in finding out how the Core i5 Alder Lake would perform when paired with DDR4 memory and a mainstream all-in-one cooler.

Overall, I’d say the overclocking experience has been very positive. Achieving 5.5 GHz on a Core i5 CPU is not something you see every day. The AIO cooler did not hold me back when pushing this CPU as the Core i5-12600KF never reaches a point where the temperature is the bottleneck. With up to a 26% performance increase from overclocking, I’m pretty happy with the outcome.

The main challenge for the Core i5-12600KF is the limited range of voltage options over the maximum turbo ratio of 49X. I can configure the target voltage for my highest single-core ratio of 55X, but the voltages for all ratios between 49X and 55X are interpolated. So, I cannot configure those directly. That would be helpful when finetuning the final overclock.

For a daily driver, I probably wouldn’t opt for the 5.5 GHz as I think that’s running on the edge of stability. So probably I would reduce all the P-core ratios by 1 and which would allow the voltage to come down slightly as well.

Anyway, that’s all for today!

I do have a couple more articles in the planning with Alder Lake in the coming months. As per usual if you have any questions or comments, feel free to drop them in the comment section below. 

See you next time.

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1 Comment

  1. Ray

    I was running a Skylake before upgradinh to Alderlake. There is so much good useful info here for 12th gen tweakers. This is by far one of the best articles I’ve come across, thank you for your efforts.

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