The next batch of Intel’s Alder Lake 12th Generation CPUs are almost ready to go on sale. US retailer Best Buy (opens in new tab)has jumped the gun and revealed the pricing of almost the entire 12th Gen range, from entry level Pentiums up to the high end i9s. The CPUs are expected to be officially unveiled at CES in early January.
The Bestbuy listings (via momomo_us (opens in new tab)) have since had the prices removed, but at the time of writing, the specifications and model numbers of the CPUs remain. The listing includes some models that we believe are poised to take the budget market by storm, including what may end up as the kings of budget gaming, the i5-12400 and 12400F. (opens in new tab) The US prices of the CPUs are as follows.
- Core i9 12900 - $529.99
- Core i9 12900F - $509.99
- Core i7 12700 - $359.99
- Core i7 12700F - $329.99
- Core i5 12600 - $239.99
- Core i5 12500 - $219.99
- Core i5 12400 - $209.99
- Core i5 12400F - $179.99
- Core i3 12100 - $139.99
- Core i3 12100F - $109.99
- Pentium G7400 - $79.99
- Pentium G6900 - $59.99
As the new CPUs all come with a 65W base TDP, they all have significantly reduced base clocks when compared to their more expensive K 125W counterparts. But base clock doesn’t mean a lot and all of these CPUs will be happy to run at their maximum turbo power for extended periods if you have something better than a basic cooler.
At the high end, we have the i9 12900 and 12900F, with the F denoting that the model lacks Xe integrated graphics. They’re priced at $510 for the 12900F and $530 for the 12900.
We also get a look at the new 12th Gen coolers including the one Intel will bundle with the i9 SKUs. The coolers look like they’re definitely a step up from older Intel coolers though we’ll have to wait and see how they perform.
According to the listing, the i7 12700 and 12700F are priced at $360 and $330 respectively. They still include eight P cores so they are fine all-round CPUs, only lacking four E cores compared to the 12900 models.
The i5 range is a bit more varied. Only the i5-12600K comes with E cores, while the rest of the i5 models come with six P cores only. The clocks appear to be the only difference between them. The 12600 is priced at $240, the 12500 at $220, the 12400 at $210 and the standout 12400F is priced at a very appealing $180. Pair that last one with any GPU you care to name and you’ll get very good gaming performance on the cheap.
At the bottom end of the stack are the quad core i3 12100 and 12100F. These are priced at $140 and $110 respectively. As a gamer it’s definitely worth taking the step up to the 12400F, but if you’re on a really tight budget, these should be capable of good performance in less demanding titles. The entry level Pentium Gold G7400 and G6900 are both 2C/4T models and honestly, they aren’t very appealing for anything other than a basic internet box or office PC. They are priced at $80 and $60.
It looks as though Intel is set to dominate the entry level CPU market. AMD has little to compete with right now. The 5600X (opens in new tab) is too expensive to be considered a budget CPU and AMD never replaced their entry level 3100 and 3300X (opens in new tab) with 5000 series models.
January is looking very interesting if you're after a 12th Gen system, but don't want to make the jump up to the pricier to the K models or Z690 motherboards. Stay tuned for more news from CES in early January.