We’ve been singing the praises of Intel’s 12th Gen CPUs since they launched, but right now, only the high end 125W K SKUs are available for purchase. Since Intel assumes that buyers of the i9 12900K (opens in new tab), i7 12700K and i5 12600K (opens in new tab) will buy aftermarket coolers, they don’t come bundled with one. That’s all bound to change next week, as Intel is set to launch a large number of 12th Gen models at CES, including many with a 65W TDP. These models should all come bundled with coolers. But are they any good? Chinese news site NetEase (opens in new tab) via Tom's Hardware (opens in new tab) tested one of the new coolers with an upcoming i5 12400 and reported the results. The new cooler seems to be a good step up from older boxed coolers.
The tested cooler looks impressive, with the metal heatsink and plastic shroud surrounded by a blue ring at the top. It gives an impression that it's 'cool' with its kind of black ice vibe. A copper core insert sits atop the CPU. Copper is a more effective heat conductor than the aluminium used by low end Intel coolers of the past.
The cooler was tested with the upcoming Core i5 12400, which is a CPU we are excited about (opens in new tab) as it should offer amazing value and gaming performance. And if these temperatures turn out to be accurate, then it looks like a cool running CPU too. An AIDA64 stress test resulted in a temperature of 73C at a 20C ambient temperature. A 3100 RPM fan speed is a bit concerning, as that's probably quite noisy, but remember that an AIDA64 stress test presents a worst case scenario, so under a gaming load, it shouldn't be too intrusive.
Also interesting was the peak power consumption of 80W. That's very impressive. If the 12400 turns out to be the budget gaming king we think it may turn out to be, then it's unlikely to require anything beyond a mid range air cooler, even if you don't use the bundled one.
Intel's 65W CPUs are due to be announced next week, So we can expect these coolers to arrive at the same time.