[PLUS] Alder Lake tuning: Core i9-12900K, i7-12700K, i5-12600K and i5-12400

[PLUS] Alder Lake tuning: Core i9-12900K, i7-12700K, i5-12600K and i5-12400

Various Skylake derivatives in recent years have not been able to completely hide the fact that Intel has offered rather small advances for gamers and overclockers from generation to generation due to the delays in the 10 nm production process. At Rocket Lake, the biggest news for tuners was the new RAM controller that Intel adopted for Alder Lake and also released for DDR5 RAM. A new addition is Gear Mode 4, in which the RAM controller clock coupled to the RAM clock is halved again compared to Gear Mode 2. This eliminates the RAM controller as a potential bottleneck when overclocking the memory heavily. So far, however, this has not been relevant for everyday use, since Gear Mode 2 is sufficient in practice at least up to approx. DDR5-7200 – and overclockers do not reach such clock regions even with high-end RAM without extreme coolants such as liquid nitrogen. In this article we also show the advantages of RAM overclocking, since we already covered DDR5 tuning and performance comparisons with DDR4 RAM in detail in issue 01/2022, in the following we will concentrate on which tuning possibilities the models Core i9-12900K, i7-12700K, i5-12600K and i5-12400 offer.

This is how we test

We use the AIO water cooling system Arctic Liquid Freezer II 420 RGB and an Asus Maximus Z690 Hero for all tests. The starting point for all processors is the configuration that the mainboard automatically performs with UEFI 0811 (“Auto”). We use Prime95 for testing and Cinebench R23 as a quick test including performance measurement – the latter counts as passed if it has been completed at least three times (although overclocked chips usually lead to a crash on the first run).

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The following CPUs can be found in the tuning article:

  • Core i9-12900K
  • Core i7-12700K
  • Core i5-12600K
  • Core i5-12400

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