Intel Core i5 12400 "Alder Lake": A Great ~$200 CPU For Linux Users

Written by Michael Larabel in Processors on 12 January 2022. Page 2 of 7. 39 Comments

For this initial testing of the Core i5 12400 since purchasing the processor last week, I carried out 119 benchmarks on it so far as well as on various other comparable systems in the lab. All of the CPUs/systems were freshly re-benchmarked using Ubuntu 21.10 on the Linux 5.16 Git kernel. The Core i5 12400 was using an ASUS PRIME Z690-P D4 motherboard with 2 x 8GB DDR4-4400 memory throughout all testing, considering the availability challenges still with DDR5 and those buying a $200 CPU likely not opting for very expensive DDR5. If wanting to jump straight to the "TLDR" version of the overall i5-12500 Ubuntu Linux performance:

Right off the bat, here is the geometric mean of those 119 CPU/system benchmarks on each of the systems under test. (The graphics tests are separate and later in the article, this is just the CPU / system performance.) For the system performance with those 119 tests and a mix of single and multi-threaded tests, the Core i5 12400 was comparable to the AMD Ryzen 7 5700G, which commands a ~$320 USD price tag -- about $110 more than the i5-12400. The i5-12400 CPU performance was very healthy. Unfortunately I don't have any Core i5 10400/11400 but compared to the older i5 8400 / i5 9400F Skylake-era processors is around 61% better performance overall...

When monitoring the CPU power consumption using the PowerCap interfaces, here is how they came out across the range of the 119 CPU/system benchmarks.

For those heavy web browser users, the Core i5 12400 with its all Golden Cove design is great for Linux browser use in not needing to worry about browser tasks accidentally ending up on an E core. The Core i5 12400 was outperforming the Zen 3 processors for the browser tests on Linux under both Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.

In thread-happy chess workloads of Crafty and Stockfish, obviously the higher core count processors fair much better.

To some surprise the Core i5 12400 managed to deliver similar performance to the more expensive 8c/16t Ryzen 7 5700G for code compilation benchmarks. Code compilation tests were carried out on the Linux kernel, GDB, LLVM, MPlayer, Wasmer, Node.js, and Mesa builds.

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