Intel Core i5 12600K / Core i9 12900K "Alder Lake" Linux Performance
Written by Michael Larabel in Processors on 4 November 2021. Page 14 of 14. 134 Comments

Across a variety of native Linux games and Steam Play titles benchmarked, AMD Ryzen 5000 series processors were delivering faster performance than the Alder Lake CPUs tested.

When taking the geometric mean of all the games benchmarked, the Ryzen 9 5900X was delivering the best performance followed by the Ryzen 5 5600X with not too many Linux games being well optimized for higher core count environments. The Core i9 12900K performance overall was similar to that of the Core i9 11900K. Hopefully the Alder Lake showing for Linux gaming will be in much better shape when seeing Linux optimizations around Thread Director.

With the Linux games not fully leveraging the processors and also the involvement of the E cores, the Core i9 12900K during the entire span of the Linux gaming benchmarks saw a modest 48 Watt average and 117 Watt peak while the Core i5 12600K saw a 33 Watt average and 81 Watt peak. The power numbers here are nice for Alder Lake and in comparison to AMD Zen 3, but with these Linux games not fully saturating the CPU like the earlier Linux CPU/system benchmarks.

While the Core i5 12600K and Core i9 12900K weren't leading in the Linux gaming race, overall with all of the other CPU/system workloads tested, Alder Lake did prove to provide strong competition against AMD's current Ryzen 5000 series line-up in raw performance and performance-per-dollar. There were though some exceptions where the workloads were being mistakenly tossed onto the E cores rather than P cores, but hopefully we'll see more Linux improvements out of Intel soon.

Those wanting to see all 140+ system benchmark tests for these processors and also being able to cater to your own performance-per-dollar metrics and other analytic options, see this result file.

Stay tuned to Phoronix for more Intel Alder Lake benchmarks and comparisons over the coming days as well as new tests when seeing more optimizations published for Linux. Thanks to Intel for supplying these launch-day review samples.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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