The best Intel processors for 2022. What is the latest intel processor

Newer Pentium models, such as those launched from 2017, are becoming increasingly popular on laptops costing between £ 250 and £ 300. These chips are energy efficient which means they’re great when you need a laptop with long battery life. They are perfect for web browsing and basic office work.

Intel Core i9 vs i7 vs i5: Which CPU Should You Buy?

Intel and AMD are back in the battle for processors, with the Intel Core i9 being the fastest desktop processor ever.

Core i9 is Intel’s fastest consumer processor. With up to 16 cores, these are processors designed for enthusiasts and power users alike. But what is Core i9? And is it really better than Core i7 or Core i5?

In Intel’s simple words, Core i9 is faster than Core i7 which is faster than Core i5. But faster isn’t always better, and most people don’t need extra power. So how do you know which Intel processor to choose?

Intel Core i5 vs i7 vs i9

The Core i9 series gets this extra power in the simplest way: by adding more cores. The “core” is the processor (not the chip itself), and each core adds to the overall processing performance. This is why you have dual-core and quad-core processors.

The latest Core i9 processor, the Intel Core i9-12900K, has a MSRP of $ 589. This flagship desktop processor has 16 cores – eight performance cores (P-core) for running process-intensive applications and eight performance cores (E-core) for background tasks and light tasks.

P-Core cores are best suited for applications that mainly use one or more threads, such as games and other heavy applications. In contrast, E-Core is best to run applications that run in the background, such as cloud storage applications or streaming services.

This is the place where (to torture the metaphor a little more) you can give each employee two jobs at a time instead of one. These people should become unionized.

The best Intel processors at a glance

Intel Core i5-12600K processor.

Why you should buy it: This is the best Intel processor on the market right now.

Who it’s for: Gamers who need a little extra bandwidth.

Why we chose the Core i5-12600K:

The Core i5-12600K is the best processor you can buy right now. Not only is it the best Intel processor or the best gaming processor, it is the best processor overall. It comes with 10 cores for around $ 300, with six performance cores and four high performance cores. Performance cores cut through games, and ultra-efficient cores provide extra bandwidth for more demanding workloads.

Single-core enhancements with 12th Gen Intel processors shine with the Core i5-12600K. In gaming, it can even outperform the Ryzen 9 5950X in some cases – and this processor is almost three times more expensive. Overall, it manages to reach the top of the gaming rankings by only playing second fiddle against the more expensive 12th Gen Intel processors.

It also uses a 12th generation hybrid architecture. This class of processors is usually the best for pure gameplay. For gaming and streaming, we usually recommend that you take a step. This is not the case with the Core i5-12600K. 10 cores provide plenty of bandwidth for gaming and streaming, which is rare for a $ 300 CPU.

Intel Core i5-11600K

Intel Core i5 11600K in a box.

Why you should buy it: It’s still a solid mid-range CPU, and can usually be found for sale.

Who is it for: Players looking for bargains.

Why we chose the Core i5-11600K:

Intel’s 11th Gen Rocket Lake platform isn’t perfect, but the Core i5-11600K is still a decent option. It’s inferior to the Core i5-12600K in the long run, but you may be able to get the chip for the cheap – which will open up a little more budget for one of the best graphics cards out there.

That depends on the game, but the 11600K maintains a small but measurable advantage over 10600K in most titles. In some games, such as Death Stranding, the 11600K actually beats the 10700K of the previous generation, while in others it can match the 10900K. While not exactly the generational improvement Intel fans were hoping for, the 11600K proves you don’t need a high-end gaming processor.

Gen-on-gen improvements are more pronounced in non-gaming tasks. The 11600K is ahead of the previous-generation Intel offerings and offers more credible competition to mid-tier AMD chips in productivity tasks, using application-specific accelerators with great effect. Single-core performance has increased as well, without much compromise on multi-core performance.

The 11600K is a great gaming processor. It has enough juice for gaming while offering decent power for productivity tasks, and this combination is hard to find below $ 300. That said, 12600K is the better option overall, so go for 11600K only if you can find it at a big discount.

T – Most of you probably don’t want a “T” processor. They use lower clock frequencies to consume less power. Why would you want it? They also create less heat, so they are a good fit for tight mini-computers.

Choosing between an Intel Core i3, i5, i7 and i9

The Intel Core i5 is a reasonable place to start, whether you plan to buy a laptop or a desktop computer. You really can’t go wrong with an i5, especially with the 11th generation chipsets. They have enough power to play at the highest level, work intensively in image editing and video editing. And they use less power than the Core i7 or i9 which is nice.

The Core i7 is more powerful than the Core i5 series. And the Core i9 chipsets are, you guessed it, more powerful than the i7.

Intel Core i3 processors are usually the least discussed these days, but still exist and are a great choice for low-cost family PCs and ultra-budget gaming desktops. However, at the time of this writing, you would have to buy the 10th Gen i3-10100 as the 11th Gen Core i3 is not (yet) available).

So how do you quantify the differences between Intel Core i3 and i9? I’m going to stay away from benchmark results and too much in-depth tech talk, and stick to two factors: cores and clock speed.

I can use a human analogy here. If you have more cores, you have more workers to do the job. And the higher clock rate means each of these employees can complete tasks faster.

Some quests, such as games, benefit more from a few high-speed cores than from an increased number of cores. But others, like video editing, love multi-core processors because the apps are designed to use all the available CPU power. Games are mostly graphics card power miners.

Here’s a summary of the number of cores, base clock, and turbo clock speeds of the 11th generation desktop processors for your reference.

Intel Core i5-11400 6 cores 2.6 GHz Turbo 4.4 GHz
Intel Core i5-11600K 6 cores 3.9 GHz Turbo 4.8 GHz
Intel Core i7-11700 8 cores 2.5 GHz Turbo 4.9 GHz
Intel Core i7-11700K 8 cores 3.6 GHz Turbo 5GHz
Intel Core i9-11900K 8 cores 3.9 GHz Turbo 5.3 GHz
Intel Core i3-10100 (10th generation) 4 cores 3.6 GHz Turbo 4.3 GHz

In previous years, we would have had to explain another term to get to the root of the performance difference, which is hyper-threading. But all major 11th generations are hyper-threaded.

This is the place where (to torture the metaphor a little more) you can give each employee two jobs at a time instead of one. These people should become unionized.

Looking a little deeper into the upgrades

Higher Intel processors also have more cache than mid-range and lower-end processors. It is a very fast memory that is used to store the data that the processor cores will need. Intel Core i3-10100 is 6 MB, Intel Core i5-11600K 12 MB.

Top-of-the-line processors such as Intel Core i9-11900K and Intel Core i7-11700K are 16MB. However, the last generation i9-10900K is 20MB. Intel may justify this as the newer version has fewer cores, but it’s another reason some techs are looking down on the 11th Gen Core i9.

Intel rocket lake

However, if you plan to upgrade your desktop computer to the latest Intel processor, you will need to replace your current motherboard. This is because the Generation 12 chips use the new LGA 1700 socket and the Z690 chipset.

Intel Alder Lake specs & features

Alder Lake is making big changes to Intel’s silicon. These are the first processors to go beyond the 14nm process the company introduced in 2015. The new 10nm process has been renamed Intel 7 as part of a new Architecture Roadmap announced in July 2021.

Desktop CPUs

Intel has also changed the structure of its processors to be more compatible with ARM-based chips (including Apple’s M1 series). There is now a mix of performance and energy-saving cores, rather than focusing solely on creating the most powerful chip possible. This hybrid model should allow devices to maintain performance over a longer period of time as well as extend battery life. After disappointing reviews of the 11th Generation Rocket Lake chips, this change is welcome.

Intel Alder Lake

Image: Intel

However, as expected, you’ll need a new motherboard. Here’s Intel’s new Z690, although an upgraded cooler may also be needed to support the LG 1700 socket. You get at least Wi-Fi 6E and USB 3.2 Gen 2 for high-speed data transfer. Thunderbolt 4 support also remains.

There are also encouraging signals from Alder Lake’s first real gaming test, even though the CPU has been paired with the latest Nvidia RTX GPUs and DDR5 memory to maximize performance. As noted by the German website Computerbase, the CapFrameX test of the web-based strategy game Dota suggests that Alder Lake can peak at over 549 frames per second, an average of over 120 frames per second. However, we do not know what resolution or settings were used when recording these numbers.

If you’re a desktop user and considering high-end CPUs, Alder Lake’s latest benchmarks compare favorably with AMD’s equivalent chips. According to Twitter leaked @OneRaichu, the early model of the top Core i9-12900K excels in tests using the Cinebench R20 software:

12900KS QS Non-OC
In the water cooler.
Cinebench R20.
ST:> 810
MT:> 11600

– Raichu (@OneRaichu) July 20, 2021

The processor in question here was placed in a water cooler to prevent overheating, with another tweet confirming that the extra “S” was a bug. According to Guru3D, it performs significantly better than the Ryzen 9 5950X (AMD’s current flagship processor) in both single-threaded (26%) and multi-threaded (11%) modes. A lot can change between now and the end product, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

Since their launch, we’ve seen some impressive benchmarks of Alder Lake processors, most notably the Core i7-12700H. The Geekbench 5 results suggest it is almost as powerful as AMD’s high-end Ryzen 9 5900X, while Cinebench’s multi-core results put it ahead of the Ryzen 9 5900HX and Apple M1 Max – according to testing by NotebookCheck.

Mobile CPUs

In total, we expect 60 processors from Intel’s 12th generation range. In addition to the 28 desktop processors announced so far, 28 new mobile chips are also available. They will be available on many key laptops in 2022 and beyond.

They are divided into three different categories. The first is Alder Lake-H, designed for enthusiast-level devices. Here is a summary of what it offers:

Editor Performance cores Performance cores Threads L3 cache Maximum clock speed Basic power
i9-12900HK 6 8 twenty 24Mb 5.0 GHz 45W
i9-12900H 6 8 twenty 24Mb 5.0 GHz 45W
i7-12800H 6 8 twenty 24Mb 4.8 GHz 45W
i7-12700H 6 8 twenty 24Mb 4.7 GHz 45W
i7-12650H 6 4 16 24Mb 4.7 GHz 45W
i5-12600H 4 8 16 18Mb 4.5 GHz 45W
i5-12500H 4 8 16 18Mb 4.5 GHz 45W
i5-12450H 4 4 12 12Mb 4.4 GHz 45W

If you are interested in computers, you may be tempted to choose the fastest and most powerful processor all the time. But unless you have unlimited resources, this isn’t a practical option. After all, companies like AMD, Intel and even Apple always release better products every year.

Intel Core CPU Naming Scheme

The name of the Intel Core processor consists of a total of six segments:

Company Name

There is not much to say about the company’s name – it’s Intel, and it indicates that the processor was made by Intel.

Brand Name

Now Intel has many brands in their CPU selection, all designed for different things. To list the most popular ones you will meet today:

  1. Core, aimed primarily at mainstream desktops, be it gaming PCs or workstations.
  2. Xeon, which includes some of the most powerful processors on the market today with an unmatched number of cores and threads, designed for heavy workstations and servers.
  3. Pentium, inexpensive processors that are suitable for the occasional computer user.
  4. Celeron, entry-level solutions ideal for those on a tight budget.
  5. Atom, energy-saving processors designed mainly for mobile devices.

In addition to these five, Intel also sells Movidius VPUs and Quark microcontrollers. In the past, they also had many other brands that have since been phased out.

Brand Modifier

Intel Core i3 i5 and i7

Intel processors are further distinguished by their overall performance and price. When it comes to Intel Core models, you’ll find that they are further divided into four categories:

  1. i3 – the most affordable Core models that are perfect for inexpensive gaming PCs.
  2. i5 – Mid-range processors that are usually best suited to the average gamer.
  3. i7 – High-class processors that are perfect for both games and professional, processor-intensive software.
  4. i9 – enthusiast-class processors that are usually really only worth buying for workstations.

Generation Indicator

Intel Core 11th generation

This is another fairly simple part of the processor name and indicates which generation the processor belongs to. The latest Intel desktop processors are in the 11th generation, and that’s what the “11” in “Intel Core i5-11600K” stands for.

Overall, each subsequent generation of the processor offers some kind of improvement. Usually this is just an overall performance boost, but newer generations may also incorporate some new features that their predecessors lacked. For example, Gen 11 Core processors support PCIe 4.0, while Gen 10 models do not.

Model/SKU Number

The model number / SKU usually consists of 3 digits, and while this is a generic number that doesn’t really say anything about a CPU spec or its capabilities, it indicates its position in the hierarchy within the generation it belongs to.

For example you have i3-10100, i5-10600, i7-10700 and i9-10900, each CPU is more powerful than the previous one. Thus, models marked with higher numbers have more computing power and may have access to certain features that are lacking in cheaper alternatives.


So, this would be a quick overview of the Intel Core processor naming scheme and lettering designations you’ll encounter today when purchasing a new processor.

We should note that we have not included some lettering notations that only existed on some older, discontinued models, but we will update the article in case any of them return or if Intel adds new markings to mix in the future.

Also, if you’re buying a new CPU now, be sure to check out our pick of the best gaming processors of 2022. There you’ll find a more detailed guide and some CPUs that might be perfectly suited to your needs.

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Samuel is the editor-in-chief of GamingScan. He describes himself as a dedicated gamer and developer. He likes to help others discover the joy of gaming. Samuel follows the latest trends in the gaming industry closely to keep visitors moving.

GamingScan is supported by readers. By purchasing through links on our site, we may earn a commission. links may redirect you to Amazon.

In addition to these five, Intel also sells Movidius VPUs and Quark microcontrollers. In the past, they also had many other brands that have since been phased out.

Intel’s desktop CPU lineup gets a comprehensive overhaul with new 12th-gen chips

Andrew Cunningham – January 4, 2022 18:10 UTC

Intel is reviewing its desktop processors for the first time in years.

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Further Reading

Intel launched its first 12th Generation Core processors just over two months ago, and we were impressed with the results; chips still use a lot of power, but generally have the performance to back them up. Today Intel announces the rest of its offering, including non-overclockable versions of Core i9, i7 and i5 processors; new Core i3, Pentium and Celeron chips that bring Alder Lake architecture to weaker PCs; and low-power processor versions suitable for minicomputers and other systems where space and cooling performance are at a premium.

New processors, from Core i9 to Celeron

Intel today announces a total of 22 new processors that will replace most of the current 11th and 10th generation desktop processors. Like the overclockable K-series and KF-series processors already available, these chips will require a new motherboard with an LGA 1700 socket and may support DDR4 or DDR5, depending on the motherboard purchased (more on these in a moment).

Further Reading

All of these processors are based on the “Intel 7” process previously known as “10 nm Enhanced Super Fin”. Intel justifies the name change by saying that the density of Intel 7 transistors is similar to the 7nm manufacturing processes from competitors such as TSMC and Samsung. The 12th Gen Core lineup marks the first time in about six and a half years that Intel has moved beyond some versions of its 14nm processes for desktop processors.

Some of the new processors use Intel’s hybrid processor architecture that combines the performance and performance cores (P and E cores) to improve energy efficiency when your computer is not under heavy load, and to provide better multi-core performance when you need all the processor speed you can get . Load balancing on these hybrid systems is handled by Intel “Thread Director” technology, which must be supported by the operating system for optimal performance. Right now Windows 11 has it, Linux support is pending, and Windows 10 isn’t and won’t get it (you can use Alder Lake chips from Windows 10, but performance can be mixed).

But at Core i5 and below, most of these chips only contain P cores. This will be just right for gaming or other tasks where a few high-speed cores will get the job done – Tom’s Hardware did an early review of the Core i5-12400 paired with DDR4 RAM and in comparative gaming tests, it copes with the much more expensive Ryzen 5000 series and 11th generation Core chips. But you can skip E-cores for CPU-based video encoding or any rendering work that can efficiently use all CPU cores simultaneously.

These processors represent the 12th generation computing chips that will be most commonly used in desktop computers.

As always, T-series CPUs significantly lower their clock speed, so they can also lower power requirements.

The images above include all the specs and prices, but here’s a general overview of everything that has been announced:

  • Core i9 chips contain eight P cores and eight E cores (and note that only P cores contain Hyperthreading, which is why you have 24 threads instead of the 32 you’d expect).
  • Core i7 chips have eight P cores, but only four E cores.
  • Unlike their K-series counterparts, the non-K Core i5 chips feature six P cores and no E cores. At a list price of $ 167, the Core i5-12400F should be of particular interest to gamers on a budget.
  • Core i3 chips have four P cores and no E cores.
  • Both the Pentium and Celeron chips only have two P cores, but the Pentium contains Hyperthreading and the Celeron does not.
  • The F series chips do not contain graphics processors.
  • The T-series chips have the same number of cores as the non-T versions, but have lower “base power” and much lower base clock frequencies – the speeds that processors return to under heavy, sustained workloads that generate a lot of heat.
  • All processors contain 20 PCI Express lanes and officially support the same DDR4 and DDR5 memory speeds, from the Core i9 to the Celeron.

While we haven’t had many options for our list of Intel’s best processors in the past few years, that has changed with the arrival of the 12th Gen Alder Lake platform. Intel is back to the top in gaming and productivity with a range of new chips that significantly improve the previous generation while outperforming AMD’s competition.

Generational numbers

There is one more complication when choosing a processor. The first digit after the dash indicates which generation your CPU comes from. The higher the number, the newer it is. From 2018, the latest generation is the 8th gen.

  • Core i5-7200U: Dual Core, Maximum Speed ​​3.1GHz
  • Core i5-8250U: Quad Core, Maximum Speed ​​3.4GHz

This is important when choosing a processor for a laptop, because from the 8th generation onwards the “U” chips now have four cores instead of two. If you have a choice of the seventh and eighth generations and the price difference is small, opting for a newer model is a good choice.

In April 2018, Intel announced the Intel Core i3 +, i5 + and i7 +. This new naming convention shows when an Intel Optane SSD drive is installed in your computer. Optane checks which files and programs you use the most and transfers them to an ultrafast SSD for better performance. You don’t have to manage it yourself; this is done completely automatically and doesn’t affect where you find your files on your computer.

Intel Core i9

In 2017, Intel introduced the Core i9 product lines. These are incredibly expensive PC processors that cost over £ 800. The company also introduced i9 chips to laptops in 2018. Again, they’re reserved for powerful laptops designed for advanced jobs like video editing.

Now that you know all about processors, take advantage of our expert laptop reviews to help you choose the best model for your budget.

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