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AMD and Intel both have their strengths. Budget will always be a limiting factor, but your apps will also dictate whether you should focus on cores or core speeds. And don't forget about power draw and thermals.

Intel Core i5-12600K

While Intel's flagship i9-12900K may be stealing the headlines today, the mid-range i5-12600K is arguably more impressive. Comprised of six Performance cores and four Efficient cores, for a total of 16 threads, this processor comes with a more palatable £290 asking price. That puts it head to head with the popular Ryzen 5 5600X, but is it a battle Intel can win?

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AMD Ryzen 9 5950X

The flagship of AMD's new-and-improved mainstream line-up - the Ryzen 9 5950X - offers superb productivity performance, high gaming frame rates, and excellent power efficiency. This is a superb high-end processor without any notable weaknesses.

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Intel Core i7-12700K

On paper there is very little to separate the Core i7-12700K from the more expensive Core i9-12900K, however our testing demonstrates conclusively that simply chopping out four E cores and dropping clock speeds a tad is indeed a big deal. To put it another way, we are now clear that Intel Alder Lake needs those E cores to back up the P cores.

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AMD Ryzen 9 5900X

Given the productivity and gaming performance on offer from the £510 Ryzen 9 5900X, the Core i9-10900K becomes even more irrelevant at its higher price point. And even the competitive Core i9-10850K will struggle to show its worth versus the new Zen 3 chip thanks to AMD's improved gaming performance and excellent all-round productivity capacity.


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AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D

The AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D is honestly one of the more intriguing processors I have analysed in recent times. From a productivity workload perspective, it’s almost certainly a complete no-go. From a mixed usage perspective, there are clearly better options. But from a purely gaming perspective, it does look to be a very compelling solution, particularly if you’re already on AM4 or if you’ve already decided to spend Core i7 or Core i9 money on your gaming chip.

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