Intel Budget Gaming CPU Benchmark Comparison – Intel i3-12100 vs Intel i5-12400 vs Intel Core i5-12600K

Our Intel 12th Gen Gaming CPU Benchmark showdown features three budget contenders, the Intel Core i3-12100, Core i5-12400, and Core i5-12600K.

Today we will be testing out some of the best budget intel CPUs for gaming. We will compare head-to-head 3 Alder Lake Intel processors to check how the Intel 12th Gen chips perform in gaming-related applications.

Intel’s 12th Gen entry gaming CPUs fit your budget perfectly. The Intel i3-12100, i5-12400, and i5 12600k are good for low-budget gaming. These chips are very affordable, and faster than last generation Rocket Lake processors.

Except for the Intel i5-12600k which needs a separate cooler, the rest of the 2 Intel Gaming Processor comes bundled with a cooler. Also please note that in order to experience the optimal performance it’s better to switch to an aftermarket air cooler or a liquid cooler to achieve the best turbo boosts speeds.

So without further delay let’s check out the Intel Gaming CPU benchmark when we compare an Intel Core intel Core i3-12100, Core i5-12400, and Core i5-12600K head to head.

Intel Gaming CPU Specs

All 3 CPUs are DDR5 and PCIe express 5.0 Compatible.  These processors have the same memory support capability and can handle a maximum memory of types such as all of 128GB on both DDR4 and DDR5 platforms with a maximum bandwidth of 76.8GB/s.

All 3 of these products support the LGA 1700 motherboards with a maximum core temp of 100°C. These Intel 12th Gen Processors support 64bit Windows 11 operating systems. All processors can support a maximum amount of resolution 4096X2060 at 60Hz with an HDMI cable, 7680X4320 at 60Hz with a Display cable. Apart from being similar on the basic ends let’s check what are differences in these processors which makes them come under different price brackets.

The Intel Core i3-12100, i5-12400, and i5-12600k feature 4 cores 8 threads, 6 cores 12 threads, and 10 cores 16 threads respectively. The base clock speed of these CPUs is 3.3GHz, 2.5GHz, and 3.7GHz respectively. With overclocking, you can get a max boot of 4.9GHz in i5-12600k. But you cant overclock the other two because those are locked CPUs.

The L3 cache of these processors is 12MB, 18MB, and 20MB respectively. While i3-12100 and i5 12400 require 60W and 65W power respectively, the unlocked Intel Core i5-12600k comes with a 125W TDP.

Also, note that both the Intel Core i3-12100 and Intel Core i5-12400 come with integrated graphics of Intel UHD 730 Graphics while the unlocked Core i5 12600k comes with an Intel UHD 770 Graphics which is slightly better than the other two.

Intel Gaming CPU
Intel Gaming CPU Benchmark

Intel Gaming CPU Benchmark Comparision

Here we put to test the 3 budget Intel Gaming CPUs. The GPU that we used is an Nvidia RTX 3080 with the GPU clock set at an average of 1911MHz running at around 65°c in high-Performance mode.

We used 16GB RAM which was clocked at 4000MHz along with a 1TB NVMe SSD for storing all the games. We tested all the games at 1080p which is still a standard gaming resolution according to the Steam charts.

Now without further delay let’s quickly check out the Intel Budget Gaming Benchmarks –

GamesIntel Core i3-12100Intel Core i5-12400Intel Core i5-12600K
Need for Speed Payback158174181
Mafia Remastered Edition154162171
Assassins Creed Valhalla93100111
Crysis Remastered758288
Cyberpunk 2077125129135
Fortnite203220225
GTA V156170173
Forza Horizon 5147154165
Red Dead Redemption 2128114139
Hitman 3153136168
Death Stranding138138175
Call of Duty Warzone162138178
Horizon Zero Dawn146149182

Intel Gaming CPU Benchmark Verdict

So with this result, we can see that the Intel Core i3-12100 beats the higher-priced Intel Core i5-12400 average benchmarks for some games. In most of the cases, the higher FPS was always reserved in favor of the Intel Core i5 12400. Out of the three, the unlocked overclockable Intel Core i5-12600k performs the best.

But we can expect a slight variation in performance if you are running a different PC configuration. This Intel Gaming CPU benchmark when paired with an RTX 3080 Graphics Card gives the maximum average FPS.

If you are running a lower-end Graphics Card like the RTX 3050, you might expect the performance to go down by a lot but it would stay above 60FPS for most of the games. So you can’t go wrong opting for these budget-oriented Gaming Processors. These 12th Generation Processors from Intel pose a major threat to AMD.

So, what is your choice? The Intel Core i3-12100 comes at a price range of $122-$129, while the Intel Core i5-12400 comes at a price range of $192-$199 and the Intel Core i5-12600k comes at a price range of $289-$299. Decide and choose wisely what exactly you need according to your work and gaming requirements.

So this was all about the Intel Budget Gaming CPU benchmark where we compared an Intel Core i3-12100, i5-12400, and i5-12600K Processor head-to-head when paired with an RTX 3080 Graphics Card. If you have any suggestions feel free to comment down below.

That’s all folks!!


A 29 year old avid gamer by choice dabbles in all things tech. Whether be it spending hours in single-player narrative-based games or going through the latest innovation in technology and chip manufacturing he prefers to stay on top of things. In the other times, you'll find him tucked away drumming and headbanging to Rock and Roll Classics.

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