Intel CPU (Processor) List in Order of Performance

CG Director Author Alex Glawionby Alex Glawion   /  Updated 

How are Intel CPUs ranked in order of performance – is there an easy list to check?

Keeping track of performance across modern Intel CPUs can be difficult. Intel releases new Processor SKUs every few Months and entirely new CPU generations about every year and a half.

Which Intel Processor is best for you depends on your typical workloads. If you’re a professional doing active work like Photo Editing or 3D Modeling or are playing AAA Games, a CPU that has high single-core performance is more important than a CPU with a lot of cores.

If you’re running workloads, though, that can easily be parallelized, such as 3D Rendering, Video Editing, Batch Processing, and Machine Learning, to name a few, an Intel CPU with a high number of cores is the right pick for you.

Most workloads, though, can make use of both fast single-core performance and high multi-core performance, at least to a certain degree, and that’s why I’ve created this handy little list of Intel CPUs in order of Performance that you can sort to your liking.

Also, check out our related Lists:

Intel CPU (Processor) List In Order Of Performance

CPU NameSingle Core PerformanceMulti Core PerformancePerformance Total*Performance / Dollar*$ Price (MSRP)
Intel i9 12900KS208227796739
Intel i9 12900K200327483589
Intel i9 12900KF199727472574
Intel i9 12900F198826455494
Intel i7 12700K193923488419
Intel i5 12600K191817660299
Intel i7 12700F186221568324
Intel i5 12500180412974212
Intel i9 11900K167116211549
Intel i5 12400F164812321174
Intel i5 12400164712344199
Intel i7 11700K159614812409
Intel i5 11600K156411277272
Intel i9 10900K141518034499
Intel i9 10850K136716820464
Intel i7 10700K134513302384
Intel i9 9900K134312470499
Intel i7 9700K12859428385
Intel i5 9600K11876596262
Intel i9 9900X118213994989
Intel i9 9980XE1114270931979
Intel i9 9960X1075179531684
Intel i9 9920X1067147931189
Intel i9 10980XE106325490979
CPU NameSingle ScoreMulti ScorePerformance Total*Performance / Dollar*$ Price (MSRP)

*Weighted. Total Performance (column) is relative to an Intel i7 11700k, weighed equally at 50% single-core and 50% multi-core performance. This weighing will indicate good all-round performance for most workloads without going overboard on too low single-core performance or too many cores.

Note: If you’re running very specific tasks, though, that you know can make good use of, e.g., a lot of cores, sort the table by multi-core performance. Or, if you’re certain your workloads only need high single-core performance, sort by that column.

Benchmark used for this list is Cinebench R23.

Best Intel Processor for the money

Intel’s entry-level CPUs have high value considering their performance per dollar. Both the Intel i5 12400F and 12500 lead the Performance / Dollar Chart, given their very reasonable pricing.

This is not to say everyone should be buying an entry-level Intel i5. They are somewhat limited in overall performance and have fewer cores than might be necessary for your workloads, but they are a great pick for many low-level tasks such as general productivity.

If your budget is limited, the Intel Core i5 12600k is one of the best CPUs for most workloads and games. If you’re willing to spend some more, the Intel i7 12700k 12-Core CPU packs some serious performance if your workloads can use more cores.

In the end, the best Intel CPU for the money depends on your workloads and requirements and, of course, your budget limit.

Let’s take a look at the best Intel CPU within certain price ranges:

Best Intel Processor under 500$

After recent considerable price cuts, Intel’s best-performing CPU under 500$ is the Intel i9 12900F. At just 490$, the 16-Core Processor is a powerhouse of a CPU that’ll run any high-end workloads without any issues.

With a base clock of 2.4/1.8GHz (P-Core, E-Core) and a boost of up to 5.1GHz, the Intel i9 12900F sports 24 Threads at a maximum turbo power draw (TDP) of 202W.

Yes, Intel’s CPUs currently do draw considerably more power than AMD’s counterparts.

Best Intel CPU under 400$

The Intel i7  12700F is the best Intel CPU you can buy for under 400 dollars. Its price has been reduced to 324$ from its original MSRP of over 400$.

The 12 Cores and 16 Threads clock at 2.1/1.6GHz base and 4.9GHz boost. At 180W maximum turbo power draw, the 12700F won’t go too easy on your power bill, though.

Best Intel CPU under 200$

The Intel i5 12400 and 12500 are Intel’s best CPUs for under (or slightly over) 200 dollars.

Both come in at 6 performance cores & 12 Threads and have the same maximum power draw of 117W. The 12500, though, clocks at 3GHz base and 4.6GHz Boost, while the 12400 is limited to 2,4GHz Base and 4,4GHz Boost clocks.

Do give our Base / Boost Clock Guide a read to make sure you’re aware of the performance difference this can entail.

Which Intel CPU has the most Cores?

In the mainstream segment, the Intel i9 10980XE has 18 Cores / 36 Threads at its disposal. Although it is quite ancient, the CPU is still sold even though current-generation CPUs with fewer cores surpass it with higher performance. Because the 10980XE is an HEDT CPU that offers features such as a higher number of PCIe Lanes, though, it can still be interesting to some users. A better alternative for high-core-count CPUs, though, would be to get an AMD Threadripper.

On the Server-side, the Intel Xeon Platinum 8380 comes with 40 Cores / 80 Threads and is the Intel CPU with the currently highest number of cores.

What is the fastest Intel CPU?

This depends on the definition of “fast”. The highest multi-core performance is held by Intel’s highest core-count CPUs, such as the Intel Xeon Platinum 8380.

The highest single-core performance is held by the Intel Core i9 12900KS.

Is Intel i7 better than Intel i5?

Yes. Intel’s CPU segmentation is as follows:

  • Core i9
  • Core i7
  • Core i5
  • Core i3

The higher the number, the higher the core count, the higher the single-core performance, and the higher the power draw.

Is Intel Core better than Ryzen?

It depends on your needs and at what time you’re comparing the two. Both Intel and AMD have an excellent product line-up, but they release new SKUs every few months, and every 1.5 years or so, they release an entirely new generation of CPUs that usually takes back the crown from the competition for some time.

In terms of single core performance Intel is often in the lead. If we look at multi-core performance or power draw, though, AMD wins.

Check out our regularly updated Intel Ryzen vs Intel Core article here.

Over to you

I hope this Intel CPU List in order of performance helped you get closer to picking the right CPU for your needs. What Intel Processor do you want to buy? Let me know in the comments! 🙂




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Alex Glawion - post author

Hi, I’m Alex, a Freelance 3D Generalist, Motion Designer and Compositor.

I’ve built a multitude of Computers, Workstations and Renderfarms and love to optimize them as much as possible.

Feel free to comment and ask for suggestions on your PC-Build or 3D-related Problem, I’ll do my best to help out!

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