The new 12th-generation Intel Alder Lake CPUs are available and they offer a massive improvement in performance over anything we’ve seen from Intel in the past couple of years. In fact, the new Alder Lake chips are also more powerful than a lot of AMD’s processors, which makes the competition more exciting than ever. In this article, we’ll use one of the new Intel Alder Lake chips to assemble Intel’s premium gaming PC architecture. We’ll be using a Core i5-12600K for this build, but you can check out our “Guide for PC Gamers” or “Intel’s “Gaming/Live Streaming Guide from Intel” for some high-end hardware with Core i9-12900K and Core i7-12700K respectively. So without wasting any more time, let’s check out the parts we recommend for this release:
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Best CPU for Building a Premium Intel Gaming PC: Intel Core i5-12600K
The new Intel Core i5-12600K processor delivers top-notch performance to become the leading gaming chip on the market in 2022. It easily beats the Ryzen 5 5600X with up to 40% threaded performance to become our pick for the best CPU out there. In fact, the Core i5-12600K is powerful enough to beat the more expensive Ryzen 7 5800X CPU, too. The 12600K switches operate with six threaded P cores and four E cores operating at 3.7 / 4.9 GHz and 2.8 / 3.6 GHz, respectively. Intel’s new Alder Lake range has more powerful CPUs as well, but we think the 12600K has plenty of power to handle even the most demanding games right now.
- Intel is back in the best CPU races with its 12th generation processors and we think the new Core i5-12600K is the second best overall CPU you can buy right now whether it’s for gaming or other workloads.
Best GPU for Building a Premium Intel Gaming PC: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070
Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3070 is a powerful GPU that packs enough punch to compete head-to-head with plenty of other high-end graphics cards out there. The 3070’s gaming performance credentials are impressive enough to give other 30-series GPUs a run for their money. It’s fully capable of handling 1440p gaming, but you can also push a lot of titles in 4K on this GPU with playable frames. The RTX 3070 also shines in the ray tracing department along with other features like DLSS, Broadcast, and Reflex.
- The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 may not be the most powerful 30-series GPU, but it delivers great performance for the price.
Best Motherboard for Intel Premium Gaming PC: Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Elite DDR4
The Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Elite AX motherboard is very similar to the Z690 Aorus Pro we reviewed not long ago. There are a lot of similarities between the two with the Aorus Pro version being a slightly more premium offering with better features. However, the Z690 Aorus Elite is better able to handle the 12,600K we’re using for this particular build. This board also supports DDR4 memory, which is a good thing because we use a range of high-quality DDR4 RAM modules. Notable features of the Aorus Z690 Elite ATX motherboard include a powerful PRM, quad M.2 slots, PCIe 5.0 support, and more. You can also check out our collection of the best motherboards to find more options to build.
- The Gigabyte Aorus Elite AX motherboard is a top-tier Z690 chipset based motherboard with DDR4 memory support.
Best CPU Cooler for Building a Premium Intel Gaming PC: Noctua NH-D15 CPU Cooler
We’ve decided to use a CPU fan cooler for this version, so why not? There are a lot of high quality air coolers on the market and they are great! Also, we’re not choosing slack here for the build. The Noctua NH-D15, in case you didn’t know, is one of the best performing Air CPU coolers out there. This large size CPU cooler is powerful enough to handle even the most demanding chips like the 12600K. The NH-D15 cooler comes with two premium NF-A15 PWM fans and supports a variety of sockets including the Alder Lake LAG1700.
- The Noctua NH-D15 is a powerful fan CPU cooler that is capable of handling the thermal output of the 12600K chip.
Best RAM Combo: Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 16GB DDR4 RAM
Corsair is one of the best players in memory space. The company has a variety of memory modules on offer, including affordable, high-performance sets. We recommend choosing the Vengeance Pro DDR4 suite for this version. The Vengeance Pro RGB suite features DDR4-3200 memory speeds and low latency. The Pro version of the Vengeance kits also has RGB lighting, which we think will add to the overall aesthetics of the build.
Although Intel’s new Alder Lake chips support DDR5 memory, we’re sticking with the DDR4 RAM set for this build. One of the main reasons for this is the wide availability of these old memory modules. We believe the performance difference between DDR4 and DDR5 is not large enough to warrant an immediate performance upgrade to the next. This is bound to change over time, but the comparison between DDR4 and DDR5 still favors older memory sets.
- Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB DDR4 memory suite delivers memory speeds of up to 3200MHz with low latency. The Pro version of the kit also has RGB lighting on the heat diffuser.
Best Storage Drive: Western Digital Black SN850 PCIe Gen 4 M.2 SSD
We’re bringing back the trusted Western Digital Black SN850 for this design. This is known to be one of the most reliable PCIe Gen 4 M.2 SSDs which makes a lot of things right. You get 3 years of warranty and impressive transfer speeds of up to 7000MB/s. While the Black SN850 is available in up to 2TB capacity, we chose the 500GB stick for this build. You can choose to move to a higher capacity unit or simply add a SATA SSD or HDD for a dual drive system.
- The Western Digital Black SN850 is the best performing PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD on the market today with amazing sequential read/write speeds.
Best Power Supply for Building a Premium Intel Gaming PC: Corsair RM850X PSU
We’re looking at a total of about 600 watts of power required for this particular configuration. However, we recommend getting an 850W PSU for this excavator. As such, we think the Corsair RM850X PSU is a great choice for this build. This is a fully modular power supply unit with an 80 Plus Gold rating. It features a 140mm fan inside the chassis, and you can even get low-noise operation thanks to the zero RPM fan mode. It’s a reliable option that works very well with this configuration. If you’re looking for something a little more unique with, say, power connectors, be sure to check out our selection of the best power supplies.
- The Corsair RM850x is a reliable PSU for those looking to build a new PC, whether it’s a gaming console or a video editing workstation.
Best PC case for this release: Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact
We chose the Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact PC Case for this design because it is a great PC case that provides great airflow. It comes with three fans pre-installed out of the box, which is great for keeping the system cool without spending any extra money. You probably don’t need more fans but there is room to add more if you feel the need. It’s worth noting that the Meshify 2 Compact also has enough clearance to house all the premium components inside, including the larger Noctua NH-D15 CPU cooler we used for this build.
- The Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact is a premium ATX case with plenty of room inside the chassis and a mesh front panel for airflow.
Intel Premium PC Gaming Guide: Price Summary
Here is a quick breakdown of pricing for this particular release. Needless to say, prices are subject to change based on availability of stocks. We’re also fully aware of the ongoing GPU shortage on the market and how difficult it is to buy the RTX 3070 right now, not to mention the retail price. However, we would like to mention that the price summary is just to give an idea of how much a configuration like this would cost if you were to get the GPU at its retail price.
In addition, many people who buy pre-made computers rely on these PC build guides to configure a system based on their budget. If you want a new gaming hardware, we highly recommend considering pre-built PCs as this is probably the only way you can get your hands on graphics cards at the moment.
|an item||Listed price|
|Intel Core i5-12600K CPU||$299|
|Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 GPU||$499|
|Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Elite DDR4 motherboard||$269|
|Noctua NH-D15 CPU Cooler||$100 dollars|
|Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 16GB DDR4 RAM||$88|
|Western Digital SN850 Black M.2 NVMe SSD||$100 dollars|
|Corsair RM850X PSU||$120|
|fractal design Meshify 2 compact bag||$138|
Intel Premium Gaming PC Guide: Final Thoughts
Well, that concludes this PC build guide. Assuming you manage to get a graphics card at retail, you should be able to build a fairly powerful Intel-based gaming machine for about $1,500. As you can see, we used some of the best parts out there to assemble this guide, making sure they are compatible with each other. We haven’t added build accessories here, so you’ll have to consider the additional price for those as well.
If you need any help choosing peripherals for your setup, be sure to check out our collection of the best monitors, the best gaming mouse, keyboard, gaming headset, and more. You can also join our XDA Computing forums to discuss build guidelines or get more product recommendations from the experts in our community.