In this article, the 12-phase switched flux permanent magnet (PM) (SFPM) machine and three surface-mounted PM (SPM) machines designed for direct-drive wind power generation are comparatively analyzed. First, feasible stator-slot/rotor-pole combinations for symmetrical 12-phase winding layout are investigated for both machine topologies. Second, the key design parameters of the PM generators including the split ratio and stator teeth width ratio are optimized by finite element analysis to achieve a high phase fundamental EMF per turn and a low cogging torque, both of which are desired by the direct-drive wind power generator. Third, electromagnetic performances including air-gap field, cogging torque, static torque, inductance, output voltage and its regulation factor, output power, and efficiency of the generators are compared. A 10-kW 24-slot/22-pole SFPM prototype is built and tested to validate the FE predicted results.