CES 2022: Intel claims i9-12900HK mobile CPU to be more powerful than Apple’s M1 Max

Intel 12th Gen Alder Lake Mobile Processors Announced CPU
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Intel has finally announced the 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs for laptops. Like their desktop counterpart, they are based on Intel 7 (10nm) process and feature hybrid core architecture. In this article, we will be discussing the key specs and features of 12th Gen Intel Alder Lake mobile processors.

Intel 12th Gen Alder Lake Mobile Processors:

Intel announced an Arm-like hybrid core architecture for its 12th Gen desktops processors last year. As expected, this has made its way to the Alder Lake mobile CPUs as well.

As aforementioned, these are built on Intel 7 process node and feature two different kinds of CPU cores. The first is the Performance cores (or P-cores) which are designed to handle low-latency single-threaded performance.

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Thus, it’ll mostly be active during gaming and productivity workload. On the other hand, we have Efficient cores (or E-cores) that are better suited for multi-threaded processes.

In addition, 12th gen processors bring support for both DDR4 and DDR5 RAM and their low-powered “LP” counterparts. These CPUs also have support for Wi-Fi 6E and Thunderbolt 4 (up to 40Gbps).

Moreover, the newly announced laptop processors are divided into three categories: H-series, P-series, and U-series.

12th Gen H-series

As with the previous iterations, the H-series is home to Intel’s high-performance mobile CPUs—the ones you are most likely to see in flagship gaming laptops.

Here, you get to choose between Core i5, i7, and i9 models. All the i7 and i9 chips have 9 P-core while the i5 only has 4 of them. Almost every CPU in this lineup has 8 E-cores except for the Core i7-12650H and i5-12450H that have 4 E-cores.

Core i9-12900HK

Anyway, the elephant in the room is definitely the Core i9-12900HK, which has a maximum turbo frequency of 5.0GHz. This chip brings 28% better gaming performance and a 43% boost in 3D rendering than the i9-11980HK. It is also the only CPU in the lineup to support overclocking.

More importantly, Intel says i9-12900HK is the “world’s best mobile gaming platform” based on its comparison with AMD’s Ryzen 9 5900HX. As per the company, it even outperforms Apple’s M1 Max in select productivity benchmarks such as PugetBench and AutoDesk.

i9-12900HK i9-12900H i7-12800H i7-12700H i7-12650H i5-12600H i5-12500H i5-12450H
Processor Cores 14 14 14 14 10 12 12 8
Processor Threads 20 20 20 20 16 16 16 12
Number of P-cores 6 6 6 6 6 4 4 4
Number of E-cores 8 8 8 8 4 8 8 4
Smart Cache (L3) 24MB 24MB 24MB 24MB 24MB 18MB 18MB 12MB
Max Turbo Frequency (GHz) P-core 5.0 5.0 4.8 4.7 4.7 4.5 4.5 4.4
E-core 3.8 3.8 3.7 3.5 3.5 3.3 3.3 3.3
Base Frequency (GHz) P-core 2.5 2.5 2.4 2.3 2.3 2.7 2.5 2.0
E-core 1.8 1.8 1.8 1.7 1.7 2.0 1.8 1.5
Processor Graphics Execution Units (EU) 96 96 96 96 64 80 80 48
Max Graphics Frequency (GHz) 1.45 1.45 1.4 1.4 1.4 1.4 1.3 1.2
Base Power (PL1) 45W
Turbo Power (PL2) 115W 115W 115W 115W 115W 95W 95W 95W

12th Gen P-Series

Next is the P series, which is the first-ever in Intel’s mobile CPU lineup. It is the middle ground between the high-power H-series and low-power U-series. These processors have a base power of 28W and will be used in performance-focused thin & light laptops.

Intel has announced a total of 6 P-series CPUs starting with the Core i3-1220P to up to i7-1280P. A lot of them are quite identical to their H-series counterparts but have lower base and turbo frequencies because of the lower wattage.

i7-1280P i7-1270P i7-1260P i5-1250P i5-1240P i3-1220P
Processor Cores 14 12 12 12 12 10
Processor Threads 20 16 16 16 16 12
Number of P-cores 6 4 4 4 4 2
Number of E-cores 8
Smart Cache (L3) 24MB 18MB 18MB 12MB 12MB 12MB
Max Turbo Frequency (GHz) up to P-core 4.8 4.8 4.7 4.4 4.4 4.4
E-core 3.6 3.5 3.4 3.3 3.3 3.3
Base Frequency (GHz) P-core 1.8 2.2 2.1 1.7 1.7 1.5
E-core 1.3 1.6 1.5 1.2 1.2 1.1
Processor Graphics Execution Units (EU) 96 96 96 80 80 64
Max Graphics Frequency (GHz) 1.45 1.4 1.4 1.4 1.3 1.1
Base Power (PL1) 28W
Turbo Power (PL2) 64W

12th Gen Intel U-Series

The U-series will be used in mainstream laptops without much performance requirement. It is further home to two categories of chips: one with a 15W base power and the other with a 9W base power. You can easily differentiate between the two from their moniker. The 15W powered ones end in “5U” or “5” in their name whereas the 9W chips are suffixed with “0U” or “0”.

Alder Lake U-Series (15W)

i7-1265U i7-1255U i5-1245U i5-1235U i3-1215U Pentium 8505 Celeron 7305
Processor Cores 10 10 10 10 6 5 5
Processor Threads 12 12 12 12 8 6 6
Number of P-cores 2 2 2 2 2 1 1
Number of E-cores 8 8 8 8 4 4 4
Smart Cache (L3) 12MB 12MB 12MB 12MB 10MB 8MB 8MB
Max Turbo Frequency (GHz) P-core 4.8 4.7 4.4 4.4 4.4 4.4 N/A
E-core 3.6 3.5 3.3 3.3 3.3 3.3 N/A
Base Frequency (GHz) P-core 1.8 1.7 1.6 1.3 1.2 1.2 1.1
E-core 1.3 1.2 1.2 0.9 0.9 0.9 0.9
Processor Graphics Execution Unit (EU) 96 96 80 80 64 48 48
Max Graphics Frequency (GHz) 1.25 1.25 1.2 1.2 1.1 0.9 0.9
Base Power (PL1) 15W
Turbo Power (PL2) 55W

Alder Lake U-Series (9W)

i7-1260U i7-1250U i5-1240U i5-1230U i3-1210U Pentium
8500
Celeron
7300
Processor Cores 10 10 10 10 6 5 5
Processor Threads 12 12 12 12 8 6 6
Number of P-cores 2 2 2 2 2 1 1
Number of E-cores 8 8 8 8 4 4 4
Smart Cache (L3) 12MB 12MB 12MB 12MB 10MB 8MB 8MB
Max Turbo Frequency (GHz) P-core 4.7 4.7 4.4 4.4 4.4 4.4 N/A
E-core 3.5 3.5 3.3 3.3 3.3 3.3 N/A
Base Frequency (GHz) P-core 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
E-core 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.7
Processor Graphics Execution Unit (EU) 96 96 80 80 64 48 48
Max Graphics Frequency (GHz) 0.95 0.95 0.9 0.85 0.85 0.8 0.8
Base Power (PL1) 9W
Turbo Power (PL2) 29W

Intel Evo and vPro Announcements

The third edition of Intel Evo specifications now includes a number of new “Intelligent Collaboration” technologies such as AI background noise cancellation, integrated Wi-Fi 6E, and Intel Connectivity Performance Suite. Similarly, the vPro platform has also been updated based on the new 12th Gen processors.

Intel 12th Gen Mobile Processors Availability

According to Intel, there are over 350 laptop designs using 12th Gen Alder Lake mobile processors. We will see these laptops in the market starting Q1 2022.

Mobile Processor Family Availability
Intel 12th Gen (Alder Lake) Q1 2022
  • Meanwhile, check out our review of the MSI GP66 Leopard 11UG (2021).