After making a noticeable comeback on the Desktop PC processor front, Intel has fired a new salvo at CES 2022 by releasing its 12th generation Core processors for mobile.
The new CPUs feature up to 14 cores (6 “Performance” + 8 “Efficiency”), and if you haven’t done so yet, I encourage you to read our Intel Gen 12 “Alder Lake” architecture overview and the desktop CPUs review to have a good idea of what to expect. The overview also details many platform characteristics (bus, WIFI, etc) that mobile also benefit from.
In that review, I suspected that upcoming Intel Gen 12 laptop CPUs would reveal the true potential of the Alder Lake architecture because desktop peak performance doesn’t show the efficiency gains under their best light. Today, Intel has shared numbers indicating that these new mobile CPUs are doing very well, and I’m looking forward to testing them in upcoming laptops.
There are three distinct categories within the 12th gen mobile processors line up, categorized by the thermal envelope (TDP): 45W H-Series, 28W P-Series, and 15W/9W U-Series. They serve different laptops categories: Enthusiast, Performance thin & light, and modern thin & light. The higher the TDP, and the higher the peak performance.
Each category has a different mix of cores, voltage, and frequency to achieve the desired performance goal. Intel shows that its architecture can scale across all computing categories, which is precisely what the market needs.
CES 2022 marks the launch of the 45W processors, also called the Intel Gen 12 Core H-Series, and there are eight models across the Core i9, i7, and i5 variations. Note that OEMs can reduce the TDP to 35W or push it to 65W depending on the cooling system.
From a performance point of view, the i9-12900HK is the most impressive with its 14 cores, 20 threads, and 5Ghz maximum frequency. That model is what you’ll find in the best Intel-based gaming and workstation laptops from now on. Intel expects 100 laptop Core-H laptop designs to hit the market.
According to Intel’s data, this is the “fastest mobile processor ever,” and its peak performance is expected to dwarf the Apple M1 Max and the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX.
Intel claims the new Core i9-12900HK is 28% faster than the previous Core i9-11980HK CPU and that some games might see “up to 43% higher performance” between the new and old processors. Reviewers should be able to independently reach similar conclusions once the first laptops arrive, in February, according to Intel.