Intel announced the 12th Gen Alder Lake at CES 2022. It featured the company’s hybrid architecture and its first laptop chip with the new design. The Core i9-12900HK is Intel’s fastest mobile processor.
Intel’s first 12th Gen Alder Lake desktop chips were its greatest success in years. This allowed the company to offer a chip capable of beating or competing with AMD’s Ryzen9 5950X flagship for productivity and gaming. Intel now brings that same approach to chip design to laptops with its Arm-Esque performance cores and efficiency cores.
However, the laptop market has become crowded in recent years. Not only does Intel have AMD’s resurgent Ryzen chip, but also Apple’s superior M1 MacBooks — which include the newly released M1 Pro, M1 Max chips in its 2021 MacBook Pro models. These provided the best performance of any laptop. Also, Intel still has a lot to catch up on.
The good news is that Intel will be at CES 2022 with a vengeance. It boldly claims that its new Alder Lake chips, specifically it’s Core i9-12900HK design and its 5.0GHz boosted speed, can outclass AMD’s Ryzen5900HX and Apple’s M1 Max as the best laptop processors for gaming and productivity tasks.
Intel claims that its latest processor Core i9-12900HK can play up to 28 percent more than its predecessor, the Core i9-11980HK. However, older titles such as League of Legends show the greatest jumps. The generational changes in older games, such as Assassin’s Creed Vahalla and Gears5, are smaller.
The company boasts significant jumps in productivity tasks with a 44 percent increase in PugetBench Premiere Pro benchmarks (a task where Intel claims its new chip can also outclass Apple’s M1 Max) and significant gains in Autodesk benchmarks. However, it’s important to remember that Intel’s improvements focus primarily on performance. The company doesn’t claim any significant improvements in battery life, which is an area where Apple’s chips excel. (An additional caveat: Intel claims that it performed its tests before the Adobe Premiere Pro update added additional M1 Mac optimizations. So those numbers could shift slightly.
All those benchmarks are Intel, so we will have to wait until the new Intel chips arrive in the market so we can test them out and see if Intel has retaken the mobile chip crown.
The new laptop chips, similar to the Alder Lake desktop chip from last fall, offer significantly increased core counts. They are split between Intel’s performance core for tasks that require the most processing power and the “efficient” core for background or less demanding tasks. This latest batch of Alder Lake chips includes a range of 14-core i9 and i7 models, with six performance cores and eight efficient cores. The numbers are reduced by the i7/i5 models, which have four performance cores and four efficiency cores, to eight total cores on the base i5.
INTEL 12TH GEN ALDER LAKE H-SERIES CHIPS
The new 12th Gen chips offer performance improvements and a range of other improvements such as Wi-Fi 6E and Thunderbolt 4, and PCIe 4.0. They also support the latest memory standards, with support for DDR5 and LPDDR5 memory speeds up to 4,800MHz, respectively. However, integrated support for the latest HDMI standards is missing from Intel’s chip (which tops out at HDMI 2.0b and PCIe 5.0 lanes, which Intel offers on its desktop Alder Lake chips).
Noting that Intel’s new mobile chip announcements at CES are just the first wave, it will offer more laptop chips in 2022 using its hybrid architecture design. Today’s news focuses on the 45W H-series chips designed for high-performance gaming and productivity laptops. Intel has also planned to produce 15W and 9W U series chips for “modern thin, light” designs. It also has a new P-series class 28W chips that will utilize its P-core and Encore designs.
While it will be some time before these chips make their debut, Intel has released a glimpse at the SKUs of the new Alder Lake-based P series and U-series chips.