Intel is announcing seven new mobile processors. The group, known as the “HX” line, includes two Core i5, three Core i7, and two Core i9 options.
Intel’s 12th Gen mobile chips haven’t disappointed so far. We’ve seen significant performance gains over the previous generation, though battery life has continued to be an area where the company often lags behind Apple and AMD. We don’t necessarily expect the new HX CPUs to buck that trend — these are all about power.
Four of the seven chips here have 16 cores and 24 threads (with eight performance cores and eight efficiency cores). The flagship chip, the Core i9-12950HX, is the real beast. It runs at a base power of 55W, with a maximum turbo power of up to 157W. The performance and efficiency cores have maximum turbo frequencies of 5.0 GHz and 3.6 GHz, respectively, with base frequencies of 2.3 GHz and 1.7GHz, respectively.
The chip is eligible for Intel’s vPro management platform.
Intel is claiming (unsurprisingly) massive performance gains over previous generations. Its internal testing of the Core i9-12900HX (which looks just like the 12950HX on paper, but isn’t vPro eligible) shows a 17 percent increase in single-thread performance over last year’s Core i9-1190HK and 64 percent in multi-thread tasks, as well as a wild 81 percent increase in 3D rendering performance.
Now, we do (of course) have leaked benchmarks from these chips, and while they won’t mirror exactly what Intel tested, the results we have don’t look too far off base. We’re looking at some serious mobile power.
Intel also hinted at the laptops these chips will power, and it’s an…interesting bunch. It includes powerful devices like MSI’s GT77 Titan (which will include the 12900HX, according to the charts), Gigabyte’s Aorus 17X, and Asus’s ROG Strix Scar 17 SE. But there are also some ultraportable consumer devices on that slide, including Asus’s Expertbook B6 (a cousin of one of the lightest laptops ever made). That one, we expect, would include one of the more efficient options here.
It only takes a single glance at the spec sheet to understand that raw power is Intel’s priority here. For many of the laptops on here (for example, the Titan), that makes complete sense. Gaming laptops, in general, are not famous for their incredible battery life.
But these will very power-hungry chips (especially if the desktop chips are any indication). And while a minuscule lifespan isn’t likely to be a dealbreaker for everyone who’s shopping in the MSI Titan category, it does make such a laptop look less and less attractive compared to a desktop. And all-day battery life does make laptops on the AMD side like the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 much more viable to double as a personal or work device, which is already a tough sell on many portable Intel-powered machines that are getting less than a few hours.
That makes the Expertbook a particularly interesting choice. The Expertbook is a line that’s been renowned for both its light weight and battery life in the past — the last model we reviewed put up one of the highest battery life scores we have ever seen in a laptop to date. It’s not exactly the type of device we’d expect to see a chip with desktop power in. Perhaps that indicates that some of these chips will be more efficient than they look, but we’ll have to wait and see as units start to hit shelves.
Computex 2022 is right around the corner, and these chips come just in time for a whole bunch of new releases. We already know what companies like Asus and Lenovo are announcing, and there will be more coming in the next few weeks.