Intel launches Core HX, its most powerful 12th generation mobile chips

Intel had not finished rolling out its 12and CPU generation! After having launched dozens of references for fixed PCs and several ranges for portable PCs – U, P, H in ascending order of power – here comes the “HX” versions.

Placed above the Core H, these are “the most powerful mobile chips we have ever launched” says the world number 1 in semiconductors. And we want to believe it. While previous models ranged from 9W (U) to 45W (H), the seven chips announced today boast a base TDP of 55W. Yes, it’s starting to pull like a desktop PC.

Logic: thickness of the chip and type of format (BGA to be soldered against removable LGA for desktop chips) apart from the Core 12and Gen HX offer the same dimensions as desktop chips. This is reflected in Intel’s ambition to bring the same power as towers to a (trans)portable PC. This large surface area allows HX chips to pull out all the stops with up to 16 cores/24 threads in a mobile CPU, a current record.

A competitor of the M1 Max and Ryzen 9

The slides of the builders being obviously carefully selected by them, it is better to avoid drawing hasty conclusions on their sole faith.
But the few comparisons with Apple chips (when possible, with SPECint for example) or with AMD (which should retaliate by the end of the year with its Ryzen 7000), show that the chip of Intel has a lot of power under the pedal. In particular its flagship, the Core i9-12900HX, a chip with 8P cores/8E cores for a total of 24 threads (or simultaneous tasks).

Coupled with its frequency in Turbo mode of 5 GHz, it should “cut” the tasks like a lumberjack the trees. But at the cost of power consumption that will soar: with up to 157 W of TDP in Turbo mode, this deluge of power will only be able to hold up over time in suitable chassis… and not too far from an electrical outlet. !
It remains to be seen how Intel manages the power on the battery – one of the strengths of Apple’s M1/Pro/Max chips, stable in its performance whether on battery or plugged in.

This type of CPU is designed for users with a high need for power and favoring designs with a dedicated graphics card. This does not prevent Intel from integrating its Xe chip, but with only 32 execution units (against up to 96 EU in some mobile chips). Not enough to play comfortably, but enough to manage screens without an external chip. And enough to allow users to take advantage of the built-in video encoding/decoding chip, one of the most comprehensive in the industry.

With so many cores and Watts galore, the machine should make players salivate. And to seduce the most crazy among them, the normal versions will be completely overclockable (overclocking). Both from the point of view of the frequency of the cores and of the memory.

Workstation = professional versions

While it is obvious that brands will quickly seize these chips for their most powerful gaming PCs, Intel also has the pro market in its sights. Professionals who have special needs: error correction, platform certification for business software, security guarantees, etc.

Also see video:

Also see video:

Which makes the seven chip SKUs actually four different chips ranging from Core i5 to Core i9. With, for three of them, a perfectly similar version, but certified “vPro” (with end of name in -50) and compatible with the ECC memory with integrated error correction. They lose the ability to overclock cores indefinitely (to preserve stability), but users (or vendors) will still be able to play freely with memory frequencies.

Intel Core 12 chipsand Gen HX will be available in the coming weeks, according to product announcements from PC manufacturers.

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