Intel has introduced a whole new level of 55W in its portfolio of 12th generation Alder Lake laptops. The seven new processor models, known as the HX series, are essentially Alder Lake desktop-class processors, repackaged to fit laptops. The nominal TDP of 55 W can be increased to 157 W with an adequate cooling system. These processors, announced today at the Intel Vision Technology Conference, will be aimed at a new class of high-end gaming laptops and workstations. With up to 16 heterogeneous cores, PCIe 5.0, overclocking support and high-speed connectivity, these processors are not for the thin and light segment.
The Core i9-12950HX of the highest class has eight performance cores with Hyper-Threading and eight performance cores for a total of 24 threads. P cores can reach 5GHz Turbo Boost frequency. It has 30MB of total cache. This model supports Intel’s vPro management framework, but is otherwise identical to the Core i9-12900HX, which is more likely to be seen in consumer laptops or gaming laptops. There are also three Core i7 models and two Core i5 models located lower on the stack.
Compared to the Alder Lake H series, you get more cores and a higher TDP limit, but some models have slightly lower clock speeds and have less powerful integrated graphics processors. DDR5 and DDR4 memory are supported with the option of error correction and XMP profile switching, but not with equivalent low power standards. Core memory and overclocking are supported by the HX series, with independent controls for P and E cores.
The company claims that performance exceeds the current Ryzen 6000 series of the highest class of AMD and Apple’s M1 Max SoC, especially in professional workloads and media coding.
Intel’s Thread Director feature is closely integrated with Windows 11 to help assign workloads to the most appropriate core or thread available. OEMs can use 16 PCIe 5.0 tapes to interact with a discrete GPU, while additional PCIe 4.0 tapes can be used with up to four NVMe SSDs. There’s also Wi-Fi 6E and an optional Thunderbolt.
Laptop manufacturers, including Lenovo, HP, Dell, Asus, MSI and Gigabyte, were among the first to announce laptop models based on these new processors. They can also appear in compact desktops or multifunction devices, such as Intel’s own NUC series.