Launch of 12th Gen Intel HX ‘Alder Lake’ processors with up to 16 cores for high-end gaming and workstation laptops


Intel has unveiled an all-new 55W tier in its 12th Gen “Alder Lake” notebook processor portfolio. The seven new processor models, known as the HX series, are essentially desktop-class Alder Lake processors repackaged to fit laptops. The nominal TDP of 55W can go up to 157W 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 and workstation laptops. With up to 16 heterogeneous cores, PCIe 5.0, overclocking support, and high-speed connectivity, these CPUs aren’t aimed at the thin-and-light segment.

The high-end Core i9-12950HX has eight performance cores with Hyper-Threading and eight efficiency cores, for a total of 24 threads. P cores can reach a Turbo Boost frequency of 5 GHz. There is 30 MB of total cache memory. 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 or gaming laptops. There are also three Core i7 models and two Core i5 models, positioned lower in 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 GPUs. DDR5 and DDR4 memory is supported with optional error correction and XMP profile switching, but not equivalent low-power standards. Memory and core overclocking is supported on the HX series, with independent controls for P and E cores.

The company claims performance that outperforms AMD’s current high-end Ryzen 6000 series and Apple’s M1 Max SoC, especially in professional and multimedia encoding workloads.

Intel’s Thread Director feature is tightly integrated into Windows 11 to help assign workloads to the most appropriate available core or thread. Laptop OEMs can use the 16 PCIe 5.0 lanes to interface with a discrete GPU, while additional PCIe 4.0 lanes can be used with up to four NVMe SSDs. There’s also optional Wi-Fi 6E and Thunderbolt.

Laptop manufacturers such as Lenovo, HP, Dell, Asus, MSI and Gigabyte are among the first to announce laptop models based on these new processors. They can also appear in compact desktops or all-in-ones, such as Intel’s own NUC series.

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