Intel today launched its 12th generation “Alder Lake” Core H mobile processors at CES 2022, bracing for a future wave of gaming laptops in the new year. An unexpected surprise is the new class of “P-series” processors, which will meet what the chipmaker calls “high performance, thin and light laptops.”
In October, Intel launched the desktop version of Alder Lake and it said more about filling in the gaps in its desktop processor lineup on Tuesday. (We covered this in a separate story.) But Alder Lake’s new line of eight H-series mobile chips are also designed for gaming, which has prompted the manufacturer to call the H-series moving parts the “best.” mobile gaming platform to the world. ”With gains of about 28% over its 11th generation Core chip, Tiger Lake.
Intel said its 12th generation Alder Lake mobile processors are now in full production and the company expects more than 100 laptops based on the new H-series mobile chips, according to Daniel Rogers, director of product marketing. mobile.
Intel also announced new 12th generation “Alder Lake” processors for desktops, as well as an extension of its Evo platform. Intel also said it has started shipping its Arc GPUs as well.
Intel Alder Lake mobile processors: speeds and flows
Remember, Intel described the architecture of Alder Lake earlier this year with its mix of performance and efficiency cores. The H-series mobile line consists of eight chips with between 8 and 14 cores in total, subdivided into two processor groups with four and six performance cores. The flagship processor will be the Intel Core i9-12900HK, with a Core i5-12450H at the bottom of the processor stack.
The 11th generation Tiger Lake chips had eight cores while the Alder Lake chips had a maximum of six performance cores. According to Rogers, Intel believes that the clock instruction improvements in the 12th generation processor core overcome this limitation. “We have found [through] our tests are that in general the IPC improvements of the [performance] the nuclei are able to handle these cases effectively without regression, ”he said.
All new Alder Lake-H parts consume 45 watts, although turbo speeds require more horsepower. Interestingly, Intel thinks its power-to-performance ratio is better than that of the Apple M1 Max, based on a specific spec_int benchmark. The processor maker allows laptop makers to go below spec, targeting 35W with a 45W processor, or go the other way and over-provision a laptop.
Mobile Alder Lake: features
The two-chip Alder Lake-H package supports a PCIe 4.0 x8 configuration for external graphics, a pair of PCI 4.0 x4 connections for dual SSDs, and 12 lanes of PCI 3.0 connectivity for other I / O. The package also supports four Thunderbolt 4 connections. Apart from that, the chipset supports ten USB 2.0 ports and four USB 3.0 ports as well as 6th Wi-Fi. The chipset also already supports Deep Link, which will provide synergies between it and Intel’s discrete Intel Arc graphics processor, which will launch next year.
Intel executives have said that the H-series processors are in fact PCI Express 5.0 compliant. However, with no PCIe 5 hardware to test on, the company decided to limit its official capabilities to PCIe 4.0.
One new feature we’ve never heard of before is something called Intel Double Connect, which works on the Intel Killer AX1690 Wi-Fi radio. In one mode, it intelligently places game traffic on the high-speed 6 GHz or 5 GHz band, putting all background operations on the slower 2.4 GHz band. It can also act like the old “shotgun” technology that tied old 56 Kbit modems together, tying the channels together for efficient 3Gb / s network bandwidth.
Memory support also includes the wide variety of Intel architectures included in the desktop version of Alder Lake: DDR5 for best performance, LPDDR4X for efficient power / performance, as well as DDR4 and LPDDR5 for larger systems. value oriented.
How fast is Intel’s Alder Lake?
Intel had boasted earlier that the improved instructions per clock (IPC) in Alder Lake’s desktop architecture resulted in a 19% improvement over its Rocket Lake processor and the company uses here. similar metrics: between 10 and 20% improvement in a single threaded performance and 30 to 40% improvement in multi-threaded gains. Intel also claims, using a large list of benchmarks, that the 12th Gen Core i9-12900HK delivers up to 28% faster gaming performance than the 11th Gen Core i9-11980HK. This is in part because of the improvements in the CPI. However, part of it (around 8%) is due to Intel’s own Thread Director API and its ability to intelligently move background tasks to efficiency cores.
All of the benchmarks Intel showed paired the H-series chips with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080, running at 1080p at high settings and above Windows 11.
Intel also showed how the new H-series i9-12900HK chip can also be used for content creation. The chip provided 44% more performance in the Adobe Creative Cloud-based PugetBench benchmark, beating AMD’s Ryzen R9 5900HK. (AMD will likely release its next-gen Ryzen 6 Series cores soon, possibly at CES.) Using standardized testing on the Blender renderer, the Core i9-12900HK finished it in 30% less. longer than the Core i9-11980HK and the Apple M1 Max.
Guy Therien, a member of Intel, also noted that Intel’s Thread Director middleware can also dynamically limit the number of cores the processor can process, essentially putting the PC in a low power state.
What’s next for Intel’s Alder Lake
In some ways, Intel is taking a “go slow” approach for the remaining members of its 12th Generation Mobile Core line. While the company has finally revealed details of the “P” and “U” series processors, executives haven’t spent much time talking about them. We know the new P-series chips address what the manufacturer calls the “thin and light performance segment” which will include chips with up to 14 cores and integrated Xe graphics, blurring the lines between high-performance laptops. and ultraportable PCs.
Intel also revealed details of the upcoming U-series processors (15W for light and light PCs and 9W for tablets) that will power the traditional thin and light tablet segment. Intel executives haven’t discussed Chromebooks, but Pentium and Celeron processors could meet those segments. Also, don’t forget that we should soon hear from AMD about their plans to bring their next-gen Zen architecture to laptops.
However, Intel will not be releasing a so-called “H35” processor, the 35W Intel chip launched with Tiger Lake, for ultrabook class gaming. “We will no longer use the term ‘H35’ in the brand, but the 12th generation Intel Core H series will scale into systems starting at 35W that power ultraportable and super thin laptops,” said a representative from Intel by email. “Due to its scalability, the 12th Generation Intel Core H series will also power many models, from ultraportables to slim enthusiasts, running at 45W, and Halo designs up to 65W.”
“In summary, the 12th generation H-series is the fastest mobile processor ever,” said Rogers.
During his opening remarks, Intel Executive Vice President Greg Bryant told the audience that the next-generation Core processor, named Raptor Lake, is already booting Windows and is expected to launch in late 2022.
This story was updated at 11:19 am with additional details.
As senior editor of PCWorld, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other things. He previously wrote for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK, and ReadWrite.