Intel just raised the stakes for the computer processor industry.
Intel has debuted its new 12th Gen Alder Lake-HX CPUs — desktop-worthy computer chips capable of handling some of the most intense video games without sacrificing workstation operation, according to a Tuesday press release from the firm.
And with Apple's mysterious M2 chip, it looks like Intel is here to stay.
Intel unveils a full suite of computer chips
Earlier in 2022, Intel revealed its 12th-Gen processor lineup with three takes. First was the H-series, designed for high performance. Then the P-series, which is apt for ultra-slim laptop connoisseurs. But for the frequent flyer mile customers, Intel's U-series served as the most portable chip.
These options covered most market sectors across industry product offerings, but it left one crucial niche out: high-powered gaming and workstation computers. These are the hefty devices that aren't meant for constant transport, the ones that make you feel like it's still Xmas in the 2000s, and leave a deep crease in your blanket.
Filling this market segment is the 12th Gen Alder Lake-HX CPU, a new high performance proessor that consists of seven chips, segmented into Core i5, Core i7, and Core i9. These three types come together, in a BGA package roughly the size as Intel's LGA desktop one.
These chips are different from the H-series, in that they can reach substantially higher power levels, and also come with upgraded PCIe lanes, according to a Gizmodo report. Compared to other Intel processors, Alder Lake-HX is best demonstrated by the table below.
Intel's new 16-core processor likely means a thick laptop chassis
It should go without saying that the Core i9-12950HX is king of this kingdom, in addition to being the first mobile chip to feature 16 cores — consisting of eight efficiency and eight performance cores. There are 24 threads in the chip, and it can climb to an astounding 5.0 GHz via its max turbo boost (with a 1.7 GHz base frequency on the efficiency cores).
While impressive, the new suite of chips from Intel don't come with a handshake and a discerning nod. Every one of them starts at a base power of 55 W, and can boost to a turbo power max of 157 W. That makes the HX chips high-octane performance cars, in the world of computers. Intel's H-series are comparatively modest, pumping up to a mere 115 W, from a 45-W base — an unspeakably large 42-W increase.
And if you know anything about computers, you know that with great power comes an unstoppable need to chill out. The computers will need substantial thermal equipment, which means a thicker chassis. We can't speak to how long the battery life will be, but it's likely not the longest lasting laptop on the block. There's much to admire in Intel's new lineup of high performance computer chips. But if we remember the context — that Apple's mysterious M2 chip — this year is a significant re-armament for Intel, and the new chips signal an intention to stay in the game across the entire scope of the computer processing industry.