Computing

Intel Maxes Out Laptop Power with Core HX CPUs

Gaming laptops and mobile workstations, start your engines.

Intel

You'll hear Intel and laptop manufacturers refer to Intel's latest chip as a "desktop-class" processor, but the new HX line of Intel's 12th-gen Core i9, i7 and i5 CPUs are really just the company's most powerful mobile CPUs to date. They share a lot of characteristics with their most recent fixed-location equivalents. They're primarily targeted at creatives, though with unlocked and overclockable i9-12900HX and i7-12800HX options, you'll naturally see them appear in gaming laptops as well, such as the Lenovo Legion 7 models also announced Tuesday.

They're not the first unlocked and overclockable mobile processors (Intel's i9-12900HK is just a one-off), but they do seem to be Intel's first line of them. They do so with a boosted base power requirement of 55 watts and top turbo draw of 157 watts; the next step down is the H series at 45 watts, with a much lower maximum turbo of 115 watts. Intel promises as much as 81% improvement in performance for rendering, with significant gains in multithreaded speeds, over the HK.

The higher power also allows them to support more cores -- up to eight performance and eight efficient in the case of the i9 and i7, just like their desktop equivalents -- and add technologies that haven't yet made it into Intel-based laptops. Those include PCIe 5 (plus RAID) support on the CPU bus for better solid-state drive performance and the ability to support 128GB of DDR5 memory (twice the current H generation's 64GB). 

Of the seven CPUs launched today -- the i9-12950HX, i9-12900HX, i7-12850HX, i7-12800HX, i7-12650HX, i5-12600HX and i5-12450HX -- one from each line is intended for use by professional workstations, with vPro support for centralized management and security, and support for error-correction memory.