Intel's Alder Lake-HX CPUs are official, with support for PCIe 5.0, DDR5, and overclocking

nanoguy

Posts: 1,217   +21
Staff member
In brief: Intel says it saved the best of the Alder Lake family for last, so today, it introduced seven Alder Lake-HX series CPUs for workstation-grade laptops. These won't be the fastest mobile CPUs for gaming. Still, they extend the H-series lineup with ample support for the latest memory, PCIe, and connectivity standards, not to mention overclocking.

Intel's Vision 2022 event is in full swing, and the company used the occasion to reveal its enthusiast-grade 12th-gen CPUs for laptops. Make no mistake — these are desktop Alder Lake processors crammed into mobile packages, and they're as power-hungry as you'd expect. Intel's senior director of mobile product marketing for the Client Computing Division, Daniel Rogers, confirmed these are essentially Alder Lake-S CPUs without a heat spreader and integrated into laptop-friendly BGA packages.

All seven CPUs introduced today are part of the HX line, and they feature up to 16 cores and 24 threads with peak boost clocks of up to 5 GHz and a base power of 55 watts. As we learned from a recent leak, these new Core i5, Core i7, and Core i9 mobile parts will draw up to 157 watts under load, so expect to find these in thick laptops with beefy cooling systems and heavy power bricks.

The new processors use the same silicon as their desktop counterparts, so their integrated Xe LP graphics engines have 32 execution units (except the Core i5-12450HX, which has only 16). It's also worth noting the Core i9-12900HX, Core i7-12850HX, and Core i5-12600HX are eligible for Intel's vPro management platform, making them ideal for workstations used in a corporate environment.

Memory support is pretty robust as OEMs will be able to integrate up to 128 gigabytes of it in their designs. They'll also have plenty of options, including DDR5 running at 4,800 MHz, LPDDR5 at 5,200 MHz, LPDDR4 at 4,267 MHz, and DDR4 running at 3,200 MHz. The Core i9-12900HX, Core i7-12850HX, and Core i5-12600HX models are compatible with ECC memory.

There's also support for x16 PCIe 5.0 (or two x8 connections) and four lanes of PCIe 4.0 built into the new CPUs. A dedicated platform controller hub (PCH) extends that with an additional 16 lanes of PCIe 4.0 and 12 lanes of PCIe 3.0, allowing for up to four speedy PCIe 4.0 SSDs. Manufacturers can also equip their laptops with high-end Wi-Fi 6E connectivity solutions and two Thunderbolt controllers.

Intel says the Core i9-12900HX and the Core i7-12800HX support both memory and core overclocking, while the rest of the lineup only comes with memory overclocking capabilities. What this means is that all new CPUs support Intel's XMP 3.0 profiles and Dynamic Memory Boost, while the two models mentioned above support independent overclocking of performance and efficiency cores.

The new Alder Lake HX-series CPUs seem to be all about squeezing as much compute power as possible without burning a hole through your laptop. Intel's marketing charts highlight areas where it believes the new CPUs are faster than their Tiger Lake predecessors, AMD's Ryzen 6000 series, and Apple's gargantuan M1 Max chipset. Intel didn't go into specifics regarding the supposed lead over the competition. However, it claimed a 17-percent performance uplift in single-threaded workloads and 64 percent in multi-threaded tasks over Tiger Lake.

Since these are targeted mainly at workstation-grade laptops, Intel also showcased significant performance improvements over 11th-gen Core processors in a variety of professional workloads.

The company also provided a quick overview of gaming performance. For now, we'll have to take Intel's word for it, but it doesn't look like the new CPU series will disappoint. However, the company did note that H-series Alder Lake CPUs will remain the fastest mobile processors for gaming for a while yet, so in terms of performance-per-dollar, you may want to opt for a laptop with Alder Lake-H.

Several laptop models from companies like HP, Lenovo, Dell, MSI, and Gigabyte will be coming equipped with Alder Lake-HX CPUs. They include the HP Omen 17, MSI's GT77 Titan and GE76 Raider, the Dell Precision 7670, Asus' ROG Strix Scar 17 SE, the Lenovo Legion 7i, and Gigabyte's Aorus 17X.

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Mr Majestyk

Posts: 1,218   +1,113
What's the point of a mobile platform if it needs to be plugged into the wall? The HK's are already a bit of a joke.

Any way holding put for Phoenix next year before I update my laptop. Intel mobile will be of interest from Meteor Lake on, especially Arrow Lake.
 

Tom Yum

Posts: 166   +395
Each to their own obviously, but it seems pretty ridiculous Intel are saying these are even mobile parts at this stage when they have similar power limits to the lower end desktop range.

I get the concept of a portable, desktop-performance level computing device, but personally the thought of gaming or working with screaming fans and sub 1hr battery life when doing anything that requires the computing power provided just isn't appealing. Really wish tech sites would stop hand waving battery life as a 'well these aren't intended to be portable' or 'it would be unfair because every laptop is different '.
 

AlaskaGuy

Posts: 358   +272
What's the point of a mobile platform if it needs to be plugged into the wall? The HK's are already a bit of a joke.

Any way holding put for Phoenix next year before I update my laptop. Intel mobile will be of interest from Meteor Lake on, especially Arrow Lake.
Some people never unplug their laptop when they're using it but they want to be able to take it with them when they travel. Something akin to a portable desktop that fits inside a rucksack and / or carry on.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,980
Each to their own obviously, but it seems pretty ridiculous Intel are saying these are even mobile parts at this stage when they have similar power limits to the lower end desktop range.

I get the concept of a portable, desktop-performance level computing device, but personally the thought of gaming or working with screaming fans and sub 1hr battery life when doing anything that requires the computing power provided just isn't appealing. Really wish tech sites would stop hand waving battery life as a 'well these aren't intended to be portable' or 'it would be unfair because every laptop is different '.
What's the point of a mobile platform if it needs to be plugged into the wall? The HK's are already a bit of a joke.

Any way holding put for Phoenix next year before I update my laptop. Intel mobile will be of interest from Meteor Lake on, especially Arrow Lake.
They are for workstation laptops... as was already posted, they will operate while plugged in but need to be portable.
 

Tom Yum

Posts: 166   +395
They are for workstation laptops... as was already posted, they will operate while plugged in but need to be portable.
I get that, but in the workplaces I've worked in, people that need workstation laptops still have a need to be productive on battery power on occasion, otherwise they are just issued workstation desktops which are still far better at sustained productivity tasks that they need them for. Not discounting people need workstation laptops, but rather at a certain point they become so compromised for the sake of performance (or marketing in Intel's instance) that they start to fail the brief they were intended to meet.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,980
I get that, but in the workplaces I've worked in, people that need workstation laptops still have a need to be productive on battery power on occasion, otherwise they are just issued workstation desktops which are still far better at sustained productivity tasks that they need them for. Not discounting people need workstation laptops, but rather at a certain point they become so compromised for the sake of performance (or marketing in Intel's instance) that they start to fail the brief they were intended to meet.
You can still get a couple hours of battery even in the worst case scenario… that’s plenty for these…
 

Tom Yum

Posts: 166   +395
You can still get a couple hours of battery even in the worst case scenario… that’s plenty for these…
We'll see I guess, you are more optimistic than me, given the 100Wh FAA battery size limit and CPU/GPU power requirements of a HX + decent GPU, I'm not seeing a couple of hours when actually used for productivity.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,422
What's the point of a mobile platform if it needs to be plugged into the wall? The HK's are already a bit of a joke.

Any way holding put for Phoenix next year before I update my laptop. Intel mobile will be of interest from Meteor Lake on, especially Arrow Lake.
I have never used my laptop away from the wall for more than 30 mins. You don’t buy a laptop with a CPU like this if you need battery life. You would probably buy a MacBook Air with an M1. Those things have days of battery, far better than any Intel or AMD X86 solution.
 

Irata

Posts: 2,117   +3,658
The new Alder Lake HX-series CPUs seem to be all about squeezing as much compute power as possible without burning a hole through your laptop.

Looking at the power limits, I have my doubts. Considering that e.g. a 12700H (‚45‘ W) already runs at a permanent 95W in many models, this will most likely be above that.

I am sure some won‘t mind but at least I am looking at good performance in a max 45W (permanent) power range, ideally less.


They are for workstation laptops... as was already posted, they will operate while plugged in but need to be portable.

If you carry them around enough, you start to appreciate every kg less in weight.
 

Crinkles

Posts: 245   +220
I am sure some won‘t mind but at least I am looking at good performance in a max 45W (permanent) power range, ideally less.
Then you're not looking for an Alder Lake-HX, powered workstation laptop/portable.
If you carry them around enough, you start to appreciate every kg less in weight.

Which is the heavy part in Alder Lake-HX cpu'd laptop? They'r not for marathon runs, but are not all that heavy.
 
What's the point of a mobile platform if it needs to be plugged into the wall? The HK's are already a bit of a joke.

Any way holding put for Phoenix next year before I update my laptop. Intel mobile will be of interest from Meteor Lake on, especially Arrow Lake.

Because maybe there are wall outlets anywhere in my home and office and I can plug it in whenever I want ? Battery can last 15 mins for all I care, just need it to stay on till I plug it in somewhere else in my office or house.

I don't need 20 hours of battery life, I dont give a damn, just give me the best performace possible in a portable form factor, or at least more portable than a desktop.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,980
Larger chassis, heavier cooling, heavier power brick, larger battery… these things add up.
The current "top of the line" laptops weigh about 6-7 pounds with the 12900H... battery life is around 2-3 hours.... Adding the HX instead won't make it weigh much more (if at all) and battery life won't decrease that much either... they will be bought and enjoyed... just not by you.
 

Irata

Posts: 2,117   +3,658
The current "top of the line" laptops weigh about 6-7 pounds with the 12900H... battery life is around 2-3 hours.... Adding the HX instead won't make it weigh much more (if at all) and battery life won't decrease that much either... they will be bought and enjoyed... just not by you.
Didn‘t say no one could enjoy them, just that they aren‘t for me.

In general, mobile tech that follows the ‚crank the power to 11‘ approach does not excite me, but that‘s just me.
 

Crinkles

Posts: 245   +220
There's not much I like about laptops, they're always breaking, having battery problems, charging problems, weight and heat are excessive and the personal list goes on. I have never done anything productive with a laptop. I don't watch movies or listen to music or play games on them. I have a tablet for times when a Pc can't be accessed. Laptops just don't offer much utility to me.
The overpriced one sitting here hasn't even been turned on in six months so it's going to the donation bin. I've owned laptops for 25 years and still have no idea why my disregard is so high. I really do appreciate how you feel about yours, and knowing what you want, I have never known what to buy.
 

Irata

Posts: 2,117   +3,658
There's not much I like about laptops, they're always breaking, having battery problems, charging problems, weight and heat are excessive and the personal list goes on. I have never done anything productive with a laptop. I don't watch movies or listen to music or play games on them. I have a tablet for times when a Pc can't be accessed. Laptops just don't offer much utility to me.
The overpriced one sitting here hasn't even been turned on in six months so it's going to the donation bin. I've owned laptops for 25 years and still have no idea why my disregard is so high. I really do appreciate how you feel about yours, and knowing what you want, I have never known what to buy.
Made heavy use of a laptop when I was a weekend commuter, so being able to take it with me to the place I stayed when away for work was important. As it was mostly stationary, weight and size was not really that important but still with everything else I had to take back and forth there were limits to what I would accept.

Now I have a thin and light that‘s mostly used when traveling, sometimes also at home for use while sitting on the couch but tbh it‘s a ‚luxury‘ rather than a necessity.

For work I have a laptop (Dell, pretty mediocre) which is a necessity since I work both from home and at the office. Anything heavy is out of the question as it does get carried around a lot. I would wish for better performance though.
 

Crinkles

Posts: 245   +220
I worked in oil and gas - reserve extension back in diamond years, I missed the early days of tech revolution and adoption, but we had fun. There was a lot of dynamite involved. Lol