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Laptops

Intel's new laptop processors aim to topple Apple’s mighty M1 chips

It’s the battle of the hybrid architectures

An artistic render of an Intel processor Credit: Intel

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Intel announced the latest additions to its mobile processor family during CES 2022—and it gave us a little sneak peek as to when we can expect to see its first discrete graphics card in decades. The company claims big performance boosts over its competitors, AMD and Apple, due to its hybrid architecture, which mixes different cores dedicated to either intensive or light tasks. We also got some new announcements relating to Intel's 12th-gen desktop processors. Read on for what we can expect from Intel in 2022.

Mobile processing

Building on its newest 12th-generation desktop processors, Intel is bringing its hybrid chip architecture to laptops in 2022. While we found Intel’s 12th-gen chips a hassle to add to desktops, we are excited to see how Intel’s latest processors fair in a mobile form factor, as their desktop counterparts offer incredible productivity performance for habitual emailers and content creators alike.

As in previous years, Intel will have three different mobile processor categories: the H-series for enthusiast gamers and anyone who needs a lot of power; the P-series for thin and light laptops that also serve up some serious performance; and the U-series for thin and light work machines. But at CES 2022 Intel focused only on the H-series.

All 12th-gen H-series mobile chips have up to 14 cores (six performance cores and eight efficiency cores), up to 5GHz clock speeds, memory support for DDR5-4800, DDR4-3200, LPDDR5-5200, and LPDDR4x-4267 RAM, PCIe 4.0, as well as Intel Wi-Fi 6E and Thunderbolt 4 connectivity. In total, there will be eight different SKUs covering Core i9, Core i7, and Core i5.

A man standing on a stage next to a display
Credit: Intel

Intel's 12th-generation processors are coming to laptops in the first half of 2022.

Intel claims up to a 28% boost in gaming performance over its 11th-generation mobile processors (depending on the game) at 1080p with the graphics preset on High. Intel also claims an even bigger boost over one of AMD’s fastest laptop processors, the Ryzen 5900HX, although Intel will have AMD’s upcoming 6000-series processors to contend with.

The company also boasts up to a 33% decrease in 3D rendering time in Blender compared to its last generation of chips—and Intel also claims it can render images in the same program faster than Apple’s M1 Pro and Max chips.

Evo-loution

All of Intel’s 12th-gen H-series mobile processors will also be a part of Intel’s Evo platform, which features long battery life, instant wake, and fast charging. But now, in addition to being outfitted with Intel’s Iris Xe integrated graphics, users will have a choice to opt for an Intel Arc discrete graphics card instead—on certain laptop models, of course.

Intel Arc is the brand name for the company’s upcoming high-end, consumer graphics cards—and the first discrete GPU Intel has made in decades. To compete with the likes of Nvidia and AMD, Arc GPUs will be ray-tracing compatible and incorporate AI-driven upscaling technology to boost in-game frame rates. Also like Nvidia and AMD, Intel has its own name for its resolution upscaling technology: Xe Super Sampling (XeSS); The PC version of Death Stranding will be one of the first games to support XeSS.

Additionally, Intel says users can speed up their video encoding by 1.4X thanks to its Deep Link Hyper Encode technology, which splits the work between Intel's integrated and discrete graphics.

Expect these new Evo-certified laptops to start arriving in the first half of 2022, with laptops featuring Arc graphics available sometime in Q1 2022. Look out for models from Acer, Asus, Dell, Gigabyte, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, MSI, and more.

Desktop processing

A man standing on a stage
Credit: Intel

Intel's upcoming Core i9-12900KS will release by the end of March 2022.

As a surprise treat, Intel announced it will be adding a Core i9-12900KS CPU to its existing 12th-gen desktop line-up, which the company says can reach clock speeds of up to a whopping 5.5GHz. That's a 300MHz increase over the company’s current flagship CPU, the Core i9-12900K! The Core i9-12900KS is set to ship by the end of Q1 2022, so sometime around the end of March 2022.

Intel didn't say much else about the Core i9-12900KS, but looking at that 'KS' suffix, we assume this upcoming desktop chip will be able to hit max clock speeds on all cores right out of the box; Intel has done this in the past with its previous flagship processors.

Intel has also added more 12th-gen SKUs to its line-up, 22 in total, across Core i9, Core i7, and Core i5 models.

To go with all those new chips, Intel also announced new motherboard chipsets are coming to market to support more gamers with different budgets and needs. Joining the enthusiast-level Z690 motherboard chipsets are the H670, B660, and H610. Unlike the Z690, these new chipsets will not support CPU overclocking but will support RAM overclocking (with the exception of the H610).

As always, we're looking forward to putting Intel’s 12th-gen mobile chips to the test in our labs. For more CES 2022 news, catch up here.

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