55W and PCIe 5.0 For High-End Mobile

55W and PCIe 5.0 For Excessive-Finish Cell

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Intel right now is asserting a brand new vary of cell twelfth Gen Core household processors designed for fanatic and desktop-replacement class laptops, the Alder Lake-HX collection. Specializing in the extra performance-driven high-end fashions, the Alder Lake HX collection transfers its hybrid desktop design (ADL-S) right into a thinner BGA bundle with up 16 cores (8P+8E) that is extra appropriate for cell units. And because it’s based mostly on that desktop {hardware}, Alder Lake-HX additionally brings with it some further options that have been beforehand restricted to the desktop, reminiscent of assist for PCIe 5.0, in addition to a extra desktop-like base TDP of 55 Watts.

In January of this yr, Intel launched its first Alder Lake twelfth Gen Core cell processors, the Alder Lake-H household. In February, it then introduced extra for the lower-powered market by its Alder Lake-P and Alder Lake-U collection with as much as 14 cores with a mix of its Efficiency (P) and Effectivity (E) cores. Intel has now formally launched the extra premium of its twelfth Gen Core collection for cell, the Alder Lake-HX collection with as much as 16 cores (8P+8E), and its new reminiscence and core overclocking expertise.

The most recent in Intel’s arsenal is designed for premium and fanatic laptops, with seven new chips starting from sixteen cores and twenty-four threads, all the best way all the way down to an eight-core and twelve thread SKU. In keeping with Intel, the Alder Lake-HX collection completes its Alder Lake cell household, with choices spanning many various markets utilizing its hybrid twelfth Gen Core structure to ship a big vary in cell efficiency for fanatics, avid gamers, and workstation use circumstances.

Alder Lake-HX: Alder Lake-S Involves Laptops

As beforehand talked about, the crux of Alder Lake-HX’s design is that Intel is porting their current desktop Alder Lake-S design to cell. This isn’t fairly as stunning as it could first appear, since for years Intel’s H and S collection chips shared similar dies; however since Tiger Lake in 2021, desktop and cell have grow to be a bit extra divorced. On the cell aspect of issues, Intel has used a extra laptop-centric design for its excessive efficiency cell chips, incorporating options like Thunderbolt and better efficiency Iris Plus/Xe built-in GPUs – and in the newest era, transferring the PCH on-package as nicely.

The trade-off for this has been that Alder Lake-H shaved off some CPU functionally to accommodate the bigger GPU and different laptop computer options. Which is why the highest ADL-H SKUs solely supply 6 P(erformance) cores, versus 8 on desktop ADL-S.

Regardless of this bifurcation of desktop and cell, it might appear that outdated habits die laborious, and Intel is bringing its desktop Alder Lake die and related platform to the cell house as Alder Lake-HX. ADL-HX will enable Intel to supply cell SKUs with 8 P cores, additional bettering their efficiency in MT workloads, and shoring up their competitiveness with AMD (whose designs solely supply the equal of efficiency cores). It’ll additionally allow Intel to deliver down just a few of desktop Alder Lake’s extra distinctive options, reminiscent of PCIe 5.0 assist, reminiscence overclocking, and ADL-S’s intensive I/O connectivity.

However which means the ADL-HX loses a number of the cell magic of the remainder of the cell Alder Lake household. Built-in Thunderbolt 4 assist is gone, and the built-in Xe-LP GPU goes from a slightly succesful 96 EU design all the way down to a most of simply 32 EUs, a configuration not fitted to a lot above desktop work. ADL-HX additionally means the discrete chipset is again, because the design does not incorporate the on-chip PCH utilized by Intel’s cell elements.

The Intel Alder Lake-HX collection additionally makes use of a really related packaging dimension to its current Alder Lake desktop processors. Whereas the desktop fashions such because the Core i9-12900K use a socketed LGA bundle of 45 x 37.5 x 4.4 mm, the Alder Lake HX-series makes use of BGA packaging with a thinner 44 x 37.5 x 2.0 mm profile to allow it to successfully slot in extra space proscribing chassis reminiscent of laptops and notebooks. Intel states that that is designed to ship desktop-like efficiency in a smaller and extra cell bundle. However this additionally implies that ADL-HX cannot pull off the form of tightly packed, high-density laptop computer designs because the mobile-first chip designs.

All of which raises the query of why Intel is doing this, particularly now, a 3rd of the yr after the launch of their unique Alder Lake-H household. Ostensibly, it is for efficiency causes, as Intel’s high SKUs acquire two extra P cores out of the deal. So for desktop replacement-class laptops and different high-end units that are not making good use of ADL-H’s cell optimizations – reminiscent of by together with a discrete GPU – they will primarily forgo them for extra CPU efficiency. On the similar time it offers Intel a aggressive edge on AMD, with the ability to supply extra CPU cores (within the type of E cores) in addition to being the primary to supply PCIe 5.0 connectivity (even when there is not something to attach it to but).

None the much less, there isn’t any shaking the sensation that after Intel unified its cell choices with the Tiger Lake household, Alder Lake-HX is an odd step again (and the odd man out) a era later. It is distinctly a desktop platform downsized for cell, and regardless of the identify, it has much less in widespread with the mobile-first Alder Lake-H than Alder Lake-H itself has in widespread with the much more cell Alder Lake-P. In some respects that is one department of Intel’s cell choices catching again up with Intel’s desktop choices, which have gone within the path of extra cores and extra energy consumption – albeit at the price of that department dropping a few of its cell traits within the course of.

Alder Lake-HX Sequence: Seven New 55W SKUs for Cell

Trying on the specs of the seven new Alder Lake-HX collection SKUs, it has two new Core i9, three Core i7, and two Core i5 fashions, every with a base TDP of 55 W and a most (turbo) TDP of 157 W. 

The highest Alder Lake-HX SKUs are the Core i9-12950HX and the Core i9-12900HX chips, with just about similar specs, together with eight efficiency cores and eight effectivity cores for a complete of 16C/24T. Each have a base core frequency of two.3 GHz on the efficiency (P) cores and 1.7 GHz on the Effectivity (E) cores, with turbo frequencies of 5.0 GHz (P cores) and three.6 GHz (E cores).

Each Core i9 fashions embrace 30 MB of L3 cache a 32 EU iGPU. It is seemingly because of the regression in graphics {hardware} from the prevailing twelfth Gen Core H-series elements that Intel intends that producers use discrete graphics for the very best gaming and workstation efficiency.

The one distinction between each these fashions is the Core i9-12950HX has the aptitude for Intel’s vPro performance designed for industrial and enterprise use circumstances, together with official assist for ECC reminiscence (which is not to be confused with the on-chip ECC on DDR5 reminiscence).

Intel Alder Lake-HX Sequence Processors (twelfth Gen Core)
AnandTech Cores

Threads Base

Freq (P+E)

Freq (P+E)



Core i9-12950HX (vPro) 8+8 (16) 24 2.3/1.7 GHz 5.0/3.6 GHz 30 MB 32 EU 55 W 157 W
Core i9-12900HX 8+8 (16) 24 2.3/1.7 GHz 5.0/3.6 GHz 30 MB 32 EU 55 W 157 W
Core i7-12850HX (vPro) 8+8 (16) 24 2.1/1.5 GHz 4.8/3.4 GHz 25 MB 32 EU 55 W 157 W
Core i7-12800HX 8+8 (16) 24 2.0/1.5 GHz 4.8/3.4 GHz 25 MB 32 EU 55 W 157 W
Core i7-12650HX 6+8 (14) 20 2.0/1.5 GHz 4.7/3.3 GHz 24 MB 32 EU 55 W 157 W
Core i5-12600HX (vPro) 4+8 (12) 16 2.5/1.8 GHz 4.6/3.3 GHz 18 MB 32 EU 55 W 157 W
Core i5-12450HX 4+4 (8) 12 2.4/1.8 GHz 4.4/3.1 GHz 12 MB 16 EU 55 W 157 W

Shifting down the stack and Intel has three Core i7 fashions, the Core i7-12850HX, Core i7-12800HX, and Core i7-12650HX. The highest two fashions within the twelfth Gen Core i7 HX collection embrace eight efficiency and eight effectivity cores, with twenty-four threads (16C/24T), 25 MB of L3 cache, and a 32 EU iGPU.

The Core i7-12850HX additionally advantages from Intel’s vPro applied sciences, together with official assist for ECC reminiscence. Each have related clock speeds, though the Core i7-12800HX has a barely decrease base frequency (100 MHz) on each the P and E cores. Nonetheless, turbo frequencies on the Core i7-12850HX and the Core i7-12800HX are similar at 4.8GHz. 

Shifting down a notch, the Core i7-12650HX drops two P cores, bringing it down to 6 P cores and eight E cores for a complete of fourteen cores. It has the identical base frequencies on each cores because the Core i7-12800HX, however with a decrease turbo frequency of 4.7 GHz (P cores) and three.3 GHz (E cores), in addition to barely decrease ranges of L3 cache (23 MB versus 24 MB).

Lastly, and maybe most surprisingly, Intel can be minting a pair of Core i5 HX-Sequence SKUs, the Core i5-12600HX and the Core i5-12450HX. The Core i5-12600HX helps Intel vPro applied sciences, together with ECC reminiscence assist, and it has 4 efficiency and eight effectivity cores (12C/16T), 18 MB of L3 cache, and a 32 EU iGPU. Against this, the Core i5-12450HX has 4 efficiency and simply 4 effectivity cores (8C/12T), together with 12 MB of L3 cache, which could not be optimum for gaming with discrete graphics in comparison with the opposite fashions. And, cementing its standing on the underside of the stack, it has simply 16 EUs for its iGPU, one-third as many as its common H-series counterpart (12450H).

Alder Lake-HX versus Alder Lake-H
Alder Lahe-HX Cores


Freq (P+E)
iGPU Turbo TDP   Turbo TDP iGPU Turbo

Freq (P+E)

Alder Lahe-H
i9-12950HX 8+8 5.0/3.6 GHz 32 EU 157W  
i9-12900HX 8+8 5.0/3.6 GHz 32 EU 157W   115W 96 EU 5.0/3.8 GHz 6+8 i9-12900H
i7-12850HX 8+8 4.8/3.4 GHz 32 EU 157W  
i7-12800HX 8+8 4.8/3.4 GHz 32 EU 157W   115W 96 EU 4.8/3.7 GHz 6+8 i7-12800H
i7-12650HX 6+8 4.7/3.3 GHz 32 EU 157W   115W 64 EU 4.7/3.5 GHz 6+4 i7-12650H
i5-12600HX 4+8 4.6/3.3 GHz 32 EU 157W   95W 80 EU 4.5/3.3 GHz 4+8 i5-12600H
i5-12450HX 4+4 4.4/3.1 GHz 16 EU 157W   95W 48 EU 4.4/3.3 GHz 4+4 i5-12450H

Lining up the brand new HX-series elements side-by-side with their current H-series counterparts, it is particularly clear that CPU cores and EUs are the one factor differentiating the 2 elements by way of performnace. All the i9/i7 HX elements have extra CPU cores than their H counterpart – usually 2 extra P cores, although as a substitute the 12650HX finally ends up with an equal variety of P cores and 4 extra E cores – at the price of built-in GPUs that supply half as a lot efficiency (or much less). P core turbo clockspeeds are equal right here, so the additional TDP is not unlocking greater peak frequencies, and the HX-series elements even have slowly decrease max clockspeeds on the E cores regardless of the TDP benefit.

In the meantime the i5 elements are the actual oddity. The HX-series does not include any further CPU cores in these configurations, so outdoors of a 100MHz extra on the P core turbo for the 12600HX, on paper there is no important benefit to the i5 HX elements. If something, it is tough to argue that the HX elements aren’t a downgrade right here.

Intel Alder Lake-HX: First Cell Platform with PCIe 5.0 and Help for Overclocking

As famous earlier, since Intel is utilizing their disaggregated desktop design right here, the Alder Lake HX-series requires a separate PCH to offer the remainder of it is I/O performance. Right here Intel as soon as extra makes use of a PCIe 4.0 x 8 DMI hyperlink between the processor and the chipset.

However on the similar time, one of many key benefits of being derived from Intel’s desktop {hardware} is that the Alder Lake-HX collection is the primary PCIe Gen 5.0-enabled platform for cell. Every Intel Alder Lake-HX collection processor advantages from a complete of 48 PCIe lanes, with 16x PCIe 5.0 and 4x PCIe 4.0 lanes hanging off the CPU itself, and one other 16x PCIe 4.0 and 12x PCIe 3.0 lanes coming from the PCH. As with the unique desktop {hardware}, the 16x PCIe 5.0 lanes are meant for discrete graphics, whereas the CPU’s PCIe 4.0 lanes will likely be used for NVMe-based storage units.

There’s official assist for WI-Fi 6E MACs, so distributors can implement as much as and together with Wi-Fi 6E PHYs of their alternative. Distributors can play with as much as and together with eight SATA 3.0 and have assist for as much as 10x USB3 and as much as 14x USB2 ports. It’s usually left as much as the seller on how you can distribute its USB arrays, as USB 3.2 G2x2 and USB 3.2 G2 controllers will use extra bandwidth than common USB 3.2 G1 ports. Sadly, Thunderbolt 4 assist shouldn’t be baked into this platform; like its desktop counterpart, Thunderbolt is an non-obligatory characteristic right here. Including Thunderbolt requires utilizing a discrete controller (as much as two), so will probably be left as much as laptop computer distributors to implement their very own configurations and designs.

The HX-series additionally loses Alder Lake-H’s assist for low-power reminiscence, reminiscent of LPDDR5 and LPDDR4X. As a substitute, the brand new platform is designed for use with full energy DDR5 and DDR4, formally topping out at DDR5-4800 and DDR4-3200 respectively. Whole capacities as much as 128 GB are supported, in addition to official assist for ECC reminiscence on the three vPro-enabled SKUs.

The trade-off for being restricted to desktop reminiscence is that it comes with some extra desktop-like reminiscence options. Particularly, Intel has additionally lifted the lid on overclocking assist for the Alder Lake-HX collection, with some new overclocking options designed to squeeze out as a lot efficiency as it will probably. OEMs can now embrace and use XMP reminiscence, permitting for what’s primarily overclocked reminiscence by default. And customers can even do their very own reminiscence overclocking, as nicely.

There’s assist for desktop Alder Lake’s Dynamic Reminiscence Increase characteristic, which permits the reminiscence to be change between JEDEC or XMP reminiscence speeds based mostly on the load. Throughout the context of a cell half, Dynamic Reminiscence Increase permits Intel and its OEMs to supply overclocked RAM with out having to pay the complete energy penalty, by dropping again to extra conservative JEDEC speeds and voltages when the additional efficiency is not wanted.

Intel has additionally unveiled that each the Efficiency (P) and Effectivity (E) cores will likely be independently overclockable from one another. Fittingly, Alder Lake-HX may also deliver with it an up to date Intel Pace Optimizer and an enhanced Intel Excessive Tuning Utility (XTU) designed to offer entry to those new overclocking options, in addition to Intel’s typical one-click overclocking performance. And all seven of the HX-series SKUs will be capable of benefit from this software program and useful, as Intel has confirmed that each one of those new chips will formally assist full reminiscence overclocking and not less than a restricted type of CPU core overclocking – even the vPro-capable SKUs.

What stays a bit murkier in mild of those overclocking options is how a lot remains to be beneath guarantee. On the desktop, Intel immediately sells chips to shoppers; on cell, this isn’t the case. So whereas Intel usually voids the guarantee on any desktop elements which can be overclocked, for cell units that is an all-OEM state of affairs. So whether or not overclocking is roofed beneath guarantee will sit with the laptop computer vendor itself, reminiscent of ASUS. Not each laptop computer vendor is as pleasant with overclocking as the remaining, so that is one thing that must be checked earlier than buy.

New Intel Alder Lake-HX Laptops for Gaming and Workstations: Many to be Introduced

As does occur when a brand new collection of cell processors get introduced, together with it comes a plethora of latest laptop computer bulletins. Whereas we anticipate there to be many to be introduced over the approaching days and weeks from distributors reminiscent of Lenovo, HP, ASUS, Dell, MSI, and GIGABYTE, Intel has already supplied mannequin numbers on just a few anticipated launches to complement its personal launch of the Alder Lake-HX collection.

Whereas we do not have official or any technical specs for the brand new fashions (on the time of writing), we all know that ASUS intends to launch a ROG Strix Scar 17 SE mannequin with Intel’s Alder Lake-HX processors, in addition to the Lenovo Legion 7i, an MSI GT77 Titan, GIGABYTE Aorus 17X and 15X fashions. in addition to a few fashions from Dell, the Precision 7770 and 7670. 

As we have talked about, we anticipate to see many extra laptops introduced that includes Intel’s Alder Lake-HX collection processors for cell, so maintain your eyes peeled over the following couple of weeks for extra particulars on these.

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