Intel hasn't officially announced the 12th Generation Alder Lake-HX processors. However, Chinese news outlet ITHome (opens in new tab) has uncovered the alleged specifications for the chipmaker's forthcoming muscle chips. Hardware detective momomo_us (opens in new tab) helped fill in the base clock speeds.
Alder Lake-HX will feature the same recipe as Intel's other Alder Lake lineups. The Golden Cove cores and Gracemont cores will hook up to provide Alder Lake-HX with a hybrid design. Intel's mobile Alder Lake processors max out at 14 cores and 20 threads, and Alder Lake-HX is the last addition to the 12th Generation family, offering up to 16 cores and 24 threads.
The Alder Lake-HX lineup reportedly delivers desktop-class performance for mobile devices. However, more cores lead to higher power consumption. While Alder Lake-H has a 45W PBP (processor base power), Alder Lake-HX presumably sees a 10W increase, putting the new chips at 55W. However, the MTP (max turbo power) for Alder Lake-HX is unknown. The highest-end Alder Lake-H chips top out at 115W.
Alder Lake-HX will compete with AMD's recently unleashed 6nm Ryzen 6000 (Rembrandt) processors that wield Zen 3+ cores and RDNA 2 graphics. Intel's Gracemont efficiency cores add to Alder Lake-HX's core count, making it look impressive on paper, whereas Ryzen 6000 has up to eight full-fledged Zen 3+ cores. Inexperienced consumers may fall for the Alder Lake-HX's high core count as the chips appear to have twice as many cores as Ryzen 6000, but we'll need to wait for a thorough review before judging who's faster.
Intel Alder Lake-HX Specifications
|Processor||Cores / Threads||Base / Boost Clocks (GHz)|
|Core i9-12950HX (vPro)*||16 / 24||2.3 / 5.0|
|Core i9-12900HX*||16 / 24||2.3 / 5.0|
|Core i7-12850HX (vPro)*||16 / 24||2.1 / 4.8|
|Core i7-12800HX*||16 / 24||2.0 / 4.8|
|Core i9-12900H||14 / 20||2.5 / 5.0|
|Core i7-12800H||14 / 20||2.4 / 4.8|
|Core i5-12600H||12 / 16||2.7 / 4.5|
|Core i5-12600HX (vPro)*||12 / 16||2.5 / 4.6|
|Ryzen 9 6980HX||8 / 16||3.3 / 5.0|
*Specifications are unconfirmed.
The Core i9-12900HX is the flagship model for the Alder Lake-HX lineup. It has 16 cores and 24 threads with base and boost clock speed up to 2.3 GHz and 5 GHz, respectively. The Core i9-12950HX is the vPro version and will feature similar clock speeds. So, how does the Core i9-12900HX fair against the Ryzen 9 6980HX, the top SKU from the Ryzen 6000 army?
Despite the Core i9-12900HX flaunting 16 total cores, only eight of them are the performance Golden Cove cores. If we disregard the Gracemont cores, the Core i9-12900HX essentially has eight cores, the same as the Ryzen 9 6980HX. Both chips boast the same 5 GHz boost clock, but the Ryzen 9 6980HX has a 1 GHz higher base clock.
Looking at the specifications, it's clear that Intel had to make some sacrifices to the base clock speeds and bump up the PBP for Alder Lake-HX. For example, the Core i9-12900HX has two more cores than the Core i9-12900H, and while both processors have the same 5 GHz boost clock, the Core i9-12900H has a 200 MHz higher base clock.
The Core i7-12800HX received a similar treatment. The chip has two more cores than the Core i7-12800H, but the latter's base clock is 200 MHz higher. Finally, the Core i5-12600HX appears to be the oddball out of the lot. The processor retains the same 12-core, 16-thread configuration as the Core i5-12600H but has a 200 MHz lower base clock but a 100 MHz higher boost clock.
Intel hasn't shared any information on Alder Lake-HX's launch. However, Asus has announced its "Pinnacle of Performance" virtual event for May 9, hinting at the potential debut of Alder Lake-HX.