Skip to main content

Intel’s Core i9-12950HX has 16 cores and 55 watts of power

Intel’s Core i9-12950HX has 16 cores and 55 watts of power


Power-hungry chip

Share this story

A mobile processor that reads “Intel Core” on a background of illuminated blue and green nodes.
Feast your eyes.
Image: Intel

Intel is announcing seven new mobile processors. The group, known as the “HX” line, includes two Core i5, three Core i7, and two Core i9 options.

Intel’s 12th Gen mobile chips haven’t disappointed so far. We’ve seen significant performance gains over the previous generation, though battery life has continued to be an area where the company often lags behind Apple and AMD. We don’t necessarily expect the new HX CPUs to buck that trend — these are all about power.

An upside-down processor on a background of intersecting blue and green nodes.
Here’s the other side.
Image: Intel

Four of the seven chips here have 16 cores and 24 threads (with eight performance cores and eight efficiency cores). The flagship chip, the Core i9-12950HX, is the real beast. It runs at a base power of 55W, with a maximum turbo power of up to 157W. The performance and efficiency cores have maximum turbo frequencies of 5.0 GHz and 3.6 GHz, respectively, with base frequencies of 2.3 GHz and 1.7GHz, respectively.

The chip is eligible for Intel’s vPro management platform.

A slide reads “12th Gen Intel Core HX Processors. Mobile Workstation and Gaming laptops”. A circle of laptops surroundes the letters HX labeled HP Omen 17, Gigabyte Aero 17X, MSI GS77 Titan, GE76 Raider, Lenovo Legion 7i, Precision 7670/7770, ExpertBook B6, and ROG Strix Scare 17 SE. The bottom reads “And more to come.”
Here’s the crew.
Image; Intel

Intel is claiming (unsurprisingly) massive performance gains over previous generations. Its internal testing of the Core i9-12900HX (which looks just like the 12950HX on paper but isn’t vPro eligible) shows a 17 percent increase in single-thread performance over last year’s Core i9-11980HK and 64 percent in multi-thread tasks, as well as a wild 81 percent increase in 3D rendering performance.

Now, we do (of course) have leaked benchmarks from these chips, and while they won’t mirror exactly what Intel tested, the results we have don’t look too far off base. We’re looking at some serious mobile power.

A chart titled “12th Gen Intel Core HX Processors Unrivaled Mobile Performance.” The Single Thread Performance chart shows the Core i9-12900HK beating the baseline 11th-Gen Core i9 by 112 percent. The Multi Thread Performance chart shows the Core i9 beating the 11th-Gen Core i9 by 64 percent.
Apple, please take note of how specifically this chart is labeled.
Image: Intel

Intel also hinted at the laptops these chips will power, and it’s an... interesting bunch. It includes powerful devices like MSI’s GT77 Titan (which will include the 12900HX, according to the charts), Gigabyte’s Aorus 17X, and Asus’ ROG Strix Scar 17 SE. We also know that the 12900HX will appear in Lenovo’s upcoming Legion 7i.

But there are also some ultraportable consumer devices on that slide, including Asus’ Expertbook B6 (a cousin of one of the lightest laptops ever made). That one, we expect, would include one of the more efficient options here.

A chart showing the specs of all seven 12th Gen Intel Core HX processors.
Here is the family.
Image; Intel

It only takes a single glance at the spec sheet to understand that raw power is Intel’s priority here. For many of the laptops on here (for example, the Titan), that makes complete sense. Gaming laptops, in general, are not famous for their incredible battery life.

But these will be very power-hungry chips (especially if the desktop chips are any indication). And while a minuscule lifespan isn’t likely to be a dealbreaker for everyone who’s shopping in the MSI Titan category, it does make such a laptop look less and less attractive compared to a desktop. And all-day battery life does make laptops on the AMD side like the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 much more viable to double as a personal or work device, which is already a tough sell on many portable Intel-powered machines that are getting less than a few hours.

That makes the Expertbook a particularly interesting choice. The Expertbook is a line that’s been renowned for both its light weight and battery life in the past — the last model we reviewed put up one of the highest battery life scores we have ever seen in a business laptop to date. It’s not exactly the type of device we’d expect to see a chip with desktop power in. Perhaps that indicates that some of these chips will be more efficient than they look, but we’ll have to wait and see as units start to hit shelves.

A slide labeled 12th Gen Intel Core HX Processors Built for Computing with Large Datasets. Beside a picture of a processor, labels read Extreme Storage, Advanced Memory, Fastest Connectivity.
Here, have more information.
Image: Intel

Computex 2022 is right around the corner, and these chips come just in time for a whole bunch of new releases. We already know what companies like Asus and Lenovo are announcing, and there will be more coming in the next few weeks.