Intel announced its most powerful mobile CPUs yet on Tuesday: the new 12th-gen Alder Lake Core HX-series aimed squarely at the enthusiast market.
The Core i5, i7, and i9 HX-series chips will be unlocked, meaning overclockers will be able to push a mobile chip even farther than they could before; Intel promises desktop-caliber performance in mobile laptops and workstations. That may seem like a tall order, but the new chips will feature as many as 16-cores/24-threads, PCIe 5.0 x16 and up to 128GB DDR5 RAM support, as well as 55W of base power to the silicon. So desktop performance is definitely possible -- if unlikely.
"With the new core architecture and higher power limits of 12th Gen Intel Core HX processors, we’re enabling content creators to tackle the most demanding work flows like never before," Chris Walker, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of Mobility Client Platforms, said in a press release.
The new HX-series chips are marketed towards both creative and technical professionals as well as PC gamers, all of whom will be able to take advantage of more and faster processing cores, the next-gen memory, and PCIe 5.0 components like SSDs.
Announced at the Intel Vision 2022 event on Tuesday, there's no word yet on pricing or availability, only that the new chips will be available sometime this year.
Analysis: Intel's HX-series chips sure look powerful – and power hungry
The specs on the Intel Core HX-series mobile processors definitely look impressive, and given our experience with Intel's Alder Lake mobile chips so far, we have no doubt that the HX-series will be more or less as powerful as Intel claims.
But there's more to the story: We're very interested in seeing how these new chips handle the problem of battery life. These are mobile chips, after all, and laptops cannot legally have batteries larger than 100WHr.
Intel Alder Lake chips are turning out to be a lot more power-hungry than their 11th-gen predecessors, and given the reality that gaming laptops and mobile workstations are already on the low end of the battery life spectrum, the HX-series chips can't help but push that battery life down even further.
If you are going to be tethered to a wall outlet every time you use your Core HX-series laptop, it really is stretching the definition of what it means to be a "mobile" device. That said, we can't see too many enthusiasts objecting to the tradeoff, so we expect the new HX-series to be a hit when it lands later this year.