Intel has unveiled a brand new 55W tier in its 12th Generation ‘Elder Lake’ laptop CPU portfolio. The seven new CPU models, known as the HX series, are essentially desktop-class Elder Lake CPUs that have been re-packaged to fit laptops. The 55W nominal TDP can increase to 157W with an adequate cooling system. These CPUs, announced today at Intel’s Vision Technology Conference, will target a new class of high-end gaming and workstation laptops. With 16 odd cores, PCIe 5.0, overclocking support and high-speed connectivity, these processors are not for the thin and light segment.
The top-end Core i9-12950HX has eight performance cores with Hyper-Threading and eight efficiency cores for a total of 24 threads. P core can reach up to 5GHz turbo boost frequency. 30MB is the total cache memory. This model supports Intel vPro Manageability Framework, but is otherwise similar to the Core i9-12900HX which is more likely to be seen in consumer or gaming laptops. There are also three Core i7 models and two Core i5 models at the bottom of the stack.
Compared to Elder Lake H Series, you get more cores and a higher TDP limit but some models have slightly lower clock speeds and feature less powerful integrated GPUs. DDR5 and DDR4 memory is supported with optional error correction and XMP profile switching, but not with the same low-power standards. Memory and core overclocking are supported on the HX series, with independent control for the P and E cores.
Intel’s The Thread Director feature is tightly integrated with Windows 11 to help assign workloads to the most appropriate available cores or threads. Laptops can use 16 PCIe 5.0 lanes to interface with OEM discrete GPUs, while additional PCIe 4.0 lanes can be used with up to four NVMe SSDs. There’s also Wi-Fi 6E, and optional Thunderbolt.
Laptop makers including Lenovo, HP, Dell, Asus, MSI and Gigabyte are among the first to announce laptop models based on these new CPUs. They can also appear in compact desktops or all, such as Intel’s own NUC series.