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Intel unveils high-performance 14th Gen HX laptop chips at CES 2024

Intel launches 14th Gen HX CPUs

Intel's 14th Gen HX CPUs arrive and they're going to power 2024's gaming laptops

Last month saw the biggest shakeup in Intel’s mobile CPU lineup in years when the Intel Core Ultra range of chips arrived. We’ve already reviewed a couple of machines based on the Core i7 Ultra and have been impressed, in particular with the performance of the integrated Arc Graphics. The arrival of Core Ultra, however, doesn’t mean the end of the venerable Core i-series.

Instead, Intel is pushing its Core i- brand of CPUs into the high end and has just taken the wraps off its Core i5, Core i7 and Core i9 14th Gen HX CPUs at CES in Las Vegas.

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Intel Core (14th-gen) HX series CPUs: Specifications

Intel Core i9-14900HX

  • 24 cores (8 performance, 16 efficiency)
  • 32 threads
  • Performance Core Max Turbo Boost: 5.8GHz
  • Efficiency core Max Turbo Boost: Up to 4.1GHz
  • Smart Cache: 36MB

Intel Core i7-14700HX

  • 20 cores (8 performance, 12 efficiency)
  • 28 threads
  • Performance Core Max Turbo Boost: 5.5GHz
  • Efficiency core Max Turbo Boost: Up to 3.9GHz
  • Smart Cache: 33MB

Intel Core i7-14650HX

  • 16 cores (8 performance, 8 efficiency)
  • 24 threads
  • Performance Core Max Turbo Boost: 5.2GHz
  • Efficiency core Max Turbo Boost: Up to 3.7GHz
  • Smart Cache: 30MB

Intel Core i5-14500HX

  • 14 cores (6 performance, 8 efficiency)
  • 20 threads
  • Performance Core Max Turbo Boost: 4.9GHz
  • Efficiency core Max Turbo Boost: Up to 3.5GHz
  • Smart Cache: 24MB

Intel Core i5-14450HX

  • 10 cores (6 performance, 4 efficiency)
  • 16 threads
  • Performance Core Max Turbo Boost: 5.5GHz
  • Efficiency core Max Turbo Boost: Up to 3.9GHz
  • Smart Cache: 33MB

Intel Core (14th-gen) HX series CPUs: Key features and first impressions

The new chips are designed principally for high-performance laptops, so you won’t be finding them in lightweight ultraportables any time soon. Instead, it’s high-end gaming laptops such as the Acer Predator Helios and Helios Neo, the MSI Raider GE78 and Asus Strix Scar 18 and 16 that will benefit from the new 14th Gen chips.

Unlike the Core Ultra range, which is made up of a series of ‘chiplets’ or ‘tiles’, each dedicated to a different task (NPU, SoC, CPU and GPU), the Core i9-14900HX and Core i7-14700HX adhere to the previous Intel CPU architecture.

As such, they only come with relatively weak integrated Intel UHD Graphics, intended for low-power jobs; instead, the lion’s share of the graphics work is taken up by a discrete graphics chip. All the laptops we’ve seen announced so far at CES 2024 (such as the machines listed above) have discrete Nvidia GeForce RTX 40-series GPUs inside.

In all, Intel is releasing five of these new high-power chips and the headline specifications look pretty similar to the 13th Gen chips, certainly when it comes to thread and core counts. The top-end Core i9-14900HX, for instance, has 24 total cores (eight performance cores and 16 efficiency cores) with 32 threads, just the same as the 13th Gen Core i9 HX chips from last year.

It’s worth noting, however, that Intel has given the top-end 14th Gen Core i7 part a boost, though. The Core i7-14700HX comes with 50% more efficiency cores than before, upping the total core count from 16 to 20.

Acer Predator Helios 2024

More differences become apparent when you look at the details. The Max Turbo frequency has risen slightly – here from 5.6GHz to 5.8GHz on the performance cores and from 4GHz to 4.1GHz on the efficiency cores – which should lead to overall performance gains.

There are some new features, too. The new chips support the new Thunderbolt 5 standard, for instance, and also some features from the desktop range, announced last year. One of these, highlighted by Intel at the launch, is Intel Application Optimization, which essentially optimises CPU resources for different games, with the aim of getting the most out of the performance at hand.

Users can see which games on their system have optimisations available for them by using the Intel Application Optimization software, where they can toggle those optimisations on or off. All the new HX CPUs are overclockable, as per previous generations of HX chips.

MSI Raider GE78 14VIG with 14th Gen intel chip inside

Intel Core (14th-gen) HX series CPUs: Early verdict

It’s impossible at this stage to say with any certainty how the new chips are going to perform in the real world, but Intel did release some benchmark numbers for the MSI Raider GE78 system. From a cursory look at the Cinebench R23 numbers and comparing those to the Alienware m18’s results, it doesn’t look like the needle has moved much.

But that only reflects one small part of overall system performance. We’ll reserve judgement on the new chips until we’ve had the chance to put a laptop with the new chip inside through our full suite of tests.

Fortunately, it doesn’t look like we’ll have long to wait until we see our first 14th Gen HX systems through the doors at Expert Reviews with so many newly launched systems released alongside it at CES 2024. Look out for the reviews soon.

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