Intel unveils 12th-gen Alder Lake mobile chips to take on Apple M1

Alan Martin
4 Jan 2022

Intel claims its new Alder Lake mobile chips will take the fight to Apple’s M1 series, especially when it comes to gaming performance.

Intel has used its CES 2022 keynote to unveil its latest Alder Lake mobile chips that offer a serious performance boost over their predecessors, and should give Apple’s M1 SoCs a run for their money.
The chips contain up to 14 cores, and come in the usual U (9W or 15W), P (28W) and H (45W) configurations, running the full gamut between energy-efficient ultrabooks and more power-hungry laptops. 

But it’s the H-series that was undoubtedly the star of the show offering, according to Intel’s stats, up to a 20% boost to single-thread performance and up to a 40% multi-thread uplift, while supporting DDR5, LPDDR5, DDR4 and LPDDR4, and 16 lanes of PCI-e. Intel claims that in CrossMark and Blender, the new H-series chip is actually faster than Apple’s M1 Max which powers the top-of-the-range MacBook Pros.
All of this translates to a chip that performs better across the board, but especially when it comes to gaming, with Intel claiming up to a 28% improvement to performance on the previous generation with the same paired GPU. Hitman 3 and League of Legends showed especially promising improvements, the company says.

As well as the general expected improvements from generation to generation, part of this boost is down to Intel’s first hybrid architecture where — on the 14-core version — six P cores accompany eight E cores. While gaming, the chip efficiently splits the duties between them, leaving rendering to the former and audio to the latter. 
All of this sounds very promising, but it may be worth keeping an eye on battery benchmarks, as Intel said that this generation is focused more on performance than efficiency, which suggests that stamina may well be a weak spot.
To accompany these new mobile chips, Intel has some new key specs for its Intel Evo standards for what makes a quality laptop. Along with packing one of these new 12th-gen chips, Intel Evo Evolution laptops require WiFi 6e, dynamic background noise suppression, at least a full HD camera and the company’s connectivity performance suite. The Evo standard is also expanding to Bluetooth accessories, and a spec will be added for foldable display devices, too.

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