Intel has announced several new HX mobile processors that include two Core i5, three Core i7, and two Core i9 versions of the new HX CPUs. We've reviewed several laptops already that feature Intel's 12th Gen processors and they've all been solid performers. However, Intel is next leveling things with its new HX CPUs that arrive with 16-cores. Like the rest of Intel's 12th Gen CPUs, the HX will use a hybrid design that splits between 8 performance cores and 8 efficient cores (sound familiar? *cough* M1 *cough*), with twenty-four threads and a max turbo boost of 5Ghz.
The HX cores will come completely overclockable and unlocked, aimed directly at power craving content creators, gaming enthusiasts, and those sneaky data scientists who are secretly gaming instead of crunching numbers and making the world a better place.
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Only four of the Intel HX processors will actually come with 16 cores, with the flagship Core i9-12950HX as the omega level iteration of the CPU that will have a base level power of 55W with a turbo boost power increase of up to 157W just in case while gaming you wish to destroy everything and everyone. The turbo frequency levels will run from 3.6GHz to 5.0GHz, while the normal unboosted levels are in the 2.3GHz to 1.7GHz range. Personally, I would be boosted, turboed up, and overclocked as I edited video or go to battle while playing one of the best PC games.
The charts Intel supplied show that although the HX chips are more potent, they aren't a massive improvement performance-wise versus the current top-end Intel 12th Gen H series CPUs, so if you've picked one up in the past few months you aren't missing out on too much. However, it does leave us wondering how the boosted watts and frequency will affect battery life. Gaming laptops aren't known for being the laptops with the best battery life and the added power can't help. Will you have to be tethered constantly to an outlet to fully take advantage of the performance boost offered by the HX CPUs?
Then there is the related matter of cooling a system that can run at a blistering 157W of power. Tech makers have already been battling the challenge of keeping systems cool with the current Intel H series CPUs and high-end Nvidia RTX 30-series GPUs. Time will tell as we get out hands in them in testing, HX CPUs are slated to start shipping later this month with the Lenovo Legion 7i as one of the first to offer an HX CPU. Look for them to pop up in more gaming laptops, workstations and content creator laptops from Lenovo, Gigabyte, Asus, MSI, and HP. I can't wait to get a hold of one and run it through its paces and see if all the hype is worth it or will it just be an excellent substitute for my grill.