Intel releases Alder Lake HX chips for mobile workstations and gamers

Some HX chips to support ECC memory and all arrive with some level of overclocking available.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

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Intel has announced its new 12th Gen HX processors for mobile workstations, which will also double up as capable gaming laptops.

The HX lineup consists of a pair of Core i9s, a trio of i7s, and a pair of i5 chips, all of which have base power of 55 watts and maximum turbo power of 157 watts. Intel said the design of the lineup is based on its desktop Alder Lake chips, and optimised for laptops.

The gaming-focused i9-12900HX has eight performance and eight efficient cores, 30MB of L3 cache, and a base p-core frequency of 2.3GHz. The workstation-focused i9-12950HX is identical, but also has support for ECC memory and vPro, and while the former is tagged as having "unlimited core overclocking", the latter has only memory overclocking.

The same differentiation exists for the i7-12850HX and i7-12800HX, which retain the eight-by-eight core split, but have 25MB of L3 cache, and have a base P-core frequency of 2.1GHz and 2GHz respectively. Dropping two performance cores, the i7-12650HX arrives with 24MB of L3 cache, limited overclocking ability, and a 2GHz base frequency.

At the lower end of the HX lineup is the i5-12600HX that has four performance and eight efficient cores, 16MB of L3 cache, P-core base frequency of 2.5GHz, while the 8-core i5-12450HX splits its core equally between performance and efficient, has 12MB of L3 cache, and a base frequency of 2.4GHz. The i5-12600HX has vPro and ECC memory support.

Despite the chips having graphics units, Intel said all devices would ship with a discrete GPU, which includes Intel Arc. In tests with an Nvidia RTX3080, the systems hit three-digit framerates in Far Cry 6, Forza Horizon 5, Hitman 3, The Riftbreaker, and Total War: Warhammer III.

The HX lineup supports up to four M.2 drives -- with two being CPU-attached and one slot supporting PCIe Gen5 and Gen4, and a further pair of PCH-attached storage supporting PCIe Gen4 -- for a total of up to 16TB of storage. Memory capacity on the HX line has been lifted from 64GB on H-series to 128GB of DDR5 memory.

Intel said the difference between the HX and its HK and H-series announced earlier this year was behind able to handle big data, and moving that data quickly within the system, and out of it using Thunderbolt 4.

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