Intel’s Core i9-12900HK certainly fulfills the corporate’s proclamation of being the “The quickest cellular processor. Ever,” based mostly on the outcomes of our early, unique hands-on efficiency testing of a number of 12th-gen laptops.
Intel, which unveiled its 12th-gen Alder Lake laptop computer CPUs simply final week at CES, let PCWorld take 4 practically similar laptops outfitted with the Core i9-12900HK for a spin throughout a dwell stream of our Full Nerd podcast. You may watch us run the benchmarks dwell within the recording of our dwell stream beneath, or try the video model of our efficiency evaluation over right here.
Whereas the 4 preproduction laptops aren’t fairly last items, they’re based mostly on MSI’s GE76 Raider with last drivers, firmware and tuning nonetheless to return. The laptops had been outfitted with the 14-core Core i9-12900HK CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop computer GPU, 32GB of DDR5/4800 RAM, and Home windows 11. The up to date GE76 stays the identical externally because the previous-gen mannequin, however there have been some upgrades to it, together with a brand new MSI “phase-change liquid metallic” thermal pad that reinforces the CPU’s efficiency. MSI has additionally tweaked the 12th-gen laptop computer’s GPU to 175 watts, versus the 11th-gen model’s 165 watt TGP GPU.
We ran all however the gaming benchmarks on laptops set to MSI’s balanced profile, fairly than its excessive efficiency profile, and in addition set to hybrid GPU mode fairly than discrete mode. That’s really how Intel set the laptops up in its lab, which we left intact. Usually we’d go for the upper efficiency profile to get the very best efficiency, however we left them as set and simply needed to level it out to shoot down assumptions that Intel may need “rigged” this efficiency preview by choosing the utmost cooling settings.
We picked the assessments we needed to run, and ran them ourselves dwell on The Full Nerd (subscribe to PCWorld’s YouTube channel when you aren’t already), however make no mistake—these are laptops from Intel’s personal testing labs so you must all the time learn the outcomes with some modicum of salt till impartial critiques are carried out. We do imagine the CPU efficiency you see right here is probably going be pretty consultant of efficiency the manufacturing laptop computer reaches. However no two laptops are the very same—even among the many similar make and mannequin—so you must anticipate just a little variance in high-end Alder Lake gaming laptops, however hopefully not large swings.
It’s best to know, nevertheless, that a CPU and GPU’s efficiency isn’t static. The magic every PC maker brings to it in cooling, tuning, and chosen elements can have very giant impacts on efficiency. Principally, there is no such thing as a such factor as fully isolating the CPU in a laptop computer. It’s essential to consider efficiency based mostly on the overall platform, not simply the CPU or GPU inside it.
To present you a degree of comparability, we’ve included two further laptops:
The previous-generation MSI GE76 Raider outfitted with an Eight-core 11th-gen Core i9-11980HK, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop computer GPU with a TGP of 165 watts, and 32GB of DDR4/3200. This laptop computer set to its Excessive efficiency setting.
An Asus Strix Scar G17 outfitted with AMD’s Eight-core Ryzen 9 5900HX, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop computer GPU with a TGP of 130 watts, and 32GB of DDR4/3200. This laptop computer was examined set to Turbo.
Sadly, resulting from our time constraints we had been unable to replace the 11th-gen Core and Ryzen 9 laptops to Home windows 11. Luckily, for most of the CPU benchmarks we ran, the OS distinction may be minimal.
Intel Core i9-12900HK efficiency preview
We’ll kick off our preview with Maxon’s well-liked Cinbench R20 utilizing its default multi-threaded take a look at. Cinebench relies on the corporate’s Cinema4D 3D modelling and rendering engine that’s bought as a stand-alone utility and in addition included in different merchandise, reminiscent of Adobe’s After Results. It hugs cores to its physique, and extra cores means extra velocity. The outcomes we see aren’t a lot of a shock once you keep in mind that Intel’s 12th-gen Alder Lake H processors characteristic a hybrid design, utilizing six improved “efficiency cores” coupled with eight “effectivity cores” on this flagship Core i9-12900HK. Which means 14-cores (even when eight of them are lighter weight than the Ryzen’s and 11th gen cores) nets extra efficiency in Cinebench R20.
Nonetheless, you’re trying on the 12th-gen Core i9 outpacing the Ryzen 9 5900HX and the Core i9-11980HK by roughly 30 p.c.
As a lot as we want they’d, the overwhelming majority of functions individuals use don’t faucet into each core out there. The truth is, single-core efficiency might matter what for what you do on a regular basis greater than multi-core efficiency, so we additionally ran Cinebench R20 utilizing a single-thread to gauge efficiency there.
Intel’s 12th-gen “Alder Lake” cores vastly increase effectivity per clock and we see that present itself right here, the place the 12th gen Core i9-12900HK is roughly 16 p.c quicker than the Ryzen 9 5900HX and 9.three p.c quicker than the 11th gen Core i9-11980HK. Thoughts you, neither of these rival CPUs are sluggish chips both. Final summer season, in reality, it felt like AMD’s newly launched Ryzen 9 5900HX was a monster in comparison with all beforehand launched CPUs, which was then itself considerably eclipsed by the equally spectacular 11th Core i9-11980HK. Clearly, there’s a brand new goliath on the town.
Up subsequent is the very comparable Cinebench R23, which not like Cinebench R20, takes about 10 minutes to run. That time is necessary as a result of trendy CPUs all generate warmth as they run and ease off the pedal after they warmth up. Whereas Cinebench R20 takes possibly a minute or so to run, the 10 minutes of Cinebench R23 is more likely to depress efficiency. The excellent news for 12th-gen is it’s nonetheless the winner, since 14 cores remains to be greater than Eight cores. The efficiency distinction between the CPUs shut up just a little however the Core i9-12900HK nonetheless affords a commanding 23 p.c benefit over the Ryzen 9 5900HX and 16 p.c over the 11th-gen Core i9.
One different benefit to working Cinebench R23 is Mac followers may examine efficiency instantly, since Maxon’s Cinebench R23 has native model for Apples new M1 line. Whereas we’ve got in a roundabout way examined the MacBook Professional 14, our sister publication Macworld has, and recorded a rating of 12,381 for the MacBook Professional 14 with its 10-core M1 Professional CPU. That might give the 12th gen Core i9-12900HK a 21 p.c benefit over a MacBook Professional 14. Macworld didn’t assessment the M1 Max, however others retailers have retailers have reported efficiency to vary from 12,300 to 12,700 for the quicker M1 Max.
Like Cinebench R20, we additionally document a rating in Cinebench R23 utilizing a single thread. Apparently, we really see the hole open up just a little right here, with the 12th gen Core i9-12900HK outpacing the Ryzen 9 5900HX by about 26.5 p.c and the 11th gen Core i9-11980HK by 16.6 p.c. For the M1 Professional within the MacBook Professional 14, Macworld recorded a rating of 1,531. That’s a bonus of 23.6 p.c for the 12th-gen CPU over the M1 Professional.
Up subsequent is BAPCo’s CrossMark benchmark. It’s primarily a scaled-down model of its sprawling SYSMark take a look at, which makes use of actual functions to gauge efficiency. However fairly than industrial functions, CrossMark is constructed utilizing open-source packages and meant to gauge productiveness, artistic (picture and video), and responsiveness, which it defines as switching between software program or beginning an utility. It’s compiled with open-source compilers and is designed to run on Home windows, MacOS, iOS and Android alike. On the Home windows PCs, the 12th-gen Core i9 is a beefy 36 p.c quicker than the Ryzen 9 5900HX and in addition spectacular 21.5 p.c quicker than the 11th-gen Intel chip.
Once more, we didn’t have a rating for CrossMark for MacOS, however the public database BAPCo publishes places the quickest M1 Max laptop computer at 1,670, which lands the Core i9-12900HK at about 18 p.c quicker. Like all public benchmark databases, it’s all the time onerous to know the provenance of the outcomes, however we’ll hope for the most effective. Trying into the main points, M1 Max does barely outpace the 12th-gen Core i9 within the Creativity portion, with a rating of two,254 vs. the 12th gen’s 2,132, however the latest Intel CPU beats it in productiveness by 25 p.c with a rating of 1,874. Apparently the Alder Lake H system additionally crushes the M1 Max in CrossMark’s “Responsive” take a look at to the tune of 59.9 p.c, with a rating of 1,836 for the Core i9.
All-in-one suites reminiscent of CrossMark try to measure all the pieces you would possibly do in your laptop, however the overwhelming majority of the world brings residence the turkey bacon utilizing Microsoft’s Workplace suite. So to maintain Invoice Lumberg pleased, we additionally ran UL’s Procyon Workplace take a look at, which makes use of Microsoft Phrase, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook to simulate what most individuals do all day whereas ready for five p.m. to return. The 12th gen Core i9-12900HK wins, however it’s actually only a meh, with Intel’s new chip outpacing the 11th-gen Core and Ryzen 9 programs by solely 5 p.c. Frankly, when you’re utilizing a Core i9 or Ryzen 9 with a GeForce RTX 3080 to primarily pound out a PowerPoint, you’re in all probability doing it flawed.
Our subsequent result’s Principled Applied sciences WebXprt three. It’s a web-based benchmark designed to measure browser efficiency at picture enhancement, organizing an album utilizing AI, inventory possibility pricing, encryption notes, OCR scans, gross sales graphs, and on-line homework. These are pretty superior options for a browser take a look at. All of our outcomes had been generated utilizing Edge on the Chromium 97.
The Core i9-12900HK once more leads the sector, handing over a rating about 9.5 p.c quicker than the 11th-gen chip and 16.2 p.c quicker than the Ryzen 9.
We did handle to run video games on the 12th gen Core i9-12900HK, however there are a whole lot of caveats with our comparability that we actually wish to spotlight in yellow. Though all the laptops characteristic GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop computer GPUs, their energy scores weren’t the identical, which may make any comparability in gaming actually sketchy. That’s very true for the Ryzen 9 system, which was paired with a GPU rated at 130 watts vs. the 11th-gen’s 165 watts, and the 12th-gen’s 175 watts. That’s mainly a 27 p.c bigger thermal and energy finances for the 11th-gen laptop computer and 35 p.c for the Core i9-12900HK laptop computer. Between the 11th-gen and the 12th-gen, there’s solely a few 6 p.c distinction in GPU energy.
That mentioned, also needs to level out that one of many issues we noticed final yr was problem in getting a whole lot of gaming laptops with larger wattage GPUs. So if most 165 watt GPUs had been solely in Intel machines, then possibly it’s really a good comparability?
Gaming efficiency isn’t all the time about GPU wattage although and we see that beneath in our first outcome from Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation. We ran this benchmark at 1080p utilizing the Loopy preset for graphics and go for the CPU-focused benchmark run. The CPU-focused benchmark places extra items on the display, which ought to push the CPU tougher than the common GPU-focused take a look at. You may see the Ryzen 9 and 11th-gen programs are dead-even regardless of have a sizeable GPU thermal finances distinction. That truly makes us much more impressed by the Core i9-12900HK’s 11.7 p.c lead over the others. The take a look at mainly doesn’t appear to care about GPU wattage but Intel’s new chip is forward by double-digits within the CPU take a look at.
Our subsequent recreation result’s Far Cry New Daybreak run at 1080p utilizing the extremely preset. The caveat right here is that this recreation collection has lengthy given AMD’s chips the raspberry, however that modified with the Ryzen 5000-series of desktop chips, which noticed AMD really eclipse Intel’s greatest 10th-gen desktop chip finally. The laptop computer Ryzen 5000, nevertheless, options much less cache, which can not give it the identical increase. Nonetheless, given the 35 p.c bigger GPU thermal finances within the Core i9-12900HK laptop computer, we don’t suppose it’s essentially truthful to make direct comparisons with the Ryzen 9 system, so contemplate it there for reference.
We do suppose it’s truthful to match efficiency towards the 11th-gen GE76 Raider, nevertheless, since each GPUs are separated by simply 10 watts of energy. The 12th-gen GE76 with a Core i9-12900HK inside pulls up the win by double digits, with a body fee about 11.Eight p.c quicker.
Our final recreation result’s from the favored Counter Strike: International Offensive which is a graphically low-intensity recreation on this age. We assumed that might make it largely a CPU-intensive recreation, however the outcomes curiously largely mirror the GPU wattage variations between the completely different laptops. The Core i9-12900HK laptop computer remains to be quicker than the 11th-gen pocket book, however we’re oly taking a look at roughly a 6 p.c win. We’ll simply have to attend for last drivers to actually make any dedication in gaming.
We saved our final official outcome for the Official Benchmark of Twitter Shouting Matches: Geekbench 5. It’s a well-liked, cross-platform benchmark based mostly round a set of small programming “loops” which can be designed to simulate varied features reminiscent of JPEG decompression, textual content decompression, encryption, AI and extra. We discover most of Geekbench’s worth to be within the sub-scores that allow you to dive into every particular person outcome’s efficiency. We additionally usually solely examine outcomes on the identical platform. However that’s not how Twitter scorching takes are created, so we’ll keep on with simply the general rating right here.
The outcome provides the Intel Core i9-12900HK an enormous 56.6 p.c benefit over the Ryzen 9 5900HX chip. The 12th-gen chip is equally spectacular in comparison with its predecessor, with a 40 p.c improve in efficiency over the 11th-gen Core i9. Once more, it’s price remembering that these are not sluggish CPUs, with the 11th-gen Core and Ryzen 9 chips delivering jaw-dropping efficiency simply final summer season—making the 12900HK’s win all of the extra staggering.
We don’t have an in-house rating for the M1 Professional, so we’ll crib from Macworld once more. It experiences a rating of 12,590 for the 10-core M1 Max and a rating of 12,544 for the 10-core M1 Professional. That places the M1 Max simply 6 p.c away from the 12th-gen Core i9, and though Geekbench’s utility as the ultimate phrase on efficiency has some actual limits, it’s nonetheless a powerful exhibiting nonetheless for each Apple’s M1 and Intel’s 12th-gen chips.
What occurs once you attempt to deconstruct the efficiency of an Eight-core Ryzen 9 or 11th-gen Core i9 versus a 10-core M1 Max and the 14-core Core i9-12900HK? You have a look at GeekBench 5’s single-core efficiency benchmark. In opposition to the Ryzen 9, the 12th-gen Core i9 reveals a bonus of 27 p.c, and a 14.6 p.c acquire versus the 11th-gen Core chip.
Referencing Macworld’s assessment of the MacBook Professional once more, we see close to similar scores of 1,774 for the M1 Max and 1,778 for the M1 Professional—mainly inside the margin of error. That places the Core i9-12900HK with a 6.Eight p.c win over the M1 Professional and M1 Max so, sure, head for Twitter of us.
For our final rating, we ran PugetBench’s Premiere Professional benchmark, however that is one take a look at the place we marvel if extra tuning is but to return. PugetBench is Puget System’s well-liked benchmark that measures a reasonably superior set of actions and exports in Adobe’s Premiere Professional.
We sadly don’t have scores for the Ryzen 9 and the 11th-gen Core i9 laptops utilizing the present model of Premiere Professional (22.1), so we dug up some revealed scores from PugetBench’s database of consumer generated scores. Since we do not know what situations they had been run in, we don’t have the identical religion in them because the scores from, say, Macworld or different reviewers. Nonetheless we did see a rating within the database of 693 for a Ryzen 9 5900HX laptop computer with a GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop computer GPU, and a rating of 892 from an Core i9-11980HK laptop computer with a GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop computer GPU. The Core i9-12900HK coughed up a strong 1,037, which might make you suppose it’s case closed. The issue for the 12th-gen Core i9 is the reported rating in PugetBench’s database for an M1 Max MacBook Professional: 1,324. Just like the Ryzen 9 and 11th gen Core i9, we don’t know the situations run for that MacBook Professional, however it’s spectacular nonetheless.
On the similar time, we’ve seen very giant efficiency swings in PugetBench’s Premiere Professional benchmark based mostly on the QuickSync functionality in Intel’s built-in graphics cores. It’s totally attainable we’ll see the Core i9-12900HK’s PugetBench rating transfer up with last drivers. And it’s additionally attainable it received’t transfer in any respect both. We’ll have to attend and see.
And that, finally, is the weak spot of any efficiency preview. Whereas it’s been enjoyable to see Intel’s 12th-gen Core i9-12900HK strut its stuff and outpace its Ryzen 9, 11th-gen Core i9, and M1 Max rivals in lots of duties, you have to wait till we’ve got last numbers from reviewers of ultimate merchandise earlier than making any shopping for choices. Hopefully you received’t have to attend lengthy.
Editor’s observe: After publication, we up to date this text to tweak the color-coding within the charts for simpler differentiation, and to appropriate the TGP information within the listings of some graph. We apologize for the error.