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Intel Takes On Apple, AMD With 12th-Gen Core P- And U-Series CPUs For Laptops

Intel representatives say the new 12th-generation Core CPUs for thin-and-light laptops — which includes a new performance class of processors — outperform Apple’s M1 processor and even its more recent M1 Pro in multiple cases as well as AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800U from 2021.

Intel is bringing its Alder Lake hybrid architecture to thin-and-light laptops with the launch of the 12th-generation Core P-series and U-series CPUs, which the chipmaker said can outperform Apple’s M1 processors and AMD’s Ryzen 5000 processors in multiple cases.

The latest expansion of Intel’s Alder Lake platform, announced Wednesday, consists of six P-series processors aimed at higher levels of performance in thin-and-light laptops and 14 U-series processors aimed at form factors ranging from 2-in-1s to foldables. The P-series processors have a base power of 28 watts and max out to 64 watts while the U-series has two sets of power ranges: 15-55 watts for one and 9-29 watts for the second, the latter of which is tuned for smaller thermal envelopes.

[Related: 6 Big Announcements At Intel Investor Day 2022: GPUs, CPUs And More]

The CPUs will be available in more than 250 laptop designs this year from Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung and other OEMs, with availability starting in March. Several of these systems are expected to be verified under the Intel Evo program, which requires OEMs to provide a certain level of “key performance indicators,” such as nine-plus hours of “real-world battery life,” in exchange for receiving an extra layer engineering and marketing support.

While Intel has released U-series processors for previous generations, the P-series represents a new performance class of mobile processor for the chipmaker. In a presentation with journalists, Daniel Rogers, senior director of mobile product marketing at Intel, said the P-series provides the same level of performance of the 11-generation Core H-series, the previous generation of Intel’s most power-hungry class of processors, at “roughly half the power.”

Performance Claims Versus Apple, AMD

Compared to the 11th-generation Intel Core i7-1195G7, the flagship 12th-generation Intel Core i7-1280P is up to 70 percent faster for multi-threaded performance, nearly two times faster for 3-D rendering and up to 30 percent faster for photo editing, according to Intel.

In a presentation with journalists, Intel representatives said the new 12th-generation Core CPUs outperform Apple’s M1 processor and even its more recent M1 Pro processor in multiple cases as well as AMD’s 2021 Ryzen 7 5800U, which is now predated by AMD’s new Ryzen 6000 series.

For 3-D rendering, Intel showed that the Core i7-1280P is slightly faster than AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800U but a little slower than Apple’s M1 Pro. However, in other instances, Intel said the Core i7-1280P was faster than Apple’s M1 and M1 Pro as well as AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800U for web browsing and photo editing.

Intel said the processor is also faster when doing web browsing and using Microsoft Office applications at the same time as well when doing a mix of photo editing and organization, as measured by the CrossMark benchmarking tool. It shines in application load time too.

Intel’s flagship of the U-series, the Core i7-1265U, is also faster than Apple’s and AMD’s processors for web browsing, according to Intel. For photo editing, it’s faster than Apple’s M1 and AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800U but slower than Apple’s M1 Pro. In addition, it’s faster than Apple’s and AMD’s processors using CrossMark’s benchmarks for productivity and responsiveness. With CrossMark’s creativity benchmark, the Core i7-1265U is faster than all but Apple’s M1 Pro on the competitive side.

Both the Core i7-1280P and Core i7-1265U had higher scores overall than Apple’s M1 and M1 Pro as well as AMD’s Ryzen 5800U using CrossMark, according to Intel.

Specs and Features

The new processors’ features include Intel Iris Xe graphics, memory support for both DDR5/LPDDR5 and DDR4/LPDDR4, integrated Intel Wi-Fi 6E, Thunderbolt 4 and Intel IPU 6.0, a dedicated accelerator that provides both high image quality and power efficiency for videoconferencing applications.

The 28- to 64-watt P-series flagship, the Core i7-1280P, comes with a total of 14 cores, split between six performance cores and eight efficient cores. The p-cores have a max turbo frequency of 4.8GHz and a base frequency of 1.8GHz while the e-cores have a max turbo frequency of 3.6GHz and a base frequency of 1.3GHz. The processor has 24MB of L3 cache. For integrated graphics, the CPU has 96 execution units and a max graphics frequency of 1.45GHz. The remaining P-series parts consist of i7, i5 and i3 CPUs.

The 15- to 55-watt U-series flagship, the Core i7-1265U, comes with a total of 10 cores, split between two performance cores and eight efficient cores. The p-cores have a max turbo frequency of 4.8GHz and a base frequency of 1.8GHz while the e-cores have a max turbo frequency of 3.6GHz and a base frequency of 1.3GHz. The processor has 12MB of L3 cache. For integrated graphics, the CPU has 96 execution units and a max graphics frequency of 1.25GHz.

The 9- to 29-watt U-series flagship, the Core i7-1260U, comes with a total of 10 cores, split between two performance cores and eight efficient cores. The p-cores have a max turbo frequency of 4.7GHz and a base frequency of 1.1GHz while the e-cores have a max turbo frequency of 3.5GHz and a base frequency of 0.8GHz. The processor has 12MB of L3 cache. For integrated graphics, the CPU has 96 execution units and a max graphics frequency of 0.95GHz.

The remaining U-series parts for both power ranges consist of i7, i5, i3, Pentium and Celeron CPUs.

 

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