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Home / Features / Are Intel’s 12th generation Core chips able to take on Apple’s M1?

Are Intel’s 12th generation Core chips able to take on Apple’s M1?

Intel has announced its latest-gen chips at CES 2022

Intel unveils the 12th Gen Intel Core mobile processor family led by the launch of 8 new H-series mobile processors, based on Intel’s performance hybrid architecture. The eight new mobile processors were introduced Jan. 4, 2022. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

Intel announced its upcoming 12th generation Core chips at CES 2022, chief among which are the H Series laptop chips. But during the launch, Intel claimed that the new high-end Core i9 is the fastest mobile processor ever – and yes, it means that it’s faster than Apple’s M1 Max from the latest 16in MacBook Pro.

That’s some claim considering the performance of the ARM-based M1 Max, but as always things are not as they seem. While Intel deployed one of those vague graphs on stage that never quite seem to tell the full picture (which Apple is a dab hand at using, too), the devil is in the detail.

While Intel claims better performance-per-watt, the simple fact is that the power draw from the Core i9 at 5GHz boost speeds can reach 115W. That’s much, much more than the M1 Max ever sucks from the battery – Anandtech suggests that it draws up to around 40W at top performance.

And, as ever, mobile computing isn’t always just about out-and-out performance; it’s also about other factors such as battery life. And it’ll be really interesting to compare things at that stage. Tests pinpoint the Mac around 15 hours of battery life and it’s unlikely Core i9-based PCs will be able to match that at the same performance levels. But as ever the proof is in the pudding. It’s also worth remembering that Apple is expected to launch M2 chips later in 2022.

Intel’s 12th generation Core lineup is certainly extensive, with 28 mobile processors launching. As with older generations, this is still based on the 10nm process with refinements that should yield significant performance improvements. Intel claims that its new gaming chips will offer around 28 percent better performance compared to their predecessors. PCs featuring the new performance mobile chips have been announced at CES, with availability starting next month.

At the thin and light end of the laptop market, Intel says the 12th gen chips will offer up to 14 cores and 20 threads with Iris X integrated graphics. Systems with these chips – including foldable and 2-in-1s – will be available later in 2022.

More from CES 2022

Profile image of Dan Grabham Dan Grabham Editor-in-Chief


Dan is Editor-in-chief of Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website.  Our Editor-in-Chief is a regular at tech shows such as CES in Las Vegas, IFA in Berlin and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as well as at other launches and events. He has been a CES Innovation Awards judge. Dan is completely platform agnostic and very at home using and writing about Windows, macOS, Android and iOS/iPadOS plus lots and lots of gadgets including audio and smart home gear, laptops and smartphones. He's also been interviewed and quoted in a wide variety of places including The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4, Sky News Radio and BBC Local Radio.

Areas of expertise

Computing, mobile, audio, smart home

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