Intel says its 12th-gen ultraportable chips are a big step forward

Deepak Gupta February 23, 2022
Updated 2022/02/23 at 6:43 PM

After revealing its beefy 12th-gen H-series laptop chips during CES, Intel is finally ready to shed more light on its new U and P-series CPUs for ultraportables. And just like AMD’s upcoming Ryzen 6000 chips, it looks like Intel is aiming to deliver a huge performance boost while consuming less power than last year’s hardware.

The big balcony? It’s going to be an interesting year for ultraportable PCs, which can deliver enough power to play some games and give Apple’s custom processors some serious competition.

With the Core i7-1280P, Intel’s fastest 28-watt P-series CPU, the company claims you’ll see up to 70% faster multithreaded performance than last year’s i7-1195G7. Notably, Intel says it also offers better multithreaded performance than the Core i9-11980HK, one of its fastest processors of 2021, consuming about half the power. And of course, that also means it outperforms last year’s Ryzen 7 5800U (Intel didn’t have access to AMD’s new processors for benchmarking, naturally).

Like the rest of its 12th generation lineup, Intel’s U and P series chips are a new hybrid design that combines performance cores (P-cores) and efficient cores (E-cores) on a single die. The i7-1280P is a 14-core chip (6 P cores along with 8 E cores) that maxes out at 4.8 GHz on its P cores. Its 28-watt base power consumption puts it in thin and light territory, but can be scaled up to 64 watts to reach Max Turbo speeds. (This is for when you’re plugged in and don’t care so much about power consumption.)

Intel’s 12th generation U-series processors, aimed at the thinnest ultraportables, are led by the Core i7-1265U. This is a 10-core chip (2P and 8E) that also maxes out at 4.8 GHz. Its base power consumption of 15 watts is on the same level as previous U-series chips, but it can go up to 55 watts to achieve its Max Turbo speed.

While Intel’s hybrid design is clearly a step up for P-series processors – the i7-1280P is about 20% faster than last year’s chips in the Crossmark benchmark – we’re still waiting to see how the U-series chips will fare. compared. It’s surprising that Intel isn’t talking much about the performance of the U-series just yet, but we’re betting there would be a significant speed boost just from the architecture changes.

The 12th-gen laptop processors will also feature Intel’s Xe graphics, although it doesn’t look like much has changed since last year. The P and U series chips will still offer up to 96EUs (execution units). According to Intel benchmarks, the i7-1280P hits 82fps in Grand Theft Auto V and 53fps in Chorus while playing with medium graphics settings at 1080p. With high quality settings, it sees up to 115 fps in League of Legends and 81 fps in rocket league— but that’s not a big surprise for less demanding titles.

While we’re still waiting to get our hands on new systems with the latest ultra-portable hardware from Intel and AMD, the scene looks a lot more exciting than it did last year, when Intel’s 11th-gen CPUs were a pretty bland upgrade. Perhaps 2022 is finally the year when ultraportables can finally solve most of our gaming needs.

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