November 30, 2023

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A new round of x86 processor battle begins: Intel fights back

7 min read

A new round of x86 processor battle begins: Intel fights back or AMD defends?

Intel officially released the 12th generation CPU Alder Lake processor in January 2021.


The new “performance core + energy efficiency core” hybrid architecture design achieves a balance between performance and cost, leading Intel out of the AMD Zen 3 processor and the 11th generation desktop CPU “shadow”.


Although the 12th generation CPU is very competitive, it only included 6 desktop CPUs at the time, and did not cover the mid-range desktop and notebook platforms.


And on January 5th, everyone finally waited for the mobile version and the desktop version of the 12-generation Core at CES.

The mobile version includes 28 new products, and there are as many as 22 new products on the desktop, covering almost the entire product line and the full price range from dual-core Celeron to the top i9.


And AMD also released a new Ryzen 6000 series mobile processor at CES, and a new processor war for the X86 platform has begun. Will this year be staged the “Intel Counterattack” or the “AMD Defending Game”?


Desktop: 28 12th-generation Core processors and 4 motherboards


A new round of x86 processor battle begins: Intel fights back or AMD defends?Image source anandtech↑

A new round of x86 processor battle begins: Intel fights back


Including the previous 6 models, the current 12-generation Core desktop product line has 28 products.


The i9, i7, and the highest-end two i5 have energy-efficient cores, and the number of cores configuration has not changed much for the next products:

  • There are 5 top i9 models, all of which have 8 performance cores + 8 energy efficiency cores, 30MB L3 cache, TDP from 35W i9-12900T to 125W i9-12900K/KF, the highest core frequency is 5.2GHz
  • The i7 series is also 5 models, all with 8 performance cores + 4 energy efficiency cores, 25MB L3 cache, TDP from 35W i7-12700T to 125W i7-12700K/KF, the highest core frequency is 5.0GHz
  • There are 9 models of the i5 series, all with 6 performance cores. The highest-end i5-12600K/KF (2.8-4.9GHz) also comes with 4 energy-efficient cores, 20MB L3 cache, and 125W TDP. The rest include i5-12400/i5-12400T/i5-12400F, i5-12500/i5-12500T/i5-12500F, i5-12600, etc. 7 models
  • There are 5 models of i3 series, all with 4 performance cores, including i3-12100/i3-12100F/i3-12100T, i3-12300/i3-12300T
  • Pentium has two models, G7400 and G7400T, and Celeron has two models, G6900/G6900T, both of which have only two performance cores.


The K suffix is ​​the overclockable version, the F suffix is ​​the non-core display version, the KF suffix is ​​the non-core display overclockable version, and the T suffix is ​​35W TDP (i9-12900T is 35W TDP, but the Turbo power is still as high as 106W) .

A new round of x86 processor battle begins: Intel fights back or AMD defends?


Of course, what makes players most happy is the H670, B660 and H610 motherboards released together. Compared with the expensive Z690 motherboards before, it can effectively lower the price of the 12th generation Core board U package.


In addition, Intel has finally updated the official radiator, including the RH1 radiator with RGB lights, and the copper bottom, which can press the i9 with 202W Turbo power;

while the i3 to i7 products are equipped with RM1 radiators, which can cope with CPUs with 180W Turbo power. The entry-level Pentium and Celeron match the RS1 radiator.


Mobile terminal: 3 series of 28 new products, claiming that the performance per watt is higher than M1 Max

The mobile side is also very lively, including the Alder Lake-H standard version for high-end gaming laptops, the Alder Lake-U low-voltage version for ultra-thin laptops, and the Alder Lake-P series for workstations, a total of 28 products.


A new round of x86 processor battle begins: Intel fights back or AMD defends?


The first are 8 Alder Lake-H standard processors from i5 to i9, all of which are 45W TDP, the suffix with 50 is the version with 4 energy efficiency cores, and the rest are all 8 energy efficiency cores:

  • The four models i9-12900HK, i9-12900H, i7-12700H, and i7-12800H have 6 performance cores + 8 energy efficiency cores (a total of 20 threads). The first two performance cores have the highest frequency of 5.0GHz, and the latter two are different It is 4.8 and 4.7GHz;
  • i7-12650H has 6 performance cores + 4 energy efficiency cores (16 threads in total), with a maximum frequency of 4.7GHz;
  • i5-12600H and i5-12500H are 4 performance cores + 8 energy efficiency cores (also 16 threads), the highest frequency of the performance core is 4.5GHz
  • i5-12450H is 4 performance cores + 4 energy efficiency cores (12 threads), the highest frequency is 4.4GHz


Intel said that more than 100 products will use 12-generation standard pressure processors, covering different products from 35W to 65W, claiming that the performance per watt is higher than that of Apple M1 Max and AMD R9-5900H (here it is stretched because of the absolute performance improvement Energy consumption ratio.

Apple: Can it be compared with my 35W CPU?), 1080p game performance is increased by 28%, and content creation performance is increased by 44%.


The new Alder Lake-P series processors are specifically designed for workstation platforms. There are 6 models in total. The core specifications are the same as the Alder Lake-H standard version. However, the frequency is reduced in pursuit of energy efficiency, and the TDP is reduced from 55W to 28W.


There are 14 models for the ultra-thin Alder Lake-U low-voltage version, 7 models each for 15W TDP (named “12X5”) and 9W TDP (named “12X0”), mainly due to the frequency difference. Here we mainly mention the former:

  • 2P+8E with a total of 12 threads i7-1265U and i7-1255U (both with 96EU GPU), i5-1254U and i5-1235U (GPU is only 80EU, and the frequency is lower)
  • 2P+4E i3-1215U with 8 threads in total, 64EU CPU
  • Pentium 8505 and Celeron 7305 are both designed with 1P+4E and a total of 6 threads


AMD Ryzen 6000 series processor mobile version: high frequency CPU + doubled core display performance


Also at CES, AMD also released a new Ryzen 6000 series mobile processor, with TSMC 6nm process, new “Zen 3+” architecture CPU, and RDNA 2 architecture core display.

The new processors include 2 low-voltage versions of the U series (15W to 28W) and 8 standard versions of the H series (35W+ and 45W+).


Image source anandtech↑



The Zen 3+ architecture is mainly to increase frequency and improve power management: the highest frequency of R9-6980HX and R9-6980HS rushes to 5GHz, AMD claims that the multi-threading performance of R7-6800U is increased by 130% (but AMD’s 6800U is 28W, and Not 15W);

to reduce idle and high-frequency power consumption, and improve the battery life of mobile devices, AMD claims that the power consumption of web browsing and video playback is reduced by 15%-40%.


Other improvements to the CPU include support for DDR5 memory (DDR5-5200 and LPDDR5-6400), support for PCIe 4.0, native support for USB4 (which can run Thunderbolt 3), and AV1 hardware solution.

A new round of x86 processor battle begins: Intel fights back or AMD defends?


Compared with the improvement of the CPU part, the GPU part is much more exciting. RDNA 2 is the strongest nuclear display in AMD history, and its performance is directly doubled.

The RDNA 2 core display has 12 sets of CUs, and the frequency has been increased from 2.0GHz of the previous generation to 2.4GHz, the cache is doubled, the raster performance is doubled, the rendering back-end is doubled, and it supports ray tracing, Awesome!


Compared with the previous generation of R7-5800U (15W), AMD claims that the R7-6800U (28W) has a performance increase of 1.8 times to 2 times, which is 1.2 times to 3 times that of competitors under 1080p games.

With AMD FidelityFX technology, it is claimed that the number of game frames can be increased by 20%-60%.

In addition, the 35W standard pressure platform can be used with AMD graphics cards to use SmartShift Max, allowing the CPU and independent display to dynamically adjust the power to improve performance.


AMD said that new products equipped with the mobile version of the Ryzen 6000 series processors will go on sale in February, and more than 200 related products will be available in 2022.



The notebook mobile processor war kicks off in 2022

After years of development of squeezing toothpaste, the X86 platform processors in recent years have made great progress in both desktop and mobile notebooks.

Especially in the CPU part, the progress rate of the X86 platform far exceeds that of the ARM platform.

When Qualcomm, Samsung, and MediaTek all encountered bottlenecks because of ARM’s public CPU architecture, there was Ryzen 5000 on the X86 platform a year, and the 12th-generation Core and Ryzen 6000 this year. Intel and AMD are fighting happily.


On Intel’s side, the hybrid architecture introduced by the 12th generation Core Duo is more like Apple’s “performance core + energy efficiency core” (P core and E core), rather than the “big and small cores” of the Android camp/public version of ARM, with a smaller area Energy-efficient cores use the core to improve multi-core performance, while single-core performance is promoted by large-scale performance cores, which can continue to extend and straighten the energy consumption ratio curve of the processor.


If there are any obvious shortcomings of the 12th-generation mobile version, it is the design of “performance core + energy efficiency core” and massive product SKU, which makes it exponentially more difficult to understand product specifications, and even players can easily see the circle.


On AMD’s side, with TSMC’s strong process advantages and the support of the Zen architecture, the Zen 3+ architecture can continue to push up the frequency. Judging from the performance of the previous 12-generation Core Duo on the desktop, the CPU performance of the 12-generation Core Duo in the mobile version may be higher than that of the Ryzen 6000 series mobile version.

But the biggest feature of this generation of 6000 series Ryzen mobile version is actually the doubled performance of the RDNA 2 GPU, which greatly reduces the entry barrier for 3A masterpieces.


It is still unknown whether 2022 will be the “Intel Strikes Back” or “AMD’s Defending Battle”, but the notebook mobile processor war has kicked off.

Until the 12th-generation Core and Ryzen 6000 series notebook products are sold on a large scale, there will be no I recommend buying the previous generation of products,





A new round of x86 processor battle begins: Intel fights back

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