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Intel claims the new Core i9 processor is faster than the Apple M1 Max – but that doesn’t mean much

Intel claims the new Core i9 processor is faster than the Apple M1 Max – but that doesn’t mean much

Categories: Technology
Posted: January 05, 2022

While Intel on Tuesday announced a new way to integrate iPhone with Windows PCs, the company also unveiled the 12th generation of its mobile processors focused on laptops and smaller computers. According to Intel, the new Core i9 processor is faster than the Apple M1 Max – but that doesn’t mean much.

With frequencies up to 5GHz and 14 cores (with 6 high-performance cores and 8 energy-efficient cores), Intel says the 12th generation Core i9 processor is the “fastest mobile processor” on the market.

Intel announced the world’s fastest mobile processor, bringing its performance hybrid architecture to mobile platforms for the first time with new 12th Gen Intel Core mobile processors that are up to 40 percent faster than the previous generation mobile processor.

The company explicitly compares the new Intel Core i9 12900HK with the Apple M1 Max, which is the Apple Silicon chip created for the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro. Intel reaffirms that its own processor has “superior performance” based on results obtained by Intel Reference Validation Platforms.

For comparison, the M1 Max chip reaches up to 3.2GHz with its 10 cores (of which eight are high-performance cores and two are energy-efficient cores). The 12th generation Intel Core i9 processor can certainly achieve higher benchmark numbers in some configurations, but that’s only one side of the story.

Where Apple triumphs with its ARM-based Apple Silicon chips is energy efficiency. While the Intel Core i9 consumes up to 115 watts of power, the power consumption of the M1 Max chip stays around 60 watts most of the time, and hardly exceeds 90 watts when running at full performance.

As we’ve been seeing with the M1 Macs, the lower power consumption allows the construction of more compact machines that don’t suffer from thermal throttling and reduced performance. This is something Intel is unlikely to beat with the old x86 architecture.

The new 12th generation Intel mobile processors are expected to be available later this year.

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