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Intel claims new 12th-gen laptop chips outclass the M1 Pro

Intel already announced its 12th-gen mobile processors at CES 2022, but we’re just now hearing about the details of its efficient U- and P-series chips. Unlike the H-series, which is built for high-performance machines like the MSI Raider GE76, these new processors are built for thin and light notebooks and 2-in-1s.

We’ve known about these chips, including detailed official specs, for a while. But Intel is just now giving us a taste of performance. Intel says the most efficient U-series chips can rival Apple’s M1, while the juiced up P-series processors can outclass the M1 Pro. Compared to last-gen’s Core i7-1195G7, Intel says the new chips offer up to 70% higher multi-threaded performance.

Cores Max core clock Graphics Power
Core i7-1280P 14 (6 P-cores, 8 E-cores) 4.8GHz 96EU 28W
Core i7-1270P 12 (4 P-cores, 8 E-cores) 4.8GHz 96EU 28W
Core i7-1260P 12 (4 P-cores, 8 E-cores) 4.7GHz 96EU 28W
Core i5-1250P 12 (4 P-cores, 8 E-cores) 4.4GHz 80EU 28W
Core i5-1240P 12 (4 P-cores, 8 E-cores) 4.4GHz 80EU 28W
Core i3-1220P 10 (2 P-cores, 8 E-cores) 4.4GHz 64EU 28W
Core i7-1265U 10 (2 P-cores, 8 E-cores) 4.8GHz 96EU 9W-15W
Core i7-1255U 10 (2 P-cores, 8 E-cores) 4.7GHz 96EU 9W-15W
Core i5-1245U 10 (2 P-cores, 8 E-cores) 4.4GHz 80EU 9W-15W
Core i5-1235U 10 (2 P-cores, 8 E-cores) 4.4GHz 80EU 9W-15W
Core i3-1215U 6 (2 P-cores, 4 E-cores) 4.4GHz 64EU 9W-15W
Pentium 8505 5 (1 P-cores, 4 E-cores) 4.4GHz 48EU 9W-15W
Celeron 7305 5 (1 P-cores, 4 E-cores) 4.2GHz 48EU 9W-15W

In real-world uses, Intel says the new P-series chips are 50% faster in Blender compared to the previous generation, and up to 30% faster in photo editing. Even more impressive, Intel shows both U- and P-series chips outperforming Apple’s M1 Pro, and vastly outclassing AMD’s competing Ryzen 7 5800U.

Those improvements are impressive, but the comparison to AMD’s upcoming Ryzen 6000 processors is what matters. AMD is showing large boosts above its previous generation, so we’ll have to wait and see how Intel’s U- and P-series chips stack up once Ryzen 6000 is here.

We may not know how the ranges stack up on raw processor performance, but we have some hints when it comes to graphics. Intel is sticking with its Iris Xe graphics for 12th-gen U- and P-series processors, which aren’t bad for gaming. Intel shows the integrated graphics hitting up to 115 frames per second (fps) in League of Legends and 82 fps in Grand Theft Auto V, both at 1080p.

But again, the comparison against AMD’s integrated graphics is what counts. AMD is using its RDNA 2 architecture, featured in RX 6000 graphics cards, for its latest Ryzen 6000 chips. AMD says these integrated graphics can run much more demanding titles at 1080p, reaching nearly 60 fps in games like Borderlands 3 and Metro Exodus. Intel confirmed its XeSS upscaling tech would make it to integrated graphics later this year, which should boost performance a lot.

We’ve already had a chance to test 12th-gen H-series processors, and Intel’s move to a hybrid architecture showed up as much there as it did with the desktop Core i9-12900K. These new U- and P-series processors should be no different, though the massive cut to P-cores could pose some issues.

Intel says that over 250 designs with these processors will arrive in 2022. That includes foldable machines at 9 watts — presumably with the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold among them — all the way to thin and light gaming notebooks at 28W. The new chips have the same platform features as H-series processors, including DDR5 and DDR4 support, Wi-Fi 6E, and Thunderbolt 4.

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Jacob Roach
Senior Staff Writer, Computing
Jacob Roach is a writer covering computing and gaming at Digital Trends. After realizing Crysis wouldn't run on a laptop, he…
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