Intel says new Core i9 processor for laptops is faster than Apple’s M1 Max chip

Joe Rossignol, MacRumors:

Intel today unveiled new 12th-generation Core processors suitable for laptops, and as part of the announcement, it claimed that the new Core i9 is not only faster than Apple’s M1 Max chip in the 16-inch MacBook Pro, but is the fastest mobile processor ever.


The high-end Intel chip has a max Turbo Boost frequency of 5.0GHz, but power draw can reach up to 115 watts, which is significantly more power than the M1 Max chip ever uses and not ideal for the thermal envelope of devices like the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

From the Intel press release, touting the Fastest Mobile Processor Ever:

Intel announces the 12th Gen Intel® Core™ family of mobile processors led by the launch of new H-series mobile processors featuring the flagship Intel® Core™ i9-12900HK – the fastest mobile processor ever and the world’s best mobile gaming platform – built on the Intel 7 process.

I won’t argue “world’s best mobile gaming platform”. Besides the PC being dominant in desktop gaming and high end Intel laptops drafting on that platform, Apple has not made gaming a priority.

But here’s the footnote Intel attached to “Fastest mobile processor ever”:

Based on superior performance of 12th Gen Intel Core i9 12900HK against Intel Core i9 11980HK, AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX, and Apple M1 Max.

Read the press release for details on the benchmarks they ran.

It’ll be interesting to see real world benchmarks once laptops with these processors actually ship. More importantly, I look forward to seeing the real life battery performance of those laptops. If you look at the second image in the headline linked MacRumors post, you’ll see the Apple M1 Max topping out (in terms of SoC Power, the left-to-right part of the chart) about where the new Intel chip begins.

Once these laptops hit the streets, I expect the power consumption to be the real story here, with the Intel chip sucking power as the M1 Max sips. If so, no way to hide that.