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Intel Core i7-1260P

Intel i7-1260P

The Intel Core i7-1260P is an upper mid-range 28 W Alder Lake CPU designed for use in ultra-light laptops. It was announced in early 2022 and it features 4 performance cores as opposed to the 6 cores of the top-of-the-line i7-1280P (P-cores, Golden Cove architecture) mated to 8 efficient cores (E-cores, Gracemont architecture). The P-cores are Hyper-Threading-enabled for a total of 16 threads when combined with the E-cores. The clock speeds range from 2.1 GHz to 4.7 GHz for the performance cluster and 1.5 GHz to 3.4 GHz for the efficient cluster. The i7's shortcomings as compared to Intel Core i7-1270P include the marginally lower clock speeds and limited vPro feature set ("Essentials" tier only, not allowing for remote device management).

Architecture

The i7 is a continuation of Intel's efforts to use the ARM-developed big.LITTLE technology for its own benefit. A single "littile" Alder Lake core is supposed to be just as fast as a Skylake core (as found in the venerable Core i7-6700HQ among other options) which is six years old at this point. All of an Core i7-1260P's CPU cores enjoy access to 18 MB of L3 cache. The integrated memory controller supports various memory types up to LPDDR5-5200, DDR5-4800, LPDDR4x-4267 or DDR4-3200; Intel recommends using no more than 64 GB, for reference. Just like the other 12th Gen Intel Core processors, Intel Core i7-1260P comes with Thread Director which is a new functionality designed to help Windows 11 decide which cores to use for what workload for best performance and efficiency possible. Hardware acceleration of AI algorithms is supported via GNA 3.0 and DL Boost (via AVX2). PCI-Express 5.0 support has not found its way into Alder Lake P processors, so users will have to be content with PCI-Express 4.0 for the time being. Four PCI-Express 4 lanes allow for a read/write rate of up to 7.9 GB/s, provided a suitably fast NVMe SSD is used.

Please note this is not a user-replaceable CPU. It gets soldered permanently on to the motherboard (BGA1744 socket interface).

Performance

We first tested the CPU in May 2022. The 12 CPU cores were not just able to easily outperform any outgoing quad-core Intel Tiger Lake part (Core i7-1195G7 included). All of the U-class AMD Ryzen 5000 options got left behind, too. As anticipated, performance sustainability of this CPU depends heavily on how high the Power Limits and how good the thermals of a given system are.

With short-term Power Limit set to 64 W (which is the Intel-recommended upper limit) and a decently high long-term Power Limit (> 30 W), a 1260P-based laptop rivals Intel Core i7-12700H in single-thread benchmarks while going neck-to-neck with AMD Ryzen 7 5800U in multi-core loads. Performance-per-thread figures of Alder Lake P chips are indeed impressive but this comes at a cost. CPU package power can be disturbingly close to 30 watts when a single P-core is heavily loaded.

If our early Ryzen 7 6800U tests are any indication, the latest U-class Ryzen 6000 chips deliver a noticeable uplift in graphics department while the CPU performance pretty much stays where it was before. Which means Alder Lake P chips (the i7 and i5 ones, at least) have the upper hand.

Graphics

The built-in graphics adapter in the form of the 96 EU Iris Xe running at up to 1.4 GHz has seemingly seen no change from what was built into certain Tiger Lake-UP3 processors, like a i7-1165G7. Which is hardly a downside as this iGPU is loaded with modern features such as AV1 video decoding capability and SUHD 4320p monitor support. Up to 4 monitors can be used simultaneously with this graphics adapter. Its gaming performance is bound to be tied to how high the Power Limits and how good the cooling solution of a laptop are; expect something close to NVIDIA's MX350 or in other words, acceptable framerates in most games when playing at 1080p / Medium settings. Fast RAM is a prerequisite for decent performance as the Iris Xe has to make do with no dedicated video memory. Last but not the least, we discovered that the GPU utilization when playing YouTube UHD 2160p60 videos is higher than it was with Tiger Lake chips.

AMD's 680M as found in certain Ryzen 6000 chips is slated to be noticeably faster than the 96 EU Iris Xe.

Power Consumption

The i7's base power (also known as the default TDP value or PL1) is 28 W, with 64 W being its Intel-recommended Turbo power (also known as PL2). Core i7-1260P is manufactured on Intel's third-gen 10 nm process marketed as Intel 7 for an OK energy efficiency - on paper, that is. The tests we did proved that Intel's way to close the performance gap with AMD's Ryzen 5000 processors entails some seriously high power consumption figures where a single P-core can consume more than 20 W. AMD's Ryzen 5000 chips are not nearly as power-hungry, and Apple's M1-series processors can be several times more efficient while upholding a similarly high performance bar.

SeriesIntel Alder Lake-P
CodenameAlder Lake-P
Series: Alder Lake-P Alder Lake-P
Intel Core i9-12900HK compare1.8 - 5 GHz14 / 2024 MB
Intel Core i9-12900H compare1.8 - 5 GHz14 / 2024 MB
Intel Core i7-12800H compare1.8 - 4.8 GHz14 / 2024 MB
Intel Core i7-12650H compare1.7 - 4.7 GHz10 / 1624 MB
Intel Core i5-12600H compare2 - 4.5 GHz12 / 1618 MB
Intel Core i5-12500H compare1.8 - 4.5 GHz12 / 1618 MB
Intel Core i7-1280P compare1.3 - 4.8 GHz14 / 2024 MB
Intel Core i5-12450H compare1.5 - 4.4 GHz8 / 1212 MB
Intel Core i7-1270P compare1.6 - 4.8 GHz12 / 1618 MB
» Intel Core i7-1260P1.5 - 4.7 GHz12 / 1618 MB
Intel Core i5-1250P compare1.2 - 4.4 GHz12 / 1612 MB
Intel Core i5-1240P compare1.2 - 4.4 GHz12 / 1612 MB
Intel Core i3-1220P compare1.1 - 4.4 GHz10 / 1212 MB
Clock Rate1500 - 4700 MHz
Level 1 Cache1.1 MB
Level 2 Cache21 MB
Level 3 Cache18 MB
Number of Cores / Threads12 / 16
Power Consumption (TDP = Thermal Design Power)28 Watt
Manufacturing Technology10 nm
Max. Temperature100 °C
SocketFCBGA1744
FeaturesThread Director
GPUIntel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs ( - 1400 MHz)
64 Bit64 Bit support
Architecturex86
Announcement Date01/04/2022
Product Link (external)Intel Alder Lake-P i7-1260P

Benchmarks

Performance Rating - CB R15 + R20 + 7-Zip + X265 + Blender + 3DM11 CPU
50 pt (59%)
Cinebench R23 - Cinebench R23 Multi Core
min: 3173     avg: 8535     median: 9170.5 (15%)     max: 12150 Points
Cinebench R23 - Cinebench R23 Single Core
min: 1155     avg: 1574     median: 1668 (83%)     max: 1793 Points
Cinebench R20 - Cinebench R20 CPU (Single Core)
min: 448     avg: 600     median: 640 (82%)     max: 689 Points
Cinebench R20 - Cinebench R20 CPU (Multi Core)
min: 1234     avg: 3201     median: 3418 (15%)     max: 4748 Points
Cinebench R15 - Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
min: 549     avg: 1321     median: 1360 (14%)     max: 1932 Points
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Cinebench R15 - Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64 Bit
min: 165.4     avg: 216.1     median: 222.5 (76%)     max: 252 Points
7-Zip 18.03 - 7-Zip 18.03 Multli Thread 4 runs
min: 16146     avg: 35007     median: 36416 (26%)     max: 45227 MIPS
7-Zip 18.03 - 7-Zip 18.03 Single Thread 4 runs
min: 4064     avg: 4902     median: 4676 (67%)     max: 5645 MIPS
HWBOT x265 Benchmark v2.2 - HWBOT x265 4k Preset
min: 3.45     avg: 9.6     median: 10.9 (23%)     max: 13.5 fps
05101520Tooltip
Blender - Blender 2.79 BMW27 CPU *
min: 264     avg: 436.7     median: 334 (2%)     max: 906 Seconds
R Benchmark 2.5 - R Benchmark 2.5 *
min: 0.4559     avg: 0.5     median: 0.5 (11%)     max: 0.727 sec
3DMark 06 - CPU - 3DMark 06 - CPU
min: 13196     avg: 13650     median: 13649.5 (29%)     max: 14103 Points
3DMark 11 - 3DM11 Performance Physics
min: 4745     avg: 12968     median: 13010 (45%)     max: 18306 Points
3DMark - 3DMark Cloud Gate Physics
min: 4514     avg: 11355     median: 12031 (30%)     max: 15407 Points
3DMark - 3DMark Fire Strike Standard Physics
min: 6797     avg: 16706     median: 17139.5 (42%)     max: 22368 Points
3DMark - 3DMark Time Spy CPU
min: 2352     avg: 6229     median: 6535 (35%)     max: 8576 Points
Geekbench 5.3 - Geekbench 5.1 - 5.4 64 Bit Single-Core
min: 1436     avg: 1651     median: 1664 (81%)     max: 1764 points
Geekbench 5.3 - Geekbench 5.1 - 5.4 64 Bit Multi-Core
min: 3866     avg: 7901     median: 7746 (27%)     max: 10350 points
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Kraken 1.1 Total Score *
min: 539     avg: 565     median: 551.5 (1%)     max: 604 ms
Octane V2 - Octane V2 Total Score
min: 70338     avg: 77017     median: 77016.5 (80%)     max: 83695 Points
WebXPRT 3 - WebXPRT 3 Score
min: 271     avg: 280.3     median: 280 (74%)     max: 291 Points
CrossMark - CrossMark Overall
min: 1495     avg: 1591     median: 1591 (69%)     max: 1685 Points
Power Consumption - Prime95 Power Consumption - external Monitor *
min: 30.9     avg: 52.5     median: 56.8 (10%)     max: 65.6 Watt
051015202530354045505560657075808590Tooltip
Power Consumption - Cinebench R15 Multi Power Consumption - external Monitor *
min: 65.1     avg: 71.5     median: 68.1 (18%)     max: 81.4 Watt