Intel Core 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).
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).
Multi-thread performance is most comparable to AMD Ryzen 7 5800U, Ryzen 7 PRO 5850U and Intel Core i5-11260H. This is a great CPU for ultra-thin laptops, capable of punching above its weight as long as the Power Limits are high enough and the cooling solution is a good one.
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.
The i7's base power consumption (also known as the default TDP or Power Limit 1) is 28 W, with 64 W being its maximum Intel-recommended Turbo power consumption (also known as the PL2). Its "Minimum Assured" power consumption sits at 20 W. All in all, an active cooling solution is nearly a must for a CPU like this one here.
The Core i7-1260P is manufactured on Intel's fourth-gen 10 nm process marketed as Intel 7 for decent, as of late 2022, energy efficiency. Despite that, many 7 nm U-class AMD Ryzen 5000 parts are less power-hungry while being as fast (or even faster in certain use cases) as the i7.
|Series||Intel Alder Lake-P|
Series: Alder Lake-P Alder Lake-P
|Clock Rate||1500 - 4700 MHz|
|Level 1 Cache||1.1 MB|
|Level 2 Cache||10 MB|
|Level 3 Cache||18 MB|
|Number of Cores / Threads||12 / 16|
|Power Consumption (TDP = Thermal Design Power)||28 Watt|
|Manufacturing Technology||10 nm|
|Max. Temperature||100 °C|
|Features||DDR4-3200/LPDDR4x-4266/DDR5-4800/LPDDR5-5200 RAM, PCIe 4, Thread Director, DL Boost, GNA, MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4.1, SSE4.2, AVX, AVX2, BMI2, ABM, FMA, ADX, SMEP, SMAP, EIST, TM1, TM2, Hyper-Threading, Turbo, SST, AES-NI, RDRAND, RDSEED, SHA|
|GPU||Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs ( - 1400 MHz)|
|64 Bit||64 Bit support|
|Product Link (external)||Intel Alder Lake-P i7-1260P|