Intel Core i5-1240P vs Intel Core i9-12900HK
Intel Core i5-1240P► remove from comparison
The Intel Core i5-1240P is a mid-range Alder Lake-P family SoC designed for use in ultra-light, ultra-thin (yet actively cooled) laptops. It was announced in early 2022 and it has 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 i5's P-cores are Hyper-Threading-enabled for a total of 16 threads when combined with its E-cores. The clock speeds range from 1.7 GHz to 4.4 GHz for the performance cluster and 1.2 GHz to 3.3 GHz for the efficient cluster. The shortcomings of this processor as compared with the slightly faster Core i5-1250P include the slightly lower iGPU clock speed and the limited vPro feature set ("Essentials" tier only, not allowing for remote device management).
The i5 is a continuation of Intel's efforts to use the ARM-developed big.LITTLE technology for its own benefit. A single "little" Alder Lake core is supposed to be 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 Core i5-1240P's CPU cores enjoy access to 12 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 of RAM, for reference. Just like the other 12th Gen Intel Core processors, this Core i5 comes with the 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 (FCBGA1744 socket interface).
The 12 CPU cores are not just able to outperform any quad-core Tiger Lake part, Core i7-1195G7 and Core i7-11375H included. Provided the Power Limits are high enough and the cooling solution is a good one, an i5-1240P will come reasonably close to what an i7-11600H can muster. Better yet, the i5 can be almost as fast as top-end Ryzen 5000 and Ryzen 6000 U-class processors. As stated earlier, it all comes down to whether a laptop can keep the CPU well-cooled or not and whether the long-term Power Limit is high enough (> 30 W) or not.
The built-in graphics adapter in the form of the 80 EU Iris Xe running at up to 1.3 GHz has seen little change from what was built into certain Tiger Lake-UP3 processors, like an i5-1135G7, which is hardly a downside as this iGPU is loaded with modern features such as AV1 video decoding capability and SUHD 4320p monitor support. You can use up to 4 monitors simultaneously with this GPU, provided the laptop has the outputs required. The Xe isn't a stranger to a bit of casual gaming; that said, your mileage may vary depending on how high the Power Limits are and how capable the cooling solution of a laptop is. Expect something close to NVIDIA's MX250 or in other words, acceptable framerates in most games when playing at 1080p / Low settings. Fast RAM is a prerequisite for decent performance as the Iris Xe has to make do with no dedicated video memory.
The i5's base power (also known as the default TDP value or PL1) is 28 W; its Intel-recommended Turbo power (also known as PL2) sits at 64 W. This processor 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.
Intel Core i9-12900HK► remove from comparison
The Intel Core i9-12900HK is a high-end mobile CPU for laptops based on the Alder Lake architecture. It was announced in early 2022 and offers 6 performance cores (P-cores, Golden Cove architecture) and 8 efficient cores (E-cores, Gracemont architecture). The P-cores support Hyper-Threading leading to 20 supported threads when combined with the E-cores. The clock rate ranges from 2.5 to 5 GHz on the performance cluster and 1.8 to 3.8 GHz on the efficiency cluster. The performance of the E-cores should be similar to old Skylake cores (compare with the Core i7-6920HQ). All cores can use up to 24 MB L3 cache. As a K-variant, the CPU offers an open multiplicator and therefore the possibility to overclock the CPU cores. Compared to the similar i9-12900H, the 12900HK only offers the "Essentials" features of vPro.
Early 2022, the i9-12900HK is one of the fastest mobile CPUs. Intel compared the performance to the older i9-11980HK (Tiger Lake-H with 8 cores). The fast Golden Cove cores offer an improved single-core performance and, thanks to the additional Gracemont cores, the multithreaded performance is also greatly improved. Intel states a 13% higher performance in 1080p gaming and a 30% reduced rendering time in Blender (BMW car demo) compared to the i9-11980HK.
The integrated memory controller supports various memory types up to DDR5-4800, DDR4-3200, LPDDR5-5200, and LPDDR4x-4267. The Thread Director (in hardware) can support the operating system to decide which thread to use on the performance or efficient cores for the best performance. For AI tasks, the CPU also integrates GNA 3.0 and DL Boost (via AVX2). Quick Sync in version 8 is the same as in the Rocket Lake CPUs and supports MPEG-2, AVC, VC-1 decode, JPEG, VP8 decode, VP9, HEVC, and AV1 decode in hardware. The CPU only supports PCIe 4.0 (x8 for a GPU and two x4 for SSDs).
The integrated graphics card is based on the Xe-architecture and offers 96 EUs (Execution Units) operating at up to 1.45 GHz.
The CPU is rated at 45 W base power (115 W PL2) but most laptops will use a PL1 of around 60 Watt. The SoC is manufactured in a 10nm process at Intel, which is known as Intel 7.
|Model||Intel Core i5-1240P||Intel Core i9-12900HK|
|Series||Intel Alder Lake-P||Intel Alder Lake-P|
|Codename||Alder Lake-P||Alder Lake-P|
|Series: Alder Lake-P Alder Lake-P|
|Clock||1200 - 4400 MHz||1800 - 5000 MHz|
|L1 Cache||1.1 MB||1.2 MB|
|L2 Cache||21 MB||23.5 MB|
|L3 Cache||12 MB||24 MB|
|Cores / Threads||12 / 16||14 / 20|
|TDP||28 Watt||45 Watt|
|Technology||10 nm||10 nm|
|max. Temp.||100 °C||100 °C|
|Features||Thread Director||Thread Director|
|iGPU||Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs ( - 1300 MHz)||Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs ( - 1450 MHz)|
|Manufacturer||Intel Alder Lake-P i5-1240P|