Intel claims 'world's best mobile gaming platform' with Alder Lake H-series

Intel 12th Gen mobile H-series CPUs
(Image credit: Intel)

Making bold claims about your new hardware is what CES is all about. The first tech show of the new year is nominally in Las Vegas after all, the sort of place that positively thrives on hyperbole. Though who's actually bold enough to be there in person this year is tough to say. But claims don't get a lot bolder than Intel introducing its new laptop chips as the "world's best mobile gaming platform."

The 12th Gen H-series CPUs represent the first laptop silicon to offer the Alder Lake processor design, in all its hybrid glory. We've actually been seriously impressed by the desktop versions, with the power-hungry Core i9 12900K and deliciously quick Core i5 12600K making us go all weak at the knees.

The combination of performance and efficient cores has given Intel a desktop processor that's able to offer the multithreaded performance and gaming grunt to beat AMD's finest, and all for a lower sticker price, too.

So, there's a good chance Intel's claims might actually stand up to scrutiny in the final reckoning, though AMD's Ryzen 6000-series processors really look like they mean business.

Its CES 2022 presentation notes that it's 'world's best' claim is based on "unique features and in-game benchmark mode performance." So actual mobility itself is not necessarily a key component of that statement. If it were I'm sure the Nintendo Switch may have something to say, and maybe even the Steam Deck, if it actually launches in anything like actual volume.

For the purposes of benchmarking best in the world performance, Intel is comparing a new Core i9 12900HK inside a pre-production MSI laptop, with a previous gen i9 11980HK and a competing AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX in a Lenovo Legion machine, all three with an accompanying RTX 3080 GPU.

(Image credit: Intel)

In the benchmark graph Intel has shown off, the new setup is considerably quicker across the board compared to the AMD-powered machine—both with 165W max graphics power GPUs.

It's only really AC: Valhalla and Civ 6: Gathering Storm which have things close between the two laptop processors in gaming terms, the rest your looking at a rough 20% performance delta. According to Intel's testing, that is.

There's also some creator/productivity numbers, too, but I care less about those sorts of things than pure gaming frame rates. What else I care about is availability, and Intel is making bold claims in those terms as well, promising that the 12th Gen H-series chips will mark "Intel's fastest H-series ramp." And with more than 100 designs, that presumably means there will be a host of machines ready to roll out very soon, and not just the high-end ones.

Intel has announced it's full Core i9, i7, and i5 H-series lineup, which offers mobile chips from 14 cores down to eight cores. Though, thanks to Alder Lake's hybrid design the way the performance and efficient cores line up means you're getting a combination of either six or four performance cores, and either eight or four efficient cores. 

(Image credit: Intel)

It's maybe a touch confusing, but we've got a table to make things a little clearer, so at least there's that.

The new H-series laptops will start to ship early this year, so if you want to get your hands on (perhaps) the 'world's best mobile gaming platform' then you shouldn't have long to wait. I mean, they'll probably land before your Steam Deck does anyway.

Dave James
Managing Editor, Hardware

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.