Intel's new 24-core i9 13950HX gaming laptop chip runs at a meteoric 5.6GHz

Intel 13th Gen mobile chip diagrams
(Image credit: Intel)

Prepare yourselves for a 24-core laptop processor. Over at CES 2023, Intel has revealed its next-generation mobile chips based on the Raptor Lake architecture. Among them, its new high-performance 55W parts named the HX-series. 

The tippy top of the HX-series is the Core i9 13980HX, a 24-core, 5.6GHz mobile part that looks to be even more overkill than the last.

This Core i9 is basically ripped right out of a Raptor Lake desktop processor. It's been resocketed with the laptop-friendly BGA socket (and a bloody massive footprint versus the slimmer U-series) yet otherwise the specs scream desktop-grade processor. It offers 24 cores in total, that's eight Performance-cores (P-cores) and 16 Efficient-cores (E-cores), and puts it on a level-footing with the Core i9 13900K we've familiarised ourselves with on the desktop.

If it already sounds like overkill, there's more. The Core i9 13980HX will run up to 5.6GHz Max Turbo P-core clock. That's only 200MHz shy of the Core i9 13900K. Consider the Core i9 13980HX's 55W power envelope and it makes you wonder if the extra 200MHz was really worth the 253W that the Core i9 13900K is known to pull from the wall. It's worth saying that the mobile chip won't be able to maintain the sort of clock speeds for as long as the desktop chip to stay within those power limits, however, and it can gobble up as much as 157W.

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13th Gen Intel Core HX-series processors
ProcessorCores (P+E)ThreadsMax P-core Turbo (GHz)Processor Base Power/Max Turbo Power (W)Graphics
Core i9 13980HX8+16325.655/15732EU
Core i9 13950HX8+16325.555/15732EU
Core i9 13900HX8+16325.455/15732EU
Core i7 13850HX8+12285.355/15732EU
Core i7 13700HX8+824555/15732EU
Core i7 13650HX6+8204.955/15716EU
Core i5 13600HX6+8204.855/15732EU
Core i5 13500HX6+8204.755/15716EU
Core i5 13450HX6+4164.655/15716EU

Other key features to note with the 13th Gen HX-series include both DDR5 and DDR4 support, x16 PCIe Gen5 lanes, and 32 EUs of onboard graphics capability—generally all similar to the 12th Gen mobile parts.

But when it comes to performance the 13th Gen is looking to be a lot quicker in some cases.

The HX-series is huge versus the compact U-series and that's without the on-package PCH that the lower power chips offer. (Image credit: Intel)

Intel massively increased the number of E-cores on its Raptor Lake processors versus Alder Lake. No more so than with its top Core i9 chips. The Core i9 13950HX comes with double the E-cores of the Core i9 12900HX, and that's sure to make for sweeping improvements to multithreaded performance on mobile as it did on desktop.

While rendering a scene in Blender, Intel is reporting a 74–79% performance uplift over the Core i9 12900HK from its own testing. That shouldn't come as a surprise: the Core i9 13950HX comes with double the E-cores, two more P-cores, and runs 600MHz faster. 

Even versus the Core i9 12900HX, however, the 13th Gen chip is frightfully fast.

Though those gains are less pronounced in benchmarks of Adobe's creative app suite, they're still pretty chunky. In Premiere Pro, the Core i9 13950HX is 6% faster than the Core i9 12900HK. In Photoshop it's 12% quicker, and in After Effects, 15%.

(Image credit: Intel)

When it comes to gaming the gains are more tepid, though the 13th Gen is notably still pushing high frame rates.

(Image credit: Intel)

The Core i9 13950HX is the biggest and baddest chip of the lot, which means it's the one that Intel wants to get the word out about. It's sure to be found in only the most high-end gaming laptops and desktop replacements. For everything else, there's the 45W H-series, 28W P-series, and 15W U-series.

The 45W H-series will show up in gaming laptops and I suspect in cheaper form factors than some of the HX-series. That's probably where you're going to find the best deals on these sorts of portable gaming machines.

On the desktop side of things, Intel has announced a slew of new, cheaper 13th Gen chips budding to be in your next build.

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Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog from his hometown in Wales in 2017. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, where he would later win command of the kit cupboard as hardware editor. Nowadays, as senior hardware editor at PC Gamer, he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industry. When he's not writing about GPUs and CPUs, however, you'll find him trying to get as far away from the modern world as possible by wild camping.