Intel 12th-gen Alder Lake H-series vs AMD Ryzen 6000 H-series mobile CPUs

Intel 12th-gen Alder Lake H-series vs AMD Ryzen 6000 H-series mobile CPUs

Both Intel and AMD made a huge splash at CES 2022 by announcing their new mobile chips that will be powering the next generation of laptops. While Intel unveiled its new Alder Lake mobile chips along with the rest of the 12th-gen desktop parts, AMD decided to announce its new Ryzen 6000 series ‘Rembrandt’ APUs for laptops. From a hybrid core configuration on the new Intel chips to the RDNA 2 graphics cores in AMD APUs, these new processors look very promising. We already have a detailed Intel 12th-gen P & U-series vs Ryzen 6000 U-series comparison highlighting the low-powered processors, so sure to check it out if you’re torn between Intel and AMD-powered thin and light notebooks. In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the key differences between the Intel 12th-gen vs AMD Ryzen 6000 H-series CPUs.

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Intel 12th-gen vs AMD Ryzen 6000 H-series CPUs: Difference in core configuration

Starting off with the top-of-the-line chips, Intel’s top-tier Core i9-12900HK CPU is touted to be the company’s fastest mobile processor ever. It’s going against the AMD Ryzen 9 6980HX that carries the Zen 3+ cores and RDNA2 graphics. Intel’s hybrid architecture has made its way to the mobile chips as well and we’re looking at a total of 14 cores for the 12900HK which includes 6 Performance cores and 8 Efficiency cores. In comparison, the Ryzen 9 6980HX is limited to just eight cores. Again, this isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison, but Intel surely has an advantage. As mentioned in our Core i9-12900HK review, Intel’s performance numbers are very impressive. This mobile processor can truly shine, especially when paired with capable discrete graphics like the GeForce RTX 3080Ti inside the MSI GE76 Raider gaming laptop.

Laptop showing Halo on screen

In addition to the Core i9-12900HK, Intel also has the 12900H and a couple of other Core i7 mobile processors in the H-series. These are the mainstream parts that will be widely seen in many of the gaming as well as other performance-centric notebooks. The Core i9-12900H, Core i7-12800H, and the 12700H, all have the same core configuration with 6 P-cores and 8 E-cores. They also get the same default TDP of 45W along with a max Turbo Power of 115W. The only real difference between the three is the frequency. There’s no Core i3 variant in the H-series but you’ll see it in the thin and light space as a part of Intel’s P-series and U-series processor range.

Intel 12th-gen Alder Lake H-series:

Specification Intel Core i9-12900HK Intel Core i9-12900H Intel Core i7-12800H Intel Core i7-12700H Intel Core i7-12650H Intel Core i5-12600H Intel Core i5-12500H Intel Core i5-12450H
Cores 14 (6P + 8E) 14 (6P + 8E) 14 (6P + 8E) 14 (6P + 8E) 10 (6P + 4E) 12 (4P + 8E) 12 (4P + 8E) 8 (4P + 4E)
Threads 20 20 20 20 16 16 16 12
Base Frequency 2.5GHz (P-core) | 1.8GHz (E-core) 2.5GHz (P-core) | 1.8GHz (E-core) 2.4GHz (P-core) | 1.8GHz (E-core) 2.3GHz (P-core) | 1.7GHz (E-core) 2.3GHz (P-core) | 1.7GHz (E-core) 2.7GHz (P-core) | 2.0GHz (E-core) 2.5GHz (P-core) | 1.8GHz (E-core) 2.0GHz (P-core) | 1.5GHz (E-core)
Max Turbo Frequency 5.0GHz (P-core) | 3.8GHz (E-core) 5.0GHz (P-core) | 3.8GHz (E-core) 4.8GHz (P-core) | 3.7GHz (E-core) 4.7GHz (P-core) | 3.5GHz (E-core) 4.7GHz (P-core) | 3.5GHz (E-core) 4.5GHz (P-core) | 3.3GHz (E-core) 4.5GHz (P-core) | 3.3GHz (E-core) 4.4GHz (P-core) | 3.3GHz (E-core)
L3 Cache 24MB 24MB 24MB 24MB 24MB 18MB 18MB 12MB
Default TDP 45W 45W 45W 45W 45W 45W 45W 45W
Max Turbo Power 115W 115W 115W 115W 115W 95W 95W 95W
Processor Graphics 96EU 96EU 96EU 96EU 64EU 80EU 80EU 48EU

Moving on to the AMD Ryzen 6000 H-series, the Ryzen 9 6980HX is the most powerful out of the bunch. It is capable of hitting a max boost frequency of 5.0GHz, which is on par with the Intel Core i9-12900HK. The other Ryzen chips in the 6000 H-series look mighty impressive with all the Ryzen 9 and Ryzen 7 processors getting 8 cores and 16 threads. While Intel’s new Alder Lake H-series processors manage to beat the older Ryzen chips, it remains to be seen exactly how powerful the new processors really are.

AMD is making some bold claims about the new 6000 chips offering twice the 1080p gaming performance and over 125% improvement in 3D rendering. In comparison, Intel’s Iris Xe integrated graphics may have a hard time keeping with such demanding workloads. Intel has made some improvements in the iGPU department too, but we don’t find them to be sufficient on many occasions. We hope that changes in due time but AMD seems to have the edge in the meantime.

AMD Ryzen 6000 series H-series:

Specification AMD Ryzen 9 6980HX AMD Ryzen 9 6980HS AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS AMD Ryzen 7 6800H AMD Ryzen 7 6800HS AMD Ryzen 5 6600H AMD Ryzen 5 6600HS
Cores 8 8 8 8 8 8 6 6
Threads 16 16 16 16 16 16 12 12
Base Frequency 3.3GHz 3.3GHz 3.3GHz 3.3GHz 3.2GHz 3.2GHz 3.3GHz 3.3GHz
Max Boost Frequency 5.0GHz 5.0GHz 4.9GHz 4.9GHz 4.7GHz 4.7GHz 4.5GHz 4.5GHz
L2+L3 Cache 20MB 20MB 20MB 20MB 20MB 19MB 12MB 12MB
Default TDP 45W 35W 45W 35W 45W 45W 45W 35W
GPU Compute Units 12 12 12 12 12 12 6 6
GPU Core Max Boost 2.4Ghz 2.4Ghz 2.4GHz 2.4GHz 2.2GHz 2.2GHz 1.9GHz 1.9GHz
Node 6nm 6nm 6nm 6nm 6nm 6nm 6nm 6nm

Intel 12th-gen vs AMD Ryzen 6000 H-series CPUs: Power Efficiency

Power efficiency seems to be a huge focus point for both Intel as well as AMD, and honestly, that’s a good thing. While Intel’s Hybrid core architecture is paying big dividends in the power efficiency departments thanks to the E-cores, AMD is also making some big claims in this department. The Ryzen 6000 series, in case you don’t know, are flexing the 6nm manufacturing process in its specs sheet as opposed to Intel’s 10nm. Sure, the battery life isn’t a huge point of consideration for power users, but this could also mean the Ryzen 6000 series are simply better at handling power, thereby producing less thermal output too. This is something we’ll discuss more in detail once we manage to get our hands on these laptops for a head-to-head comparison, so stay tuned. But if we had to pick one, then we think the 6nm vs 10nm manufacturing process seems like a pretty big hurdle for Team Blue.

AMD Ryzen 6000 series system power usage

Intel 12th-gen vs AMD Ryzen 6000 H-series CPUs: Memory configurations & other differences

When it comes to memory, Intel’s Alder Lake H-series processors will allow you to use DDR5-4800, LPDDR5-5200, DDR4-3200, and LPDDR4x-4267. AMD’s Ryzen 6000 series processors, however, are limited to just DDR5-4800 and LPDDR5-6400 RAM. While this may not directly affect the end consumers as the components are picked by the laptop OEMs, you may either have a hard time finding AMD 6000 series CPU-powered laptops in stocks or they might be a little expensive. For storage, both Intel and AMD offer PCIe 4.0 connections and a pair of x4 NVMe SSD connections. The only difference here is Intel CPUs have dedicated SATA connections but AMD uses the secondary x4 NVMe to cover SATA as well. This is the same in the case of the low-powered mobile chips in the series too and we’ve mentioned the same in our Intel 12th-gen P & U-series vs Ryzen 6000 U series comparison.

AMD, as you probably already know, cannot offer Thunderbolt 4. That’s exclusive to the Intel chips and its support is very well present in the new 12th-gen processor stack. As a workaround, AMD is using USB4 to allow the OEMs to deliver a very similar experience with up to 40Gbps of bandwidth. As an end-user, you’ll have to make sure you’re buying components that are compatible with USB 4, not just Thunderbolt 4. AMD makes for that by adding native support for HDMI 2.1, though. This is a notable omission on Intel chips but it might not be a deal-breaker in the case of high-end notebooks with more powerful discrete GPUs.

Intel 12th-gen & AMD Ryzen 6000 H-series: Laptop Availability

The new generation of laptops powered by both Intel’s 12th-gen Alder Lake as well as the AMD Ryzen 6000 H-series processors have now started showing up on the market. In fact, these laptops are readily available to purchase right now from a variety of manufacturers including MSI, ASUS, Razer, Alienware, and more. We’ll keep reviewing as many of these laptops as we can to add more info to our performance analysis. In the meantime, you can check out some of these new laptops below to get an idea of the kind of specifications you can expect to see from this new generation of powerful machines.

Intel 12th-gen Alder Lake laptops:

    The MSI Raider GE76 is among the first laptops to ship with Intel's new 12th-gen processors
    The Razer Blade 15 packs an Intel Core i9-12900H CPU along with an RTX 3080 Ti to power a 144Hz UHD panel.

AMD Ryzen 6000 H-series laptops:

    The Razer Blade 14 is one of the first laptops to carry AMD's new Ryzen 6000 H-series processors along with Nvidia's new RTX 3080 Ti laptop GPU.
    The ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 is one of the first laptops on the market that's powered by the new AMD Ryzen 6000 series processors. It also comes with the new DDR5 memory.

Final Thoughts

All things considered, it’s safe to say that both Intel and AMD have managed to put their best step forward to offer a great overall experience in the laptop space. This face-off is far from being settled, but this comparison should give you a good idea of how both CPU series makes a compelling case for themselves. We’re expecting AMD’s 6000 series processors to show better performance with integrated graphics but Intel may still win the battle when paired with a potent discrete GPU.

This means casual gamers may still have a lot to like about the AMD 6000 series chips while Intel may win big time in the high-end performance-centric notebook space. If you want to learn more about the rest of Intel’s 12th-gen lineup, then be sure to check out our Intel Alder Lake page. We also have a dedicated list highlighting the best laptops, so keep an eye on that to see which new laptops have made their way into that collection.

About author

Karthik Iyer
Karthik Iyer

Karthik covers PC hardware for XDA Computing. When not at work, you will find him yelling at his monitors while playing video games.

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