In 2020, Apple managed the impossible: it made chipsets sexy. People actually talked about processors.
But the release of the M1 did more than get public attention, it also shook up the whole computing industry. The chip helped Apple’s Macbooks deliver incredible performance and battery life — outstripping its competitors along the way.
That latter point may not be true any longer, because Intel just announced its new 12th-generation Core mobile processor range, one of which it claims to be the fastest example of this technology ever.
I just hope this is true.
First though, details. If you can suffer through some terrible names, Intel unveiled 28 new models of its 12th-gen Core mobile processors at CES. These are specifically made for laptops. The most attention grabbing of them is the Intel Core i9-12900HK, the processor that Intel claims blows Apple’s M1 Max out the water.
Here’s the imagery they used for the claim:
If we take the statement as entirely factual (which is unlikely, as Intel will have definitely geared testing towards its processors strengths), the results are undeniably impressive. What we can see is that while Apple’s M1 Max works better at low wattages, the Intel Core i9-12900HK has a better performance-per-watt than its competitor.
This may well be excellent for intensive laptop tasks, such as video editing or gaming.
But there’s a caveat. I could bring up a range of potential negatives of Intel’s new chip, ranging from how much heat the thing potentially puts out all the way through to battery life — but I’m not going to. I don’t know if I can do it to myself.
Why? Because I desperately want Intel and AMD and other chip manufacturers to rise up and blow Apple’s hardware away.
I’m not an Apple hater, far from it (I predominately use the company’s hardware), but I’m conscious of one thing: competition is vital for a thriving tech market.
While it’s fantastic to see Cupertino steaming ahead of its competitors, what I’d prefer to see is a chipset arms race. I want these companies to push each other, come up with better and faster and more powerful and — importantly — cheaper chipsets.
Because if that happens, you and I, the consumers, win. Those advances get passed to us and our computers all take a huge leap forward.
So, Intel, I’m praying for you. Let’s hope you can knock Apple and its M1 range off its perch. Well, until the M2 drops that is.