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Intel 12th-gen Alder Lake vs Apple M1 Processors: Which One’s Better?

We’ll compare the Intel 12th-gen Alder Lake vs Apple M1 processors to find which one is superior. Intel’s new 12th-generation Alder Lake processors are now available for purchase. At CES 2022, the company announced its whole Alder Lake CPU portfolio, which includes up to 22 desktop processors.

On the notebook side, the new Alder Lake chips are divided into three performance series: U-series up to 15W, P-series up to 28W, and H-series up to 45W to power the next generation of gaming and content production notebooks.

The U-series and P-series processors would be used in modern thin-and-light notebooks and mainstream notebooks, respectively.

The H-series chips, on the other hand, are the ones we believe are capable of competing with some of the greatest mobile CPUs on the market, such as the AMD Ryzen 6000 series and the Apple M1 lineup. 

Intel 12th-Gen Vs Apple M1 Processors: SKUs And Specifications

The Core i9-12900HK, which has 14 cores and 20 threads, is the most powerful of Intel’s new 12th-generation H-series CPUs. Take a look at this:

SpecificationIntel Core i9-12900HKIntel Core i9-12900HIntel Core i7-12800HIntel Core i7-12700HIntel Core i7-12650HIntel Core i5-12600HIntel Core i5-12500HIntel Core i5-12450H
Cores14 (6P + 8E)14 (6P + 8E)14 (6P + 8E)14 (6P + 8E)10 (6P + 4E)12 (4P + 8E)12 (4P + 8E)8 (4P + 4E)
Base Frequency2.5GHz (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 Frequency5.0GHz (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 Cache24MB24MB24MB24MB24MB18MB18MB12MB
Default TDP45W45W45W45W45W45W45W45W
Max Turbo Power115W115W115W115W115W95W95W95W
Processor Graphics96EU96EU96EU96EU64EU80EU80EU48EU

Intel is introducing its Hybrid CPU design to the mobile arena with Alder Lake H. As a result, all H-series processors include both high-performance Golden Cove P-cores and high-efficiency Gracemont E-cores.

In furthermore, all H-series CPUs come with Intel Xe-LP graphics with 96EUs, up to four Thunderbolt 4 ports, DDR5, LPDDR5, DDR4, and LPDDR4X memory compatibility, and additional connectivity choices.

Apple, on the other hand, has a pretty good processor lineup. Apple now has quite a portfolio of CPUs for its MacBook computer devices, with the new M1 Pro and M1 Max joining the original M1 chip in 2021.

Intel 12th-gen Alder Lake vs Apple M1 Processors: Which One’s Better?

Let’s look at the M1 chips that Apple is now using in its MacBook laptops:

SpecificationApple M1 (2020)Apple M1 Pro (2021)Apple M1 Max (2021)
CPU Cores8 coresUp to 10 coresUp to 10 cores
CPU Performance Cores4 coresUp to 8 coresUp to 8 cores
CPU Efficiency c0res4 cores22
GPU cores7 or 814 or 1624 or 32
Neural Engine Cores161616
Manufacturing Process5nm5nm5nm
Transistors16 billion33.7 billion57 billion
Unified Memory8GB16GB16GB32GB32GB64GB
Memory Bandwidth68.25GB/s200GB/s400GB/s

Apple’s 8-core M1 processor is made up of four high-performance “Firestorm” cores and four energy-efficient “Icestorm” cores.

This hybrid architecture provides the chip to transition between low-power cores for low-priority operations and high-performance cores for jobs that require more resources.

The M1 Pro and M1 Max chips that followed it share a similar architecture, although they have various core configurations. Two high-efficiency cores and six performance cores are included in the eight-core variant.

The ten-core option, on the other hand, preserves the same number of efficiency cores as the eight-core option while adding two extra performance cores. In day-to-day tasks, this results in a more powerful CPU that sacrifices power efficiency in favor of raw performance.

This is also why the MacBook Pro notebooks powered by the M1 Max have a little shorter battery life. Your mileage will undoubtedly vary depending on a variety of different circumstances, but the chip itself plays a significant role in battery depletion.

One of the new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips highlights is that they both have enhanced memory bandwidth and connectors.

The M1 Pro has 256-bit LPDDR5 memory that runs at 6400MT/s, whilst the M1 Max has a 512-bit wide LPDDR5 memory subsystem. The M1 Pro has a bandwidth of 204GB/s, while the M1 Max offers a whopping 408GB/s.

Intel 12th-gen Alder Lake vs Apple M1 processors: Performance

Researchers haven’t yet gotten their hands on laptops powered by Intel’s new 12th-generation H-series CPUs, so they will be relying on Intel’s performance numbers.

When it comes to the overall performance of the 12th-generation H-series chips, the business is claiming some significant numbers.

The Core i9-12900HK is the fastest mobile processor ever, according to Intel. When compared to the previous generation and the competition, it is said to be up to 28% faster in gaming at 1080p.

Intel also claims to have beaten both the Apple M1 Pro and M1 Max in the content creation sector. The new 12900HK is expected to outperform the competition by up to 44% in content production programs like Adobe Creative Cloud, Blender, and others. 

Intel 12th-gen Alder Lake vs Apple M1 Processors: Which One’s Better?


When recently reviewed the unlocked Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K desktop parts, we got a taste of Alder Lake’s hybrid architecture. The company’s latest 12th-generation processors are unquestionably superior to anything they have seen from them in the past.

However, it will be interesting to observe how the new CPUs compare against Apple’s M1 chips. When it comes to hardware and software integration, Apple clearly has the upper hand, which is why Intel‘s 12th-generation CPUs may not be enough to beat Apple’s silicon, especially when it comes to battery efficiency.

When it comes to purchasing one of these laptops, it also boils down to personal preference. Apple’s shift to its own silicon has gone very well thus far, and experts don’t expect them to use Intel CPUs in any future Mac computers.

It goes without saying that other OEMs will not be allowed to use Apple‘s M1 CPUs to power their own notebooks. A comprehensive comparison of the two is necessary, but it essentially boils down to whether they want to buy a Mac or a Windows-based system with one of these new Intel processors.

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People May Ask

Will Alder Lake Be Better Than M1?

Yes, Alder Lake is now available, and according to benchmarks, it is nearly 1.5 times quicker than Apple’s latest laptop CPUs in multi-core performance.

Are M1 Processors Good?

The M1 processor was utilized in Apple’s lower-end Macs, and it outperforms even the highest-end Intel Apple notebook CPUs in terms of CPU performance.

The M1 chip offers the fastest single-core performance of any Mac, and its multi-core performance is comparable to that of many Apple desktop computers.

What Is The M1 Processor Equivalent?

Apple now has three processors with increasing computing capability, similar to Intel’s lines in the past. If you take a very simplified view of things, the M1 is equivalent to the Core i3, the M1 Pro is equivalent to the mid-range Core i5, and the M1 Max is equivalent to the Core i7.

Why Is The M1 Mac Cheaper?

Because the M1 chip was developed by Apple and is an Apple-developed processor, the M1 Macbook is less expensive than Intel. Because Apple has enjoyed a monopoly for decades, Intel has been able to charge hefty prices for its CPUs from every device manufacturer.

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