Intel Claims Its Newest Core i9 Chip Is Faster Than Apple’s M1 Max

BY Chandraveer Mathur

Published 5 Jan 2022

Intel-12th-Gen-Mobile i9 12900HK

Intel announced the 12th Gen Intel Core range of CPUs for laptops led by the new H-series chips. The lineup’s flagship model, the Intel Core i9-12900HK, is advertised as the world’s best mobile gaming platform and a chip faster than Apple’s M1 Max chip in the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

Intel claims that the new i9-12900HK is the “fastest mobile processor ever.” The chip features a 14-core CPU comprising six performance and eight efficiency cores. It can reach a maximum Turbo Boost clock speed of 5GHz, and its peak power draw is rated at a whopping 115W.

Intel compared the i9’s performance to the M1 Max by compiling binaries with the SPEC CPU 2017 benchmarking suite. The graph reveals that the i9 offers better performance per watt than the Apple chip. However, Intel’s performance claims should be taken with a pinch of salt because the benchmark could favor older x86-based processors over Apple Silicon. Plus, this is just one scenario, and Apple’s chip could very well beat Intel’s latest CPU in other benchmarks and real-life use cases.


For comparison, Apple’s M1 Max features a 10-core chip with eight performance cores and two efficiency cores. Additionally, it has a significantly lower total power draw, making it a more efficient chip than Intel’s newest offering. The Core i9’s higher power draw would also eat into the limited thermal headroom of notebook cooling solutions. This means that although Intel’s chip is faster, it won’t sustain the higher clock speed for more prolonged durations due to the thermal limitations of laptops. The M1 Max’s significantly lower peak power draw means it can maintain its maximum clock speed for relatively longer stints.

The higher power draw also means that laptops with Intel’s latest CPU simply won’t offer the same level of battery life as Apple’s offering.

Intel may be playing catch-up in performance with the i9-12900HK chip, but Apple’s transition to proprietary silicon gives it the upper hand in the power efficiency department. After all, nobody wants their laptop to sound like an aircraft!

[Via Intel]