Confusion comes to laptops. An i7 with less Cores than an i5?

Intel has taken not one, but two steps forward compared to its previous architecture and above all it has innovated in a sector where nothing different was done since the Ryzen. Their Alder Lake CPUs now not only bring one type of core to their credit (homogeneous) but they bring two (heterogeneous) and this is going to cause a rather curious confusion in laptops that we have to be aware of to buy correctly. The appearance of i7-12650H turns everything upside down.

We are used to seeing the specifications of any processor and assuming that an i7 is better than an i5 in terms of performance: better speeds, more caches or more threads / cores. What if this is not entirely true or is cheating? Well, going to buy a laptop would be something more complicated than usual …

Intel Core i7-12650H: less is more?

A hybrid architecture like the one that Intel has presented can result in an unprecedented paradigm so far in PC and which, curiously, will be the advance of what we will see in Raptor lake on desktop next year. The new i7-12650H that has been seen in Geekbench marks the way of what says that less is not always more or more is better.

Why? Well, because of its configuration. And we are talking about a CPU with 10 cores and 16 threads that will be ahead of nothing less than the processor that is destined to be a sales leader this Christmas, the i5-12500H.


As all laptop CPUs (except the HK series logically) at 45 watts to preserve the temperature of each unit, this causes the movements of frequencies and cores to vary. The problem comes when it’s new i7-12650H It has fewer total cores than the i5-12500H (10 vs 12), which has made the appearance of the first and the interrogation in the head of more than one striking. Why would Intel launch an i7 with lower features than an i5?

The internal configuration dictates sentence

UHD i7-12650H

As always the differences are in the details and the name i7 does not come just because. Although this new i7-12650H is a 10-core CPU, these are divided into 6 P-Cores and 4 E-Cores, on the other hand the i5-12500H despite having 12 cores only has 4 P-Cores and 8 E-Cores.

We do not know the differences in frequencies, but given that the TDP is the limiting factor, what we can be sure of is that the i5 will be slower in this section, which will finally give a lower performance as a whole of both types of cores in search of better efficiency.


Instead, the leak on Geekbench reveals that the i7-12650H could go up to 3.5 GHz in Boost, we assume that in its E-Cores, since its higher brothers have really high frequencies (4.6 GHz, 4.8 GHz and 5 GHz) or it may just be a software reading error.

On the other hand and to finish, the filtering reveals an iGPU with 64 EU that will run at 1,300 MHz under the Xe-LP series and that would be very close to the NVIDIA MX-350 and AMD’s RX 550, well above the Vega 11 as an iGPU, so it will be interesting to see how many laptops include dedicated GPUs and how many just leave this very full iGPU.

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