13th Gen Intel Core mobile processors can be further divided into HX Series, H Series, P Series and U Series. For gaming, look for the more powerful HX and H series. There is a HK part listed under H series classed as Essential vs Enterprise. This is the slowest in the series. So which is the best HX or H series Intel Core i9 processor for gaming and content creation? Find out here.
Differences between HX and H series Processors
The HX series processors are designed for gaming and creators. The Intel Core i9 processors have the maximum cores combining 8 performance cores and 16 efficient cores for a total of 24 cores. They also have the highest I/O and memory bandwidth and when paired with the best GPU, makes for an elite gaming machine. Another feature of the HX series is in the combination of two chips, the processor and discrete Platform Controller Hub. The latter brings up to 128GB RAM using two DIMMs per DDR5 channel, PCIe 5.0 support and Intel Dynamic Power Share.
For our purpose, here are the 13th Gen Intel Core i9 Processors from the HX series.
|Number of P-cores||8||8||8|
|Number of E-cores||16||16||16|
|Total Processor Threads||32||32||32|
|Intel® Smart Cache (L3)||36MB||36MB||36MB|
|Max Turbo Frequency (GHz) P-core||5.6||5.5||5.4|
|Processor Base Frequency (GHz) P-core||2.2||2.2||2.2|
|Max Graphics Frequency (GHz)||1.65||1.65||1.65|
|Processor Base Power (W)||55||55||55|
|Maximum Turbo Power (W)||157||157||157|
|Intel vPro® Eligible||–||Enterprise||–|
The H series processors on the other hand are also designed for gaming, content creation and heavy tasks but have a maximum core of 14. Again, the Intel Core i9 processors have the maximum core made up of 6 performance cores and 8 efficient cores. It also uses two-chip platform with support for DDR5 and lower base and turbo power consumption. The other differences apart from the number of cores and combination are the L3 cache which is 24MB vs 36MB and use of Intel Iris Xe with 96EU (Execution Unit) at 1.5GHz graphics speed vs Intel UHD Graphics with 32EU at 1.65GHz maximum speed.
For our purpose, here are the 13th Gen Intel Core i9 Processors from the H series.
|Number of P-cores||6||6||6|
|Number of E-cores||8||8||8|
|Total Processor Threads||20||20||20|
|Intel® Smart Cache (L3)||24MB||24MB||24MB|
|Max Turbo Frequency (GHz) P-core||5.4||5.4||5.4|
|Processor Base Frequency (GHz) P-core||2.6||2.6||2.6|
|Max Graphics Frequency (GHz)||1.5||1.5||1.5|
|Processor Base Power (W)||45||45||45|
|Maximum Turbo Power (W)||115||115||115|
|Intel vPro® Eligible||Essentials||–||Enterprise|
Intel Core i9 Mobile Processors Powering the Gaming Laptops Right Now
Here is a list of the Intel Core i9 Processors from both 12th and 13th generation powering the gaming laptops right now. From the 13th gen, all three processors from the HX series are used by vendors compared to only one from the H series at the time of writing. As for the 12th gen, there are only two that we found still hanging around. They are Intel Core i9-12900H and Intel Core i9-12900HK.
- Intel Core i9-13980HX Processor
- Intel® Core™ i9-13950HX Processor
- Intel Core i9-13900HX Processor
- Intel Core i9-13900H Processor
- Intel® Core™ i9-12900H Processor
- Intel® Core™ i9-12900HK Processor
Differences between Intel Core i9 12th Gen and 13th Gen
Both 12th and 13th gen Intel Core i9 processors use the same fabrication/manufacturing process, the 10nm. Therefore to boost the speed from one ‘generation’ to the next, Intel just piles on the number of cores and increase the clock speeds. In fact, from 12th to 13th gen, considering the processors currently powering the gaming laptop right now, we see a jump almost double the number of cores, see table below.
|Processor||Total Cores||Total Threads||P Cores||P Threads||E Cores||E Threads|
|Intel Core i9-13980HX Processor||24||32||8||16||16||16|
|Intel Core i9-13950HX Processor||24||32||8||16||16||16|
|Intel Core i9-13900HX Processor||24||32||8||16||16||16|
|Intel Core i9-13900H Processor||14||20||6||12||8||8|
|Intel Core i9-12900H Processor||14||20||6||12||8||8|
|Intel Core i9-12900HK Processor||14||20||6||12||8||8|
The Intel Core i9-12900H (enterprise) and 12900HK (essentials) which are Intel Core i9-13900H equivalent both have a total of 14 cores and 20 computing threads. This puts them in the same ball park where performance is concerned.
Going up to the HX series, you see an increase in total number of cores from 14 to 24 and computing threads, from 20 to 32. So how does adding more cores, both Performance cores and Efficient cores help with its performance?
Let’s look at the number – 13th Gen Intel Core i9 Benchmark Results
Here are the benchmark results we compiled for Average CPU Mark and Single Thread ratings from cpubenchmark.net
|Processor||Ave CPU Mark||Single Thread|
|Intel Core i9-13980HX Processor||48974||4415|
|Intel Core i9-13950HX Processor||45915||4208|
|Intel Core i9-13900HX Processor||45613||4260|
|Intel Core i9-13900H Processor||31423||3994|
|Intel Core i9-12900H Processor||28918||3868|
|Intel Core i9-12900HK Processor||28499||3724|
Intel Core i9-13900H Performance – NO REAL GAIN
User benchmarks put the Intel Core i9-12900HK, the slowest processor in our list to be just slightly, around 1.5% faster slower than Intel Core i9-12900H. So if there is savings to be made choosing between a laptop powered by Intel Core i9-12900HK or Intel Core i9-12900H, the performance difference is negligible. Taking Intel Core i9-12900H as baseline and comparing it against its equivalent in the new 13th gen version, the Intel Core i9-13900H is only 8.7% faster. That is because the Intel Core i9-13900H is still held back by the same number of cores and threads. See bars for Intel Core i9-13900H, 12900H and 12900HK in the chart above.
Intel Core i9-13900HX Performance – RECOMMENDED
The real improvement or jump in performance comes from going with Intel Core i9-13900HX. Here is where the extra 10 cores and 12 threads kick in. Taking Intel Core i9-12900HK as baseline, we see a huge 60% jump in performance. It is without any question that if you want to stay ahead of the curve and enjoy the best performance from your gaming laptop, this is the minimum 13th gen processor to get.
Intel Core i9-13950HX Performance – MIDDLE CHILD
So far, we have only seen the Intel Core i9-13950HX in one gaming laptop. That isn’t to say that things won’t change. We might see more as manufacturers churn out more gaming laptops based on the 13th Gen processors. However, as you can see from the very small performance going with this over Intel Core i9-13900HX, a tiny 0.66% improvement, it is no wonder than manufacturers are giving this a miss. We might as well save the money and spend it on something like more memory or bigger storage.
Intel Core i9-13980HX Performance – BEST PERFORMANCE
For top of the chart performance, it has to be the Intel Core i9-13980HX. The performance is nearly 71.8% faster than baseline (Intel Core i9-12900HK), 6.7% faster than Intel Core i9-13950HX and 7.4% faster than Intel Core i9-13900HX when firing on all cores. If you don’t want any compromises, this is the processor to power your gaming or creator laptop.