13th Gen Intel Core mobile CPUs announced at CES

Intel H-Series processor promotional image for CES 2023
(Image credit: Intel)

What you need to know

  • Intel unveils new mobile CPUs at CES 2023 in Las Vegas, including the world's first 24-core processor for a laptop and the fastest mobile processor.
  • Full specifications for all 32 processor variants have been revealed, including H, P-, and U-series.
  • The HK- and HX-series chips allow overclocking, with up to 5.6GHz turbo frequency.
  • The 13th Gen chips support previous-generation DDR4 and current DDR5 memory alongside PCIe 4.0 and 5.0 expansion.

Intel has announced the latest 13th Generation range of their mobile processors at CES 2023 in Las Vegas, with a new flagship Core i9-13980HX CPU, the fastest and world's first 24-core mobile chip. All-new 13th Gen variants of Intel Core P- and U-series chips will be available alongside the powerhouse HX- and H-series, each designed for laptops in multiple categories with performance scaling from thin-and-light ultrabooks to enthusiast-level portable gaming machines.

The new range includes 32 new mobile processors overall, with across-the-board improvements to each series, with the high-performance HX-series leading the way with more cores and threads, more L2 cache for each, and support for the latest laptop I/O options. Including support for the Intel Evo platform promises to set a high benchmark for laptop processing performance alongside efficient battery life for a long-lasting mobile experience.

Power requirements drop significantly through each series, practically identical to the previous 12th Gen mobile processors:

  • HX-series @ 55W: Elite gaming and creation
  • H-series @ 45W: Enthusiast laptops
  • P-series @ 28W: Performance thin and light laptops
  • U-series @ 15W: Modern thin and light laptops

13th Gen Core mobile CPU range (Image credit: Intel)

Proudly boasting performance breakthroughs of its flagship mobile processors, Intel's high-end Core i9 HX-series chips offer 8x performance cores and 16x efficient cores within a slim 20mm form factor alongside the highest I/O and memory options currently available. Reserved for ultra-performance gaming and content creation laptops, these powerful CPUs will effortlessly handle intense gaming and creative tasks.

More L2 cache per core and support for up to 128GB of DDR5 RAM with 2x DIMMs per channel clocked up to 5600MHz alongside PCIe 5.0 components with Intel's dynamic power share tech for increased efficiency means support for cutting-edge mobile hardware without sacrificing long-lasting battery life.

Extra benefits to the 13th Gen upgrade include support for Wi-Fi 6E networking and Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity, plus AI-powered enhancements such as Intel Gaussian and Neural Accelerator (GNA) improving speech recognition to offer benefits such as live translations in video conferencing. While the HX-series CPUs offer maximum performance, the slimline H-, P-, and U-series variants can power the various requirements for gaming, creative content, and multi-tasking in a portable machine.

Intel's hybrid CPU method integrates two core microarchitectures into a single processor die, with its thread director optimizing workloads alongside the operating system to intelligently and efficiently distribute tasks. These high-end improvements go hand-in-hand with modern memory standards and PCIe devices, but the 13th Gen chips still support DDR4 RAM slots and PCIe 4.0 lanes to keep options open for OEM manufacturers.

Some options extend to the consumer, with the HK and HX-series CPUs capable of full/partial overclocking to attain even higher clock speeds if sufficient thermal control is possible. At least 60 OEM designs are planned to feature the HX chips from brands such as Razer, MSI, ASUS ROG, and more, with over 250 overall OEM designs covering the total 13th Gen range.

Support for the latest hardware and software alongside Intel Evo means any laptops designed with these 13th Gen Core mobile processors will be future-proof for portable gaming, content creation, and beyond. Expanding its Intel Xe graphics tech with enhancements carried over from Intel Arc GPUs means even the slimmest and lightweight laptops will handle intense visual tasks without compromising the performance of other components.

Windows Central take

My initial reaction to Intel releasing 32 brand-new mobile processors was a worry about oversaturation. Still, if you break them down into individual categories, it about matches the 12th Gen with almost 30 variants. Pushing the range wider isn't absurd if Intel can back it up with solid benchmarks. Naturally, my primary interest is with the flagship Core i9 -HX series and their whopping 24/32 core/thread count.

All HX and HK chips promise consumers the ability to overclock the CPU, GPU, and RAM, so it'll be intriguing to see how OEMs handle it. Cutting-edge gaming laptops are usually painstakingly designed to maximize every millimeter of airflow, so allowing users to push the components past their base frequencies will need considerations towards warranties.

A desktop Core i9-13900KF hits 3.0GHz at its base P/E-core frequency, more than any of the mobile chips, but your choices for gigantic cooling solutions are far better for a tower PC. 45W base power for the H-series chips is the same as last-gen, so hopefully, improvements elsewhere can extend battery life since that tends to be the weakest feature in even some of the best gaming laptops.

Ben Wilson
Channel Editor

Ben is the channel editor for all things tech-related at Windows Central. That includes PCs, the components inside, and any accessory you can connect to a Windows desktop or Xbox console. Not restricted to one platform, he also has a keen interest in Valve's Steam Deck handheld and the Linux-based operating system inside. Fueling this career with coffee since 2021, you can usually find him behind one screen or another. Find him on Mastodon @trzomb@mastodon.online to ask questions or share opinions.