AMD Ryzen 7 6800H vs Intel i7-12700H - Best Laptop CPU 2022
Electronics,  Technology

AMD Ryzen 7 6800H vs Intel i7-12700H – Best Laptop CPU 2022

CPU Spec Differences

Don’t buy the wrong CPU for your next laptop! The differences between AMD and Intel are quite big this year. Here’s everything that you need to know. Intel is offering more cores and threads this year with the 12th gen due to their new hybrid design that uses higher power performance and lower power-efficient cores.

Both CPUs have similar single-core turbo boost speeds. However, the i7 has more cache. Otherwise, both support the latest DDR5 memory and use PCIe Gen 4 for the discrete graphics and storage.

Laptops Test

To do this testing fairly, I’ve got Intel’s Core i7-12700H and AMD’s Ryzen 7 6800H processors in the exact same laptop chassis, the Neo 15 from XMG. Both laptops have the exact same cooler, same battery, and same screen. And I’ve even tested with the same SSD and 32 gigs DDR5-4800 memory kit. Both laptops support liquid cooling, so I’ve used this to rule out any thermal limits. These laptops are basically identical except for the CPU difference. This comparison is as fair as it can get!

Battery Life

The biggest advantage that AMD has over Intel is battery life. The 6800H machine was almost able to last for twice as long in my test at 10 hours 23 minutes compared to 5 hours and 17 minutes from the Intel laptop. This is a massive difference considering other components apart from the CPU are the same. Honestly, this will probably affect more people than the performance differences we’re about to look at.

Power Limits

Both of these laptops allow us to adjust the power limit of the CPU through the included control centre software. More power equals more performance but also more heat.

Power Limits

Cinebench R23

Cinebench is a good place to start our performance comparisons because it covers both single and multi-core performance. I’ve tested with both CPUs’ power limited to either a 45-watt TDP, the base power level for both processors, or 80 watts, which I think better represents what most mid to higher-end gaming laptops are capable of.

They’re scoring basically the same at 45 watts, the i7 was only 2% higher, but the gap gets larger with more power. Intel was now scoring 16% higher in multi-core, with both running at 80 watts. Intel was always at least 17% higher in terms of single-core regardless of the power limit difference.

Cinebench

Power Draw

Although both laptops are basically identical except for the CPUs, the actual power drawn at the wall was higher on the Intel machine. Having the same TDP set in software doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll both use the same amount of power. It depends on how each platform actually measures TDP. These sorts of small variances are difficult to fully account for.

Clock Speeds

The Ryzen machine was reaching higher clock speeds because it’s got less cores to power. The i7 has E cores which need power too, but despite clocking lower, as we saw in Cinebench, the i7 was still ahead in both single and multi-threaded performance.

Temperatures

Unfortunately, we can’t fairly compare thermals because the Intel laptop does actually have liquid metal while the AMD model shipped with thermal paste. This is the only part of the video that’s not fairly comparable, but regardless this shows that both machines are far from thermal throttling with the liquid cooler. As long as there aren’t thermal limits, then we can fairly compare performance.

Power Scaling (Performance at Different Power Levels)

We can see just how much different power limits matter here. Give me a second to explain what’s going on. The blue bars show the Intel Core i7-12700H, while the red bars show the AMD Ryzen 7 6800H. We’re testing each CPU in 5-watt power increments between 10 and 120 watts, and we can see the Cinebench multicore score that this gives.

This shows that with a 35-watt TDP or less, Ryzen was better, but once both are able to run with 40 watts or above, Intel takes the lead. The Ryzen chip seems to max out at around 85 watts and doesn’t perform any better with more power available, while Intel, on the other hand, kept doing better with more power right up to 120 watts.

Power scaling

Although the 6800H was running better at 35 watts and below, in most cases, laptops that have these chips just won’t be running with power limits that low. Take the small 13-inch ASUS Flow Z13, for example, this is available with an i7-12700H, yet it’s still capable of running the CPU at 50 watts in Cinebench.

Maybe if we’re comparing super-thin ultrabooks that happen to have these CPUs, it might matter, but the simple fact is, for most cases, when we’re talking about gaming laptops this size and even smaller, both laptops can run with much higher power limits than 35 watts. In thinner gaming laptops, 50 to 60 watts for a CPU-only workload is common, while most normal-sized 15-inch models seem to run around 80 to 90 watts.

Realistically we only see 100 watts plus in more enthusiast-grade machines, so the performance difference will ultimately depend on the power limits offered by the laptop you’re looking at. This is why I always mention them in my reviews. With that in mind, all other tests have been run with either the 45-watt base TDP or 80 watts to better represent a mid to higher range option. Unfortunately, I just can’t test all apps at all 23 different power levels.

Blender

Anyway, Blender was performing better on the 6800H in all three workloads with both power limited to 45 watts, granted it’s a very small difference. At the higher 80-watt level, though, the i7 had a larger 8 to 12% performance boost as its additional cores started getting the power they needed.

V-Ray

V-Ray is another rendering workload, and the 6800H was also slightly ahead at the 45-watt power limit here too. With both running at 80 watts, though, the i7 was almost 10% ahead. Not a super impressive difference considering the i7 also has a 25% higher thread count, though, of course, its E cores are less powerful.

Corona Renderer

Lower times are better with the corona renderer. The i7 was only completing the task a couple of seconds faster with both at 45 watts, so again, basically the same. The gap gets larger in favour of Intel at the higher power limit, though, with the i7 completing the same task 14% faster now.

Linux Kernel Compilation

Lower times are also better in the Linux kernel compilation test, and this was run under Ubuntu 22.04 rather than Windows 11 like everything else. The i7 was much faster, with both CPUs limited to a 45-watt TDP in this one, completing the task 19% faster than AMD. Intel was then 34% faster with both running at the higher power limit, the second biggest improvement for Intel out of all workloads tested.

LLVM Compilation

LLVM compilation was also done in Linux, and this test had the biggest difference in favour of Intel out of all workloads tested. With the 80-watt power limit, the 12700H was able to complete the task 36% faster, quite a big difference. Either compilation tasks simply do much better than anything else I’ve tested, perhaps due to cache differences, or Linux is doing better than Windows here.

Compression & Decompression

It’s not all big wins for Intel, though. 7-Zip was used to test compression and decompression. With the lower 45-watt power limit in place, the 6800H was able to score 19% higher than the 12700H in decompression. However, Intel was better when it came to compression. AMD was still better in decompression at the higher 80-watt power level. However, the gap has closed, and Intel isn’t far behind; Intel was also offering a 28% higher compression speed.

Software Performance

Adobe Performance

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop was about the same on either laptop with a lower power limit. The difference is well within the margin of error. The gap is a little bigger in favour of Intel at the higher power limit, but it’s only a 5% higher score.

Adobe Premiere

Adobe Premiere also had basically no change with both running at 45 watts, and then the i7 was able to score 10% higher with more power. These sorts of creator workloads generally benefit from more CPU power, but this isn’t a huge difference.

DaVinci Resolve

The gaps in DaVinci Resolve were even smaller. Again basically no change at the lower 45-watt TDP while the higher power limit was just 4% higher with Intel.

Handbrake Video Transcode

Lower times are better for Handbrake, as this is how long it took to export one of my 4K laptop reviews to 1080p. Again only minor differences at 45 watts, with the i7 being a little faster, but the i7 has a much larger lead when it can get more power and was able to complete the task 18% faster with both running at 80 watts.

Microsoft Office

Now for some Microsoft Office tests. Whether we’re talking about Excel, Word, PowerPoint or Outlook, for general office use, Intel was always ahead. In some cases, it was close, but hey, winning’s winning.

Geekbench

I’m not a fan of Geekbench, but it’s one of the few tests that also covers single-core performance. The i7 was around 12% faster in this regard, and again like most other tests, the multi-core score improves far more on Intel once we give it more power.

12700H vs 6800H – 45W TDP

On average, out of these specific tests, Intel’s Core i7-12700H was scored 4% higher than AMD’s Ryzen 7 6800H, with both power limited to their base power level of 45 watts. The Intel chip was winning in more tests than it was losing. Some of the heavy multi-threaded rendering workloads were slightly ahead of AMD, despite Intel having more cores and threads. This is because those additional cores need more power to run, and there’s just less power here.

12700H vs 6800H – 80W TDP

With both instead power limited to the higher 80-watt TDP, the i7 was now scoring 13% higher in these same specific workloads. The 6800H was only a little ahead in one test now, 7-Zip decompression. Otherwise, Intel was ahead in every other test. This is honestly a fairer comparison between the two if we’re talking about gaming laptops, as most 15-inch and above machines should easily be able to run CPU-only workloads around this point.

When To Pick Intel or AMD

Basically, if you want the best CPU performance in both single and multi-threaded workloads, then Intel is the way to go. At least when running at higher power limits which, let’s face it, is what both of these laptops are capable of and most gaming laptops out there, for that matter. But AMD is absolutely worth considering if you want better battery life. Or if you’re looking at a super-thin design that runs with really low power limits and might not have discrete graphics.

iGPU Gaming Comparison

As the integrated graphics on offer from AMD are way better. The 6800H uses their latest RDNA 2 graphics, reaching a 65% higher average FPS in the shadow of the tomb raider at 1080p high settings. To be fair, it’s uncommon for these processors to not also have more powerful discrete Nvidia or Radeon GPUs, so this might not be that useful for most people.

PCIe Bandwidth

It’s also worth noting that this year both Intel and AMD have eight lanes of PCIe Gen 4 connectivity between the CPU and discrete graphics. Last year, Intel 11th gen could offer either 8 or 16 lanes, but this year both Intel and AMD are capped to 8 lanes. This means there shouldn’t be a bandwidth difference this year in terms of gaming with discrete Nvidia or Radeon GPUs.

Price Difference

So, what sort of a price difference are we talking about between AMD and Intel? Unfortunately, XMG isn’t selling their AMD-based Neo 15 until later in July, so you’ll have to check those links below the video for updates. But what I can say for now, based on the information provided to me, is that AMD is probably going to be a little cheaper.

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