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Why are the Intel Core i7 and i9 HX series good for gaming laptops?

The processor, along with the GPU, is one of the most important components in both desktop PCs and laptops. Moreover, the performance of the processor is important when it comes to gaming laptops. Intel processors are definitely out of competition right now. A lot of users recommend them as more reliable than their direct competitors from AMD.

The Intel Core i7 and i9 HX series are considered good for gaming laptops. Why is this so? Let’s take a look at the 6 attributes that make them good “stuffing” for gaming laptops.

Hybrid architecture

For modern games, the abundance and quality of cores are a kind of fetish. Intel HX series processors have two more cores than previous H and HK series mobile processors – as many as 16. Half of them are performance cores, the other eight are energy-efficient.

The first ones are responsible for the high-quality execution of heavy tasks: running games with complicated graphics, rendering, streaming, and video editing. The latter is needed for simpler tasks, like working with documents or watching YouTube videos.

This architecture helps your PC conserve power even when you’re working hard – it won’t get hotter than a frying pan and your battery will last longer. Plus, Intel’s HX-series processors support up to 24 threads – the name given to dedicated areas within cores that can function as independent computing centers. Their abundance significantly increases the number of parallel operations and speeds up your computer, in particular the processing of demanding games.

The HX-series processors are the first in the line of mobile Intel Core processors that can boast such performance. Previously, only desktop versions, such as the KS and F series, had such an architecture.

Awesome graphics support

The graphics system built into the processor is enough to work simultaneously with four monitors – this expands the possibilities for gameplay and streaming. Probably, you will need to get adapters for this: you can’t find so many suitable connectors on laptops.

However, it will still be possible to connect an additional display for watching commentary from the on-air viewers or playing games on a big screen. By the way, HX processors support picture output with a resolution of up to 8K. With current versions of OpenGL and DirectX, they cope, as well as older series.

Maximum clock frequency – up to 5 GHz

Clock speed reflects the number of operations the processor can perform per unit of time. This is an important metric for both game loading and gameplay. Higher clock speeds help the processor process graphics and read signals from the mouse, keyboard, or joystick faster – not to slow down when every second counts.

HX Series processors routinely clock at 2.3GHz. This is enough for undemanding games, but modern games with powerful graphics won’t be enough: they require 3.5-4 GHz. For online games in general it is better to have 5 GHz, so the iron can cope with the constant stream of new information from the network.

Especially for these cases, the HX-series processors have a Turbo mode. With it, Core i7 versions are capable of overclocking up to 4.70-4.80GHz, and Core i9 versions up to 5GHz. But this isn’t a new feature: such acceleration was available in the previous series of Intel mobile processors.

Another point: for the processor to work comfortably at the limit of possibilities, it is important and other laptop stuffing, in particular, a quality cooling system. If the fans and heat pipes don’t cope with the removal of heat – the processor won’t be able to maintain the frequency at maximum for a long time.

Large L3 cache volume

The cache is a fast memory from which the processor can retrieve previously processed information without wasting time looking for it again in RAM or storage. This helps to increase performance.

The cache has three levels. The last, L3, is the largest. Its size is more important for games: L1 and L2 caches are usually sufficient for launching programs and web surfing. 16-20MB of L3 cache is enough for comfortable gaming and demanding games, but Intel Core i7 HX processors have 25MB of it, and i9 has as much as 30MB.

Intel Smart Cache technology allows all cores to access L3 at the same time, which gives an additional performance boost. However, the cache size doesn’t always have a noticeable impact on the game and is significant only in combination with a high-performance architecture and clock speed.

DDR5 RAM support

DDR5 is the latest generation of memory. It has several enhanced qualities. First, a higher data transfer rate – Intel HX processors support DDR5 with up to 4800 mega transfers per second. Second, is the increase in memory channels: in DDR4 there was one, and in DDR5 there are two. A larger number of channels allows for faster information retrieval and increased efficiency. However, according to the tests, these upgrades had little effect on the gaming performance.

But DDR5 has another useful feature – the work on an integrated power system (PMIC). The previous generation was controlled by the motherboard. PMIC optimizes power consumption and runs at lower voltages.

Smart Technologies

There are many of smart technologies in the HX series processors, but most were also present in previous models of mobile processors. For example, Smart Sound is responsible for high-quality audio and voice processing without compromising performance or battery life. This is especially important for streaming and team gaming.

Hyper-Threading provides multi-threaded processing for each core, while Speed Shift allows you to quickly switch speeds depending on the complexity of the task. It won’t load web pages by running at maximum speed – it’s good for power efficiency. Thermal control technology keeps the core safe even during the hottest fights. And Intel Adaptix helps you tweak the system settings so the notebook delivers maximum performance and graphics.

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