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How Does AMD's 6980HX Compare With Intel's 12950HX?

Compare AMD's Ryzen 9 6980HX with Intel's Core i9 12950HX. Which CPU is better for gaming, general apps, and professional tools?

6980HX versus 12950HX Dell / Unsplash

Last Updated: September 1, 2022

Written by Kevin Jones



This article compares AMD's Ryzen 9 6980HX with Intel's Core i9 12950HX, exploring which CPU is better for:

  • Gaming - the latest graphics-intense games
  • General Apps - web browsing, streaming, and office applications
  • Professional Tools - 2D and 3D graphics tools, video editors, compilers, and engineering tools

Gaming on the Ryzen 9 6980HX vs. Core i9 12950HX

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Gaming on a Laptop Onur Binay / Unsplash

Ryzen 9 6980HX

When using AMD's Ryzen 9 6980HX CPU for gaming, you can expect good game performance.

Core i9 12950HX

When using Intel's Core i9 12950HX CPU for gaming, you can expect excellent game performance when the laptop is good at dissipating heat or good game performance with inadequate heat dissipation. Most laptops will fall somewhere in between in terms of their cooling capabilities.

Gaming Considerations

While a good GPU is critical for gaming performance, your CPU will also have a significant impact. If the CPU is too slow, it can be a bottleneck for your GPU, which can reduce your framerate or cause stuttering. The most important CPU capabilities for gaming are single-core max boost frequency and the number of cores. A high base frequency is also critical for inadequately cooled CPUs.

Depending on the game, the CPU will often handle tasks including scene management, gameplay logic, physics calculations, and asset loading.

Having multiple CPU cores can improve performance with games that utilize them. However, developers cannot split up every task to take advantage of a growing number of cores. Most modern games don't benefit from having more than 6–8 cores. Game performance will experience diminishing returns as you add more CPU cores.

Cores

6980HX: The 6980HX's 8 cores allow for excellent performance with the latest graphics-intense games.

12950HX: The 12950HX's 8 Performance cores allow for excellent performance with the latest graphics-intense games.

Learn more about Core Counts below.

Base Frequency

6980HX: The 6980HX's 3.3 GHz base frequency is mediocre for performance with the latest graphics-intense games, when not boosting. You can reach these base frequencies even without good heat dissipation.

12950HX: The 12950HX's 2.30 GHz base frequency is poor for performance with the latest graphics-intense games, when not boosting. You can reach these base frequencies even without good heat dissipation.

Learn more about CPU Clock Speeds below.

Single-Core Boost

6980HX: With good heat dissipation, the 6980HX's 5.0 GHz single-core max boost frequency is excellent for performance with the latest graphics-intense games. You can maintain these frequencies with good heat dissipation.

12950HX: With good heat dissipation, the 12950HX's 5.00 GHz single-core max turbo boost frequency is excellent for performance with the latest graphics-intense games. You can maintain these frequencies with good heat dissipation.

Learn more about CPU Clock Speeds below.

P-Core Boost

6980HX: The 6980HX does not have Performance cores.

12950HX: With good heat dissipation, the 12950HX's 5.00 GHz max turbo boost frequency of the Performance cores are excellent for performance with the latest graphics-intense games. P core turbo boost frequencies can be maintained with good heat dissipation.

Learn more about CPU Clock Speeds below.

Overclocking Support

6980HX: When using good heat dissipation, the 6980HX CPU's support for overclocking can be excellent for performance with the latest graphics-intense games.

12950HX: When using good heat dissipation, the 12950HX CPU's support for overclocking can be excellent for performance with the latest graphics-intense games.

Learn more about Overclocking below.

DDR Support

6980HX: The 6980HX CPU's support for DDR5 with a max stock speed of 4800 MHz can be excellent for performance with the latest graphics-intense games.

12950HX: The 12950HX CPU's support for DDR5 with a max stock speed of 4800 MHz can be excellent for performance with the latest graphics-intense games.

Learn more about DDR Support below.

PCIe

6980HX: The 6980HX CPU's support for PCIe 4.0 can be excellent for performance with the latest graphics-intense games, when using the fastest SSDs and graphics cards.

12950HX: The 12950HX CPU's support for PCIe 5.0 can be excellent for performance with the latest graphics-intense games, when using the fastest SSDs and graphics cards.

L3 Cache

6980HX: The 6980HX's 16 MB of L3 cache is mediocre for performance with the latest graphics-intense games.

12950HX: The 12950HX's impressive 30 MB of L3 cache is excellent for performance with the latest graphics-intense games.

Learn more about Cache Sizes below.

General Apps on the Ryzen 9 6980HX vs. Core i9 12950HX

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General App Usage on a Laptop

Ryzen 9 6980HX

When using AMD's Ryzen 9 6980HX CPU for general apps, you can expect excellent app performance.

Core i9 12950HX

When using Intel's Core i9 12950HX CPU for general apps, you can expect excellent app performance.

General App Considerations

If you're only planning to stream shows, use office apps, or browse the internet, you won't need a top-end CPU to get good performance. The most important CPU capability for general app usage is the single-core max boost frequency. A high base frequency is also helpful for inadequately cooled CPUs.

Browsers depend on your CPU to quickly load pages and video content and manage multiple browser tabs. Higher single-core boost frequencies can speed up page load times.

Office and web applications are typically single-threaded, so running a single application won't take advantage of a many-core CPU.

The more cores a CPU has, the more applications you can run simultaneously without noticing a performance impact.

Office and web applications rarely max out the CPU for long periods. These applications can use boost speeds when a burst of processing power is needed, returning to the more efficient base frequencies afterward.

Cores

6980HX: The 6980HX's 8 cores allow for excellent performance with modern apps.

12950HX: The 12950HX's 8 Performance cores allow for excellent performance with modern apps.

Learn more about Core Counts below.

Single-Core Boost

6980HX: With good heat dissipation, the 6980HX's 5.0 GHz single-core max boost frequency is excellent for performance with modern apps. You can maintain these frequencies with good heat dissipation.

12950HX: With good heat dissipation, the 12950HX's 5.00 GHz single-core max turbo boost frequency is excellent for performance with modern apps. You can maintain these frequencies with good heat dissipation.

Learn more about CPU Clock Speeds below.

P-Core Boost

6980HX: The 6980HX does not have Performance cores.

12950HX: With good heat dissipation, the 12950HX's 5.00 GHz max turbo boost frequency of the Performance cores are excellent for performance with modern apps. P core turbo boost frequencies can be maintained with good heat dissipation.

Learn more about CPU Clock Speeds below.

DDR Support

6980HX: The 6980HX CPU's support for DDR5 with a max stock speed of 4800 MHz can be excellent for performance with modern apps.

12950HX: The 12950HX CPU's support for DDR5 with a max stock speed of 4800 MHz can be excellent for performance with modern apps.

Learn more about DDR Support below.

Professional Tools on the Ryzen 9 6980HX vs. Core i9 12950HX

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Professional Tool Usage

Ryzen 9 6980HX

When using AMD's Ryzen 9 6980HX CPU for professional tools, you can expect good tool performance.

Core i9 12950HX

When using Intel's Core i9 12950HX CPU for professional tools, you can expect excellent tool performance when the laptop is good at dissipating heat or good tool performance with inadequate heat dissipation. Most laptops will fall somewhere in between in terms of their cooling capabilities.

Professional Tool Considerations

Video editors, 2D and 3D graphics tools, software compilers, and engineering tools require high-performing CPUs.

Professional tools are often well optimized to use many cores. CPU cores allow tools to parallelize processing tasks. Increasing the number of cores can divide the time required to process a task if the tool has good multi-threading support.

To maximize performance with professional tools, you'll want to use a CPU with a high boost frequency and many CPU cores. Good heat dissipation is needed to maintain boost frequencies for extended periods.

While graphics applications use your GPU for some rendering tasks, most calculations and data operations are still dependent on your CPU.

Cores

6980HX: The 6980HX's 8 cores allow for excellent performance with professional tools.

12950HX: The 12950HX's 8 Performance cores allow for excellent performance with professional tools.

Learn more about Core Counts below.

Base Frequency

6980HX: The 6980HX's 3.3 GHz base frequency is mediocre for performance with professional tools, when not boosting. You can reach these base frequencies even without good heat dissipation.

12950HX: The 12950HX's 2.30 GHz base frequency is poor for performance with professional tools, when not boosting. You can reach these base frequencies even without good heat dissipation.

Learn more about CPU Clock Speeds below.

Single-Core Boost

6980HX: With good heat dissipation, the 6980HX's 5.0 GHz single-core max boost frequency is excellent for performance with professional tools. You can maintain these frequencies with good heat dissipation.

12950HX: With good heat dissipation, the 12950HX's 5.00 GHz single-core max turbo boost frequency is excellent for performance with professional tools. You can maintain these frequencies with good heat dissipation.

Learn more about CPU Clock Speeds below.

P-Core Boost

6980HX: The 6980HX does not have Performance cores.

12950HX: With good heat dissipation, the 12950HX's 5.00 GHz max turbo boost frequency of the Performance cores are excellent for performance with professional tools. P core turbo boost frequencies can be maintained with good heat dissipation.

Learn more about CPU Clock Speeds below.

Overclocking Support

6980HX: When using good heat dissipation, the 6980HX CPU's support for overclocking can be excellent for performance with professional tools.

12950HX: When using good heat dissipation, the 12950HX CPU's support for overclocking can be excellent for performance with professional tools.

Learn more about Overclocking below.

DDR Support

6980HX: The 6980HX CPU's support for DDR5 with a max stock speed of 4800 MHz can be excellent for performance with professional tools.

12950HX: The 12950HX CPU's support for DDR5 with a max stock speed of 4800 MHz can be excellent for performance with professional tools.

Learn more about DDR Support below.

PCIe

6980HX: The 6980HX CPU's support for PCIe 4.0 can be excellent for performance with professional tools, when using the fastest SSDs and graphics cards.

12950HX: The 12950HX CPU's support for PCIe 5.0 can be excellent for performance with professional tools, when using the fastest SSDs and graphics cards.

L3 Cache

6980HX: The 6980HX's 16 MB of L3 cache is mediocre for performance with professional tools.

12950HX: The 12950HX's impressive 30 MB of L3 cache is excellent for performance with professional tools.

Learn more about Cache Sizes below.

Considerations When Choosing a CPU

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Core Count

AMD's Ryzen 9 6980HX CPUs have 8 cores.

Intel's Core i9-12950HX CPUs have 8 Performance (P) cores and 8 Efficiency (E) cores for a total of 16 cores.

Increased core counts can improve the performance of games and professional tools that use them. Most modern games don't benefit from having more than 6–8 cores. Even general apps can benefit from many cores when numerous applications are open simultaneously. Web browsers don't significantly take advantage of multiple cores when loading a single page. However, more CPU cores can improve performance when running demanding web apps in multiple windows.

Intel's 12th generation and newer CPUs have performance (P) cores and efficiency (E) cores. The P cores are comparable to previous generation cores. E cores are focused on adding additional threads in an energy-efficient manner. They take up much less room on the CPU and generate less heat. However, their smaller cache and minimal interconnect capabilities make them more appropriate for offloading background tasks.

CPU Clock Speeds

The AMD Ryzen 9 6980HX has a 3.3 GHz base frequency and supports a 5.0 GHz single-core max boost frequency.

The Intel Core i9-12950HX's 8 Performance cores have a 2.30 GHz base frequency and support a 5.00 GHz max turbo boost frequency.

Single-core performance is essential for some games, as many don't take full advantage of multiple cores. Professional tools depend on high single and multi-core boost frequencies to maximize their processing speed.

Boost frequencies are only achieved under ideal circumstances. The safest strategy for consistent gaming performance with a basic cooler is to get a processor with a higher base clock speed. However, with adequate cooling, you may be able to maintain speeds near the max boost frequency.

DDR Support

The 6980HX CPU's fastest supported DDR memory type is DDR5, with a max stock speed of 4800 MHz.

The 12950HX CPU's fastest supported DDR memory type is DDR5, with a max stock speed of 4800 MHz.

You can exceed these stock speeds officially supported by CPUs when overclocking memory, such as with an XMP profile. Motherboard specifications will indicate their supported overclocked-memory speeds. To be able to overclock DDR memory, your motherboard chipset needs to support memory overclocking.

Faster PC memory can improve game and professional tool performance by reducing the time it takes to perform calculations and data operations.

Using the quickest RAM may not have as much of an impact as upgrading your CPU and graphics card or adding more RAM.

Learn more about DDR in DDR4 vs. DDR5? Which You Should Buy.

Cache Size

The AMD Ryzen 9 6980HX has an L3 cache capacity of 16 MB.

The Intel Core i9-12950HX has an L3 cache capacity of 30 MB.

A CPU's cache is a small amount of memory, close to the CPU cores, containing recently used data. An L3 cache capacity of at least 20 MB is ideal for games and professional tool performance.

Games and professional tool performance can improve as cache size increases, as it can reduce delays when retrieving commonly used assets from memory. While nearly any task will use a CPU's cache, a large cache becomes less impactful for general PC usage, such as browsing webpages.

Remember that cache sizes often increase with core counts, so if you want to increase your L3 cache, you may need to get a CPU with more cores.

Overclocking

The 6980HX supports overclocking.

The 12950HX supports overclocking.

While CPU overclocking is primarily relevant to desktop CPUs, some newer mobile CPUs also claim overclocking support. Overclocking a laptop CPU will be pretty limited, as it is often difficult to improve cooling aside from using a cooling pad.

Overclocking is mainly relevant for PC gamers who want to maximize their game framerates. CPU overclocking increases frequencies past their default limits. Excellent heat dissipation via fans or another solution is required to maintain system stability while overclocking.

Professional tools can benefit from overclocked frequencies. However, overclocking may introduce some possibility of system instability, which may be less acceptable in business scenarios.

Learn More About the AMD Ryzen 9 6980HX

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You can find detailed 6980HX specifications on AMD's site.

Learn More About the Intel Core i9 12950HX

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You can find detailed 12950HX specifications on Intel's site.