Intel Alder Lake-H Core i9-12900HK Review: MSI's Raider GE76 Goes Hybridby Brett Howse on January 25, 2022 9:00 AM EST
Built on what Intel now calls Intel 7, the new Alder Lake processors do not get a completely new foundry node to reduce power consumption. The idea of having P-Cores and E-Cores though is an interesting one for the laptop space, as in theory the E-Cores could lower power consumption quite a bit. However, that discussion will need to likely wait for the thin and light notebooks to arrive with U-Series and P-Series processors as a H-Series device with a massive RTX 3080L Ti GPU, DDR5-4800, multiple PCIe 4.0 SSDs, and a 360 Hz display are not going to be a showcase for power efficiency of a processor.
As always, our battery life tests have the display set to 200 nits brightness and the system set in its most efficient mode.
Our first test shows that the Raider GE76, despite a 99.9 Wh battery, performs very poorly if used as a portable computer. Thankfully it is not really intended to be used this way, as it is big and heavy to carry around, but the regression over the outgoing Tiger Lake model is clear. What is also very clear is how much better AMD is able to power-gate its large discrete GPU compared to NVIDIA, as the AMD gaming system dominates in the battery life tests.
The normalized results remove the battery size from the equation and drops the new Raider GE76 to the bottom of the results. There are several variables, so it is difficult to pinpoint exactly what is causing the power consumption regression, but likely DDR5-4800 is a part of it.
PCMark Modern Office Battery
The PCMark test will run a series of workloads in a ten-minute window, and if a device finishes the work quicker, it is able to idle for a larger percentage of the ten minutes, which probably assists the new Alder Lake system here as it is overall a more performant device compared to the outgoing Tiger Lake laptop.
The battery life regression is even more pronounced in the battery life playback time. Clearly there is a significant amount of passive power draw in this system.
Looking at the Tesseract score, which divide the movie playback time by the length of the movie The Avengers shows that you would run out of juice halfway through your third viewing.
Battery Life Summary
In a word the battery life could be summed up as "unimpressive". The Raider GE76 is not an ideal test bed to determine CPU efficiency under load since the underlying power draw is significant. To see how Alder Lake compares we will have to wait for more power efficient platforms to get more meaningful results.
Unlike with the desktop counterpart for Alder Lake, the laptop variants are limited to “just” PCIe 4.0 storage. The Raider GE76 offers support for two of them, and the system shipped with two Samsung PM9A1 PCIe 4.0 drives at 1 TB each.
The drive performance is class leading, with the highest results we have ever achieved in the PCMark Full System Drive test.