Intel Core i9-11980HK: A High-End SoC for Gamers and Mobile Professionals

Core i9

For gaming laptops and portable workstations, Intel created the high-performance octa-core Core i9-11980HK SoC. The Tiger Lake H45 generation, which it belongs to, was announced in the middle of 2021.


HyperThreading technology allows the i9-11980HK to have eight Willow Cove processor cores and 16 threads. It has a base clock speed of 2.6 GHz, a single-core boost speed of up to 5 GHz (ITBM 3.0), and a maximum clock speed of 4.5 GHz for all cores. The SoC also includes a 24 MB level 3 cache and DDR4-3200 memory support.

Utilization of energy

The thermal design power (TDP) of the i9-11980HK is typically between 45 and 65 W. The CPU uses Intel's second generation 10 nm manufacturing process and has a respectable level of energy efficiency. When under short loads, especially for gaming laptops, its power consumption, however, can be twice as high.

Tiger Lake H45 Collection

The i9-11980HK is a member of the Tiger Lake H45 series, which also includes high-performance SoCs like the i9-11950H, Xeon W-11955M, i7-11850H, i7-11800H, i7-11600H, Xeon W-11855M, i5-11500H, i5-11400H, and i5-11260H.


The i9-11980HK provides better graphics performance thanks to the Xe graphics adapter (UHD Graphics with all 32 EUs active), as well as additional AI hardware acceleration. PCIe 4 and Thunderbolt 4/USB 4 as well as Wi-Fi 6E are also supported. The professional management features Intel vPro, SIPP, or TXT are not supported, though.

With regards to the Tiger Lake H45 Generation

The Tiger Lake H45 generation of SoCs, which was introduced in mid-2021, includes the Intel Core i9-11980HK. This generation is built on the 10nm SuperFin process, which offers greater energy efficiency than its previous generations. The PCIe 4 and AI hardware acceleration are supported by the Tiger Lake H45 series, and Thunderbolt 4/USB 4 and Wi-Fi 6E are partially integrated into the chip. This makes the Tiger Lake H45 series a viable option for mobile workstations and gaming laptops.

Core of the processor and clock rate

HyperThreading enables the Core i9-11980HK to integrate eight Willow Cove processor cores and 16 threads. The TDP setting determines the base clock speed, which is 2.6 GHz at 45W. With Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0, the single core boost speed can reach up to 5 GHz, and the total core speed can reach up to 4.5 GHz. The CPU supports DDR4-3200 memory and has a level 3 cache of 24 MB. Though there might not be much headroom, the free multiplier makes overclocking simpler.

Graphics and Additional Features

The Core i9-11980HK also includes the upgraded Xe graphics adapter, UHD Graphics, with all 32 EUs active. In contrast to the comparable i9-11950H and Xeon W-11955M (with ECC support), it does not support professional management features like Intel vPro, SIPP, or TXT.

Performance and Power Usage

The Core i9-11980HK's TDP (thermal design power), which ranges from 45 to 65 watts by default, is expected to be increased by laptop manufacturers in exchange for better performance. Even in larger gaming laptops, its power consumption during brief loads can be twice as high. In terms of multi-thread performance, the CPU is competitive with the AMD Ryzen 7 4800H.


For gaming laptops and portable workstations, the Intel Core i9-11980HK is a premium octa-core SoC. It belongs to the Tiger Lake H45 generation, which offers better energy efficiency and support for cutting-edge technologies like PCIe 4, AI hardware acceleration, Thunderbolt 4/USB 4, and Wi-Fi 6E. The Core i9-11980HK provides acceptable performance and power consumption with its eight Willow Cove processor cores, 24 MB level 3 cache, and support for DDR4-3200 memory. The professional management features Intel vPro, SIPP, or TXT might not be supported, though.

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