The Intel Core i3-1220P, often referred to as the Intel i3-1220P, is a lower mid-range System-on-Chip (SoC) from Intel's Alder Lake family. This processor is specifically designed for use in ultra-light and ultra-thin laptops, making it an ideal choice for users who prefer more affordable and portable computing solutions. In this comprehensive review, we will delve into the architecture, performance, graphics capabilities, power consumption, and more of the Intel Core i3-1220P, providing you with a detailed understanding of its features and capabilities.
The Intel Core i3-1220P is part of Intel's efforts to harness big.LITTLE technology, initially developed by ARM, for its own benefit. This SoC combines two high-performance "P-cores" based on the Golden Cove architecture with eight power-efficient "E-cores" using the Gracemont architecture. The P-cores support Hyper-Threading, resulting in a total of 12 threads when combined with the E-cores.
The clock speeds of the Intel Core i3-1220P vary between 1.5 GHz and 4.4 GHz for the performance cluster and 1.1 GHz to 3.3 GHz for the efficient cluster. While the processor offers several advantages, it also has some shortcomings compared to the faster Core i5-1240P, including a slower integrated GPU, a lower CPU core count, lower clock speeds, and a lack of vPro features.
CPU Core and Cache
All of the CPU cores in the Core i3-1220P have access to a generous 12 MB of L3 cache, which enhances overall performance and responsiveness. This cache ensures that data is readily available to the processor, reducing latency and improving multitasking capabilities.
The integrated memory controller in the Core i3-1220P supports various memory types, including LPDDR5-5200, DDR5-4800, LPDDR4x-4267, and DDR4-3200. Intel recommends a maximum RAM capacity of 64 GB, providing ample memory for most computing tasks.
One of the key features of the 12th Gen Intel Core processors, including the Core i3-1220P, is the Thread Director. This functionality is designed to optimize core utilization for different workloads, ensuring the best performance and efficiency possible. It becomes particularly useful when running on the Windows 11 operating system.
The Core i3-1220P supports hardware acceleration of AI algorithms through technologies like GNA 3.0 and DL Boost, thanks to AVX2 instruction sets. This capability enhances performance in AI-related tasks, making the processor suitable for a wide range of applications.
While the Core i3-1220P does not offer PCI-Express 5.0 support, it provides PCI-Express 4.0 capabilities. With four PCI-Express 4 lanes, this SoC can achieve impressive read/write rates of up to 7.9 GB/s, provided you have a high-speed NVMe SSD installed in your system.
Non-User Replaceable CPU
It's important to note that the Intel Core i3-1220P is not a user-replaceable CPU. Instead, it is soldered permanently onto the motherboard, using the FCBGA1744 socket interface. This means that upgrading or replacing the processor may not be an option in the future.
While we have not tested a system featuring the Core i3-1220P as of October 2023, we can draw performance expectations based on a laptop featuring the similar i5-1240U processor. The Core i3-1220P shares many of the same specs with 2 P-cores and 8 E-cores, all running at similar clock speeds.
We anticipate the Core i3-1220P to perform slightly better than the Core i5-11400H, the Core i7-1265U, and the Ryzen 5 5600U in multi-threaded benchmark scores. However, the actual performance may vary depending on the CPU power limits and the efficiency of the cooling solution in your laptop.
The Core i3-1220P features an integrated graphics adapter with 64 execution units (EU) known as UHD Graphics. While it is a slight downgrade from the 80 EU Iris Xe found in other Alder Lake-P and Tiger Lake-UP3 processors, it remains a capable integrated GPU.
Features and Capabilities
The UHD Graphics supports modern features such as AV1 video decoding and can handle SUHD 4320p monitors. It can also drive up to four monitors simultaneously, provided your laptop has the necessary output connections. However, for gaming enthusiasts, the UHD Graphics may not deliver the performance they desire, as it's best suited for resolutions up to 1600x900 and Low settings in most games released in 2021 and 2022.
Performance can vary depending on factors like power limits and the cooling capabilities of your laptop. Additionally, fast RAM is essential for achieving better graphics performance since the UHD Graphics does not have dedicated video memory.
The Core i3-1220P has a base power consumption, also known as the default Thermal Design Power (TDP) or Power Limit 1, of 28 watts. The minimum assured power consumption is set at 20 watts, providing a lower power consumption option for more energy-efficient operations.
On the other hand, the maximum Turbo power consumption, known as Power Limit 2 (PL2), is not supposed to exceed 64 watts. This range of power consumption options allows laptops using the Core i3-1220P to balance performance and energy efficiency according to the user's needs.
The Core i3-1220P is built using Intel's fourth-gen 10 nm manufacturing process, marketed as Intel 7. This process offers energy efficiency and improved performance. As of late 2022, the Core i3-1220P is expected to be significantly less power-hungry and easier to cool compared to other Alder Lake-P processors, thanks to its lower core count and advanced manufacturing technology.
In conclusion, the Intel Core i3-1220P is a solid mid-range processor that caters to users looking for a balance between performance and power efficiency in their ultra-light and ultra-thin laptops. While it may not match the performance of higher-tier processors, it offers a respectable blend of CPU and GPU capabilities for everyday computing tasks. Its power-efficient design and advanced manufacturing technology make it a compelling choice for users seeking extended battery life and reduced heat generation.
It's important to note that the information provided in this review is based on available specifications and expectations as of the publication date. Actual performance and user experiences may vary based on specific laptop models, system configurations, and usage scenarios. If you are considering a laptop with the Intel Core i3-1220P, we recommend consulting reviews and benchmark tests for the particular device you are interested in.