Laptop CPU Hierarchy 2023 – Laptop Processors Tier List

Here's the ultimate laptop CPU hierarchy where we rank the different laptop processors in different tiers. Discover the best laptop CPUs here!

It would be a lie to say that laptops can be powerful as desktop PCs. The GPUs and CPUs that fit into these devices simply don’t have enough power to be comparable. However, today’s mobile processors are much more powerful and power-efficient than they used to be, so they are much closer to desktop processors than most people think.

With Intel and AMD frequently releasing newer and newer generations, keeping up with the processors can’t be easy.

That is why we are writing this guide. We want to ensure that you and anyone else looking to buy a new laptop will make the right choice by picking the correct mobile processor.

The best way we can help is with a laptop CPU hierarchy list based on gaming/productivity performance and power efficiency.

Here’s the list!

Related:CPU Hierarchy 2023 – PC Processors Tier List

Table of ContentsShow

S Tier

Laptop CPU Hierarchy S Tier

The S-tier is where you will find the processors fit into the most expensive laptops. The processors in these laptops are usually matched with a powerful discrete GPU, so if you want the fastest gaming experience on a laptop, the S-tier is for you.

These S-tier processors also fit into Ultrabooks, which is a good choice for anyone that doesn’t prioritize gaming. Thin, light, and incredibly fast laptops that are dedicated to day-to-day productivity work. Ultrabooks can handle anything from everyday browsing, Excel sheets, code compiling, and other similar tasks.

At the top of the chart, you can find CPUs like Intel’s i9-12900HK or AMD’s Ryzen 9 6900HS. These SKUs can be found in laptops that cost $1500 and upward.

For even higher productivity performance, the Intel i9-12900HX is another solid choice. This one can currently be found in Dell’s Precision 7770 and HP Omen 17.

Ryzen 6900HS CPU die
Ryzen 6900HS CPU die.

While the i9 is currently the fastest laptop chip globally, the Ryzen comes in at a close second. However, it’s not just about having the best performance when it comes to laptops. As a customer, you should also look at power efficiency, which translates to better battery life.

Intel vs. AMD power scaling
Intel vs. AMD power scaling. (Source: Hardware Unboxed)

Another factor that needs to be considered is the integrated graphics card. AMD’s RDNA 2 iGPUs are considerably faster in this segment than Intel.

Another factor that needs to be considered is the integrated graphics card. AMD’s RDNA 2 iGPUs are considerably faster in this segment than Intel.

Apple’s M1 Pro and M1 Max belong in this S-tier, too, since these are incredibly efficient while providing performance comparable to AMD’s and Intel’s fastest SKUs. That’s quite the feat.

Naturally, Apple’s successor, the M2 processor also gets a spot in the S-tier because it is a no-nonsense upgrade over the M1 chip. The M2 MacBook Pro outperforms multiple 45W Intel and AMD CPUs.

Apple doesn’t stop there though. The M2 Pro and M2 Max are now one of the fastest and most efficient laptop CPUs! These 12-core processors in the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros outperform even AMD’s and Intel’s flagship Cpus.

AMD’s Ryzen 9 6900HX falls back to second place Admittedly, it is slower than the i9-12900HK, but we appreciate the extra bit of battery life you could get out of this powerful CPU.

The rest of AMD’s new lineup of Ryzen 6000 processors is also pretty fast and efficient, so they end up in Tier S too. The Ryzen 9 6980HS, Ryzen 9 6980HX, 6800H, and 6800HS.

Overall Performance – Gaming, Productivity, And Efficiency

ModelBase ClockBoost ClockCores/ThreadsTDP
1.Apple M2 Max2.42 GHz3.7 GHz12/1230W
2.Apple M2 Pro2.42 GHz3.5 GHz12/1230W
3.AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX3.3 GHz4.9 GHz8/1645W+
4.Intel i9-12900HX2.5 GHz5.0 GHz16/2455W
5.AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS2.6 GHz4.9 GHz8/1635W+
6.Intel i9-12900H2.5 GHz5.0 GHz14/2045W+
7.AMD Ryzen 9 6980HX3.3 GHz5.0 GHz8/1645W
8.Intel i9-12900HK2.5 GHz5.0 GHz14/2045W+
9.AMD Ryzen 9 6980HS3.3 GHz5.0 GHz8/1635W
10.Intel i7-12700H2.3 GHz4.7 GHz14/2045W+
11.Apple M1 Pro 10-Core2.0 GHz3.2 GHz10/1060W
12.Apple M1 Max 10-Core2.0 GHz3.2 GHz10/1090W
13.Apple M2 (MacBook Pro)2.0 GHz3.4 GHz8/820W
14.AMD Ryzen 7 6800H3.2 GHz4.7 GHz8/1645W
15.AMD Ryzen 7 6800HS3.2 GHz4.7 GHz8/1645W

A Tier

Laptop CPU Hierarchy A Tier

You can find processors with near S-tier performance in this A-tier segment while costing considerably less.

CPUs like the Ryzen 9 5900HS, 5900HX, and i9-11900H are paired with expensive laptops like ASUS’ Zephyrus lineup but can also be found in more affordable models.

With AMD’s Ryzen 6000 Series released, we also recommend checking out the Ryzen 5 6600H and 6600HS.

Even though the 5980HX and 11980HK are last-generation processors, they are still some of the most high-end chips and end up only in the most expensive laptop models. Usually in ASUS’ ROG laptop models.

The i7-1270P has a lower TDP than the rest of the mobile processors, so naturally, you can find it in more budget-oriented laptops. Alternatively, check out HP EliteBook 840 G9, Lenovo ThinkBook13x Gen 2, and Gen 4+.

Here’s a 15-minute comparison between an M1 MacBook Pro vs. a 5900HX ASUS ROG Strix:

Note: All laptop CPU rankings (B-tier, C-tier, D-tier) below are based on the PassMark – CPU Mark – Laptop & Portable CPU performance chart.

ModelBase ClockBoost ClockCores/ThreadsTDP
1.AMD Ryzen 9 5980HX3.3 GHz4.8 GHz8/1645W+
2.Intel Core i9-11980HK2.6 GHz5.0 GHz8/1645W+
3.AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX3.3 GHz4.6 GHz8/1645W+
4.Intel Core i7-1270P2.2 GHz4.9 GHz12/1628W
5.Intel Core i9-11950H2.6 GHz5.0 GHz8/1645W+
6.AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS3.0 GHz4.6 GHz8/1635W
7.Intel Core i9-11900H2.5 GHz4.9 GHz8/1645W
8.AMD Ryzen 9 5980HS3.0 GHz4.8 GHz8/1635W
9.Intel i7-11800H2.3 GHz4.6 GHz8/1645W
10.Intel i7-11850H2.5 GHz4.8 GHz8/1645W
11.AMD Ryzen 7 5800H3.2 GHz4.4 GHz8/1645W
12.AMD Ryzen 7 6600H3.3 GHz4.5 GHz6/1245W
13.AMD Ryzen 7 6600HS3.3 GHz4.5 GHz6/1235W
14.Intel i5-12450H1.5 GHz3.3 GHz8/1245W
15.AMD Ryzen 9 5900H3.1 GHz4.6 GHz8/1645W
16.AMD Ryzen 7 5800HS2.8 GHz4.4 GHz8/1635W

B Tier

Laptop CPU Hierarchy B Tier

Processors running at a lower TDP like the Ryzen 7 5800U, PRO 5850U, or the 4800U end up in the B-tier list. Apple’s 8-core M1 Pro also fits this category primarily because it has only 8 cores and 12 threads.

AMD’s 4th generation 8-core CPUs also fit into this tier. Keep in mind; all of these processors listed above are fast and can handle most tasks you throw at them, but they end up in this tier simply because they are now outdated.

Intel’s 10th generation i7s and i9s are also fast enough to fit into the B-tier.

Here are some laptop recommendations: Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, ASUS TUF Gaming A17, Lenovo Yoga Slim 7, HP ProBook 445 G8, Apple 2021 MacBook Pro, etc.

ModelBase ClockBoost ClockCores/ThreadsTDP
1.AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS3.0 GHz4.3 GHz8/1635W
2.AMD Ryzen 9 4900H3.3 GHz4.4 GHz8/1645W
3.AMD Ryzen 7 4800H2.9 GHz4.2 GHz8/1645W
4.AMD Ryzen 5 6800U2.7 GHz4.7 GHz8/1615-28W
4.AMD Ryzen 7 5800U1.9 GHz4.4 GHz8/1615W
5.AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS2.9 GHz4.2 GHz8/1645W
6.Apple M1 Pro 8-core2.0 GHz3.2 GHz8/830W
7.AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 5850U1.9 GHz4.4 GHz8/1615W
8.AMD Ryzen 5 5600H3.3 GHz4.2 GHz6/1245W
9.AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 4800U1.8 GHz4.2 GHz8/1615W
10.Intel i9-10980HK2.4 GHz5.3 GHz8/1645W
11.Intel i7-10700E2.9 GHz4.5 GHz8/1665W
12.Intel i7-11600H2.4 GHz5.3 GHz8/1645W
13.Intel i9-10885H2.9 GHz4.6 GHz6/1245W

C Tier

Laptop CPU Hierarchy C Tier

With so many different laptop CPUs available, some are bound to end up in this C-tier category. However, that does not immediately translate to a bad processor. In fact, every single one of these CPUs listed above is powerful enough to handle gaming, productivity work, or daily browsing.

For example, Intel’s 11th Gen i5s are still 6-core, 12-thread processors with a TDP of 45W, so they definitely can output high FPS in gaming.

Our picks for this category are the Ryzen 7 5700U, i7-11700TE, Apple’s M1, Ryzen 4700U, and Intel’s i5-11400H. You can find these in Acer’s Nitro 5, MacBook Pro, Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5, ASUS TUF Gaming, and others.

Here’s a benchmark video of the Ryzen 7 Pro 4750U processor without a discrete GPU:

ModelBase ClockBoost ClockCores/ThreadsTDP
1.Intel i5-11500H2.9 GHz4.6 GHz6/1245W
2.Intel i5-11400H2.7 GHz4.5 GHz6/1245W
3.Intel i9-10980HK2.9 GHz4.6 GHz6/1245W
5.AMD Ryzen 7 5700U1.8 GHz4.3 GHz8/1615W
6.Intel i7-10700TE2.0 GHz4.4 GHz8/1635W
7.AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 4750U1.7 GHz4.1 GHz8/1615W
8.Intel i9-10885H2.4 GHz5.3 GHz8/1645W
9.AMD Ryzen 5 5600U2.3 GHz4.2 GHz6/1215W
10.AMD Ryzen 5 5650U2.3 GHz4.2 GHz6/1215W
11.Apple M1 8-Core2.0 GHz3.2 GHz8/815W
12.Intel i7-10870H2.2 GHz5.0 GHz8/1645W
13.Intel i5-11260H2.6 GHz4.4 GHz6/1245W
14.AMD Ryzen 5 4600H3.0 GHz4.0 GHz6/1245W
15.AMD Ryzen 7 4700U2.0 GHz4.1 GHz8/815W
16.AMD Ryzen 5 5500U2.1 GHz4.0 GHz6/1215W
17.AMD Ryzen 5 4600U2.1 GHz4.0 GHz6/1215W

D Tier

Laptop CPU Hierarchy D Tier

The D-tier category lists the slowest laptop processors of Intel’s and AMD’s last three generations. However, even though we are in the lowest tier, some of these processors can be great as daily drivers.

The i7-1260P is a 12th-gen processor with 12 cores and 16 threads, which will perform pretty well. The i7-10750H, i5-10400H, and i7-10710U are also good choices with 6 cores and 12 threads.

The rest are 4-core, 8-thread CPUs, which might not be enough for 2022. Of course, it depends on what you plan on working on with your laptop. But, since these are lower TDP CPUs (just 15W or lower), those 4 cores won’t be too fast.

Fortunately, these D-tier processors have something going for them, and that’s their pricing. Additionally, these CPUs fit into cheaper laptops.

Check out Dell’s Inspiron 13 5310, HP 14″ i3-1125G4, ASUS X415, and other similarly priced laptops.

To understand how low-end CPUs perform, check out this video where the i3-10110U was tested in 20 different games.

ModelBase ClockBoost ClockCores/ThreadsTDP
1.Intel i7-10750H2.6 GHz5.0 GHz6/1245W
2.Intel i7-11370H3.3 GHz4.8 GHz4/835W
3.AMD Ryzen 3 5325U2.7 GHz4.1 GHz4/815W
4.Intel i7-1260P2.1 GHz4.7 GHz12/1628W
5.AMD Ryzen 3 5400U2.6 GHz4.0 GHz4/815W
6.Intel i7-1185G7E2.8 GHz4.4 GHz4/815W
7.Intel i5-10500H2.5 GHz4.5 GHz6/1245W
8.AMD Ryzen 5 4500U2.3 GHz4.0 GHz6/615W
8.Intel i7-11300H3.1 GHz4.4 GHz4/835W
9.Intel i7-1185G73.0 GHz4.8 GHz4/815W
10.Intel i5-1145G72.6 GHz4.4 GHz4/828W
11.AMD Ryzen 3 PRO 4200GE1.7 GHz3.5 GHz4/835W
12.Intel i7-1068NG72.3 GHz4.1 GHz4/828W
13.AMD Ryzen 3 5300U2.6 GHz3.8 GHz4/815W
14.Intel i7-10710U1.1 GHz4.7 GHz6/1215W
15.Intel i3-1125G42.0 GHz3.7 GHz4/828W
16.Intel i5-10200H2.4 GHz4.1 GHz4/845W
17.Intel i5-1035G71.2 GHz3.7 GHz4/815W
18.Intel i5-1030NG71.1 GHz3.5 GHz4/810W
19.Intel i3-1005G11.2 GHz3.4 GHz2/415W
20.Intel i5-10210Y1.0 GHz4.0 GHz4/87W
21.Intel i3-10110Y1.1 GHz4.0 GHz2/47W

Final Words On Laptop CPU Hierarchy

This laptop CPU hierarchy lists around 80 different mobile processors. Of course, we didn’t list all Intel or AMD laptop CPUs, but these are most of them. Or at least the most popular picks. Also, remember that we only added the last three generations of Intel and AMD CPUs.

Our laptop CPU rankings are based on different reviewers and benchmark charts like Hardware Unboxed, PassMark, MKBHD, etc.

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Branko Gapo

Keeping up with the incredibly fast evolution of computer technology is almost impossible. That's why Branko will be using his knowledge on this matter to share news and information on all the latest essential technological innovations and advancements related to CPUs.