The Ultimate Showdown: Intel Core Ultra vs. 14th-gen Core HX for Laptop Buyers

The reader now faces a choice between Intel’s 14th-gen Core Ultra (Meteor Lake) and its 14th-gen Core HX chip. So which one is the better buy? We’ll explore the differences between the two platforms and conduct some testing to help shed light on their distinctions. Intel’s 14th-gen Core HX, also known as the “Raptor Lake Refresh,” doesn’t offer many differences from the 13th-gen “Raptor Lake” notebook platform, which debuted a year ago. This is because the two platforms are quite similar. On the other hand, the 14th-gen Core Ultra (Meteor Lake) is significantly different in both design and purpose. Intel is using “Core Ultra” as the brand for both the 14th-generation Meteor Lake and Raptor Lake Refresh. This can be confusing, so for clarity, we’ll refer to both the architecture and the brand where necessary.
Intel’s Core Ultra is designed for AI PCs that emphasize long battery life, while the Core HX is aimed at performance and gaming. However, there may be some overlap between the two, as seen in recently announced Asus notebooks, which cater to both creativity and productivity.
The 14th-gen Core HX chips use a traditional two-die Intel architecture, combining the main CPU and a secondary I/O chip inside a package. These chips are fabricated on the Intel 7 process, with both performance and efficiency cores. On the other hand, the Core Ultra (Meteor Lake) features a four-tile architecture, consisting of specific CPU, “SOC,” graphics, and I/O tiles made from differing process technologies and factories. They also include an AI engine within one of its tiles, which the 14th-gen Core HX does not have.
In terms of performance, the Core i9-14900HX notebook outperforms the Core Ultra 7 155H by more than a factor of two. So, when it comes to raw performance, the Core HX is the superior choice. However, for applications like Windows Studio Effects in the Surface Pro 9, which rely on battery life, the NPU in the Core Ultra makes it the better option. Ultimately, the choice between the two chips will depend on what the user values more: raw power or battery life.