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Core i5-12500H Vs Apple M2: We Tested Both

In this article we will be inspecting the architecture, specifications, and performance of the Core i5-12500H and Apple M2.

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The release of Apple’s Silicon-based CPUs began a new era for Apple, with the M2 CPU promising even more performance than the M1. On the other hand, Intel’s Alder Lake CPUs brought about a similar revolution for them with their Hybrid Core design. Today, I’m comparing two such revolutionary chips in Core i5-12500H vs Apple M2 to find the better one. 

Key Takeaways

  • Architecture-wise, the Core i5-12500H uses Intel’s 10nm node and the x86-64 instruction set. Conversely, the Apple M2 uses TSMC’s 5nm node and the ARMv8 instruction set.
  • Regarding performance, the Core i5-12500H performs about 37.2% better in multi-core applications than the Apple M2. In contrast, the Apple M2 is 10.1% faster in single-core applications, on average.
  • Core i5-12500H laptops cost between $759 and 2573, while Apple M2 laptops are priced from $1099 to $2499
  • In addition, Core i5-12500H laptops provide better value as they are cheaper and faster in multi-core applications.
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Comparison Table 

Let’s see how the two mobile CPUs line up.

Mobile CPU Core i5-12500H Apple M2
Architecture Hybrid Core Apple Silicon
Codename Alder Lake M2
Instruction Set x86-64 ARMv8
Processing Node Intel 7 (10nm) TSMC 5nm (N5P)
Socket BGA-1744 Apple-M
No. of Cores 12 (4P + 8E) 8 (4P + 4E)
No. of Threads 16 (8 + 8) 8 (4 + 4)
Base Clock
  • 2.5GHz (P-cores)
  • 1.8GHz (E-cores)
  • 3.5GHz (P-cores)
  • 2.4GHz (E-cores)
Boost Clock
  • 4.5GHz (P-cores)
  • 3.3GHz (E-cores)
L1 Cache 80KB per core 192KB per core 
L2 Cache 1280KB per core 16MB (shared)
L3 Cache 18MB (shared)
Memory Support
  • DDR5 up to 4800 MT/s
  • LPDDR5 up to 6400 MT/s
  • DDR4 up to 3200 MT/s
  • LPDDR4x up to 4267 MT/s
LPDDR5 6400 MT/s
Memory Size Up to 64GB Up to 24GB (Unified)
PCIe Revision 4.0 4.0 
Overclocking Support No No
Integrated Graphics Intel Iris Xe Graphics  Apple M2 GPU
GPU Base Clock 300MHz 500MHz
GPU Boost Clock 1500MHz 1398MHz
Shaders 640 1024
TMUs 40 64
ROPs 20 32
Execution Units  80 128
iGPU Theoretical 
1.41 TFLOPs 3 TFLOPs
Total Graphics Power 15W 15W
CPU Max Operating Temperature  100°C
CPU Base Power 35-45W (configurable) 15W
CPU Boost Power 95W
Price Range (July 2023) $759 to $2573 $1099-$2499
Launch Date January 4, 2022 June 6, 2022

Architectural Differences 

  1. Process NodesThe Core i5-12500H uses the Intel 7 process, which involves a 10nm node. On the other hand, the Apple M2 CPU uses TSMC’s optimized 5nm node called N5P
  2. Instruction SetThe Core i5-12500H consists of the usual x86-64 instruction set while the Apple M2 uses the ARMv8 instruction set. The ARMv8 consists of fewer, more simplified instructions.
  3. Core/Thread Counts: Both CPUs have P and E-cores. The Core i5-12500H has 12 cores with 4 P-cores and 8 E-cores. In contrast, the Apple M2 also has 4 P-cores but with 4 E-cores, totaling 8. As for thread counts, the Core i5-12500H has 16 threads compared to 8 of the Apple M2.
  4. Clock SpeedsThe Apple M2 has much faster base clock speeds, with 3.5GHz for the P-cores and 2.4GHz for the E-cores. As for the Core i5-12500H, it clocks 2.5GHz (P-cores) and 1.8GHz (E-cores) at base. As for boost clock speeds, the Core i5-12500H can be pushed up to 4.5GHz on the P-cores and 3.3GHz on the E-cores. The Apple M2 does not support boost frequencies.
  5. Memory: The Apple M2 has unified memory (up to 24GB), while the Core i5-12500H uses RAM (up to 64GB). As for speeds, the Apple M2 solely uses LPDDR5 at 6400 MT/s. The Core i5-12500H also supports LPDDR5 up to 6400 MT/s, along with DDR4 (3200 MT/s), LPDDR4 (4267 MT/s), and DDR5 (4800 MT/s).
  6. Cache: The Core i5-12500H has 80KB of L1 cache/core and 2MB L2 cache/per core. Furthermore, it has 18MB of shared L3 cache. Conversely, the Apple M2 has 192KB of L1 cache/core and a 16MB pool of L2 cache. The Apple M2 does not have an L3 cache.
  7. TDPRegarding TDP, the Core i5-12500H may have a base TDP ranging anywhere from 35 watts to 45 watts. The boost TDP goes up to 95 watts. On the contrary, the Apple M2 is much more power-efficient with a fixed TDP of 15 watts.

Core i5-12500H Vs Apple M2: Benchmarks 

Next, we’ll see how the two CPUs perform in multi-core and single-core applications. The CPUs will be tested in three applications. Let’s begin. 

Cinbench R23 

Cinebench R23 multi-core and single-core
Cinebench R23 (Image by Tech4Gamers)
  • Starting with the Cinebench R23 multi-core test, the Core i5-12500H scored 13331 points compared to 8670 points of the Apple M2. 
  • In the single-core test, the Core i5-12500H accumulated 1694 points while the Apple M2 trailed with 1593 points.

Also Check: Core i7 13700K Vs Apple M2

Geekbench 5

Geekbench 5 multi-core and single-core
Geekbench 5 (Image by Tech4Gamers)
  • In Geekbench 5, the Apple M2 (9034 points) caught up in the multi-core test but was still beaten by the Core i5-12500H. (10301 points
  • The Apple M2 took the lead in the single-core test with 1939 points. In reply, the Core i5-12500H scored 1624 points

Similar Article: Core i5 12500H Vs Core i5 12450H


Passmark multi-core and single-core
Passmark (Image by Tech4Gamers)
  • The last benchmark is Passkmark, in which the Intel Core i5-12500H scored 21863 multi-core points. In response, the Apple M2 kept trailing, with 15453 points this time.
  • As for the single-core scores, the Apple M2 is the better CPU again, with 4052 points. The Core i5-12500H accumulated 3570 points.

Similar Read: Apple M2 Vs Ryzen 5 7640U

Overall Performance 

I’ve averaged the results from all three applications to get a more definitive result. Here’s how the two CPUs compete.

Average multi-core and single-core scores
Overall performance (Image by Tech4Gamers)
  • Multi-core Performance: The Core i5-12500H came out on top with 15165 points compared to 11052 points of the Apple M2. Thus, on average, the Core i5-12500H is 37.2% faster than the Apple M2 in multi-core applications. 
  • Single-core Performance: The Apple M2 is the better CPU with 2528 points over 2296 of the Core i5-12500H. Thus, the Apple M2 is about 10.1% faster than the Core i5-12500H in multi-core applications. 

Also Read: HP Envy vs HP Pavilion

Laptop Prices

With the specifications and benchmarks out of the way, let’s talk prices. The price data for Intel Core i5-12500H laptops has been estimated from Amazon US, while Apple M2 laptop prices have been taken from the Apple website. These prices are valid as of July 2023

  • Core i5-12500H: Entry-level laptops will set you back by at least $759, while the best-selling laptops are in the $799-$1559 price bracket. Lastly, the most expensive laptops can cost up to $2573.
  • Apple M2: This mobile chip is used in Apple’s MacBook Air 13″ (starting $1099) and 15″ (starting $1299) variants. In addition, it’s used in MacBook Pro 13″ (starting $1299). The starting prices give you 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage. Every additional 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD costs $200 each. So all-in-all, Apple M2 laptops may cost anywhere between $1099 and $2499.

Similar Comparison: Core i7-1360P Vs Apple M2

Apple M2 Vs Core i5-12500H: Better Value? 

We can now talk about the value of the two CPUs. So, the Core i5-12500H laptops can be up to $300 cheaper than Apple M2 laptops. On top of that, Core i5-12500H is 37.2% better in multi-core applications.

The Apple M2 did perform 10.1% better in single-core applications. The price difference negates that, though, especially since multi-core performance matters more for most tasks, including gaming and web browsing. Thus, Core i5-12500H laptops provide better value than Apple M2 laptops

Final Words

This marks the end of our Intel Core i5-12500H vs Apple M2 comparison. We compared the two CPUs in various aspects and determined that the Core i5-12500H provides better value.

Still, the Apple M2 has advantages like power efficiency, unified memory, and its more powerful iGPU. So, the no-nonsense option is the Core i5-12500H, but you should evaluate all your preferences before choosing your next mobile CPU.

Pros And Cons

CPU Pros Cons
Core i5-12500H 
  • Faster multi-core performance
  • Better value
  • Better memory support
  • Worse single-core 
  • More power-consuming
Apple M2
  • Faster single-core performance
  • Impressive power-efficiency 
  • Faster iGPU
  • Expensive
  • Unimpressive multi-core

Core i5-12500H vs Apple M2

Also Read: Apple M2 Pro Vs Apple M2

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference in memory between Core i5-12500H and Apple M2?

Firstly, the Apple M2 uses unified memory, while the Core i5-12500H uses traditional RAM. Secondly, the Apple M2 only supports LPDDR5, up to 24GB of it. The Core i5-12500H supports up to 64GB of DDR4, LPDDR4, DDR5, or LPDDR5 memory.

Are Apple M2 laptops more expensive than Intel Core i5-12500H laptops?

Apple M2 laptops range between $1099 and $2499, while Core i5-12500H laptops can cost anywhere from $759 to $2573. Thus, Core i5-12500H laptops are cheaper.

Which CPU is more power-efficient between Intel Core i5-12500H and Apple M2?

The Apple M2 is the more power-efficient CPU with a max TDP rating of just 15 watts. In contrast, the Core i5-12500H can draw between 35-45 watts at base and up to 95 watts on boost mode.

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