Okay, so I went ahead and upgraded my machine yesterday from the 11th Gen i5 to a 12th Gen i5 (600 bucks and about 48 hours from order to delivery to NYC). The board was swapped but the CNC top case will be done at a later time.
The original 11th Gen machine has been running Windows 11 Professional and joined to Azure AD with Intune Mobile device management (Office 365 device compliance, etc). the fingerprint sensor was used as an unlocking source, as was the TPM (for storing O365 workplace join key and the Bitlocker key) and full FDE (AES-256).
A few observations on the hardware upgrade process:
a) The upgrade was fairly straightforward since I watched the procedure video on iFixit
b) Most of the screws and retainers went on and off just fine, although prying the old 11th Gen motherboard had some hairy moments
c) The 12th gen board fits just fine, although I had to jiggle the connectors and make sure all 5 mounting screws fit correctly. It took me a few minutes to figure out that the board was not resting entirely flat, preventing the screws from fitting.
After the board swap the machine first needed a Bitlocker recovery key (since the key is stored in the 11th Gen TPM). Once it’s booted up Intune company portal complained about a TPM failure (since the O365 workplace enrollment keys were stored in the TPM of the 11th Gen board). An application reset forced it to require a re-login and re-enrollment. The fingerprint sensor also needed new prints to be added. The Windows license key re-organized around the new board, which was fine. After about 30 minutes waiting for Microsoft to re-enroll the machine and push/check the compliance policies, the machine is back up and running. It did take another 15 minutes to grab updated drivers, but otherwise, fairly typical experience if you are technically inclined or in the IT trade. Note that most end users will not have to deal with O365, Azure AD or Intune compliance.
Some performance observations:
a) The CPU is significantly faster. There’s no question about it.
My 11th Gen ran about 7-10% slower than my HP mt46 mobile thin client (it’s the same as the EliteBook 845G7 with the Ryzen 3 Pro 4450U), but the 12th Gen completely mops the floor with both machines on very preliminary testing. 7zip runs significantly faster compressing/decompressing archives.
b) The machine stayed quieter…until it didn’t.
The 11th Gen will often idle a bit hot compared to the mt46 or ran the fan all the time. Not so the 12th Gen. It’s either super-quiet, or it’s LaGuardia Airport at rush hour when it’s maxed out and the fan spins up.
c) With the exception of SSD performance (slight improvement but imperceivable in everyday use), everything else stayed the same, or got worse.
The 80 EU Xe-LP Graphics on the 1240P seemed to perform worse than the 80 EU Xe-LP Graphics in the 1135G7. Firing up Dolphin and using it to run Rogue Squadron 2 (Nintendo GameCube title) on the 12th seems slightly more stutter-y than the 11th (both seem to run worse than the Vega 5 in the mt46, despite the XeLP 80EU being theoretically more powerful).
The SSD performance is slightly better, but only for sequential reads and writes…which can be a caching thing. Everything else is roughly similar.
Passmark Performance Test did report more memory latency on the 12th than the 11th, and ironically enough, the overall Passmark numbers went down a bit on the new board. Both scored lower than the mt46.
For those interested:
Baseline on the 11th Gen
Baseline on the 12th Gen
HP mt46/EliteBook 845G7
I like the extra horsepower and the better race-to-idle characteristics of the 12th Gen, but it’s not the across-the-board improvement that I might have assumed. I do not regret buying the upgrade, but if you have the 11th Gen and are okay with the CPU performance, then it’s not a must-have. Meteor Lake/13th Gen is on its way, but it’ll require new DDR5 SODIMM units to pull off.
Of course, this does make my 300 dollar “eBay special” mt46 look good in comparison, though…