Revisiting Intel 11th gen vs Intel 12th gen battery life

I have an 11th gen Intel Framework Laptop with a i7-1165G7 CPU (purchased just weeks before the 12th gen models were announced, of course), and my main complaint has been mediocre battery life, even after the 3.10 BIOS upgrade.

A couple of lines in today’s Framework newsletter caught my eye (emphasis mine):

We’re currently preparing our 12th Gen 3.06 firmware update for release that contains the updates for Thunderbolt 4, a range of security fixes, and improvements in both suspend and active battery life.

For 11th Gen systems, we also have a firmware update in progress to bring in the security updates and power consumption improvements…

Can anyone on the Framework team elaborate on what firmware changes are being made and what improvements we might see in terms of battery life for each generation? Would the improvements be the same? Any ETA for release?

Back when the 12th gen models were announced @TheTwistgibber on the Framework team told me that battery usage is similar in both generations, which makes sense on paper, because all of the CPUs have the same power requirements, in terms of TDP.

In my case, I’ve decided that if I do upgrade to a 12th generation CPU, it will be to “downgrade” from an i7 the i5-1240P, because I don’t do anything computationally intensive, other than occasionally running a couple of VMs. They have the same TDPs, but the i5-1240P has slightly lower clock speeds than the i7-1165G, which might translate into slightly better battery life.

So, do you think switching from the switching from the i7-1165G to the i5-1240P would be worthwhile?


It’ll be faster in every way actually, except the iGPU.

Personally, I think no, it’s only 1 generation!


The blog post says:

We’ll share more on that last part in an upcoming blog post.

It sounds like there will be another blog post coming with more details on the battery life improvements for both 11th and 12th gen.


It depends on whether you need more multicore power.

Single-core, yes, there’s only a marginal improvement, inline with most generational upgrades.

Multicore though, it’s more or less twice the power! I switched from the Core i7-1165G7 to the Core i7-1260P and twice the performance came up in benchmark after benchmark.

It’s a huge upgrade if you need all that power. Don’t expect such a huge upgrade from 12th gen to 13th gen, but 11th gen to 12th gen is a huge upgrade.

As for battery life, I haven’t made measurements but I’ve never had a big issue with 11th gen. I don’t notice much of a difference with 12th gen so far.


The 11th gen quite the surprises…left, right and centre.

I’ll be ditching mine. I’m currently waiting for the 12th gen Windows sleep / hibernate issue to get fixed.

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This is interesting. PCWorld actually found a 30% reduction in battery life!

The Framework laptop doesn’t have the largest battery, so it’s already kind of meh in run time, but switching to the 12th-gen CPU we see a reduction in run time by 30 percent.

Remember: Same battery, same RAM, same SSD and same screen. That’s just not a good showing for the 12th-gen Alder Lake P CPU. Even more puzzling to us is a video run down test pretty much lets the actual CPU cores coast while the hardware decoding built in the media engine do all of the work. We expected basically the same performance between the two.

There are a few variables that might be at play though. Remember, we used the same OS install because that’s really how most people do “upgrades.” Was there some hiccup doing it the lazy way? We don’t know but we’re in the process of doing a clean install of Windows 11 to re-run the test just to make sure the lazy way isn’t hurting the 12th-gen chip’s results.

We will say we’ve seen a few 12th gen P-class and a U-class laptops so far, and while battery life isn’t as bad as you see with the Framework here, we’re not seeing the runtime we expected either. Those 12th-gen performance improvements definitely seem to come at the cost of endurance.

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Battery life is why I stuck with 11th gen. I was ready to upgrade but only if it gave a significant battery improvement and we didn’t get it. Performance with my 11th gen i5 was good enough for my needs.

I got my Batch 5 at the beginning of November. I have tested Windows 11, Fedora 36 and Fedora 37 with all the battery tweaking I have the competence to do and am unable to get more than 3 hours of battery life…

That really amazes me. I get 8.5 to 10 hours on Fedora 37.

I’ll hop in, I also got around that amount on Fedora 37 base, more now with a few powertop tweaks!