New Launches

Intel launches 10nm Tiger Lake laptop processors at CES 2021

Intel just launched the Tiger Lake series of processors for laptops. They only have 35w TDP, and have taken the crown of the fastest laptop processor in single-threaded performance. The Tiger Lake H series can scale up to 4 cores and 8 threads and the improved TDP envelope allows it to overclock at higher frequencies without underclocking. The processors are launching as of right now and will be available from partners shortly.

Intel has done away with 15w TDP

Intel has stopped providing base frequencies for its processors at the 15W TDPs it has previously reported. Instead, it now reports the CPU’s minimum frequency if run in cTDP Down mode (28W) and cTDP Up mode (35W). This is a consumer-unfriendly change that obfuscates basic information about the minimum operating frequencies that customers should expect. Without knowing whether a laptop is designed to operate in one TDP range or the other, the consumer has no way to compare expected performance. The end-user deserves to be aware of the expected minimum CPU clock in all cases.

Impressive single threaded performance on the 10nm SuperFin process

The Tiger Lake H processors (officially the 11th Gen Intel Core series) have a peak boost clock of 5 GHz on 35W and Intel actually confirmed that the processor can boost to that level under 35W as well! (Although the 35W thermal envelope is required to sustain it for longer periods of time). The platform features a 15% single thread improvement over the 10th generation H series and a 9% improvement over the 10th generation U series.

Even Multi threaded performance has been impressive

Multi-threaded performance has seen an almost 40% boost when compared to the 11th Gen U series and graphics performance has been doubled when compared to the 10th Gen H series (since it boasts twice the number of EUs as well as the Xe Architecture). Of course, the platform features PCIe Gen 4 and is built on top of Intel’s 10nm SuperFin process. It features Thunderbolt 4 and Wi-Fi 6 coupled with DDR4-3200 memory.

Three SKUs have been announced:

  • Intel Core i7-11375H – which is the TGL-H 35W flagship with a 5.0 GHz boost clock, 4.3 GHz all-core turbo, and 12MB of cache.
  • Intel Core i7-11370H – which is the non-boosted SKU at 4.8 GHz turbo and 4.3 GHz all-core turbo.
  • Intel Core i5-11300H – which is a CPU with 4.4 GHz of turbo boost, 4.0 GHz all-core boost, and 8MB of L2 cache.

Intel’s original 10nm architecture Sunny Cove had great IPC but had trouble sustaining high enough clock rates. In order to fix this, Intel developed a new type of transistor called a SuperFin (previously called 10nm+). Don’t be misled by the + though because unlike previous plusses this iteration delivered roughly the same level of improvement as a node shrink in one go. Here’s some more info on Intel’s 10nm SuperFin transistor.

Tiger Lake also utilizes Willow Cove cores which doubles the bandwidth and shifts to a double ring architecture. It is essentially a vastly improved version of Sunny Cove and combined with the Intel SuperFin process, it turns Tiger Lake into a truly formidable beast. Tiger Lake also ships with the company’s first Xe iGPU which can achieve up to 2.6 TFLOPs of performance – absolutely insane for such a tiny chip.

Coming to gaming performance, Intel said that Tiger Lake-H35 is aimed at 1080p 70 fps and “smooth” 4K gaming. The exact numbers will be made available once NVIDIA’s lifts the performance embargo for the upcoming Ampere mobile GPUs.

The following is a quote from Intel Press Release CES 2021:

Intel launched a new line of 11th Gen Intel Core H-series mobile processors for gaming that extends the 11th Gen mobile family of products and pushes the limits of what’s possible for enthusiast-level gaming in laptops as thin as 16 millimeters. Led by the Intel® Core™ i7 Special Edition 4-core processor with up to 5 gigahertz (GHz) Turbo, these H35 processors are specifically targeted for ultraportable gaming. They feature new Gen 4 PCIE architecture for connecting to latest discrete graphics and deliver amazingly low latency and immersive game play on the go. At CES, Acer, ASUS, MSI and Vaio announced new systems powered by the 11th Gen Intel Core H35-series processor for ultraportable gaming, with more than 40 designs from top manufacturing partners launching in the first half of 2021.

For mobile enthusiasts who want desktop-caliber gaming and creation performance, Intel also announced an 8-core processor that will start shipping later this quarter. This platform is unique in the industry with features that would normally only be found in high-end desktop systems – including up to 5GHz, Gen 4 PCIE x20 architecture for fastest storage and discrete graphics, and Intel® Killer™ Wi-fi 6E (Gig+).

Availability

All major OEMs will offer Tiger Lake-H35 models this year in the ultraportable gaming laptop segment. Intel said that about 40+ designs can be expected from OEMs such as Acer, Asus, MSI, Vaio, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and more. Many of these laptops will make their debut during CES 2021.

Excited about the launch of the new Intel laptop CPUs? Do let us know in the comments below.

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Kiran Fernandes

Kiran is your friendly neighbourhood tech enthusiast who's passionate about all kinds of tech, goes crazy over 4G and 5G networks, and has recently sparked an interest in sci-fi and cosmology.

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