Meet Intel's 8th Gen. Core Processors
Today, Intel will officially announce the launch of their 8th generation of Core processors, something many have been waiting for. The new processors are code named Kaby Lake-R (Refresh), and not Coffee Lake as many have assumed. That is because Intel is changing up the way they name processors.
The 8th Generation of Core processors will offer three different microarchitectures including Kaby Lake Refresh, Coffee Lake, and Cannon Lake. Hopefully, this new strategy will allow for longer platform lifespans, and help to avoid the generation change every new microarchitecture brings. Right now we get to talk about Intel's official changes to their Core lineup, but we will focus primarily on the U-series of processors as that is what is launching first. The U-series is typically rated at 15W, and are very popular in thin notebooks and more powerful tablets.
Intel has decided to double the number of cores and threads of their U-series lineup and maintain the same TDP. That's a big achievement, and huge for the market, as the biggest thing keeping back more cores in smaller products is the added power consumption. Intel, at the same time, also went and gave the CPUs higher maximum operating frequencies. The i7 and i5 processors also get double the cache of their predecessors.
The i7-8650U replaces the i7-7600U, the 8550U the 7500U, and so on. While maximum Turbo frequencies have increased around 200MHz, base frequencies have dropped a decent amount. Your processor can now more than double its base frequency when a load is applied, that is pretty huge. I should also note that Intel has increased DDR4 speeds from 2133MHz to 2400MHz. Intel's HD Graphics 620 are now renamed to Intel's UHD Graphics 620, and their maximum dynamic frequency is now 1.15GHz.
Intel went ahead and commissioned an online survey to find out what people really do with their PCs. The survey asked 2,552 Americans that were 18 or older about their perspectives on PC usage, personal technology, smart home technology, VR, and gaming. The survey was conducted via Ipsos, which is ranked 4th among the top market research firms. It turns out that over 60% of people actually want to multitask on their PC. Even though rumors from last year (before Ryzen) said Intel was bringing six cores to the mainstream with Coffee Lake, those same rumors and leaked slides didn't show any core count increases to Intel's U-series of processors. Having four real cores and eight virtual cores makes a lot of sense as people are shifting the usage model of the PC. One thing a PC does best is multitasking, and you need more cores to do that better.
Intel is not claiming just a 15% increase as some leaked pictures from an event in China report, but they are claiming a whopping 40% increase versus the 7th generation of U-series processors when it comes to multitasking (i7-8550U vs. i7-7500U). They are also claiming the new 8th generation is 2.3x faster than a comparable Ivy Bridge-based mobile processor when multitasking (i5-8250U vs. i5-3317U).
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