Intel offers Tiger Lake Core i7-1185G7 laptop performance preview

Julio Franco

Posts: 8,676   +1,549
Staff member
Something to look forward to: Intel has been having a hard time squeezing every bit of performance possible out of their older CPU architectures to remain in contention. Considering how aggressive AMD has been, you could arguably say they've done a good job keeping afloat, whether it's on servers, desktop or laptops. But they could only hang on for so long. Tiger Lake and Xe is how Intel is beginning to strike back.

For the past year Ryzen has clearly dominated desktop CPU buying recommendations, on the server side AMD Epyc has gained ground, but on laptops Intel went unchallenged until just recently. They appear to be ready to strike back there first with its 11th-gen Core "Tiger Lake" processors.

The new line of silicon features Iris Xe graphics and uses Intel's latest 10nm "SuperFin" process. Tiger Lake is aimed at thin-and-light laptops because they offer higher performance with better power efficiency. Intel also claims to outperform AMD's Ryzen 7 4800U which we tested recently and is darn good. We'll eventually review Tiger Lake ourselves but laptops equipped with the chip are not expected to go on sale for another month or so.

In the meantime, a small number of publications have received a pre-production Tiger Lake laptop equipped with their top-of-the-line Core i7-1185G7 for a preliminary performance overview. Here are some takeaways from PCMag's testing which compared the laptop against AMD's Ryzen 4000 "Renoir" to determine where each laptop CPU shines on performance:

  • Tiger Lake is faster than Ryzen 'Renoir' on integrated graphics, thanks to next generation Iris Xe.
  • This is the first instance of Intel's Iris Xe, their new generation graphics. Thanks to it, some proper PC gaming is possible, with caveats.
  • Lighter tasks = no problem. Because both of these are "low-power" chips destined for thin, light, and stylish ultraportable laptops, the idea is that they will be used mostly for lighter tasks, such as video conferencing and web browsing. On those types of workflows, PCMag tests suggest that Tiger Lake can be as good as Renoir.
  • Gaming performance: Many popular, demanding games look like they may well be nicely playable on a Tiger Lake Core i7 in a full-wattage implementation. They might well be playable on the equivalent Renoir Ryzen 7, as well, but the amount of playability "wiggle room" will be less.

  • Not better than a gaming laptop. The integrated graphics solutions on neither of these chips can hold a candle to the far-more-powerful discrete GPUs that power gaming laptops.
  • Pure media processing: Running Cinebench and Handbrake, there’s a clear winner: Ryzen 7. The Ryzen 7 is better on Cinebench almost entirely thanks to its additional cores and threads. Tiger Lake however does well in those same tests when benchmarking single-core performance.
  • On Adobe Photoshop, with slightly more graphics muscle and high clocks that come to the fore in this "bursty" test, the Core i7 performed slightly better than the Ryzen 7 did.

  • Intel "AI-assisted workflows." Intel’s AI wizardry got a quad-core Core i7 to outperform a Ryzen 7 with more advanced silicon and twice as many cores.

You can head to PCMag's full article for more graphs and details. Tom's Hardware also received and tested the same Intel reference Tiger Lake laptop, for more data.

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lipe123

Posts: 935   +509
Oh for sure, don't compare it to the AMD Ryzen 4900HS. That would make it look bad.

Instead compare it to the year old 4800U... Such lame tactics from Intel.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,593   +1,628
TechSpot Elite
Oh for sure, don't compare it to the AMD Ryzen 4900HS. That would make it look bad.

Instead compare it to the year old 4800U... Such lame tactics from Intel.
Ryzen 4900HS is a 35W CPU and Intel's is a 28W CPU. However the 4800U is only a 25W CPU so not exactly the same either but closer. And of course we don't know how much actual power each one was allowed to use as Intel plays games with that.

However if you go to Tom's review, they limit the Intel CPU to 15W and it doesn't lose too much performance from the 28W config so the difference between 28W and 25W in this Tiger Lake CPU while gaming will be very small.
 

lipe123

Posts: 935   +509
Ryzen 4900HS is a 35W CPU and Intel's is a 28W CPU. However the 4800U is only a 25W CPU so not exactly the same either but closer. And of course we don't know how much actual power each one was allowed to use as Intel plays games with that.

However if you go to Tom's review, they limit the Intel CPU to 15W and it doesn't lose too much performance from the 28W config so the difference between 28W and 25W in this Tiger Lake CPU while gaming will be very small.
Nobody buy's a top of the line laptop based on its TDP, it's a ridiculous way to compare.
Compare it based on costs or based on "this is the best we have"
 

lipe123

Posts: 935   +509
You compare thin and light designs based on carry weight. And most 35W+ CPUs end up in larger heavier laptops, so while you're not comparing different wattage CPUs directly, you are doing so indirectly as a consumer will less often cross shop a noticeably heavier laptop.
I will agree with you there. based on portability the comparison would be somewhat legit.
But its still comparing a product thats not even released yet to something thats a year? old.
Intel has been downplaying the performance difference a lot lately and using BS marketing like "benchmarks are artificial and you can't base your decision on them"
This just smells like more of that same tactic.
 

brucek

Posts: 530   +616
TechSpot Elite
I'm so far from the target market for embedded graphics that I can't wrap my head around how the marketing folks imagine this will work.

Of course supporting mainstream functions like video playback, video conferencing, photo display, etc has always made sense for single chip solutions.

But when it comes to marketing to gamers, while this is a significant jump, is there really a significant size niche of them that will find this adequate and who would prefer it over a discrete approach?

Or maybe they aren't the target market at all, maybe the pitch is intended to be aimed at non-gamers along the lines of "hey we have a mainstream priced laptop here for you which we can at least claim also plays some games, even though we know buyers who prioritize gaming will choose something else?"
 

Aryassen

Posts: 82   +82
I'm so far from the target market for embedded graphics that I can't wrap my head around how the marketing folks imagine this will work.

Of course supporting mainstream functions like video playback, video conferencing, photo display, etc has always made sense for single chip solutions.

But when it comes to marketing to gamers, while this is a significant jump, is there really a significant size niche of them that will find this adequate and who would prefer it over a discrete approach?

Or maybe they aren't the target market at all, maybe the pitch is intended to be aimed at non-gamers along the lines of "hey we have a mainstream priced laptop here for you which we can at least claim also plays some games, even though we know buyers who prioritize gaming will choose something else?"
Casual gamers, people who play old(er) titles (Bioshock remastered series run really well on AMD integrated graphics for me), or people playing things like League of Legends or Rocket Luague, can all make good use of such a solution. Don't get me wrong, I'm with you (typing these rows on a GTX 1070 equipped "monster"), but I do believe a lot of people can be interested in integrated graphics.
 

Aryassen

Posts: 82   +82
I have my doubts...happy to be proven wrong, but I'm really sceptical about such a miraculous performance jump. Will see soon enough.
 
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Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,593   +1,628
TechSpot Elite
I started playing PC games with NUCs using Intel Integrated graphics and still do on occasion, so I'm interested. The only place where Intel's best iGPU (Iris Pro/Plus) have made even a tiny bit of financial sense has been on the NUCs. This is because the few laptops which actually got the better Intel iGPU were horribly overpriced and you were much better off buying an i5 with a GTX 950 or 1050 at a lower price. But the NUC at least was price competitive as Intel makes the whole thing.

I suspect the same will continue to happen where the crud Intel iGPU goes into the <$700 laptops and the Xe/G7/Iris blah will go into $1K laptops and higher.

And you can get an AMD laptop with a notably better CPU and almost as good iGPU for way cheaper, so this is purely an academic exercise for Intel as far as I can tell.

However I would be interested in a NUC size shootout BTW this i7 and the 4800U and better yet the 4900HS.
 

ikesmasher

Posts: 3,066   +1,386
Honestly no 6 core version is DOA for lots of people. Can't even make a 6 core 28w while AMD has 15w 8 cores? (Yes theyre slower single core but like...options people).

Really annoyed people arent pairing AMD U series with dGPUs. a razer blade stealth with 4800u and 5300m or 1650Ti, combined with thunderbolt 3 or USB4 would be the dream.
 

Mr Majestyk

Posts: 462   +393
Yeah well a 28W processor should do well against a 15W processor. Hardly any IPC uplift with Willow Cove, it relies on higher clocks to do the heavy lifting. It's better than Ice Lake but not a whole lot. I won;t be buying a new laptop until either we have Zen 3 + RDNA2 or Apple releases in new Arm CPU's.
 

jgraham11

Posts: 30   +63
Ryzen 4900HS is a 35W CPU and Intel's is a 28W CPU. However the 4800U is only a 25W CPU so not exactly the same either but closer. And of course we don't know how much actual power each one was allowed to use as Intel plays games with that.

However if you go to Tom's review, they limit the Intel CPU to 15W and it doesn't lose too much performance from the 28W config so the difference between 28W and 25W in this Tiger Lake CPU while gaming will be very small.
The Anandtech review is pretty comprehensive at the lower 15W (on battery) configuration. It seems the new Intel chip does better with more power than Renoir but at 15W, which is the power most users will experience, Renoir beats it most times, even in gaming.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 236   +229
The problem is that Intel is committing more shenanigans with "conditions" like prohibiting the testing of the CPU's power consumption. I guess power consumption isn't important to craptop owners......oh wait.

The last time Intel hid something behind a curtain, it was a CPU chiller that they conveniently "forgot" to mention when showing their CPU at 5GHz. I wonder what they're hiding this time.
 

Cooe14

Posts: 72   +100
SOOOOOO much die space needed for the Xe LP iGPU (nearly 1/2 the damn die!!!) to only just BARELY pip-out the year old & absolutely freaking TINY Vega 8 iGPU on Renoir = consider me SERIOUSLY unimpressed.

By & large they just threw more ALU's/transistors at the problem which is EXACTLY why they could only fit 4-cores into their 15-28W "ULV" part (8-core Tiger Lake will almost surely be 45W H-series only) meaning AMD's year old parts STILL absolutely wipe the floor with Tiger Lake in anything multi-threaded. All the while AMD otoh was also able to make a huge jump in iGPU performance with Renoir last year, but while massively SHRINKING their iGPU instead (in both outright size, proportion of die, & transistor count).

All AMD needs to do is dedicate a teeny tiny bit more die space back to graphics & Intel's iGPU's are instantly right back in the dog house. (A shift back to Raven Ridge/Picasso proportions would be MORE than enough. They don't even need to move to RDNA yet, as that's probably best done with the DDR5 shift with Zen 4, for maximum impact). What the hell has Raja been doing over there all this time??? And ofc on the CPU side, the 8-core Zen 3 setup in Cézanne will completely crap all over this.
 
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Makste

Posts: 12   +3
SOOOOOO much die space needed for the Xe LP iGPU (nearly 1/2 the damn die!!!) to only just BARELY pip-out the year old & absolutely freaking TINY Vega 8 iGPU on Renoir = consider me SERIOUSLY unimpressed.

By & large they just threw more ALU's/transistors at the problem which is EXACTLY why they could only fit 4-cores into their 15-28W "ULV" part (8-core Tiger Lake will almost surely be 45W H-series only) meaning AMD's year old parts STILL absolutely wipe the floor with Tiger Lake in anything multi-threaded. All the while AMD otoh was also able to make a huge jump in iGPU performance with Renoir last year, but while massively SHRINKING their iGPU instead (in both outright size, proportion of die, & transistor count).

All AMD needs to do is dedicate a teeny tiny bit more die space back to graphics & Intel's iGPU's are instantly right back in the dog house. (A shift back to Raven Ridge/Picasso proportions would be MORE than enough. They don't even need to move to RDNA yet, as that's probably best done with the DDR5 shift with Zen 4, for maximum impact). What the hell has Raja been doing over there all this time??? And ofc on the CPU side, the 8-core Zen 3 setup in Cézanne will completely crap all over this.
I really like your comment. I think you are either a very high grade engineer or just knowledgeable which I doubt. 👍