What just happened? Intel has introduced nearly a dozen new 10th-gen Intel Core processors designed specifically for laptops and 2-in-1s. Based on Intel’s 10nm process technology, the eleven newcomers code-named Ice Lake feature an all-new graphics architecture with up to 1 teraflop of GPU engine compute as well as Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity.
They include Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 variants with core / thread counts of 2/4 and 4/8. TDP scales from 9W on lower-end models up to 28W for the top-end Core i7-1068G7. All models feature Gen11 integrated graphics, most with Intel’s Iris Plus.
Intel’s new Ice Lake chips are scheduled to crop up in new laptops and 2 in 1s from PC manufacturers this holiday season but we don’t have to wait until then to get an idea of how they perform.
Intel recently invited select members of the press to try out Ice Lake using Software Development Systems – laptops that typically go out to Intel’s software partners for testing. These reference design systems aren’t anything to look at but they do provide a platform for benchmarking Ice Lake and that’s really all that matters today. They’re essentially just functional demos.
Image and graphs below courtesy AnandTech
AnandTech was among the publications on hand and spent roughly eight hours with test systems running Intel’s Core i7-1065G7 in 15W and 25W modes. Editors conducted a battery of highly technical tests as well as synthetic / legacy benchmarks for historical comparison’s sake on Intel's reference system as well as a Huawei Matebook 13 2019 with a Whiskey Lake i7-8565U with 8GB of DDR4-3200 and a Matebook X Pro 2018 running a Kaby Lake-R Core i7-8500U.
We’ve included results from some of the more popular tests here although you should definitely check out AnandTech’s full write-up for the nitty gritty, in-depth details.
There's not a ton of performance gained when going from Whiskey Lake to Ice Lake in CineBnech R20's multi-threaded test.
Oddly enough, performance in Final Fantasy XV declined slightly when moving from 15W to 25W. The speed bump compared to the Whiskey Lake integrated graphics further highlights that this is a GPU-bound test.
World of Tanks, on the other hand, is far more receptive to the extra frequency afforded by the additional TDP.
As others like PCMag also highlight, it's very early days for Ice Lake. The fact that Intel even allowed members of the press to preview its new chip is a deviation from the norm but one that is welcome.
The general consensus seems to be that Intel's latest offering provides a solid - although not groundbreaking - boost in CPU-minded performance. If you're also in need of integrated graphics, well, that's where things become even more interesting. But we'll have to wait until later this year to get a firm grasp on exactly what Ice Lake is capable of as more hands-on time with chips is needed.