In­tel’s 8th gen CPUs

New 8th-gen mo­bile mon­sters, and some new desk­top CPUs

PCPOWERPLAY - - Contents - BEN MAN­SILL

In­tel’s as­sault on mo­bile com­put­ing en­ters a new phase as the com­pany an­nounced its 8th-gen mo­bile CPUs, in­clud­ing for the first time (for In­tel), five new 6/12 thread mo­bile parts

Along­side the seven new per­for­mance parts, In­tel also has four new stan­dard mo­bile CPUs, for a to­tal of 11 mo­bile 8th-gen CPUs. Among these are a i9 part (also the first time this series, al­beit quite new, has a mo­bile ver­sion) and two new Xeons.

One, and just one, is fully un­locked and over­clock­able – be­ing the high­est-end i9-8950HK, which is no sur­prise given that these mo­bile i9 CPUs are ef­fec­tively cherry picked i7s for bet­ter ther­mal range - how­ever an­other (the i7-8860H) is “par­tially’ un­locked, specif­i­cally mean­ing it can be over­clocked by up to 400MHz.

But that’s far from the end of the over­clock­ing party, In­tel in­tro­duced its new Ther­mal Ve­loc­ity Boost, though this is only avail­able for the Core i98950HK part. It boosts a sin­gle core by an ad­di­tional 200MHz over stock Turbo when the CPU is at 50c or less. It is au­to­matic and work­load de­pen­dent and also de­pends on avail­able power.

The new mo­bile CPUs come in un­der ei­ther the U-Series badge cov­er­ing i3, i5 and i7 main­stream parts, and the H-Series for the per­for­mance prod­ucts that cover higher-end i5, i7 and i9 in­clud­ing the Radeon Vega IGP prod­ucts.

All are man­u­fac­tured on the 14nm++ process and are claimed to be nearly 30% faster than the 7th-gen CPUs from this time last year. We look for­ward to test­ing this!

BET­TER OP­TANE

An im­proved ver­sion of Op­tane comes to the 8th-gen mo­bile plat­form, along with a new mar­ket­ing badge for sys­tems that ship with an in­stalled Op­tane mod­ule (“i5+, i7+ and i9+”).

Un­like pre­vi­ous Op­tane im­ple­men­ta­tions which cached and boosted OS drive per­for­mance, it can now be used to boost per­for­mance of data drives - as in, your Steam and app drive. In­tel call it Data Drive Ac­cel­er­a­tion, sen­si­bly. It can­not be used for BOTH the data drive AND OS drive. That’s a lim­i­ta­tion of the driver, I was

told, not any­thing like PCIe lanes or the cur­rently small ca­pac­ity of Op­tane prod­ucts. Most gam­ing lap­tops are sold with a large ca­pac­ity hard drives so it makes sense to Op­tane-boost that in­stead of a smaller OS SATA SSD – as­sum­ing it has one.

The whole idea – at least as far as the gam­ing-cen­tric pitch was con­cerned – is for quicker load­ing times in games. In­tel quoted an al­most dou­bling on a level load­ing demo of 10 sec­onds with Op­tane vs 18 sec­onds with­out, plus a few more FPS in some games. This was in a com­par­i­son against a TLC SATA SSD.

Op­tane was also touted as be­ing a per­fect fit for con­tent cre­ation, with an eS­port pro­fes­sional on a pre-record telling us that “the quicker the guys can get footage out there the bet­ter they do.”

DESK­TOP

The desk­top prod­ucts are equally ex­pan­sive though came in a dis­tant se­cond place in terms of hype at the launch event. Per­haps be­cause the em­pha­sis was on gam­ing and the new desk­top CPUs and plat­forms are de­cid­edly main­stream. Most of the range cov­ers i3 and i5, and six of the nine new CPUs are low power. There is but one i7 and that too is a low power item.

The two cheap­est i3 CPUs (8300T and 8100T) are in­ter­est­ing, with prices of US$138 and US$117 an stock speeds of 3.2 and 3.1GHz they out­pace the new higher end i5 and i7 CPUs, though don’t Turbo Boost, on the flip­side. Mem­ory speed sup­port across the board is con­ser­va­tive at 2400 - 2666MHz.

NEW CHIPSETS

In­tel has sup­ported the value CPUs with the ex­pected H, Q and B ver­sions of the 300 series chipset. These range from the su­per ba­sic H310 with just six PCIe 3.0 lanes to the rel­a­tively more fea­tured Q370 with 24 lanes and 14 USB ports. These should of­fer ap­peal­ing im­ple­men­ta­tions in bud­get gamer boards that com­pare rel­a­tively well in ba­sic per­for­mance with the pricier Z370 series.

IT’S ALL ABOUT GAM­ING

Gam­ing has taken an in­creas­ingly front row seat with In­tel’s mar­ket­ing and here it was all of ev­ery­thing, al­most. The first 20 min­utes of the pre­sen­ta­tion was gam­ing and noth­ing but. Given that the global launch was in Bei­jing it made sense for In­tel to un­der­line just how im­por­tant gam­ing is. The Chi­nese mar­ket is driv­ing a mas­sive global surge in gam­ing lap­top sales. No other cat­e­gory comes close in terms of growth and sheer dom­i­na­tion. 56% of all gam­ing lap­tops last year were sold in China, and here in China gam­ing lap­top sales grew by 52% in the last year. Mas­sive. The spinoff af­fects the rest of the world. The de­mand for gam­ing lap­tops is by no means unique to China – it’s just that this ter­ri­tory has the big­gest num­bers. Thus, world­wide de­mand is be­ing met by this di­verse range of new CPUs from In­tel, from su­per-bud­get i3s through to the meaty i9 - and this is no pa­per launch, dozens of ma­chines are ready to roll from pretty much ev­ery OEM.

POWER FOR OTHER THINGS

Some may say that it is AMD’s Ryzen range that spurred In­tel’s move be­yond 4 cores, and there is some truth in that but ap­pli­ca­tions now de­mand more and last year’s 6/12 core i7-8700K (In­tel’s first con­sumer CPU in that con­fig­u­ra­tion) turned out to sell more units than ANY i7 be­fore it.

So there’s a lot of con­fi­dence within In­tel that be­yond-4-core CPUs have a home in mo­bile. OEMs agree. It’s ac­tu­ally quite an ex­cit­ing new range of CPUs, ac­com­pa­nied by some beastly new lap­tops.

What’s new in the 8th-gen desk­top range

The mo­bile value range

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