As promised, the family of processors Ice Lake has made its appearance during the conference, Intel’s Computex Taipei, the long-awaited appointment dedicated to the hardware that has seen the company present the much-anticipated CPU to 10 nanometers. And we’re talking about processors that are definitely interesting, with the promise of an increase in performance of 15-18 percentage points of the core, the Sunny Cove with respect to the core Skylake, even if mitigated by the nature of the products intended for ultra-portable, necessarily constrained by TDP minimum and a maximum of four cores and eight threads. The new family will include all of the classic line-up Intel, the Core i3 to the Core i7, but is not meant to squeeze to the maximum the new architecture, with the models Ice Lake Y designed for a TDP between 9 and 12 W and models Ice Lake U are designed for a TDP including between 12 and 28W. Yet there is a something special, excluding consumption, where the new CPUS effectively change the cards on the table: the integrated graphics.
Intel focuses on the mobile, with the 10-nanometer and integrated graphics of the new generation
With the processors, Ice Lake, we find ourselves in front of a Intel that focuses on the mobile industry, trying to make the most of a production process with which it has struggled a lot and that seems to still be problematic for the company. If, on the one hand, in fact, it is spoken of thirty products that use the new CPU, on the other, it is also mentioned Christmas as a finish line for this goal, a sign that things could move rather slowly. And this worries us a little with regard to the arrival of the variants desktop, and those who should counteract the CPU Ryzen to 7 nanometers. But the family of processors Ice Lake mobile goes to counter AMD in another field in which this is distinct thanks to the integrated graphics Vega. With the GPU-Vega 11, in fact, we are just below the RX 550, a jump of performance is remarkable compared to the graphics solutions above. And it is precisely on this point that they go to beat the processors Ice Lake, equipped with integrated graphics Intel Iris Plus of the eleventh generation, able to combine small size, even for the the mother boards, with some satisfaction in gaming. In terms of performance we are speaking of 30fps and other details, the average in 1080p for the CPU allocated to ultrabook like the Dell XPS 13 that will gain a lot in terms of graphical potential, both in the field of video games as well as multimedia playback. All with the CPU able to reach 4.1 GHz on Turbo Boost, and this while boasting fuel consumption considerably reduced, despite the use of a GPU far more powerful. It is therefore not surprising that the actual gain compared to processors Whiskey Lake is reduced, for CPUS that don’t tip of course on the power of calculation. Tip, as we said, on that graphic, with the 1.2 tflops FP32 , the equivalent, probably not the case, the computing capacity of the Radeon RX 550. The CPU is the protagonist, in this case, it should be the CPU Lake U Iris Plus, but we do not know if in the version with a GPU with 48 Execution Units, or the one from the 64 Execution Units, which should represent the top of the series.
1.2 TFLOP of power and 4K resolution at 120Hz in the service of a new generation of ultrabook
The teraflops naked and raw, we know, cannot help us to understand the exact performance in the play of a card, but they are still a good indication. Taking as a reference a computing capacity declared comparable to that of the Radeon RX 550, we are facing an integrated solution probably able to ensure actually a framerate of about 30 images per second in many titles modern and this, even considering that in some cases you will need to surrender to their lowest settings, this corresponds to a major jump. A leap that, according to what we read in the slide show by Intel should ensure a forty fps in Fortnite, almost sixty in Rocket League, and over eighty in CS:GO in medium quality, guaranteeing high performance in the vast majority of MOBA, FPS, arena and so on. All seasoned with a lot of news that include the 4K to 10bit 120Hz, decode and encode up to 8K at 30Hz with a color depth of 10-bit, the performance increase of two and a half times compared to Whiskey Lake for as far as the IA, and then technologies to improve image, built-in support for VESA Adaptive Sync DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0 b, and a doubling in the performance of encoding h.265 HECV and peculiarities of the chipset, such as support for RAM to 3200MHz or LP4/x-3733, memories Optane, Thunderbolt 3, and Wi-Fi, 6 built-in. All function laptop is always connected and related to the Athena project, in view of a future of ultra-portables more and more powerful. But the characteristics of the core Sunny Cove we are interested also in view of the desktop counterparts, hopefully arriving before they need to be yet another refresh to the 14-nanometer. Moreover, we are intrigued by the promise of increased performance, which also depends on improvements to the cache that passes from the 32Kb of Ice Lake to 48k bytes for the first level, from 256 to 512Kb for the second level, and from 1536 to 2048 for the third level, with the number of micro-operations that goes from 1.5 K to 2.25 K. The all-hopefully accompanied by some measure of the bugs that have created some problems in the family of processors that are currently in circulation. The games are now made, with the supply to OEM partners which is already begun, and, unless surprises, should result in a full line-up of products by the end of the year.