Details on Intel’s Tiger Lake-H CPU family have leaked, showcasing the expected clocks and market segmentation of the high-performance TGL CPUs Intel is bringing to market beginning in Q2. Intel’s 10th Gen family of mobile CPUs was a mixture of 14nm CPUs with more than four cores and 10nm CPUs based on Ice Lake with four cores or fewer. For its 11th Gen mobile family, Intel has been sticking to quad-core chips. The company has previously said that it would launch new six and eight-core CPUs on Tiger Lake, however, so this leak gives a potential hint at what those parts will look like. You may now take your grains of salt.
— HXL (@9550pro) March 20, 2021
If this leak is true, it means Intel is bringing eight-core CPUs to lower model numbers than it previously used; the current Core i7-10850H (there is no 10800H) is a six-core CPU, while the Core i7-11800H is an eight-core chip. Similarly, the Core i5-10400H is a quad-core, while the Core i5-11400H is a six-core CPU. You can see a comparison of the equivalent Intel CPUs here.
Moving from 14nm to 10nm appears to have helped Intel increase its base clock speeds, in addition to the IPC improvements baked into Tiger Lake over the old Skylake core. The six-core 45W Core i5-10500H had a base clock of 2.5GHz and a max turbo frequency of 4.5GHz alongside a 1050MHz graphics clock. The new 45W i5-11400H is a 2.7GHz CPU with the same 4.5GHz turbo and a maximum graphics clock of 1450MHz. Virtually all 45W CPUs will ship with a GPU, but if you do buy one of these systems with just integrated graphics, the built-in Xe graphics that ship with Tiger Lake will be substantially faster than Intel’s older hardware.
At the high-end, the 11980HK is a 2.6GHz base clock with a maximum 5GHz single-core and an all-core 4.5GHz, if thermals permit. That’s higher than the 2.4GHz base clock on the Core i9-10980HK, but it’s 300MHz less maximum clock than the 14nm 10th Gen core offered. Again, this assumes these rumors are true in the first place. If you configure the Core i9-11980HK with a 65W cooling solution, you can bring the base clock up to 3.3GHz. Remember, Intel’s TDP ratings only refer to base clocks. Neither Intel nor AMD treats TDP as a stand-in metric for power consumption.
A 300MHz gap wouldn’t prevent TGL from outperforming Intel’s Skylake; the IPC improvements from Tiger Lake’s Willow Cove are large enough to offset the six percent clock difference. High frequencies are more difficult below 14nm than they were with previous chips.
These eight-core CPUs will the most advanced iteration of a high-performance Intel core you can buy when they eventually arrive, and it’ll be interesting to see how a 45W – 65W version of one of these mobile CPUs would compare against Rocket Lake. Intel currently deploys architectures on mobile first before bringing them to other segments, a trend that’s expected to continue when Alder Lake arrives with hybrid big and little x86 CPU cores late in 2021. We don’t know yet if Intel will preempt these Tiger Lake eight-core CPUs with equivalent Alder Lake replacements late in 2021, or if the company will introduce new 15W CPUs based on Alder Lake first, then follow with the higher core count variants at some point in 2022. Six and eight-core Tiger Lake CPUs are expected to launch in Q2 of this year.
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