Intel released four processors in a row, and also announced a wave of X86 upgrades

The CES Consumer Electronics Show, which was held offline to online, has kicked off this week. The chip maker Intel also released a number of desktop and mobile processors today.

From the perspective of product composition, this new Intel product has two main features: one is the 11th generation Core processor code-named "Rocket Lake" for desktop computers; and the other is the H35 series for thin and light gaming laptops. The mobile processor is also a complement to last year's 11th generation "Tiger Lake" mobile processor.

At present, OEM manufacturers including Acer, Asus, MSI and VAIO have announced that they will launch thin and light gaming computers equipped with the H35 series; in the first half of 2021, there will be more than 40 related models on the market.

What changes will appear in these models in appearance, performance, and experience, we have to find the answer in this new processor.

The 11th generation Core H35 series: a powerful tool for thin and light gaming notebooks

As early as September last year, Intel had already put out two-speed TDP, a total of 9 models of 11 Core mobile processors, but at the time they were mainly low-voltage versions, with a maximum TDP of only 28W, and they were basically light and thin, business This is in use.

▲ H35 is more similar to the high-end version of U series. Picture from: Anandtech

The H35 series processors with higher performance are unveiled today.

At present, Intel officially announced 3 models, the default TDP is 28W, up to 35W, but even the most high-end Core i7-11375H SE, it is still a 4-core 8-thread design.

So in a strict sense, H35 does not represent the highest performance H series, but is more similar to the "high-end version" of the Tiger Lake-U series.

▲The 11th generation Core H35 series mobile processor, the highest-end model i7-11375H has 4 cores and 8 threads, the turbo frequency can reach 5GHz

Intel also said that this batch of H35 series processors are prepared for "ultra-portable, thin and light gaming notebooks." If used in notebooks, the thickness of the device can be as thin as 16mm and the weight can be controlled below 2kg.

However, compared with the previous generation Core i7, the single-thread performance of the H35 series processor has increased by about 15%. Compared with the 15W core of the same generation, the single-threaded performance is increased by 9%, and the multi-threaded can be increased by 40%.

When it comes to games, I have to talk about graphics cards. Another big change for Tiger Lake this time is the Iris Xe nuclear display on the entire series. From last year’s thin and light notebooks equipped with Tiger Lake-U series processors, you can also see that even without the assistance of a discrete graphics card, they can still play "Tomb Raider" with better picture quality at 1080p resolution. game.

In theory, the game performance will be better under the H35 series with higher TDP. Intel also said that notebooks equipped with this processor can provide a maximum frame rate of 70fps for mainstream games such as "League of Legends" and "Hitman 3" at 1080p resolution + high-quality settings.

In terms of other parameters, the H35 series is consistent with the 11th generation Tiger Lake, including support for PCIe 4.0, USB4 and Thunderbolt 4 interfaces, and Wi-Fi 6 also supports Gig+ Wi-Fi 6E specifications.

At the end of the first quarter of this year, Intel will also launch another batch of high-performance H-series processors to meet the needs of heavy gamers.

By then, the highest specification can reach 8 cores and 16 threads, the turbo frequency is up to 5GHz, and the TDP will reach 45W. It supports ultra-fast storage and 20 PCIe 4.0 channels to meet the needs of independent graphics and storage devices.

If the products are divided in this way, in 2021, there will be a number of devices that focus on light and thin, but also have certain game performance, which will further segment the increasingly huge gaming market.

▲ The 11th-generation Core processor of the H35 series is mainly for thin and light gaming laptops

If you don’t have a high demand for games, and you value battery life, weight and other parts of the experience, you can indeed consider starting with a thin and light gaming laptop; at the same time, you can also take into account those users who need productivity and light creative design.

But if you still have a demand for 4K resolution, full special effects 3A games, or those "big guy" game books that put the game experience first, you still have to wait for the release of the 45W Tiger Lake-H series processors. .

Rocket Lake, the main desktop computer, and the official 12th generation Core

In addition to Tiger Lake, Intel also released the 11th-generation Core S-series processors code-named Rocket Lake-S, mainly for the desktop field.

▲Rocket Lake-S rendering

As early as October last year, Intel had already announced the information of Rocket Lake. For example, it will adopt the new Cypress Cove architecture and built-in Xe integrated graphics. At the same time, it will also have a fast video synchronization technology to provide better video transcoding and Hardware acceleration features.

At this CES conference, Intel officially announced the detailed specifications of the Rocket Lake-S processor. Take the highest-end Core i9-11900K as an example. This is an 8-core 16-thread processor with a single-core turbo frequency of up to 5.3GHz, support for DDR4-3200 memory, AV1 video hardware decoding, and up to 20 PCIe 4.0 aisle.

▲ Although the number of cores of Rocket Lake S processor has been reduced from 10 cores of the previous generation to 8 cores, the performance is still improved thanks to the core upgrade

Of course, the new Rocket Lake-S is still a product of Intel’s continued “polishing” of 14nm. The potential has basically been tapped out. The performance can only be improved by upgrading the new Cypress Cove architecture. In the end, it still brings about 19%. IPC (instructions per clock) improvement, and better AI performance.

At the same time, under the support of the new Xe set, the graphics performance will be 50% higher than the previous generation.

Intel also gave a comparison between Rocket Lake-S and AMD's competing products at the press conference. When both equipped with RTX 3080 graphics card and running 3A games such as "Cyberpunk 2077" and "Assassin's Creed: Odyssey" at 1080p high quality, the Core i9-11900K processor is better than AMD Ryzen 9 5900X, but it is open The gap is not obvious, neither exceeds 10%.

▲ The Alder Lake processor based on the enhanced 10nm process will adopt a hybrid architecture design

With the release of the desktop processor, Intel also revealed information about the next-generation processor: the 12th-generation Core code-named "Alder Lake".

Intel emphasized that Alder Lake represents a major breakthrough in the X86 architecture and will also become Intel's most scalable system-on-chip.

The reason for saying this is related to the architecture improvement of this chip. Starting from the 12th generation, Intel's desktop and mobile processors will be built with enhanced 10nm SuperFin technology, which will help provide CPUs with higher operating efficiency and more stable current.

▲ Alder Lake engineering machine shown by Intel at the press conference

On the other hand, Alder Lake will also be a processor with a mixed architecture design, which means that it will build a high-performance core and a high-efficiency core on a single processor, similar to the large and small core designs common on mobile phones now. , So as to achieve a balance between performance and power consumption.

Detailed information about this processor will be announced by Intel in the second half of this year. But it is foreseeable that on the next generation of Core processors, we are likely to see some long-lost new things.

Under the epidemic, traditional PCs have sold better

Although the development prospects of the PC market have been looked down upon by the industry in the past few years, the emergence of the epidemic has caused shipments in the PC market to increase instead of decreasing. The emergence of a large number of home use scenarios has significantly accelerated the speed of PC replacement, and has also created new demands for the productivity of traditional computers and games by many users.

These trends are not only good for PC manufacturers, but also benefit chip manufacturers like Intel.

The latest global PC market report has illustrated this trend. According to IDC data , in the fourth quarter of 2020, PC shipments achieved a year-on-year growth of 26.1%.

Throughout 2020, the global PC market shipments also reached a growth of 13.1%. Among them, the top 5 manufacturers have achieved positive growth in shipments, and the manufacturers classified as "other" have not sold less equipment.

You know, the last time the PC market achieved an annual growth rate of more than 13% was in 2010.

IDC researchers also pointed out in the report that the recovery of the PC market last year was mainly affected by the demand for home office and online learning, but this short- to medium-term demand has now gradually penetrated into the mass consumer market itself.

In this bright prospect, Intel has also accelerated its pace of iterating new products. This time, in addition to the desktop and mobile 11-generation Cores, it also launched the N-series Pentium Silver and Celeron processors, which are mainly for the education market, and the 11-generation vPro platform for the commercial field. Obviously, it will take the opportunity to further seize market.

But on the other hand, as the industry picks up, PC manufacturers have also ushered in new competition.

The most obvious is undoubtedly the emergence of Apple M1, Qualcomm's Snapdragon Core’s eye for PC devices, and the release of Microsoft’s self-developed chip plan, which indicates that the traditional X86 platform is accepting a new round of challenges from the ARM camp. It will pose a direct threat to Intel's fixed PC market.

Even in the same camp, the growing strength of AMD and the increasing number of Ryzen models on the PC side also make Intel feel more pressure. If you want to ensure your competitiveness and strive for greater say in chips and architecture, Intel in 2021 will indeed have to work harder.

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