Intel has unveiled the first 11th Gen Intel Core processors for thin and light laptops. These include Intel Xe graphics, which promise a significant leap in visual performance.
The 10nm chips are based on the "SuperFin" manufacturing process (an enhancement to the industry's FinFET technology) with the new Willow Cove architecture. Intel says this will help make a "big leap forward" in real-world performance.
The chipmaker claims that with the new processors, content creation is 2.7x faster and performance is 20% faster than a system using the AMD Ryzen 7 4800U. This is interesting because this is not just a comparison to earlier Intel chips, as has sometimes happened in the past.
The processors promise a particularly large boost in visual performance. The high-performance 11th Gen chips are the first to use Intel Iris Xe Integrated Graphics, which reportedly doubles the gaming performance of equivalent 10th Gen processors. The move will still not replace discrete GPUs, but Intel believes it will make it possible to play relatively new games like Borderlands 3 and Hitman 2.
The platform supports the new, more versatile Thunderbolt 4 port standard as well as PCI Express Gen 4. These are also the industry's first processors with Dolby Vision hardware processing, potentially providing an extra hour of battery life when streaming HDR video. Support for the AV1 video format is also built in, and improvements have been made for AI (inference of neural networks) and security (including memory encryption).
With the exception of the entry-level Core i3 chip, all of the new processors are quad-core, eight-thread models. All Core i3 chips use slower Intel UHD graphics, while the i5 and i7 processors use Iris Xe. The i3, i5, and i7 versions consume 7 to 15 watts of power in most laptops, as well as more demanding chips from 12 to 28 watts in higher-end laptops.
Over 150 laptop models are ready to use 11th Gen Intel Core, including systems from Acer, Asus, Dell, Dynabook (Sharp), HP, Lenovo, LG, MSI, Razer and Samsung. This applies to both Windows PCs and Chromebooks.
In addition, Intel introduced Evo, a "beefed-up" version of its Project Athena program for labeling the best laptops using this technology. The Evo laptop will have to use an 11th Gen Core processor with support for Iris Xe, Thunderbolt 4, and Intel Wi-Fi 6. It also needs to meet certain minimum performance requirements, including nine-plus hours of real-time battery life with a 1080p display, exiting sleep mode in less than a second, always-on responsiveness for all applications on battery power, and fast charging for up to four hours of use in less than 30 minutes.