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TekSpek CPUs
Intel 8th Gen mobile CPUs

Intel 8th Gen mobile CPUs


Date issued:

Intel started down the 8th Generation Core CPU path in August of last year. The initial launch focussed on expanding and improving the U-series portfolio through a newer architecture and, more tellingly from a performance perspective, doubling of cores and threads whilst keeping power the same. Impressive.

October 2017 welcomed in the desktop variant of 8th Gen Core, and Intel used pretty much the same tack by offering a combination of a refined architecture - Coffee Lake - and more cores and threads for a similar outlay. Finally, at the turn of this year, the chip giant announced an unlikely partnership with AMD, whose RX Vega Graphics were mated to select, high-performance Intel mobile processors and released under the G Suffix.

Mobile Performance

Intel Mobile Core Performance Series

Model Cores /
Threads
Smart Cache
(MB)
Base
Clock
(GHz)
Turbo
Boost
2.0
(GHz)
Unlocked
Memory
Channels
Memory
Support
TDP
(W)
8th Gen Mobile processors
Core i9-8950HK 6 / 12 12 2.9 4.8* Yes Dual DDR4-2666 45
Core i7-8850H 6 / 12 9 2.6 4.3 Semi Dual DDR4-2666 45
Core i7-8750H 6 / 12 9 2.2 4.2 No Dual DDR4-2666 45
Core i5-8400H 4 / 8 8 2.5 4.2 No Dual DDR4-2666 45
Core i5-8300K 4 / 8 8 2.3 4.0 No Dual DDR4-2666 45
Select 7th Gen Mobile processors
Core i7-7920HQ 4 / 8 8 3.1 4.1 Yes Dual DDR4-2400 45
Core i7-7700HQ 4 / 8 8 2.8 3.8 No Dual DDR4-2400 45
Core i5-7440HQ 4 / 4 6 2.8 3.8 No Dual DDR4-2400 45

These chips typically go into high-performance gaming laptops that thrive on maximum performance. The 45W TDP, consistent between generations, ought to ensure that ODM partners don't have excess qualification work to do: they simply swap out the chip and release a new machine housed in the same chassis.

Intel follows the established performance route for the 8th Gen mobile CPUs. Core i7 chips shift from four cores and eight threads to six cores and 12 threads, replicating the desktop, while Core i5 now has hyperthreading as standard, thus looking much like Core i7 from the previous generation.

8th Gen sees a reasonable uplift in maximum turbo frequency, too, and has faster RAM support from the get go. Core i7-8850H should be at least 50 per cent faster than, say, the Core i7-7700HQ, and Core i5-8400H has the advantage of a higher peak single-core speed and hyperthreading over its 7th Gen Core stablemate. If Intel continues to be consistent in pricing, these new processors should cost the likes of Dell, HP and Asus about the same as the outgoing models, albeit offering more performance.

It is worth drawing your attention to the new head honcho, the Core i9-8950HK. The model numbering is significant as it is the first time Core i9 makes an appearance on mobile. What makes a Core i9 different from a Core i7 appreciating that both feature the same cores and threads? Good question.

Core i9 takes its design cues off a mobile Xeon chips also being launched today: the E-2186M, and both have 12MB of Smart Cache. The latter sports ECC memory and is eligible for vPro Technology, too. Looking to offer ultimate performance, this unlocked processor nominally turbo boosts up to 4.6GHz on up to two threads. However, it can jump another 200MHz, to 4.8GHz, under a new technology dubbed Intel Thermal Velocity Boost. According to Intel the chip 'opportunistically and automatically increases clock frequency by up to 200 MHz if the processor is at a temperature of 50°C or lower and turbo power budget is available. The frequency gain and duration is dependent on the workload (best for bursty workloads), capabilities of the individual processor, and the processor cooling solution.' Sounds a lot like AMD's XFR technology, if you ask us.

Mobile Mainstream

Intel Mobile Core Mainstream Series

Model Cores /
Threads
Smart Cache
(MB)
Base
Clock
(GHz)
Turbo
Boost
2.0
(GHz)
IGP
Memory
Channels
Memory
Support
TDP
(W)
8th Gen Mobile processors
Core i7-8559U 4 / 8 8 2.7 4.5 Iris 650 Plus Dual DDR4-2400 28
Core i5-8269U 4 / 4 6 2.6 4.2 Iris 650 Plus Dual DDR4-2400 28
Core i5-8259U 4 / 4 6 2.3 3.8 Iris 640 Plus Dual DDR4-2400 28
Core i3-8109U 2 / 4 4 3.0 3.6 Iris 640 Plus Dual DDR4-2400 28
Select 7th Gen Mobile processors
Core i7-7660U 2 / 4 4 2.5 4.0 Iris Plus 640 Dual DDR4-2400 15
Core i7-7567U 2 / 4 4 3.5 4.0 Iris Plus 650 Dual DDR4-2400 28
Core i3-7100U 4 / 4 3 2.4 - HD 620 Dual DDR4-2400 15

Jumping over to the U-series more common in svelte machines, Intel is tacking on the Iris Plus Graphics to a quartet of new processors. These chips are designed for machines that are positioned between Ultrabooks and gaming laptops. Bolting on the graphics adds to the base 15W TDP, of course, and don't expect to play any of the latest games at a decent resolution, but mating U-series and Iris is sensible in hitting certain parts of the market.

Expect to see these processors reside inside sub-2kg laptops with a profile of less than 20mm. Think thin and light allied to reasonable performance, especially if you go for a Core i7 chip.

View our range of Intel 8th Gen Core-powered laptops.