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Intel announces its 11th-gen 'Tiger Lake' processors with Iris Xe graphics, PCIe 4, and more

It's one of the worst kept secrets out there, but Intel announced its 11th-generation processors for thin and light laptops today. Codenamed Tiger Lake, it's the second generation of the firm's 10nm process, following Ice Lake.

There's a lot going on here. It has Intel's new Iris Xe graphics, and the firm is promising 2.7x faster content creation and 2x faster gaming. According to Intel, it's better than 90% of discrete GPUs that are paired with U-series processors, and while it didn't say so explicitly, it's probably targeting Nvidia's GeForce MX series.

"11th Gen Intel Core processors with Intel Iris Xe graphics are a major leap forward in real world processor performance and are the best laptop processors we have built," said Gregory Bryant, Intel executive vice president and general manager of the Client Computing Group. "From productivity and content creation to entertainment and gaming, when you pick a system powered by 11th Gen Intel Core – especially one of our new Intel Evo co-engineered and verified designs – you know you are getting the best laptop experience possible."

That's not all though. These CPUs support Intel's new Thunderbolt 4 and PCIe 4.0, both of which will provide some pretty serious improvements. Thunderbolt 4 is what today, we'd call a "full" Thunderbolt 3 port. You'll be guaranteed that any Thunderbolt 4 port will be able to handle two 4K displays or one 8K display.

And PCIe 4.0 doubles the bandwidth of PCIe 3.0, which means that things will be faster. Previously, PCIe 4.0 was only available in AMD's Ryzen desktop processors, but this is the first place you'll find it on a laptop processor.

While we've talked about all of that new graphics power, Thunderbolt 4, and PCIe, there are improvements in the CPU as well. Intel changed up quite a bit with its lineup, all of which has higher clock speeds.

Processor number Graphics Cores / Threads Graphics (EUs) Cache Memory Operating range Base freq (GHz) Max Single Core Turbo (GHz, up to) Max All Core Turbo (GHz, up to) Graphics Max Freq (GHz, up to) Intel DL Boost / Intel GNA 2.0
UP3 Core i7-1185G7 Iris Xe 4 / 8 96 12MB DDR4-3200 LPDDR4x-4266 12 - 28W 3.0 4.8 4.3 1.35 Yes
Core i7-1165G7 2.8 4.7 4.1 1.3
Core i5-1135G7 80 8MB 2.4 4.2 3.8
Core i3-1125G4 UHD Graphics 48 DDR4-3200 LPDDR4x-3733 2.0 3.7 3.3 1.25
Core i3-1115G4 2 / 4 6MB 3.0 4.1 4.1
UP4 Core i7-1160G7 Iris Xe 4 / 8 96 12MB LPDDR4x-4266 7 - 15W 1.2 4.4 3.6 1.1
Core i5-1130G7 80 8MB 1.1 4.0 3.4
Core i3-1120G4 UHD Graphics 48 3.5 3.0
Core i3-1110G4 2 / 4 6MB 1.8 3.9 3.9

With Ice Lake, there were two levels of Iris Plus Graphics, G4 and G7, and G1 was reserved for UHD Graphics. With Tiger Lake, G1 is gone, and G4 is for UHD Graphics. You'll also notice that the Core i5 SKUs come with Xe Graphics, rather than having three different tiers.

Intel says it has 150 designs coming from a variety of OEMs, as we'll see from the partner announcements that are about to drop. The company also announced Evo, its brand for PCs that are Project Athena verified.

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