Intel has been announcing its eighth-generation processors at a pretty slow pace. First, it was the U-series chips, which are built on the Kaby Lake architecture, but have been bumped from dual-core to quad-core. These are what you'll find in most ultrabooks. In September, the company introduced its desktop 'Coffee Lake' chips, which bump the amount of cores up from four to six.
This left the question of what was left for the H-series, which are the processors found in gaming laptops and larger, more powerful laptops. That question was answered in November, when the company announced that for the first time, it would be releasing Core chips with dedicated graphics from AMD Radeon. Today, Intel detailed those new processors ahead of CES 2018.
First of all, let's talk about the product names. Historically, H-series would mean that the model has the 'H' suffix. But if you thought that Intel's product names weren't confusing enough, you're in luck. These will have the 'G' suffix, named after the 'Kaby Lake G' codename. There's a reason for this, because there will still be 'H' chips. The 'G' processors come with AMD Radeon graphics, and the 'H' chips do not, so if an OEM wants to build a gaming laptop with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080, it would use an 'H' processor.
What you see in the image above is one of the new 'G' chips, and that has the CPU and GPU on the same die; Intel says that this reduced the silicon footprint by 50%. Intel's integrated graphics memory is shared with the system memory, so with dedicated graphics and eight lanes of high-speed PCI Express Gen 3 between the two, performance is greatly increased.
It still included integrated graphics though, and that's HD Graphics 630, the same as in the seventh-generation H-series. Intel HD Graphics uses less battery life, so it can be used for tasks that don't need as much power. This also means that the machine can power up to nine monitors: six off of the AMD Radeon RX Vega M GPU, and three off of the HD Graphics 630.
The new 65W chips come in Core i5 and i7 flavors, and the i5 can be clocked at up to 3.8GHz (2.8GHz base), while the i7 can be clocked at up to 4.1GHz (3.1GHz base). They're still quad-core with eight threads. The 100W processors are Core i7 only, and they can be clocked at up to 4.2GHz (3.1GHz base), and there's a model that's unlocked for overclocking.
Going back to the naming, traditionally, Intel has added a 'K' on the end of a chip model that is unlocked, such as 'HK'. That's not the case with the 'G' lineup, so just be on the lookout for a Core i7-8809G.
There are two different models of AMD RX Vega M graphics: GL and GH. Radeon RX Vega M GL has a base GPU clock of 931MHz, with peak performance of 2.6 teraflops and 20 compute units. GH has a base clock of 1,063MHz, with peak performance of up to 3.7 teraflops and 24 compute units.
What all of this means is that you're going to see more powerful ultrabooks going forward. Traditionally, you'd find H-series chips in larger, heavier devices, but now they'll be able to fit into a smaller package. You can expect to see 15-inch convertibles with these chips, and other such devices.
Intel says that it's not done yet, and it will have plenty to announce in 2018. These should include proper H-series chips, as none of those models were announced today. The firm also still hasn't introduced its eighth-generation Y-series processors.
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