It was in early September that Intel officially launched the first 11th generation Core processors, the Tiger Lake. The first wave is tailor-made for ultraportables and hybrids, even ultra-thin 14 and 15 inch laptops. Not for gaming laptops.
Their arrival in the trade is expected in the coming weeks, within a few machines to start. Then, they will begin to be more and more present in boxes sold between the end of November and the next school year.
In order to give us a first opinion on these new little monsters, Intel sent us a laptop PC, which does not exist in any catalog, and which has been designed to act as a standard meter. It embeds the most powerful processor of the new generation.
In addition, Asus sent us a ZenBook Flip S UX371, a high-end hybrid laptop PC that will soon hit the shelves, but which is still on the test benches and of which we will soon be offering you a full test.
Tiger Lake, in two words
As a reminder, the 11th generation Cores are the first processors of their kind. Intel has completely revised its copy. They embark a whole new computing unit architecture, a state-of-the-art graphics controller (for some only) that Intel has developed for two years and, above all, they are made to handle more or less important levels of power in order to integrate moderately thin, thin, or even very thin cases.
Within the Tiger Lake, there are two very distinct families of chips, the very very low consumption which are content to draw up to 15 watts maximum (UP4, according to the Intel nomenclature) and the low consumption processors, which can themselves , need 28 watts (the UP3) maximum.
At the moment, Intel only offers hyperthreaded quad-core chips in each of the two categories. But much stronger models are likely to arrive in the coming weeks.
Our guinea pig: the mighty Core i7-1185G7
As we said in the introduction, it is the most powerful of the Tiger Lakes that we have had the opportunity to test.
The Core i7 1185G7 is equipped with 4 cores / 8 threads which can go up to 3 GHz in unison and one of them can even escape at 4.8 GHz when it is used alone (Turbo mode).
On the graphics controller side, it has the most powerful of the lot. Its Iris Xe has 96 processing units and can go up to 1.35 GHz when all conditions are met.
Ryzen vs. Core: Intel wins Round 1
To get to the heart of the matter, the results we have obtained with the Intel platform are compared to those we have observed in recent months on machines on the market and whose configurations are very similar, or even identical, both in terms of memory, screen definition or storage medium.
In PCMark 10, the new Core i7 holds out against all of its AMD-branded competitors. On the overall test, it turns out to be 10% more efficient than the Ryzen 4800U. Then he drives the point home Essential and Productivity, with differences of 18% and almost 20% respectively. On the other hand, it was left behind by the 4800U on the last test. The AMD chip turns out to be 10% more powerful than the Core i7.
Other well-known tests, those of 3D Mark and Unigine. They simulate fairly busy video game scenes, but are not always representative of what really happens when playing with the machines. This is why the results obtained in games will then be detailed.
As you can see, it’s only in one of the three tests that the 4800U holds itself above the Core i7 Tiger Lake, and by little. In the other two events, the Intel chip takes the lead. A little over 20% in Night Raid and almost 27% in the test Unigine.
Iris Xe vs Radeon RX: Tiger Lake roars, pixels quiver
To compare the Core i7 Tiger Lake against its AMD rivals, we had to rely on the scores we had already stored in our database. They are obtained on games which are certainly not recent but have the advantage of running on almost all machines.
In Dirt 3 and The Last Remnant in Full HD with all settings fully, the Intel Xe manages to display between 30% and 32% more images than the Ryzen 4800U from AMD. Impressive.
We also took the Intel Xe up against beefier games, like Rise of the Tomb Raider in DX11 and The Division. Here are the scores obtained:
- The Division 720p High / Ultra: 40.7 / 32.6 fps
- The Division 1080p High / Ultra: 30.4 / 23.9 fps
- Rise of the Tomb Raider DX11 720p (Very High): 44.34 fps
- Rise of the Tomb Raider DX11 1080p (Very High): 25.2 fps
Our settings are pretty muscular, but at least they push the platform to its limits. The 30 fps level is only rarely reached when we push the details very high but, when they go down to Medium, the number of frames per second displayed allows you to play without too many slowdowns or graphic bugs.
We’re still experimenting with the machine that Intel gave us, as some of our DirectX 12 titles are struggling to go through without a hitch or even get started. Beta drivers are probably involved, so we’ll add that data when we have it.
3D controllers: Intel vs. Intel
To see for ourselves how the Core i7 Tiger Lake performs in the heat of the moment, we compared it to the older high-end ultraportable chips produced by Intel in different scenarios.
In the various PC Mark synthetic tests, we can clearly see the performance jumps between the 10th Generation Ice Lake and that of the 11th generation.
It will be noted in passing that between the 10th generation chips of the Ice Lake family and Comet Lake, the gross performance differences are insignificant.
The graph above shows how much the new graphics controller from Intel widens the gap with its old cronies. Spending two years developing it was not in vain. Quite the contrary.
And against Nvidia?
Finally, as Intel had fun doing it during its presentation, there is no reason why we should not compare the Iris Xe to entry-level Nvidia GPUs.
We took machines whose configurations were closest to the Intel platform: a high-end low-power Intel processor, a Full HD screen, 16 GB of memory and SSD.
As shown by the first trends graphed, the Iris Xe provides services that are right between the MX250 and MX350, from Nvidia. These results will of course have to be confirmed in the coming weeks, especially when the Intel drivers will be final and the machines intended for sale will flow to the Lab.
But despite this, one thing seems certain, the new generation of Intel chips could completely change the situation.