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Kaby Lake Refresh: Intel brings 15-Watt Quadcores for Ultrabooks

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 | Gadgets

Intel announced the eighth generation (8th Gen) of core processors shortly before the Ifa 2017. As usual, the chip maker first presented the models for mini-PCs and ultrabooks, unlike the previous years, but only the variants with U-suffix and 15 watts thermal loss. The main difference to the 7th Gen: The CPUs have four instead of two cores. According to the price list (PDF) they are nevertheless not more expensive than their predecessors.

    More power through four cores, design optimization and improved manufacturing (Image: Intel)
The code name of the 8th gene is Kaby Lake Refresh, which is much said. Compared to Kaby Lake of 2017, there are hardly any architectural changes, and the production process is almost identical. Intel is talking about an improved 14 + instead of the 14 ++ process, which should lead to a 15 percent increase in performance together with an optimized ring bus. The manufacturer achieves a further 25 percent through four instead of two cores.

 (KBL-R) 4 + SMT1.8 – 4.0 GHz8 MByteUHD 6201, 15 GHzDDR4-240015 WattCore i5-8350U8th (KBL-R) 4 + SMT1.7 – 3.6 GHz6 MByteUHD 6201.10 GHzDDR4-240015 WattCore i5-8250U8th (KBL-R) 4 + SMT1.6 – 3.4 GHz6 MByteUHD 6201.10 GHzDDR4-240015 WattCore i7-7600U7th (KBL) 2 + SMT2.8 – 3.9 GHz4 MByteHD 6201.15 GHzDDR4-213315 WattCore i7-7500U7th (KBL) 2 + SMT2.7 – 3.5 GHz4 MByteHD 6201, 15 GHzDDR4-213315 WattCore i5-7300U7th (KBL) 2 + SMT2.6 – 3.5 GHz3 MByteHD 6201.10 GHzDDR4-213315 WattCore i5-7200U7th (KBL) 2 + SMT2.5 – 3.1 GHz3 MByteHD 6201.00 GHzDDR4 -213315 WattU models from Kaby Lake Refresh and Kaby Lake in comparison

The speed should be doubled by double the number of cores, but the chips are limited to 15 watts, which limits the effective speed increase. In addition to up to 40 percent higher multithread performance, the performance of a single core also increases as the L3 cache takes more data and the clock increases from 3.9 to 4.2 GHz. In addition, faster memory, such as plugged DDR4-2400 instead of DDR4-2133 and to be soldered LPDDR3-2133 instead of LPDDR3-1866.

In the graphics unit does not change with the 8th gene, mediablocks and turbofrequency correspond to the 7th Gen. From the HD Graphics 620, however, the UHD Graphics 620, which puts Intel's attention more attention to the ability to control the iGPU as usual 4K-UHD at 60 Hz. Obendrein there is finally natives HDMI 2.0 manufacturers must therefore the interface no longer over a Displayport 1.2 (LSPC) implement. The content protection HDCP 2.2 is supported, important for 4K-Netflix.

    The-shot of a KBL-R (Picture: Intel)
As usual, Intel combines the U-chips with an on-package chipset, but it also has no innovations. It has, among other things, six USB 3.0 and four SATA 6 GBit / s ports and can connect an SD card reader. The designation 8th Gen justifies Intel anyway not by new functions, but simply by the doubled number of CPU cores.
First devices with the Kaby Lake Refresh expect Intel before the Christmas shop. In the fall, the H and S variants for notebooks and desktops will follow with six instead of four cores for the first time. The processors are called Coffee Lake, Intel uses the 14 ++ Node. 2018, the 8th Gen is extended by the Y-chips with two cores and 4.5 Watts, based on Cannon Lake and are produced by the 10-nm process.


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