Intel has introduced the 11th generation of its mobile processors with the new Tiger Lake H45 CPUs - five consumer models and five business models. These will be manufactured in 10 nm (instead of 14 nm before) technology and are therefore smaller and more energy-efficient than the previous generation. The Core i5 models have 6 (12 threads), the i7 and i9 models 8 cores (16 threads) and are thus the most powerful mobile CPUs from Intel to date.
All new CPUs have 20 PCIe 4.0 and support Thunderbolt 4 with transfer speeds of up to 40 Gbit/s as well as DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0. A dedicated graphics unit or fast NVMe M.2 SSDs can be addressed via the 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes, for example. Other interfaces such as USB, Wi-Fi 6E, SATA 6G and a total of 24 PCIe 3.0 lanes are available via a chipset directly connected to the CPU.
The integrated Xe graphics unit, on the other hand, is not very powerful (Intel has even shrunk the number of execution units), which is due to the fact that the Tiger Lake H-series is intended for rather high-priced notebooks with a dedicated powerful graphics unit from Nvidia or AMD. Helpful for working with video, however, are the integrated Quick Sync functions, which enable hardware-supported de- and encoding of numerous formats, such as H.264, H.265/HEVC, VP8, and VP9 - the new Tiger Lake H45 CPUs now also support the open source AV1 codec.
Overview of the new Intel Tiger Lake H45 models
The new top model is the Core i9-11980HK with 8 cores , 16 threads, 24 MB Lebvle 3 cache and a clock rate of 2.6 to 5.0 GHz. Although the maximum clock in Turbo mode is 300 MHz lower than that of the predecessor, Intel says that the performance should have increased by 12% (single-thread) or 19% (multi-thread) thanks to improvements in computing power per clock. However, the maximum performance of notebooks - especially of the top models - often does not depend on the theoretical limits of the CPU (or GPU as well), but on the quality of the cooling, i.e. the respective implementation of the different manufacturers. For example, the i9-11980HK swallows up to 107 watts (maximum even up to 135 watts) in all-core turbo mode with 4.5 GHz for a short time, whose waste heat then has to be cooled efficiently.
Fittingly, numerous notebook manufacturers have also introduced new or updated models with the new CPUs (and partly with Nvidia&s new RTX 3050 (Ti)) GPUs. The first notebooks with the new Intel Tiger Lake H45 CPUs are expected to hit the market starting in June.