Intel Launches 11th Gen Tiger Lake-H Mobile Processors
Get ready for a barrage of new laptop SKUs, for Intel is releasing new mobile parts today. These Tiger Lake-H processors extend the 10 nm SuperFin offering, introduced with the 11th Gen Intel Core H35 series at CES 2021. The 11th Gen Tiger Lake-H mobile processors are offered in up to 8-core configurations, with speeds of up to 5.0GHz – single and dual-core turbo.
At the top of the new 11th Generation Intel Core H-series mobile processor product stack is the Core i9-11980HK, which Intel is calling the “World’s Best Gaming Laptop Processor.” It is a 8-core/16-thread part that features Intel’s new Willow Cove core architecture, which the company says offers better performance and efficiency.
Looking at the table of launching products we see that the flagship Core i9-11980HK is actually a 65W part, with a base frequency of 2.6 GHz at 45W, and 3.3 GHz achieved at the higher 65W TDP. Boost frequencies of up to 4.9 GHz – with 5.0 GHz reached via Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 – though this is Intel’s first overclockable 10 nm part, so if you have a big gaming notebook with powerful cooling higher clocks can be sustained beyond the default boost duration.
These launches are as much about overall platform as CPUs, and the new platform features this time around include (via Intel):
- 20 PCIe Gen 4.0 lanes with Intel Rapid Storage Technology bootable in Raid 0 — and up to 44 total PCIe lanes that include 24 PCIe Gen 3.0 lanes from a dedicated platform controller hub
- Memory support up to DDR4-3200
- Thunderbolt 4 with transfer speeds up to 40Gbps
- Discrete Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6E (Gig+)
- Dual Embedded Display Port integrated for power optimized companion display
As to expected performance, Intel shows increases of up to 21% over their previous-gen mobile flagship Core i9-10980HK, which is suggestive of some significant IPC improvements from the new microarchitecture as clocks are actually down gen over gen, with the i9-10980HK clocking up to 5.1 GHz via ITBM 3.0.
Of course, Intel is not Intel’s only competition in the laptop space, and slides showcasing performance vs. AMD in select games were also shown.
In comparison to AMD’s Ryzen 9 5900HX, in systems both equipped with a mobile RTX 3080 GPU, the new Intel flagship looks good in Intel’s provided benchmarks. Power plays a role here, and while the RTX 3080 in the AMD system was configured at 165W and Intel’s GPU was 10W lower at 155W, the Core i9-11980HK is a 65W part while AMD’s tops out at 54W.
The second performance comparison slide shows the Core i5-11400H vs. AMD’s Ryzen 9 5900HS, and once again the AMD laptop is using an NVIDIA GPU with a higher TDP. This might help explain why the results are mixed, with Intel and AMD both winning various benchmarks as shown. Why Intel is comparing a Core i5 product to an AMD Ryzen 9 – lower-powered HS variant or otherwise – is unknown.
In closing, I think it’s fair to say that laptops featuring the overclockable 65W+ Core i9-11980HK are going to require some significant cooling to achieve sustained performance. Intel was able to get the clocks they needed on their 10 nm SuperFin process with high performance 8-core mobile parts, but the full story is going to involve a look at PL1 / PL2 limits, as well as boost duration.
A big part of this launch is that Intel has now moved their full consumer mobile product offering down to 10 nm, notable as 10th Gen mobile still included 14nm parts on the high performance side. We will have to see how this affects battery life, though it appears that Intel is pushing the limits of performance rather than keeping clocks down to reduce power consumption – at least with the high end SKUs.