Despite fierce competition from AMD and more recently Qualcomm, Intel remains the market leader when it comes to laptop processors.
Its Core range is among the most popular, with 2019’s ‘Ice Lake’ chips can be found in a wide variety of devices from the likes of Microsoft, Dell and Acer.
A new 11th generation, known as ‘Tiger Lake’ was officially launched in September 2020, promising big steps forward over its predecessor. They’ve already made their way into a wide range of new devices. Here’s everything you need to know.
Intel Tiger Lake release date
Intel initially unveiled Tiger Lake back at CES in January 2020, but it wasn’t until 2 September that the first 11th-gen chips were officially launched. In the months since, they’ve made their way into devices from the likes of Acer, Dell and Microsoft and Samsung.
At Intel’s CES 2021 computing event on 11 January, the company revealed new H-Series chips, specifically designed for lightweight gaming laptops. The first devices are also set to launch at the all-digital convention in Las Vegas, so it won’t be long before consumers can get their hands on the new hardware.
The chips are designed to be integrated into future laptop designs, so they won’t be on sale as standalone components. Going straight to OEMs means there isn’t a fixed release date.
Intel Tiger Lake price
As mentioned above, the chips won’t be available to buy unless you purchase a laptop which has one built-in. The price you’ll pay is therefore dependent on which device you choose and how powerful you want it to be, although the tier of processor (i3, i5, i7, i9) gives a rough indicator of how much they’ll cost.
Intel Tiger Lake devices
The first wave of Tiger Lake-powered devices were announced at IFA 2020, including the Samsung Galaxy Book Flex 5G and Acer’s Swift 5 and Swift 3. A wide range of laptops running 11th-gen CPUs have since been launched, with the likes of Dell and Microsoft joining the party. As a rule of thumb, any devices currently running Intel 10th-gen processors will likely move to Tiger Lake for the next generation.
The H-Series gaming chips were announced recently, so models powered by these processors will likely become available in the coming weeks and months.
Intel Tiger Lake specs
Despite being based on the same 10nm+ manufacturing process as the last two generations of Intel Core chips, Tiger Lake is set to provide significant enhancements.
The layout of the chip has been redesigned, which Intel says will provide enhancements in both power efficiency and raw performance. The company claims that Tiger Lake 20% faster speeds for “office productivity” tasks and 20% more “system power”.
The latter expected to help deliver improvements to battery life, one of the key criteria in the aforementioned Evo Platform. In addition to including a Tiger Lake chipset, eligible devices must also hit a specified performance threshold, instantly wake and deliver at least 9-hours of “real-world” battery life.
Intel has stuck with the 4 cores and 8 threads we’ve seen in the past few years, prioritising a boost to clock speeds. The increases become more noticeable as you move through the tiers, with the new Core i7-1185G7 offering up to 4.8GHz compared to 3.9GHz on last year’s i7-1065G7.
Most new Tiger Lake chips will also come with one of Intel’s new Xe graphics cards built-in. The company claims this will double performance compared with last year’s Gen11 graphics.
Tiger Lake also supports Thunderbolt 4. It’s the first platform of its type to support the new technology, which enables rapid file transfer and the ability to output up to 8K, or four 4K displays at once.
The new H-series chips are targeted towards more powerful gaming devices, so the specs are bumped up a bit:
Intel Core i5-11300H – 4 cores, 8 threads, 4.4GHz max clock speed
Intel Core i7-11370H – 4 cores, 8 threads, 4.8GHz max clock speed
Intel Core i7-11375H (Special Edition) – 4 cores, 8 threads, 5.0 GHz max clock speed
A big caveat to be aware of here is that these processors max out at 35W, while Intel’s high-end gaming silicon can reach 45W. That means performance will be noticeably reduced here, although Intel is said to still be working on 11th-gen versions of its flagship chips.
Intel’s new 11th-gen H-series chips. Image: Intel
Nonetheless, the high-end i7-11375H now offers the highest single-thread performance of any laptop. It’s matched only by the top-of-the-line 45W H-series chip from 2020.
Elsewhere, the H-series processors also offer killer Wi-Fi 6, allowing for an improved gaming experience with reduced latency. All the key features from the consumer-focused chips are also here, including DDR4 memory and PCIe Gen 4.0.
There could be yet more Tiger Lake CPUs, if a recent rumour is anything to go by. Prolific Twitter leaker @momomo_us tweeted a picture suggesting new high-end chips could be on their way:
— 188号 (@momomo_us)
February 12, 2021
All four are new processors we haven’t seen before, although it’s not clear what they could bring to the table. The ‘K’ in the name of the high-end chip also suggests it can be overclocked. This news is significant, especially considering Tiger Lake launched with a maximum of four cores.
At the same CES 2021 event, Intel revealed more details about its upcoming Rocket Lake processors. Check out our guide to the AMD Ryzen 5000 series to see what they’ll be up against.