Intel Claims 30% Performance Improvement For 8th Gen Processors
Samuel Wan / 2 years ago
With every new processor launch, both Intel and AMD throw around big performance gain numbers. Intel, for instance, claimed a 15% performance increase for their 7th Gen Kaby Lake over the 6th Gen Skylake processors. AMD even tossed out a 52% IPC improvement for their new Ryzen processors. For the upcoming Coffee Lake 8th Gen processors, Intel claims a 30% performance boost over Kaby Lake. However, the way Intel came up with that number is a bit disingenuous.
First up, the performance boost figure comes from a highly specific benchmark, SYSmark 2014 version 1.5. Intel also ran the test on 15W U-series processors which operate in a power and a thermally constrained environment. More importantly, the chips Intel chose to make the comparison are of questionable value. The Kaby Lake chip used was the i7-7500U with 2.7 GHz base, 3.5 GHz turbo clocks, offering 2 threads and 4 cores with HyperThreading. The unnamed Coffee Lake chip features 4 cores and 8 threads along with a 4 GHz turbo clock. While belonging to the same TDP category, the chips are obviously of a different performance bracket.
With such widely disparate chips, the 30% performance figure really tells us nothing about Coffee Lake. The new lineup is expected to feature a slightly tweaked architecture and improved process so a 30% increase is fantastically optimistic. With a higher clock speed and double the core/thread count, it was inevitable that the Coffee Lake chip would come out ahead. The fact that there was only a 30% performance increase goes to show the thermal limitations of the design. Intel has also previously produced quad-core mobile chips with a TDP as low as 28W, the same as the higher end dual-core chips.
Prior to this recent announcement, Intel had claimed a more modest 15% performance increase. This is in line with the performance gains Kaby Lake saw with the increased clock speeds. Of course, Intel isn’t the first to claim a performance increase by simply boosting the core count. However, unless the new Coffee Lake chip fills the price range of the i7 7500U, the 30% simply isn’t a fully honest number to claim.