Cheap Intel processors got “chips” expensive


, Text: Dmitry Stepanov


The budget mobile Intel Pentium and Celeron processors of the Tiger Lake family received full support for the AVX2 instruction set and partial support for AVX-512, as well as some other “flagship” features that were previously only implemented in more expensive products – Core chips.

New Pentium and Celeron get Core series features

Intel’s latest entry-level mobile processors support most of the “advanced” technologies found in the more expensive Tiger Lake Core series chips. In particular, the Celeron 6305 / 6305E and Pentium Gold 7505 include the AVX2 instruction set extension and one of the AVX-512 extensions.

As Tom’s Hardware notes, Celeron and Pentium Gold processors for low-cost laptops tend to be built around the same high-performance cores as the same generation Core chips. Intel deliberately restricts the operation of various “advanced” functions on low-end chips, thereby slowing down in some applications and creating problems for software developers.

The choice of this approach is due to marketing considerations – in this way the corporation is trying to more clearly distinguish between products of different price segments.

New Celeron and Pentium Gold Notebooks Support “Advanced” Technology in More Costly Models

With the release of new low-cost laptop processor models dating back to the 11th generation, Intel seems to have moved away from this vicious practice.

The differences are blurring

The new Celeron 6305 and Pentium Gold 7505 are dual-core processors (the latter supports Hyper-Threading) with base frequencies of 1.8 GHz and 2 GHz, respectively, 4 MB of cache, as well as a dual-channel memory controller with support for DDR4-3200 and LPDDR4X-3733.

Unlike previous generations of Celeron and Pentium Gold processors, the new models support AVX2, Deep Learning Boost technology (using the VNNI instruction from the AVX-512 set), and also include Intel Gaussian and Neural Accelerator 2.0 AI hardware acceleration unit.

In addition, the Intel Celeron 6305 and Pentium Gold 7505 also feature integrated graphics based on the Intel Xe-LP architecture with 48 execution units. Thus, Tom’s Hardware notes, they are better at handling graphics than previous Intel Core i7 chips with Iris Pro graphics, and they support up to four displays. In addition, the new Celeron and Pentium Tiger Lake families provide Thunderbolt 4 support. Finally, the Pentium Gold 7505 supports Turbo Boost 2.0 technology for the first time in the line’s history, which can automatically overclock to 3.5 GHz.

Nevertheless, if we compare the youngest Core-model of the Tiger Lake family – Core i3-1110G4 – with the new entry-level products, the first still wins in a number of parameters. The clock frequency of the “triple” is significantly higher (2.5 GHz and 3.9 GHz in “turbo mode”); it has a larger cache (6 MB), supports faster LPDDR4X-4267 RAM, as well as a PCIe 4.0 interface. In addition, the Core i3-1110G4 is equipped with support for more AVX-512 instructions, and therefore performs better in applications that use them.

Start of the Tiger Lake line

Intel showcased the first 11th generation Tiger Lake processors in early September 2020. The new mobile chips, according to the company, are several times faster than competing AMD solutions in games, graphics editors and office programs.

The starting lineup of Intel Tiger Lake processors consisted of nine laptop chips – three Core i7, two Core i5, and four Core i3. Seven of them received four cores and support for eight data streams, the remaining two (Core i3-1110G4 and Core i3-1115G4) have only two cores and four threads.

All processors in the series are characterized by a relatively low TDP – for younger models this figure does not exceed 15 W, for older models – 28 W. All new items received an increased volume of third-level cache (from 6 to 12 MB) and support for DDR4-3200 and LPDDR4x 3733 or 4266 RAM.

Intel claims that Tiger Lake processors offer up to 20% more performance in real-world office tasks compared to AMD Ryzen 7 4800U.

The company has promised a performance boost of up to 2.7x when editing photos in comparison with competing solutions and at the same time twice as fast video processing.

Intel also compared the performance of the Vega 8 from the Ryzen 7 4800U with its Xe in the flagship Core i7 in a number of current games, including Fortnite, The Witcher 3, GTA V, and more. In each case, the AMD processor lagged far behind the competitor.

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