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Fail | Apparently, LG thinks it's okay to sell a 10th gen Core i7 laptop that's slower than the 7th gen Core i5 model

When 8th gen Core i5 is faster than 10th gen Core i7: LG Gram 14 drops the ball on performance (Image source: LG)
When 8th gen Core i5 is faster than 10th gen Core i7: LG Gram 14 drops the ball on performance (Image source: LG)
The latest LG Gram 14 drops the ball on performance when even its previous generation Core i5-8250U configuration can outperform the newer Core i7-10510U configuration in raw processor performance.
Allen Ngo,

Generally speaking, a U-series Core i7 CPU should be faster than a U-series Core i5 CPU. With that in mind, a newer 10th gen U-series Core i7 CPU should definitely be faster than a 7th gen U-series Core i5 CPU. Unfortunately, at least one OEM hasn't gotten the memo.

The 14-inch LG Gram 14T90N was supposed to be the "upgraded" version of the older LG Gram 14Z980 clamshell. It replaces the outgoing 7th gen Kaby Lake-R Core i5-8250U CPU with the newer 10th gen Comet Lake-U Core i7-10510U part that should absolutely outperform the older model on paper. The problem is that the Gram 14T90N would throttle the Turbo Boost potential of the Core i7-10510U so heavily that it would actually run slower than the Core i5-8250U when under stressful processing conditions.

To illustrate this, we would run CineBench R15 Multi-Thread in a loop on both the Gram 14T90N and Gram 14Z980 as shown below. The latter laptop would consistently outperform the former by 2 to 3 percent despite the fact that it carries the older, slower, and cheaper Core i5-8250U processor. Even the integrated UHD Graphics 620 GPU of the Core i5 would consistently outscore the newer Core i7 model according to 3DMark benchmarks. The only silver lining for the Core i7 part is its faster single-thread performance relative to the Core i5-8250U, but even then it is also the slowest we've recorded on any Core i7-10510U laptop thus far.

When consumers are charged a premium for Core i7 laptops, they expect them to perform faster than the cheaper Core i5 configurations. Surely that can't be asking for too much.

For more information on the latest LG Gram 14T90N, see our full review of the system here.

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LG Gram 14T90N UHD Graphics 620, i7-10510U, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB512HBJQ; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø462 (454.02-529.49)
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1 UHD Graphics 620, i5-8250U, SK Hynix SC313 HFS256G39TNF; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø480 (467.78-544.81)
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Average Intel Core i7-10510U
  (113 - 202, n=38)
178 Points ∼65% +10%
LG Gram 14T90N
Intel Core i7-10510U
162 Points ∼60%
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
Intel Core i5-8250U
143 Points ∼53% -12%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Average Intel Core i7-10510U
  (482 - 856, n=41)
664 Points ∼15% +25%
LG Gram 14T90N
Intel Core i7-10510U
530 (445.08min - 507.45max) Points ∼12%
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
Intel Core i5-8250U
517 Points ∼12% -2%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
Intel UHD Graphics 620, i5-8250U
1194 Points ∼2% +3%
LG Gram 14T90N
Intel UHD Graphics 620, i7-10510U
1155 Points ∼2%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (557 - 1420, n=199)
1152 Points ∼2% 0%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
Intel UHD Graphics 620, i5-8250U
1101 Points ∼3% +4%
LG Gram 14T90N
Intel UHD Graphics 620, i7-10510U
1056 Points ∼3%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (538 - 1298, n=199)
1055 Points ∼3% 0%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
Intel UHD Graphics 620, i5-8250U
9643 Points ∼5% +36%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (6910 - 11436, n=212)
9229 Points ∼5% +31%
LG Gram 14T90N
Intel UHD Graphics 620, i7-10510U
7067 Points ∼3%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
Intel UHD Graphics 620, i5-8250U
8276 Points ∼11% +26%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (5821 - 10960, n=212)
8169 Points ∼11% +24%
LG Gram 14T90N
Intel UHD Graphics 620, i7-10510U
6582 Points ∼9%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
LG Gram 14T90N
Intel UHD Graphics 620, i7-10510U
1579 Points ∼7%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (959 - 2142, n=231)
1572 Points ∼6% 0%
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
Intel UHD Graphics 620, i5-8250U
1548 Points ∼6% -2%
1280x720 Performance GPU
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
Intel UHD Graphics 620, i5-8250U
1757 Points ∼3% +1%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (1235 - 2006, n=231)
1744 Points ∼3% 0%
LG Gram 14T90N
Intel UHD Graphics 620, i7-10510U
1738 Points ∼3%

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 04 > Apparently, LG thinks it's okay to sell a 10th gen Core i7 laptop that's slower than the 7th gen Core i5 model
Allen Ngo, 2020-04- 9 (Update: 2020-04- 6)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.