Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 laptop review: Good performance, but no real innovation
Intel Core i5-8279U | Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 | 13.30" | 1.4 kg
The Intel Core i5-8279U is a quad-core SoC for notebooks based on the Coffee Lake architecture and was announced in the first quarter of 2019. Compared to its predecessor Core i5-7287U, the CPU is now a quad-core with Hyperthreading support for the execution of up to 8 threads simultaneously. The base frequency is 2.4 GHz, but the Turbo goes all the way up to 4.1 GHz. It is also equipped with an Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 GPU with 128 MB eDRAM, a dual-channel memory controller (DDR4) as well as VP9 and H.265 video decoding as well as encoding. The chip is still manufactured in a 14nm process with FinFET transistors.
Compared to faster Core i7 model (e.g. Core i7-8559U) with eDRAM and 28 Watts, the i5-8279U only features 6 MB smart cache and a slower clock of the Iris Plus GPU.
Intel basically uses the same micro architecture compared to Kaby Lake, so the per-MHz performance does not differ. The manufacturer only reworked the Speed Shift technology for faster dynamic adjustments of voltages and clocks, and the improved 14nm process allows much higher frequencies combined with better efficiency than before.
Considering the clocks of the Core i5-8259U, its performance should be between above the 15W model Core i7-8650U. The i5-82769U should still be faster than the i7-8650U in practice thanks to the increased TDP, especially during sustained workloads. Compared to the similar named Intel Core i5-8269U, the 8279U offers a slightly lower performance (-200 MHz Turbo, -100 MHz base) although the name suggests otherwise.
The integrated Intel Iris Plus 655 Graphics is the GT3e model of the Kaby Lake GPU (Intel Gen. 9.5). It has 48 Execution Units running at 300-1150 MHz and the performance is comparable to a GeForce 930M or 940MX thanks to fast eDRAM cache. However, there aren't any significant improvements compared to the old Iris Plus 650, so modern games can often not be played smoothly or only at the lowest or medium settings, respectively.
Contrary to Skylake, Kaby lake now also supports H.265/HEVC Main 10 with a 10-bit color depth as well as Google's VP9 codec. The dual-core Kaby Lake processors announced in January should also support HDCP 2.2.
The chip is manufactured in an improved 14nm process with FinFET transistors, which improves the efficiency even further. Intel specifies the TDP with 28 Watts, which can be reduced to 23 Watts (cTDP Down) depending on the usage scenario. The TDP is pretty high compared to the common 15-Watt TDP for quad-core processors, but allows a better utilization of CPU and GPU Turbo.
|Series||Intel Coffee Lake|
Series: Coffee Lake Coffee Lake-U
|Clock Rate||2400 - 4100 MHz|
|Level 1 Cache||256 KB|
|Level 2 Cache||1 MB|
|Level 3 Cache||6 MB|
|Number of Cores / Threads||4 / 8|
|Power Consumption (TDP = Thermal Design Power)||28 Watt|
|Manufacturing Technology||14 nm|
|Max. Temperature||100 °C|
|Features||Dual-Channel DDR4 Memory Controller, HyperThreading, AVX, AVX2, Quick Sync, Virtualization, AES-NI, Intel SSE4.1, Intel SSE 4.2|
|GPU||Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 (300 - 1150 MHz)|
|64 Bit||64 Bit support|
|Product Link (external)||Intel Coffee Lake i5-8279U|
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Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, 13.30", 1.4 kg
External Review » Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3