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Intel Tiger Lake-H now official, first benchmarks indicate Intel finally closing the multithread performance gap with AMD Ryzen 5000

Intel Tiger Lake-H 45 W CPUs are now official. (Image Source: Intel)
Intel Tiger Lake-H 45 W CPUs are now official. (Image Source: Intel)
Intel has taken wraps off its 11th gen Tiger Lake-H processors for enthusiast creator and gaming laptops. Led by the Core i9-11980HK, Tiger Lake-H offers 20 PCIe Gen 4 lanes from the CPU while allowing for per-core voltage adjustment. First benchmarks sourced from OEMs indicate that Intel is now finally on par with AMD when it comes to multi-core performance.
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With the introduction of the Tiger Lake-H35 platform at CES 2021, Intel announced that it would be segmenting its laptop offerings into ultraportable, essential, thin enthusiast, and halo enthusiast categories. While Tiger Lake-H35 caters to the ultraportable gaming segment, the other three are served by the 45 W Tiger Lake-H processors that are officially launching today.

11th gen Core H-series platform features — 20 PCIe Gen 4 lanes from the CPU

Like the Tiger Lake U and H35 series, Tiger Lake-H is based on the 10 nm SuperFin Willow Cove architecture that promises a 19% gen-on-gen multithreaded performance improvement. With Tiger Lake-H, Intel is also bringing PCIe Gen 4 support and more fine-grained control over certain power and clock features. 

Unlike AMD's Ryzen 5000 Cezanne lineup that offers only 16 lanes of PCIe Gen 3, Tiger Lake-H is the first mobile platform to offer 20 lanes of PCIe Gen 4 connectivity directly from the CPU. OEMs can now configure x16 discrete graphics and x4 NVMe storage or use x8 lanes for discrete graphics and dual x4 lanes for NVMe RAID0.

All Tiger Lake-H CPUs come with Intel UHD Graphics with 32 execution units (EUs) based on the Xe architecture. Taking the 24 PCIe Gen 3 lanes of the PCH also into account, overall, the platform can offer up to 44 PCIe lanes. 

Tiger Lake-H also allows fine-grained clock and voltage control via the Intel Extreme Tuning Utility (XTU). It is now possible to adjust per-core voltage and modify AVX2/AVX-512 voltages for the Core i9-11980HK. Experienced users can also control the CPU's internal BCLK via MSR 0x150 aka OC Mailbox.

Intel Tiger Lake-H platform features. (Source: Intel)
Intel Tiger Lake-H platform features. (Source: Intel)
Intel Tiger Lake-H connectivity. (Source: Intel)
Intel Tiger Lake-H connectivity. (Source: Intel)

Core i9-11980HK - Flagship Tiger Lake-H offering

The Core i9-11980HK succeeds the Comet Lake-H Core i9-10980HK. The Core i9-11980HK is an 8C/16T part with a 65 W cTDP up, base clock of 2.6 GHz, up to 5 GHz 2-core boost with Turbo Boost Max 3.0, and an all-core boost clock of 4.5 GHz.

The Core i9-11980HK is made for the halo enthusiast segment and supports the fastest mobile discrete GPUs from NVIDIA, Intel Rapid Storage Technology for bootable RAID0 directly from the CPU, and is Windows Direct Storage ready. 

Intel claims up to a 21% increased gaming performance gen-on-gen with the Core i9-11980HK depending on the title. The company also showed off decent gains over the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX in tested games.

For the Ryzen 9 5900HX comparison, the RTX 3080 Laptop GPU with 16 GB VRAM was used in both the test systems. It is to be noted here that the RTX 3080 Laptop GPU had a maximum power of 155 W in the Intel system and 165 W for the AMD one.

Intel also compared the Core i5-11400H with the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS, which is locked at a 35 W TDP. However, the performance deltas in this comparison seem to be much lower than the previous one. According to Intel, these test laptops feature an RTX 3060 Laptop GPU, which has a maximum power of 65 W in the Intel system and 80 W in the AMD counterpart, which seems to be an Asus ROG Zephyrus G14.

Intel Core i9-11980HK features. (Source: Intel)
Intel Core i9-11980HK features. (Source: Intel)
Intel Core i9-10980HK vs Core i9-11980HK. (Source: Intel)
Intel Core i9-10980HK vs Core i9-11980HK. (Source: Intel)
Intel Core i9-11980HK vs AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX gaming comparison. (Source: Intel)
Intel Core i9-11980HK vs AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX gaming comparison. (Source: Intel)
Intel Core i5-11400H vs AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS gaming comparison. (Source: Intel)
Intel Core i5-11400H vs AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS gaming comparison. (Source: Intel)

Creative workload benefits

It's not really surprising at this point, but Intel did not show off any Cinebench or specific multithreaded benchmarks during the briefing. However, the company did claim an 18% gain in video creation, 24% faster photo processing, and 19% improvements in MS Office workflows with the Core i9-11980HK over the Ryzen 9 5900HX. We will have to wait till we can get hands on review samples to properly ascertain multithreaded performance. 

Intel Core i9-11980HK vs AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX creative workflows comparison. (Source: Intel)
Intel Core i9-11980HK vs AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX creative workflows comparison. (Source: Intel)

First Tiger Lake-H benchmarks from the wild — Intel closes the multithread gap with AMD

Intel may not have shown multithreaded performance during the presentation, but we did manage to source some preliminary data from OEMs. These are still early numbers, but it looks like Intel has now equaled or even slightly bettered AMD in multithreaded performance.

In Cinebench R15 and R20, the Core i9-11980HK in the MSI pre-sample offers a slight lead over the average Ryzen 9 5900HX in the multi-core test although single-core scores are more or less equal. We also observe a drop in multithreaded performance in one of the prototype devices featuring the Core i9-11980HK indicating that this could be due to inadequate cooling.

The Core i7-11800H with a 35 W cTDP trails by about 11% in Cinebench R23 compared to the Ryzen 9 5900HX but is on par with the Ryzen 9 5900HS. 

In 3DMark Time Spy CPU, the Core i9-11980HK in the MSI pre-sample device has a 9% lead over the average Ryzen 9 5900HX, but the scores are almost tied in the Fire Strike Physics test.

Overall, this early data suggests that the current generation of Intel and AMD H-series mobile processors are more or less on par with each other. Of course, other parameters such as power draws, sustained performance, and gaming figures will provide a more holistic picture. Another aspect to be noted here is that we still do not have benchmarks for the AMD Ryzen 9 5980HX, which should make for some interesting comparison. Thing will become more clearer as we start reviewing Tiger Lake-H laptops in the weeks to come, so watch out for those.

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Cinebench R15 / CPU Single 64Bit
Average AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX
  (197 - 242, n=15)
236 Points ∼100%
Average AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS
  (211 - 240, n=3)
229 Points ∼97%
MSI Pre-Sample
UHD Graphics Xe 32EUs (Tiger Lake-H), i9-11980HK
227 Points ∼96%
Average Intel Core i9-10980HK
  (198 - 219, n=15)
207 Points ∼88%
Cinebench R15 / CPU Multi 64Bit
Prototype
UHD Graphics Xe 32EUs (Tiger Lake-H), i9-11980HK
2270 Points ∼100%
MSI Pre-Sample
UHD Graphics Xe 32EUs (Tiger Lake-H), i9-11980HK
2152 Points ∼95%
Average AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS
  (2020 - 2180, n=3)
2099 Points ∼92%
Average AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX
  (1076 - 2267, n=19)
2075 Points ∼91%
MSI Pre-Sample
UHD Graphics Xe 32EUs (Tiger Lake-H), i7-11800H
1999 Points ∼88%
Average Intel Core i9-10980HK
  (1606 - 1862, n=15)
1739 Points ∼77%
Cinebench R20 / CPU (Single Core)
MSI Pre-Sample
UHD Graphics Xe 32EUs (Tiger Lake-H), i9-11980HK
575 Points ∼100%
Average AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS
  (560 - 584, n=3)
571 Points ∼99%
Average AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX
  (471 - 584, n=19)
570 Points ∼99%
Average Intel Core i9-10980HK
  (465 - 507, n=13)
488 Points ∼85%
Cinebench R20 / CPU (Multi Core)
MSI Pre-Sample
UHD Graphics Xe 32EUs (Tiger Lake-H), i9-11980HK
5238 Points ∼100%
Clevo Pre-Sample
, i7-11800H
5139 Points ∼98%
Average AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS
  (4733 - 5167, n=3)
4986 Points ∼95%
Average AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX
  (2242 - 5476, n=20)
4859 Points ∼93%
Prototype
UHD Graphics Xe 32EUs (Tiger Lake-H), i9-11980HK
4700 Points ∼90%
MSI Pre-Sample
UHD Graphics Xe 32EUs (Tiger Lake-H), i7-11800H
4689 Points ∼90%
Average Intel Core i9-10980HK
  (3526 - 4487, n=13)
3933 Points ∼75%
Clevo Pre-Sample
, i5-11260H
3831 Points ∼73%
Clevo Pre-Sample
, i5-11400H
3740 Points ∼71%
Cinebench R23 / CPU (Multi Core)
Average AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS
  (12333 - 13214, n=3)
12902 Points ∼100%
Average AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX
  (6622 - 14363, n=20)
12570 Points ∼97%
Clevo Pre-Sample
, i7-11800H
12237 Points ∼95%
Average Intel Core i9-10980HK
  (9597 - 11641, n=4)
10605 Points ∼82%
Clevo Pre-Sample
, i5-11400H
9406 Points ∼73%
Clevo Pre-Sample
, i5-11260H
8990 Points ∼70%
3DMark / Time Spy CPU
MSI Pre-Sample
UHD Graphics Xe 32EUs (Tiger Lake-H), i9-11980HK
10357 Points ∼100%
Average AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX
  (7194 - 10342, n=21)
9401 Points ∼91%
Average Intel Core i9-10980HK
  (8448 - 10020, n=15)
9352 Points ∼90%
Average AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS
  (8261 - 9134, n=3)
8784 Points ∼85%
3DMark / Fire Strike Physics
MSI Pre-Sample
UHD Graphics Xe 32EUs (Tiger Lake-H), i9-11980HK
25301 Points ∼100%
Average AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX
  (23321 - 27288, n=21)
25171 Points ∼99%
Average AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS
  (23356 - 24896, n=3)
24369 Points ∼96%
Clevo Pre-Sample
, i7-11800H
22226 Points ∼88%
Average Intel Core i9-10980HK
  (19789 - 22476, n=14)
21270 Points ∼84%
Clevo Pre-Sample
, i5-11260H
18382 Points ∼73%
Clevo Pre-Sample
, i5-11400H
9406 Points ∼37%

SKUs and availability

Intel said that 80+ enthusiast laptop designs will be powered by the new Tiger Lake-H series with 1 million units of these processors being shipped to OEMs by today. The 11th gen H-series lineup will have a total of five SKUs starting from the 6C/12T Core i5-11260H and topping out with the 8C/16T Core i9-11980HK. All SKUs support DDR4-3200 RAM and have the same 32-EU UHD Graphics with a boost of 1,450 MHz (except for the Core i5-11260H that offers a GPU boost of 1,400 MHz). The Core i9-11900H and the Core i9-11980HK are the only SKUs with Turbo Boost Max 3.0 support.

If the initial performance numbers are to be believed, Intel may have a winner on its hands. With desktop CPUs still facing supply constraints, it may probably be a better bet to invest in a capable Core i9-11980HK laptop and still get equivalent performance instead of waiting to source components for a desktop.

Buy the Intel Core i9-11900K Desktop CPU on Amazon

Intel 11th gen Tiger Lake-H series lineup. (Source: Intel)
Intel 11th gen Tiger Lake-H series lineup. (Source: Intel)

Source(s)

Intel Press Brief

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Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - Managing Editor - 1459 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2012
Though a cell and molecular biologist by training, I have been drawn towards computers from a very young age ever since I got my first PC in 1998. My passion for technology grew quite exponentially with the times, and it has been an incredible experience from being a much solicited source for tech advice and troubleshooting among family and friends to joining Notebookcheck in 2017 as a professional tech journalist. Now, I am a Lead Editor at Notebookcheck covering news and reviews encompassing a wide gamut of the technology landscape for Indian and global audiences. When I am not hunting for the next big story or taking complex measurements for reviews, you can find me unwinding to a nice read, listening to some soulful music, or trying out a new game.
contact me via: @Geeky_Vaidy
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 05 > Intel Tiger Lake-H now official, first benchmarks indicate Intel finally closing the multithread performance gap with AMD Ryzen 5000
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2021-05-11 (Update: 2021-05-11)