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Why your next Tiger Lake laptop likely won't perform as well as all those Intel slides claim

Intel doesn't specify the exact laptops used in many of their benchmark comparisons. In this case, it is an unnamed laptop running the Core i7-1165G7 at 28 W (Image source: Intel)
Intel doesn't specify the exact laptops used in many of their benchmark comparisons. In this case, it is an unnamed laptop running the Core i7-1165G7 at 28 W (Image source: Intel)
Intel should use real-world retail laptops to represent their Core i7-1165G7 benchmarks instead of in-house kits that will likely never make it onto store shelves. Their initial benchmark scores don't mean very much if the average Core i7-1165G7 can potentially run much slower on final OEM designs.
Views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author.

Intel dropped a whole bunch of details on their 11th gen Tiger Lake series this week complete with detailed press releases, interviews, and performance slides. According to their own benchmark results for the Core i7-1165G7, raw multi-thread performance should rival the Ryzen 7 4700U while the integrated Xe GPU should be on par with the discrete GeForce MX350.

The problem with manufacturer-provided numbers is that they usually show the processor at its best running on a machine that isn't yet ready for retail. When pressed for an answer on what specific Tiger Lake laptop Intel were using for their public benchmarks, the chipmaker wouldn't confirm with us other than it was a "thin and light system". In other words, the numbers they are showing are unlikely to be representative of what you'll eventually get from OEMs. This detail is important because it's inevitable that laptops with the same Core i7-1165G7 processor will have different CPU performance levels due to how laptop makers will choose to exploit the wide 10 W to 28 W dynamic tuning range.

One only needs to look at the Ice Lake Core i7-1065G7 as an example. The Microsoft Surface Laptop is able to run the CPU 75 percent faster than on the LG Gram 17 with plenty of other examples in between these two extremes. We fully expect to see similar results when Tiger Lake becomes more widely available across different Ultrabook designs.

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Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7 Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø717 (684.67-772.41)
LG Gram 17 17Z90N-V.AA77G Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø408 (399.87-538.22)
Asus ZenBook 13 UX325JA Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø547 (524.54-724.17)
Razer Blade Stealth i7-1065G7 Iris Plus Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø671 (663.4-722.7)
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 09 > Why your next Tiger Lake laptop likely won't perform as well as all those Intel slides claim
Allen Ngo, 2020-09- 3 (Update: 2020-09- 3)
Comment by Allen Ngo
Views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author.
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.