Intel is the undisputed king of desktop processors. Mobile is another story, but I digress. The company has chips available at various price points, meaning whether you are buying a budget notebook, or building a super-expensive gaming powerhouse, the company has something that will meet a consumer's needs. Yes, AMD makes great processors too (especially for those on a budget), but until its 'Zen' CPUs hit the market, Intel reigns supreme overall.
Today, Intel announces the upcoming 7th generation of its famed 'Core' processors. Code-named 'Kaby Lake', these chips will be found in many future consumer PCs. Are they worthy of excitement?
"Intel scales 7th Gen Intel Core processors to a variety of PC designs at a wide range of price points, which may include features such as Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C single-wire connection, low power premium audio and hassle-free facial recognition such as Windows Hello. Users can also expect to see PC designs based on 7 th Gen Intel Core processors with a variety of intuitive input options such as touch, voice, and stylus", says Intel Corporation.
Navin Shenoy, the company's VP and GM for Client Computing Group explains, "Intel's engineering and manufacturing teams have drawn even more out of our 14nm process technology with what we call 14nm+. 7th Gen Intel Core delivers up to 12 percent faster productivity performance1 and up to 19 percent faster web performance2 over our previous generation from just a year ago".
Intel and its marketing department can call it whatever it likes, but a plus sign will not change the fact that this is 14nm. In other words, it is a move away from the infamous "Tick-Tock" of shrinking the process after 2 releases. This move was planned, however. Both Broadwell and Skylake use the 14nm process, making this a potentially disappointing release. Sadly, Kaby Lake officially signals a slowdown in Intel's progress.
As is usual, Intel is promising improvements such as longer battery life (over 9 hours of 4K video) and more powerful graphics (play modern games like Overwatch), but the overall performance could be lackluster if you are expecting a lot. In other words, if you are already using a machine with Broadwell or Skylake, it may not be worth the upgrade.
If you need a new laptop, however, you should obviously target the newer architecture. With that said, deals on machines powered by the prior two generations should be investigated too. Unfortunately for macOS fans, with Apple rumored to soon be refreshing its MacBook Pro line, it is not clear if Kaby Lake will be available in time.
Are you excited for the Kaby Lake? Tell me in the comments.