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Intel coyly revealed an 8-core Tiger Lake CPU to fight AMD’s Ryzen 4000

Intel has quietly confirmed that it will do an 8-core version of its 11th-gen Tiger Lake chip.

In a September 3 blog post on Medium noticed by Tom’s Hardware, Intel’s Boyd Phelps confirmed that in addition to the quad-core 11th-gen CPUs due in October, the company will also push out an 8-core variant.

“The Willow Cove core increases the mid-level cache to 1.25MB—up from 512KB,” Phelps wrote, on the site usually associated with 12,000-word essays on avocado toast. “We also added a 3MB non-inclusive last-level-cache (LLC) per core slice. A single core workload has access to 12MB of LLC in the 4-core die or up to 24MB in the 8-core die configuration (more detail on 8-core products at a later date).”

Intel has so far only confirmed quad-core versions using what it now calls “UP3” and “UP4” designations. How the 8-core version shakes out isn’t known. Based on the deluge of Tiger Lake laptops pushed out two weeks ago, we think the approach could be similar to AMD’s.


Expect 8-core 11th-gen Tiger Lake chips too, the company quietly confirmed.

We make that guess based on the MSI Stealth 15M gaming laptop. While most 11th-gen Tiger Lake laptops are pretty conventional 3-pound, thin-and-light laptops with integrated graphics or even Intel’s GeForce MX450, the Stealth 15M features a GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q paired with an 11th-gen Tiger Lake CPU.

With Tiger Lake supposedly able to push 4.8GHz on single-threaded tasks and 4.3GHz with all cores lit up, the Stealth 15M could very well be competitive with Intel’s older 10th-gen, 14nm chips in many games. That also hints at the much improved thermal and processing performance of the CPU.

Intel bifurcates its chips into 15-watt U-class CPUs with up to 4 cores for most of the series, and 45-watt H-class CPUs with up to 8 cores. Both series of chips are distinctly different in capabilities and thermal needs.

AMD also has low- and high-power designations for its chips, but they’re actually the same CPUs, just tuned down for the lower thermal dissipation of a small laptop or tuned up for a thicker, larger laptop. This gives AMD an advantage in multi-core performance, with even thin-and-light laptops like Lenovo’s Slim 7 capable of featuring an 8-core chip in it.

Gordon Mah Ung

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