Rumor: Intel to Launch Quad Core Kaby Lake-R CPUs for Ultraportables

Subject: Processors, Mobile | July 17, 2017 - 04:32 PM |
Tagged: ultrabook, quad core, Intel, i5-8520u, i5-7200u, hyperthreading, dell xps 13, acer swift 3, 15w

A few days ago, laptopmedia.com uncovered some listings for an unannounced revision to the Acer Swift 3 notebook.

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In addition to the new Pascal-based NVIDIA MX150 GPU announced just before Computex, astute readers will also spot an unannounced CPU from Intel – the Core i5-8250U. While the model number itself doesn't tell us much other than it's a next generation CPU, the description in the Acer product listings notes it as a quad core CPU.

Following Intel's history with the U-series parts, the 8250U would traditionally be a 15W, dual core CPU with hyperthreading enabled, with the true quad core parts starting with the 35W TDP options

We've had an indication that a quad core U-series processor was coming in the second half of this year from Intel's performance claims presented at Computex this year, but we weren't quite sure what form it would take.

Doing some additional research, we can see several results from this processor in the Geekbench database from various notebook manufacturers – including devices we would expect to be refreshed like the Dell XPS 13 and ASUS Zenbook UX490.

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From the Geekbench results of the XPS 13 with the i5-8520U compared to the current generation i5-7200U, we see a 54% increase in multi threaded CPU performance while only a 7% increase in single threaded performance. Keep in mind that these leaked benchmarks should be taken with a grain of salt, but we would be very impressed with these numbers in a shipping notebook.

Geekbench's processor profiler also reveals the i5-8250U to be a 4 core/8 thread processor, pointing to hyperthreading being enabled on the i5 processors as well as the i7's, like we currently see in the U-series.

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Some people have been theorizing that this 8000 series processor is from the upcoming Coffee Lake release. However, based on some of the Intel roadmap leaks from late last year, I think that this is actually a Kaby Lake-R CPU. The leaked roadmap suggests that Kaby Lake-R will launch as the 8th generation processor family, to be released in the second half of 2017.

Either way, I am excited to finally see some push forward in the 15W CPU space, which I consider to be the sweet spot between battery life and performance for most users.

Stay tuned for more information on these new Intel processors and these new notebooks as we get out hands on them!


July 17, 2017 | 05:50 PM - Posted by Mr.Gold (not verified)

I have a quad core llano from 2011 I think, 35w ?
And its still doing pretty well as a general usage laptop.

Its amazingly quieter then my dell i5 dual core 2in1 I got like a year ago.

I think AMD ravenridge might be fully competitive in 15w to 45w laptops.

July 17, 2017 | 06:37 PM - Posted by remc86007

Quad core in a Surface Book 2 with full eGPU support would be awesome.

July 17, 2017 | 06:59 PM - Posted by quest4glory

Cool. Now they need to cease and desist with the mobile i7s containing only 2 cores.

July 17, 2017 | 07:04 PM - Posted by necromage (not verified)

Quad-core ultrabooks, that I would see this day ;)
Good I sold my macbook pro mid 2014.

July 18, 2017 | 12:23 PM - Posted by Clmentoz (not verified)

It's nice to see more quad core/8 thread CPUs for laptops from Intel. And it would be great if they could offer a variable wattage(User Controlled wattage) SKU with maybe some higher clocks that can be auto down clocked for battery usage but offer more power when plugged in for more processing power. There needs to be at least the option from OEMs for at least a few regular form factor laptops for the power user without the need for having to go to a gaming laptop just to get the option for better cooling and a higher wattage/higher clocked laptop SOC/APU.

I currently have a laptop with a quad-core/8 thread i7 and I am waiting to see what any Zen/Vega APU quad core non ultrabook 35/45 Watt SKU will offer. My Laptop has a AMD Terascale micro-arch discrete mobile GPU(Radeon 7650m rebrand). So if the Zen/Vega APU's graphics can match the 7650m then that will be great. I'd want a laptop with a little more power than any ultrabook SKU can offer and battery life is not a big concern because I'm mostly never far from a powersource to ever worry much about laptop battery life.

I want a desktop replacment geared sort of laptop that can do what I need it to do and Intel's graphics cost too much for any laptop SKUs with Intel's fastest GPU. Blender 3d needs at the least on any laptop AMD or Nvidia graphics to be able to work with relatively high polygon count mesh models or scenes that can easily overwhelm any of Intel's SOC graphics.

I'll really be looking at any of system76's custom designed(Not Clevo based) laptops for any Zen/Vega APU in any Linux OS based options within the next few years and also any Dell/Linux OS laptops if Dell can get a Linux OS Zen/Vega OEM laptop SKU on the market before 2020.

July 18, 2017 | 02:47 PM - Posted by agello24 (not verified)

they better send it to a reviewer for beta testing for one month first.

August 9, 2017 | 11:39 PM - Posted by Hydrazine (not verified)

As a french boy, I know RueDuCommerce.fr (the source of the "leak" about the Covfefe-Lake i5 ULV) very well. I can pretty much assure you that this is pure bullshit.
These sellers will do whatever they can to sell their products, even selling the 2-cores/4-threads CPU in those laptops as 4-cores... (They're the french Ebay)

We don't need 4 cores/treads @1.6GHz when we already have the 2-cores/4 threads @2.8GHz (3,9GHz Boost) i7 7600U, which is basically equivalent to a desktop Pentium G4560/G4600, in the ULV (<=15W) market. This is already just amazing to have that amount of power for 15W.

I think what Intel is trying to do here is to make Core M-type ULV integration of the i5-7300HQ running @2.5GHz (3.5GHz Boost) (the current 4-cores/4-threads i5) like they did for the M7-6Y75 & the i7 7500U, where the normal base clock is as low as 1.2GHz (1.6GHz here) but boost as high as 3.5GHz (3.4GHz here) BUT ONLY FOR ONE CORE.
So if the i5-8520U is @1.6GHz in 4-cores use (which is very common when using modern applications implementing better workload parallelization (Chrome, VLC, photo/video editors, games (to an extent), 7zip, etc...) and only toggle the 3.4GHz boost for rusty old mono-threaded applications, it will not be that amazing.

It may edge out a by a little margin the performance of the current Core i5-7200U CPU but I predict a quite overwhelming disapointment for the future Intel customers regarding the next Mobile and Desktop Coffee-Lake offering (they are supposedly using the same philosophy for the new desktop lines).

I looked the Amazon prices for the Ryzen 7 1700 today, and they are now down in the i5 territory... (R7 1700: $290.89 VS i5 7600K: $239.99).

2017 sure is the year of AMD, and with the Coffee-Lake "leaks" I examined, 2018 may also be in their pocket too.

Now, I would not be surprised if AMD launches a 35W 6-core/6(12?)-threads and a 45W 8-cores/8(16?)-threads CPU for laptops that will crush the rumored 6-core Mobile Coffee-Lake processor Intel is designing. Lenovo did this at computex, showing a desktop grade R7 1700 running fine in a laptop with for only modifications a lowered voltage and frequency. They can do it, and will certainly do it.

PS: Sorry for my bad England :v

August 9, 2017 | 11:48 PM - Posted by Hydrazine (not verified)

Oh, and I would like to add that Geekbench is not reliable for x86 processor testing (and it is a common topic among PC enthusiasts). It was primarly made for ARM processor benchmarking on Android.
I would not consider this benchmark's result a proof in any way that the i5-8520U is considerably faster than the i5 7200.
And it will certainly be pricier, don't forget Intel's corporate greed...

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