Two of the big announcements out of CES this year were both mobile related: Intel and AMD announced they would be launching new gaming laptop processors into the market in the first half of this year. 45 W parts, also known as H-series in the business, provide the basis for productivity and gaming notebooks that use additional graphics to give some oomph. These systems span from thin and light with GPU requirements, through ‘luggables’ that are just about portable, all the way up to desktop replacement designs. Intel’s newest 10th Gen H-Series are based on the Comet Lake family, the fifth iteration of Intel’s 14nm Skylake designs, and they’re going all the way up to 5.3 GHz*.

The new CPU list from Intel starts with the Core i9-10980HK at the top, with eight cores, sixteen threads, and all the focus is on that 5.3 GHz turbo frequency.

*This CPU can hit this frequency on two cores. However this has some specific requirements: the system needs to be within its secondary power limits, and Intel’s Thermal Velocity Boost also needs to be turned on. The latter of which means that there has to be additional thermal headroom in the system, and that OEMs have designed for this and enabled it within the system. This allows the CPU to go from 5.1 GHz to 5.3 GHz. Every Intel Thermal Velocity Boost enabled CPU requires specific OEM support in order to get those extra two bins on the single core frequency. 

The base frequency of this chip is 2.4 GHz, and it has a regular 45 W TDP (sustained power), which can be run in cTDP up mode for 65 W. Two other plus points on this chip is that it is unlocked, for when an OEM provides more thermal headroom, and it supports DDR4-2933, which is an upgrade over the previous generation. Intel's recommended PL2 (turbo power) for the Core i9 is 135 W, and Intel says the recommended 'Tau' is set to 56 seconds for the i9, and 28 seconds for all the other CPUs. OEMs don't often adhere to these values for notebooks, but they are provided as a guide. It does mean that in order to hit 5.3 GHz, the Core i9 is by default allowed to take 135 W across two cores, or 67.5 W per core. Even at 60W per core, you're looking at 50A of current per core... in a laptop.

Intel 10th Gen Core 45W Processors
(Comet Lake-H)
AnandTech Cores
Threads
Base
Freq
Turbo
Freq*1
Turbo
Freq*2
DDR4 TDP cTDP
Up
i9-10980HK ++ 8 / 16 2.4 5.1 5.3 2933 45 W 65 W
i7-10875H 8 / 16 2.3 4.9 5.1 2933 45 W -
i7-10850H + 6 / 12 2.7 4.9 5.1 2933 45 W -
i7-10750H 6 / 12 2.6 4.8 5.0 2933 45 W -
i5-10400H 4 / 8 2.6 4.6 - 2933 45 W -
i5-10300H 4 / 8 2.5 4.5 - 2933 45 W -
*1 Turbo Frequency for devices without Thermal Velocity Boost
*2 Turbo Frequency for devices with Turbo Max 3.0 and Thermal Velocity Boost
++ Unlocked CPU
+ Partial Unlock

Intel only has a single Core i9 at the top, with the top grade i7 also getting 8 cores, but only up to 5.1 GHz and no overclocking. The Core i7-10850H is going to be the second exciting part over the i9, with six cores and a 5.1 GHz turbo, but it allows an additional 4-bin overclock on the first two cores where thermals allow. All of the CPUs here are listed as 45 W, and all support DDR4-2933 memory (up to 128 GB we believe). Due to Intel Thermal Velocity Boost, all the i7 and i9 parts are +200 MHz above what they would be without the technology, with frequencies that we are more used to seeing on the 9th Generation.

Intel states that there will be 30+ designs using the new 10th Gen Comet Lake-H that fit within the ‘thin and light’ profile of 20mm, and 100+ designs in total across consumer, commercial and workstation. Intel is keen to highlight that it is the only CPU vendor that has OEM partners that provide HDR1000 panels and 300 Hz refresh displays in this market.

Intel also made a big fuss about TB3 support, although it isn’t native here – you still require a controller. One positive for 10th Gen is that it supports two TB3 controllers, rather than previous generations that only supported one. Though again, it depends on whether the OEM puts it in their system, because it isn’t native to the CPU.

We’re not going to post Intel’s benchmarks here, because to be quite honest they are not comparable. In gaming tests, Intel compares a 10980HK equipped with a RTX 2080 Super to a 7820HK equipped with a GTX 1080. As a result, a lot of difference in the gaming performance is going to be in the GPU, but also the graphs that they showed did not start at zero – suggesting that the graph somehow doubled despite only rising 44% in a select test. We’re going to wait to see for ourselves what the hardware can do.

Intel did show a die shot of the silicon, with all of its eight cores. It looks strikingly similar to the Coffee Lake 8-core silicon, because it’s practically identical. If there are any changes, it is minor, and then the chip is binned for the voltage profile.

Meanwhile, although none of Intel’s partners were named or otherwise involved in Intel's own announcement, they have been holding separate briefings regarding their laptop plans. MSI, Lenovo, Acer, and others are all releasing 10th Gen laptops as soon as April 15th, with the rest to follow in May. Broadly speaking, expect to see many vendors update existing 9th Gen gaming systems to include 10th Generation parts, though in the case of gaming laptops we're going to see the occasional, more substantial update to take advantage of NVIDIA's new hardware and thermal capabilities.

Intel’s competition here is going to be the recently launched Ryzen Mobile 4000 processors, in devices like the ASUS Zephyrus G14 and the Dell G5 SE. These new APUs were launched on 1st April, however unfortunately we were not told of an embargo change, and still expected the launch to be another two weeks later. We’re aiming to get our review out next week. When we get access to Intel’s 10th Gen H-series, we will compare it against AMD as well.

Related Reading

Intel Presentation
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  • psyclist80 - Thursday, April 2, 2020 - link

    We are back to the Pentium 4 days aka NetBurst. Pentium 3 was great

    Just waiting for the Extreme Editions to show up! Seems they didnt learn the first time.
    Reply
  • SolarBear28 - Thursday, April 2, 2020 - link

    Ultrabookreview tested an Asus Tuf A15 with Ryzen 7 4800H. It's faster than Core i9-9880H on repeated cinebench R15 runs while consuming 10% less CPU power. Reply
  • eastcoast_pete - Thursday, April 2, 2020 - link

    Unless Intel a. includes AVX512 in most/all of those chips and b. pushes software publishers with all might to use AVX512 whenever it could even remotely make sense, they're toast. Outside that, the Ryzen 4000 chips are far better value for the money.
    The other thing that could also prevent AMD from taking a huge portion of the mobile PC market is if manufacturing capacity and pricing keep the 4000 series mobile Ryzen back. I am set to buy a new laptop this year, and unless unforeseen changes occur, it'll be Intel outside this time!
    Reply
  • Cullinaire - Saturday, April 11, 2020 - link

    If this Mhz gimmick is at the expense of power & heat, why bother with AVX512 which is more of the same? Reply
  • eva02langley - Thursday, April 2, 2020 - link

    ROFL @ 8:30

    "AMD brought a baseball bat to the fight.... while Intel brought a WET REUSED NOODLE..."

    https://youtu.be/_64ZCN2JBNQ?t=511
    Reply
  • eva02langley - Thursday, April 2, 2020 - link

    HOT AND LOUD people! Reply
  • eva02langley - Thursday, April 2, 2020 - link

    Ian, you should rename the part "Intel Presentation" to "Intel Deception"... Reply
  • s.yu - Friday, April 3, 2020 - link

    Really this record shattering deception needs more publicity:
    https://www.anandtech.com/show/13285/huawei-gpu-tu...
    Reply
  • psyclist80 - Thursday, April 2, 2020 - link

    Its like we've gone back to 2003, Intel pushing clocks way to high to make up for IPC deficiencies, this is exacerbated by the never ending 14nm node.

    AMD is very well poised to take huge marketshare in a very quick time, higher IPC, half the power and cheaper. A rare Win/Win/Win scenario. Mindshare is the big hurdle now, AMD needs to get the word out that they have the performance crown now. Intel will have an answer eventually, make hay while the sun shines!
    Reply
  • tuxRoller - Thursday, April 2, 2020 - link

    I remember when cTDP skus were initially released and was anxiously awaiting a near paradigm-shifting change.
    Finally, we could have laptops that had great battery life but, when plugged in, and, perhaps, attached to a cooling dock, something that could approach desktop-level perf.
    For some reason this hasn't really happened...
    That's the kind of device where 50A cores make sense. Include a igpu and optional dgpu (though it would likely need to be external, and, with a dock, that wouldn't be something the user need care about) and you've got a really versatile set-up.
    Seeing laptops plugged in at desks always makes me a bit wistful that this never happened.
    Reply

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