Intel has had a fairly rough 2017, including closing out the year with a security issue that is definitely going to shake consumer confidence in the company for the short term. Fortunately, their surprising partnership with AMD couldn’t have come at a better time. Today, Intel announced a great deal of information about the co-created chips they have worked with AMD on. Officially, they are 8th gen Intel core processors with Radeon RX Vega M graphics. Unofficially, they could be the thing that helps fix Intel and right their ship for 2018. In November, the surprising partnership between AMD and Intel was announced to the shock of many.
The two companies have been at war for quite some time, and it does seem like the partnership was done to strengthen each company in some way. For AMD, they get the benefit of the more widely-used Intel branding, while Intel itself happens to gain some credibility with the AMD partnership. The goal of the new line of 8th generation processors is to not only help the gaming side of things, but also help drive content creation and virtual/mixed reality.
Each line of processor has its own goals and target markets. The U series is for on-the-go devices like thinner laptops. They will enable longer battery life and use Intel’s UHD graphics to deliver solid performance – but they’re unlikely to dazzle anyone. The G series finds a happier middle ground with its high performance CPU and discrete graphics. Any G series processor should be able to run VR and mixed reality experiences, but you’ll likely see things on the “minimum specs” side of things and less so on the “recommended specs” side. Anyone looking to do the latest and greatest things with the most power will want an H series processor. These are made for 4K gaming and professional-grade content creation. Anyone looking to start a business with video or any kind of media work should look into an H series processor.
The Vega M processor is an H series processor and shares power across the GPU and CPU. It also offers up overclocking and features 4GB of high bandwidth memory.these. It will also used Intel’s embedded multi-die interconnect bridge (EMIB) and be the first consumer-level processor to feature it. On a practical level, this allows the processor to be smaller in overall size while also being thinner and use less materials. It is crafted to be incredibly efficient and can use up to 80% less power than GDDR5 RAM. There will be i5 and i7 variants of the Radeon RX Vega M processors used – with the i5 being what will get you a solid experience for media creation and gaming, while the i7 is what you will want for the highest-possible performance and the most future-proof use of your money.
From a consumer perspective, users can expect thinner bezels compared to devices from a few years ago along with nearly 1.5 pounds of overall weight loss thanks to smaller chips being used. Despite that, battery life doubles and you still get support for things like 4K video watching, 4K video creation, and higher-end gaming.The RX Vega M chips have a base clock speed of 931 MHz with a boosted level to 1011. Productivity is 1.6 times better on a newer system using this technology, while gaming productivity doubles – allowing you to spend more time gaming and less time at a loading screen. Content creation using Adobe Premiere Pro gets a 42% gain – which may not sound like a lot, but is a lot of shaved time if you spend a lot of time doing video editing.
The GH series offers up more power, with a 1063 MHz base clock speed and a boosted speed of 1190. With this, players can expect an average of double the FPS rate compared to processors of three years ago and could see up to 2.7 times an improvement in that regard. These will be excellent for 4K video and content creation and provide the best overall VR/MR experiences. The processors will also enable those looking to do Netflix-style gaming better thanks to Gamestream technology that uses lower power and makes better use of server power to provide a better experience.
The new AMD/Intel crafted chipsets are being used in the new gaming-centric NUC devices as well. The newest version of the NUC comes in two versions. One has GH graphics and one has GL graphics. The GH variant is going to be ideal for high-end gaming because it can be overclocked. These are set to be released in the spring, but do look incredible given the sheer horsepower contained within them. Both use i7 processors, with the i7HNK going from 931 MHz to 1011 MHz in turbo mode, while hte more powerul i7HVK can go from 1063 to 1190 and can be overclocked. It’s an incredible small device, with dimensions of only 221 x 142 x 39 mm – offerinig something smaller than any console out there other than a Nintendo Switch – but with more horsepower. Pricing isn’t known, but it probably won’t be on the cheap end given that gaming-centric technology is usually priced at a premium level since it’s designed to super-serve a core fanbase that is willing to spend money – even if the technology inside the device can be overpriced as a result of it being branded for gaming.