Remember when new processor launches were all focused on squeezing more megahertz or gigahertz out of the silicon, and then about how many cores could be packed into a CPU? While there's no doubt that processors continue to get faster, the days of speed being the cornerstone of a new launch are over.
Take Intel's new 8th-gen Core vPro mobile processors unveiled today. Two chips have been announced:
i7-8665U: 1.9 GHz base/4.8 GHz boost, 4-cores/8-threads, 8 MB cache, 15 W TDP, support for LPDDR3 2133 MHz and DDR4 2400 MHz
i5-8365U: 1.6 GHz base/4.1 GHz boost, 4-cores/8-threads, 6 MB cache, 15 W TDP, support for LPDDR3 2133 MHz and DDR4 2400 MHz
Usually performance improvements are at the forefront of such a release, but I had to dig quite deep into the slide deck before I came across speed boasts, and when I did come across a reference, it was a line about how the new chips offers "up to 65 percent better overall performance" compared to a "3 year old PC," and "2x faster launch of documents, spreadsheets and presentations" when using Optane memory H10.
So what features are Intel pushing?
Interesting, one of the key features being promoted is support for Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+), with the 8th-gen Core vPro mobile processors being some of the first available in the marketplace to support this.
Wi-Fi 6, which is based on the 802.11ax standard, is expected to bring with it a number of benefits, including delivering up to 40 percent higher peak data rate, quadruple the average throughput per user in congested environments, and boost network efficiency by more than four times.
Another feature of the 8th-gen Core vPro mobile processors that Intel is keen to emphases is a battery life boost allowing the chips to offer a working day up to 11 hours.
Then there's improved security in the form of Intel's new Hardware Shield technology, which has been designed to offer protection out of the box. Intel Hardware Shield also incorporates new reporting capabilities that provides unique visibility across the OS and BIOS.