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10th Gen Intel Core Processors: Everything you need to know

Intel 10th Gen CPU
Intel 10th Gen CPU (Image credit: Intel)

Image: Intel

Image: Intel

After months of teasing their arrival, Intel has finally unleashed its 10th Gen Core processors on the world. This generation, Intel has made the leap to a new architecture and manufacturing process, bringing the usual performance and battery life improvements you'd expect from a generational leap. But there are also some extra features tagging along for AI and graphically intense workloads.

For now, the 10th Gen Intel Core chips are only available for laptops, but this is just the start. Whether you're looking to pick up a new laptop, or waiting to get your hands on a desktop part, here's everything you need to know.

What's new with Intel's 10th Gen CPUs?

Intel's 10th Gen Core processors represent a more significant update to the company's lineup than recent generations. That's because Intel has made the move to a 10 nanometer (nm) process, a significant change from the 14nm process Intel has been using since 2014. A smaller process means the CPUs using it are more power efficient, reducing their power consumption requirements and, subsequently, increasing battery life.

However, apart from the shift to 10nm, Intel has done some significant work on improving the feature set for its 10th Gen Core chips. Notably, Thunderbolt 3 support is now built into these new CPUs, meaning it will be much easier for PC manufacturers to include it in laptops. These new chips also support Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), the latest Wi-Fi standard that is only now starting to hit the market and is built for faster transfer speeds and the ability to better handle lots of connected devices.

Improving graphics performance is also a focus of these 10th Gen Core chips. Though integrated graphics will still pale in comparison to the best graphics card options in dedicated form, advances in the latest version of Intel's Iris Pro graphics should allow for smooth 1080p gaming in games like Fortnite and Dirt Rally 2, along with more efficient 4K video editing and photo processing. Intel has also added support for VESA's adaptive sync standard, which should help to keep frames running smoothly on compatible displays without screen tearing.

Finally, Intel has embraced AI with its 10th Gen Core chips, adding a dedicated instruction set, called Deep Learning Boost (DLB), to carry out AI workloads efficiently.

How many Intel 10th Gen CPUs are there?

Currently, there are 11 10th Gen Core processors available, all of which are built for laptops and 2-in-1s. Those 11 chips break down to five low-power Y-series and six higher performance U-series options, each spread across a variety of Core i3, i5, and i7 CPUs.

Here's a look at each series and the specs of every currently available chip.

Core i7-1068G7Core i7-1065G7Core i5-1035G7Core i5-1035G4Core i5-1035G1Core i3-1005G1
SeriesU-SeriesU-SeriesU-SeriesU-SeriesU-SeriesU-Series
GraphicsIntel Iris PlusIntel Iris PlusIntel Iris PlusIntel Iris PlusIntel UHDIntel UHD
Cores
Threads
4
8
4
8
4
8
4
8
4
8
2
4
Clock speed2.3GHz
3.6GHz (All core)
4.1GHz (Single core)
1.3GHz
3.5GHz (All core)
3.9GHz (Single core)
1.2GHz
3.3GHz (All core)
3.7GHz (Single core)
1.1GHz
3.3GHz (All core)
3.7GHz (Single core)
1.0GHz
3.3GHz (All core)
3.7GHz (Single core)
1.2GHz
3.4GHz (All core)
3.4GHz (Single core)
Cache8MB8MB6MB6MB6MB4MB
TDP28W15W/25W15W/25W15W/25W15W/25W15W
Core i7-1060G7Core i5-1030G7Core i5-1030G4Core i3-1000G4Core i3-1000G1
SeriesY-SeriesY-SeriesY-SeriesY-SeriesY-Series
GraphicsIntel Iris PlusIntel Iris PlusIntel Iris PlusIntel Iris PlusIntel UHD
Cores
Threads
4
8
4
8
4
8
2
4
2
4
Clock speed1.0GHz
3.4GHz (All core)
3.8GHz (Single core)
0.8GHz
3.2GHz (All core)
3.5GHz (Single core)
0.7GHz
3.2GHz (All core)
3.5GHz (Single core)
1.1GHz
3.2GHz (All core)
3.2GHz (Single core)
1.1GHz
3.2GHz (All core)
3.2GHz (Single core)
Cache8MB6MB6MB4MB4MB
TDP9W/12W9W/12W9W/12W9W9W

What do the Intel 10th Gen Core CPU model numbers mean?

Intel model numbers can be hard to follow, and the 10th Gen Core naming scheme has confused matters more.

The basics remain the same: Intel Core represents the brand, and the different i3, i5, and i7 designations relate to the "brand modifier," as Intel calls it. Put simply, the higher the number in the modifier, the more powerful the processor.

Moving further, we get a generation indicator (10 in this case), two digits for the stock-keeping unit (SKU), and then a number indicating the level of graphics included with the chip.

So, looking at the Core i7-1068G7 as an example, we can see that it's a Core brand and i7 brand modifier. From there, the 10 means that this is a 10th Gen chip, while the 68 indicates the SKU number. Finally, the G7 denotes the graphics level of this chip, which happens to be the highest available at the moment.

How much are Intel's 10th Gen CPUs?

You currently can't buy 10th Gen Core processors by themselves. Intel has only launched its 10th Gen Core chips for laptops, so you'll start seeing them pop up in laptops and 2-in-1s from manufacturers like Dell, HP, and Lenovo soon.

Once the 10th Gen Core processors are available to buy for desktop PC builds, we'll know more about Intel's planned pricing structure.

When can I buy Intel's 10th Gen Core CPUs?

Intel hasn't provided a timeline for when its 10th Gen Core chips will be available to buy on their own yet. However, we expect the first batch of laptops to be available with these new processors soon.

Intel says it expects around 35 laptop designs from various manufacturers to debut throughout the rest of 2019. We expect to see an influx of new and refreshed laptops sporting these chips in the holiday season.

Where can I buy Intel's 10th Gen Core CPUs?

For now, you'll have to stick to buying Intel's 10th Gen Core chips in laptops that come with them. The first to hit stores is the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (7390) (opens in new tab). Keep an eye on the online stores from Dell (opens in new tab), Lenovo (opens in new tab), HP (opens in new tab), and other manufacturers throughout the rest of 2019 as they debut their latest laptops.

When are Intel 10th Gen Core CPUs available for desktop PCs?

There's no precise release date for Intel's 10th Gen Core chips for desktop PCs. However, Intel has stated it expects to release 10th Gen Core processors for other PC segments throughout the next 12 months.

Expect to hear more about Intel's desktop plans, including a list of models and their specs, in the coming months.

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Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

5 Comments
  • Thanks for this concise explanation! Will next gen Surface devices come with 10th gen Intel chips? Sounds like it would pave the way to easily add Thunderbolt.
  • That’s the rumour. Icelake. Thunderbolt. USB C.
    Surface laptop 3 needs a faster SSD also
    Also, MS might have an AMD version as the MS / Intel relationship is strained so it’s said
  • I wonder how they will compare to the current leader AMD Ryzen CPU's
  • Those are not out yet for laptop/mobile devices. AMD started with desktops and Intel with laptops. As soon as AMD mobile chips come out, I think they are slightly better bang for buck, similar cpu speed, slightly less battery life but still good, notable faster igpu (AMD's current 3500u/3700u Vega igpu is already similar in good laptops compared to Iris Pro igpu benchmarks). Also important here is that Intel uhd igpu probably still sucks, so you need to shell out extra for Iris Pro graphics.
  • When is coming to the Surface lineup?