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Intel introduces first eighth-gen processors, promises 40 percent performance increase

Intel has officially taken the wraps off of its latest Core processor family, and it's promising a pretty significant power boost. In fact, Intel says its new eighth-generation line of Core processors will represent a 40 percent increase in performance over its sevevth-generation Kaby Lake predecessor (via Engadget).

To start things off, Intel is unveiling the mobile variations of its eighth-gen chips, made for use in thin-and-light notebooks and 2-in-1s. In addition to a 40 percent performance boost over the previous generation, Intel is also promising to double performance over a 5-year-old machine. That's largely thanks to the four cores packed into each chip, which is a first for Intel's U-series. As far as battery life is concerned, Intel is promising up to 10 hours of local 4K video playback on a charge.

Intel 8th-gen U Range

In terms of raw speed, the new eighth-generation U chips will be available in Core i5 and i7 variants that clock in at between 1.6GHz and 3.4GHz at the low end, and between 1.9GHz and 4.2GHz at the high end. Those clock speeds combined with general enhancements should make tasks like editing videos and photos much faster, according to Intel's estimates.

In any case, Intel says to expect the first devices powered by the eighth-generation i5 and i7 processors ti hit the scene in September. Following the mobile U chips, we can expect the first desktop processors to debut sometime this fall.

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

  • ...and no, that's not a black Surface Book, that's just a Surface Book render in dark light. Anyway, pretty excited about 8th gen Intel, but more excited about 9th with the 10nm stuff.
  • How killer would a black Surface Book be?! Anyway, I'm thinking the Surface Book will be updated later this year with Intel's 8th gen. Thoughts? Also, do you guys have an article on the 10nm stuff? I am unfamiliar and would love an article from you guys explaining what that means to us consumers.
  • Holdup, tho Dan. Does that mean Intel is implying a refresh of the Surface Book (3rd-Gen) is near? I mean why render the "8th-gen" and Surface Book in one video.
  • In the last render (0:29) it looks like a burgundy Surface Book.
  • Tiger Lake - Grrrrrarararaggg
  • Neowin hightlighted the black as a legit post.  ROFL. Glad I read Windows Central first these days, Daniel. I quoted you in their comments section, I hope you don't mind.
  • A Quad Core Surface Book with dGPU seems like just the thing for the "Pro" Surface Laptop in the lineup and still enabling the detachable clipboard.
  • Quad Core i7 Surface Book with dGPU -- the new NDVIDIA from Computex... I'd like to see 20 hr battery life (at least 6 hr in tablet mode), at least 32GB RAM and 1-2 TB SSD... Possibly reduced bezel and thus 14" screen, still in 3:2 format. SD card reader (*not* microSD!), USB/Thunderbolt. And not too expensive..., max 1.4 kg :-).
  • More interested in gaming laptop chips; that combined with new nvidia card hopefully early next year would be great;    
  • every cycle, intel promises around a 40% performance increase, but in reality it is rarely over 10%.  I have no reason to think 8th gen will be any different.  I just wish they would call it as it is.   I am very impressed with their advancements on thermal efficiency and fanless designs, but just stop BSing us about performance and speed.  
  • Forget it, Intel! ARM is the future! Even Microsoft has given up on you!
  • Quad core VR Ready surface book 2 here we come! This is what I have been waiting for. Hope it also improves battery life to make the clipboard mode more feasible (for light work). But we will see...
  • Also needs TB3 for real VR potential with an eGPU, but i bet TB3 will show up on the SB2, makes for a good time to release that surface connect -> USB-C dongle too. No surface left behind (even though the older stuff won't have TB3 speeds.
  • To be clear: The architecture in this batch of chips is fundamentally unchanged. They are offering more cores while clocking them at lower speeds in order to maintain the last generation's TDP targets. Also, while the table advertises 3.4-4.2Ghz maximum frequency (i.e. Turbo Boost), that doesn't mean they will be running all cores at or near that speed under any circumstances, as doing so would far exceed the configured 15W TDP, if the processor were even capable of running those speeds on multiple cores to begin with. I'm sure these will be great chips, and certainly a much better value than seventh-gen offered, but they do not reflect a fundamental leap in performance.
  • While I would love a refresh of the Surface Book, they are probably going to start at around $3000 here. Which I'm really going to want one, but not be able to afford one.
  • There are people like me who do no gaming or require no high performance. Processors with 15 W TDP in desktops version packaging is what we are looking for. I actually wonder how Intel would like the idea of system bulders using nVidia graphics. I do remember when they moved the grahics to processor to screw companies like Zotac who came out with dual core Atom motherboards with nVidia graphics on board.