Intel hits 5GHz in new Core i7 U-series processor, offers its first 5G M.2 solution

Dell Xps 13 9310 Evo
Dell Xps 13 9310 Evo (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Intel has announced two new Core U-series processors for thin and light notebooks.
  • The chips are 11th Gen 'Tiger Lake' based on the 10nm SuperFin process.
  • The new Core i7 is the first U-series chip to hit 5GHz (turbo single-core).
  • Intel expects 60+ consumer designs with the two new chips this year.
  • Intel also debuted its first 5G M.2 solution for laptop makers.

In an unsurprising but still welcomed move, Intel announced the new Core i5-1155G7 and Core i7-1195G7, which clock higher than any other U-series chips so far. Both are 4 cores, 8 threads with 12-28 watts TDP, but the clock speeds are higher to achieve even more performance. The chips are 'Tiger Lake' designed based on the 10nm SuperFin process as previous 11th Gen releases.

The i5-1155G7 brings the base frequency down from 2.6GHz to 2.5GHz compared to the i5-1145G7. But the new i5 boosts max single-core turbo to 4.5GHz (instead of 4.4GHz) and all-core turbo to 4.3GHz (instead of 4.0GHz). Likewise, graphics max frequency jumps from 1.3GHz to 1.35GHz, sharing the same clock speed of the Xe graphics of the i7-1185G7.

Intel 11th Gen Newu Series Graph

Source: Intel / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Intel / Windows Central)

Similarly, the new Core i7-1195G7 has a 2.9GHz base frequency (down from 3GHz in the i7-1185G7). But the new i7 increases all-core turbo to 4.6GHz (up from 4.3GHz) and single-core turbo to that coveted 5.0GHz (up from 4.8GHz). Equally, its Xe GPU hits a new high of 1.4GHz instead of the 1185G7's 1.35GHz.

Intel is confident its new i7-1195G7 can "eclipse" the AMD Ryzen 7 5800U in benchmarks, whether in gaming or content creation. For instance, in gaming, Intel claims its new i7 delivers a 1.64x increase in performance versus Ryzen 7 in a game like Apex Legends. And in something like Adobe Lightroom (Photo Merge), the i7 has 2.36x the performance versus the identical Ryzen 7.

Intel has also shared info about these claims on its website for further scrutiny.

Besides just performance, these new chips still feature Thunderbolt 4, Wi-Fi6E (Gig+), and Intel Evo certification.

Intel announced more than 85 Intel Evo designs were launched by OEMs, including Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, MSI, and Samsung. It expects that number to go up to more than 100 by the end of 2021.

As far as momentum and adoption, Intel claims it expects over 60 consumer designs with these new Core U-series processors from its OEM partners by the end of 2021, with Acer, ASUS, Lenovo, and MSI available this summer. And, overall, Intel boasts there will be "nearly" 250 laptop designs with Intel 11th Gen Core (U-series) this holiday season.

Always connected

Intel 5G Solution 5000 M.2 coming this year

Intel 5g Fibocom

Source: Intel (Image credit: Source: Intel)

Finally, Intel revealed its new 5G Solution 5000 in partnership with MediaTek and Fibocom. The new M.2 solution lets OEM drop in 5G to new laptops with Intel Core U- and H-series processors. The Intel 5G Solution 5000 has worldwide carrier certification and "delivers nearly five-times speed increases over Intel Gigabit LTE."

The 5G type offered is the more ubiquitous Sub-6GHz standard instead of the more powerful (but range-limited) mmWave provided by Verizon (which also has more complicated antenna requirements).

While there are currently Intel-based 5G laptops like HP's ZBook Firefly and Elite Dragonfly, those laptops use Qualcomm-based X55 modems to achieve that connectivity. Instead, companies can build laptops that are pure Intel for the processor, graphics, Thunderbolt 4, and connectivity like Wi-Fi6E (Gig+), and now 5G. That competition should also help drive down 5G prices for laptops.

Fibocom will supply the part under FM350-GL, and MediaTek played a role in "product definition, development, certification, and support of 5G modem solutions."

Like the new Core U-series processors, Acer, ASUS, and HP among the first OEMs expected to implement Intel 5G Solution 5000 in new Core U- and H-series laptops later this year. Over 30 laptop designs with Intel 5G are projected for 2022.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.