11th Gen Intel® Core™ Mobile Processor Technical Specifications
Buying a PC using only technical specifications can be difficult, and it can result in not getting the best PC to fit your needs or budget. In general, Intel recommends you start by selecting the most modern generation (11th or 12th Gen). You should then select a processor line (H, P, U, Y) based on anticipated usages and desired form factor, then select by processor number to fit your performance needs (i9, i7, i5). But simply selecting by product SKU may not be sufficient. Productivity and user experience may be modulated by cooling solution, memory configuration and other system design/optimization choices. Intel recommends using system performance benchmarks as outlined by the BITKOM technology consortium:
"The continuous evolution of computer technology has made it increasingly difficult to compare the performance of individual systems only in terms of technical specifications. For instance, a processor with a higher clock rate does not necessarily provide more processing power." "The fact that clock rate (frequency) alone is no longer sufficient to compare the performance of different processors from different manufacturers with distinct internal architecture has led to the development of tests, socalled benchmarks, to improve the comparability of the performance." "The restriction to certain technical peculiarities of system components no longer suffices to make an informed decision in the context of an award process."
Benchmarking is BITKOM and Intel's recommended path forward to compare systems as well as align performance needs with device usages. Be sure to compare like-for-like system configurations, because a benchmark test can run on Intel architecture without measuring the performance impact of specific intellectual property (IP) in a particular system. For example, in a properly designed test comparing identically configured systems, using the industry standard SYSmark 25 benchmark (often used in large enterprise and public RFP or tender specifications), the 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 vPro® mobile processor delivers 32% better overall application performance when compared to a 3-year-old PC. And compared to the AMD Ryzen 4750U, it's 38% better.
Comprehend Dynamic System Design Range with Config TDP-up/Config TDP-down
Thermal Design Power (TDP) is an often-misused term. There is no industry standard for TDP, so different companies have different definitions and implementations. To Intel, TDP represents the average power, in watts, the processor dissipates when operating at Base Frequency with all cores active, under an Intel-defined, high-complexity workload (refer to datasheet for thermal solution requirements). Cooling implementation, tuning from the PC manufacturer and applications/use cases impacts run-time processor power. System manufacturers leverage Turbo Boost and Max Turbo frequency to help enable higher performance for all workloads. To enable high effective sustainable clock speeds, they leverage Intel® Dynamic Tuning Technology (Intel® DTT) to optimize designs for sustainable effective clock speeds higher than specified by base frequency. Intel DTT uses power management interface on processor to enable OEMs to optimize performance within form factors for applications/ use cases.
The Configurable TDP range listed on ark.intel.com is Intel's recommendation for the appropriate range of sustained power for the processor to operate within a PC. This gives OEMs more flexibility in notebook design. One result is that notebooks with the same processor can have different sustained power capability and thus different performance. That's why a single/fixed base frequency for processors at single TDP does not always give the full picture. It would fail to reflect the range of design points-from fanless ultraportables to mobile workstations. This trend started several processor generations ago, but with 11th Gen Intel Core mobile processors, we stopped specifying the meaningless middle frequency point and kept only the bookends of the range. To reflect system design truth for 11th Gen Intel Core mobile processors, Intel is dropping the meaningless middle point and listing the Max Turbo frequency and the Configurable TDP-up and Configurable TDP-down base frequencies. Doingso comprehends the full range in which OEMs may design different systems because the processor will operate up to Max Turbo frequency when system parameters allow, regardless of the Config-up/Config-down base frequency range.
When specifying a mobile system, look for the dynamic operating range and not a single point of power and frequency. Intel DTT intelligently leverages the full dynamic operating range of the processor-it is not encumbered by a single point in the product specification. For example, the UP4 line has a technical inflection point around 9W which delineates (at a high level) fanless and fanned mobile system designs. If a base frequency specification is required on a tender or RFP, refer to "base clock speed up to GHz." Regardless of base frequency, systems will always try to operate at the highest frequency for a given workload, subject to system constraints.
Table 1. Intel lists the configurable TDP-up and configurable TDP-down base frequencies rather than specifying a single/fixed base frequency at single TDP for 11th Gen Intel Core mobile processors.
Table 2. Subject to system constraints, systems operate at the highest frequency for a given workload.
The recommended course when writing tenders or RFPs, however, is to use both the Configurable TDP-up and Configurable TDP-down base frequencies along with the Maximum Turbo Frequency-the maximum speed the processor can achieve using Intel® Turbo Boost Technology to dynamically judge the amount of thermal headroom the processor has, as well as the number of cores in use, and then boost clock speed to the maximum safe level.
Summary: Consider the Full Operating Range; Move Away from Legacy, Irrelevant Constructs
Comparisons across product lines from different companies should not be limited to core count, clock speed specifications, and singular, artificial metrics. Relying on physical parameters or technical specifications to compare different products risks poorly informed decisions. Instead, benchmark results better define the performance and energy efficiency levels needed for the different PC usage models and decision making. Of course, benchmark results should be specific to the model and configuration being considered. Notebook PC manufacturers leverage the wide dynamic frequency range of modern processors to optimize designs for sustainable effective clock speeds, higher than specified by base frequency. Rather than specifying a single design point, a range of configurable power levels may be selected to meet the system design needs. Although the single/fixed base frequency at single TDP model still has value as part of product definition, it is not relevant as part of end user purchase decisions of a laptop. Intel would fail on ark.intel.com to reflect the range of design operating points of a processor that enable a variety of user experiences from fanless ultraportables to mobile workstations. With 11th Gen Intel Core mobile processors, Intel takes the first step in a multi-generational evolution toward a new experience based design construct-moving away from legacy, irrelevant constructs like TDP and base frequency. To comprehend the range of 11th Gen Intel Core mobile processor-based systems, Intel now only specifies processors with a Configurable-up and Configurable-down range for TDP and base frequency. Configurable TDP has existed for many processor generations, and a desired TDP within its operating range would support customer needs-for example, when looking for a singular 15W TDP, a processor with configurable range of 12W to 28W would be appropriate.
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