Intel announced today two new processors for its 11th Gen U-series family: the Core i7-1195G7 and Intel Core i5-1155G7. Made for ultra-portable laptops, these latest additions slot in at the top of their respective classes, with the Core i7 acting as the new flagship Intel CPU for thin and lightweight laptops. Instead of waiting to introduce a new generation of processors, Intel is eking out as much performance as it can with these somewhat unusual mid-cycle releases, which bring slightly boosted speeds to the current crop of chips.
This duo of U-series processors arrives as Intel tries to fend off competition from AMD and Apple, two rivals that have both released chips capable of going blow-for-blow, and in some cases outperforming, those from Intel. The chipmaker now faces some of the stiffest competition in years and could see its hold on the industry shrink as a result. If these new U-series Core i5 and Core i7 chips perform as well as Intel claims, it might convince vendors to stick with Team Blue when they release the newest versions of their laptops.
Intel Core i7-1195G7 specs and performance
The Core i7-1195G7 is identical to the previous top-of-the-stack chip, the Core i7-1185G7, in many ways. It has a 4 core/8 thread configuration, uses DDR4-3200 RAM, and has an operating range of 12-28W.
What puts the Core i7-1195G7 ahead is Intel's ability to squeeze a bit more performance out of the same platform. The newest chip now hits a max single-core turbo of 5.0GHz (up from 4.8GHz) and an all-core turbo of 4.6GHz (up from 4.3GHz). The base frequency drops from 3.0GHz to 2.9GHz on the new model. Wi-Fi 6/6e is supported for data speeds at up to 6GHz.
Intel makes some bold claims about how the Core i7-1195G7 fares against the best from AMD in the Ryzen 7 5800U. Before I get into the numbers, keep in mind that these were published by Intel, which has the luxury of picking and choosing benchmarks that make its processors look best. We will run these same tests once we get in laptops powered by the latest Intel chips. Until then, don't take these benchmarks as gospel.
With that said, Intel claims the Core i7-1195G7 can outperform the AMD Ryzen 7 5800U in various gaming benchmarks. The company didn't provide actual frame rates but said the Core i7-1195G7 delivered roughly 2x performance over the Ryzen 7 in Rust, GRID, Genshin Impact and Amnesia Rebirth. Fortnite supposedly played 1.46x better on the Intel while the performance of Valheim was a whopping 2.78x faster.
Shifting to content creation, the Core i7-1195G7 is said to bring 2x faster video editing workflow performance than the Ryzen 7 and 2.36x faster speeds when using Adobe Lightroom Photo Merge. It is 1.82x quicker with DaVinci Resolve and more than 8x faster when transcoding a 4K HEVC 10-bit video to 1080p using the HandBrake Nightly app.
Intel Core i5-1155G7 specs and performance
Now the fastest Core i5 processor in Intel's stack, the Core i5-1155G7 has 4 cores and 8 threads and uses DDR4-3200 RAM. It differs from the Core i7 in that it uses 80 graphics units instead of 96 and has 8GB of cache versus 12GB.
Of course, the clock speeds are below those of the Core i7 but push beyond the Core i5-1145G7 announced last year. The new chip has a base 2.5Ghz frequency (down from 2.6GHz) and reaches a single-core turbo of up to 4.5Ghz, up from 4.4Ghz. The max all-core turbo is 4.3GHz, up from 4.0Ghz. Like the Core i7 chip, the Core i5-1155G7 supports Wi-Fi 6 and 6e.
Intel did not provide any benchmark comparisons involving the Core i5-1155G7; we should get a better idea of how it performs in the coming weeks when we're able to do our own benchmark tests.
Intel 5G Solution 5000
As part of its chip release, Intel is also introducing a 5G M.2 solution to give laptops support for the latest wireless mobile speeds. In partnership with MediaTek and Fibocom, the 5G Solution 5000 will pair with 11th Gen Intel Core U- and H-series chips. Acer, Asus and HP will be among the first to offer laptops with this 5G platform and Intel claims more than 30 models will arrive in 2022.
It is one thing to release new processors, it's an entirely different challenge to get laptop makers to use them. Fortunately for Intel, the Core i7-1195G7 and Core i5-1155G7 will be found in 60 "designs," or models, by this holiday season. Acer, Asus, Lenovo and MSI are said to be investing in the new chips, with laptops arriving this summer.
From our perspective, these new processors are minor iterations on the 11th Gen chips Intel released last year. They use the same Willow Cove architecture made with a 10-nanometer node, and boast similar specs. What you get with the latest trio of Intel chips is better optimization for slightly faster clock speeds. We'll soon find out how much extra oomph they bring to portable laptops when the first batch arrives in the coming months.