We Benchmarked Tiger Lake – i7-1185G7 Performance Preview

by birtanpublished on October 3, 2020

All right everybody we're taking a bit of a break from our wall-to-wall rtx 3080 content to bring you something a little bit different you see a few weeks ago intel announced their upcoming tiger lake processor designs that will be rolled into thin and light notebooks a bit later this year so many things that will be used in tiger lake will eventually make their way into desktops too for example willow cove course will provide a foundation for future desktop cpu designs

And the xc graphics engine will be expanded into a discrete graphics card we've actually done an explained video so if you're interested in checking it out link will be right over here anyways when intel announced tiger league to the world they ended up making a whole lot of big claims about how it lined up with amd's ryzen 4000 series considering how far behind iceland was it meant intel might have fixed a lot of its performance issues

In a single generation the only thing left was to prove it after seeing what they said during the live stream we had a lot of questions concerns a lot of skepticism basically we wanted them to back up those claims with hard numbers that we could validate firsthand and guess what guys they responded with this it's an early pre-production system from one of intel's partners that has a tiger lake cpu installed and if you look close enough i'm pretty sure you can tell

Which one the only big change is some intel branding on the lid so the actual manufacturer isn't so obvious to be honest with you guys when this thing showed up i was almost tempted to send it back because usually with this sort of stuff it comes with a bunch of restrictions that you're not allowed to show or share with your audience and the last thing that anybody wants around here is to come up with a content piece that's just an intel fluff material with limited tests run on it

But that didn't happen because intel told us to run any benchmark any game any application basically the sky is a limit which is awesome but there are a couple of restrictions the first thing is that i can't show you what's inside this notebook because it's a partner pre-production sample and they just don't want to get away or give away any engineering secrets the second thing is that battery life can't be tested because as i mentioned earlier this is a

Pre-production unit and the battery capacity is smaller than your usual size that you get with other than light notebooks but other than that no strings attached and i think i'm pretty cool with that another thing i need to mention is the drivers for the platform and gpu are still in beta phase and so are the bios optimizations as well a lot of companies try to avoid setting poor expectations early on so they tend to keep the early samples under wraps until

Final devices roll out but this time intel and their partner have the courage and the confidence to send this out now a few weeks before it even hits the market now for complete transparency this machine was pre-loaded with a bunch of handy scripts that run real-world workloads in applications like premiere photoshop gigapixel and a few others unfortunately we didn't have the time to validate uh their accuracy so we just ended up using our usual benchmark suite

And a few others that we're currently working on as well so i guess that brings us to specs but first a quick refresh on the tiger lake lineup basically it looks a lot like iceland did with cpu starting at two cores and four threads all the way up to the i7 1185 g7 which has four cores and eight threads that means amd will still have the edge in raw core counts with the 4800u meanwhile the 4700u will probably have a slight performance edge when operating in a similar power

Envelope since its eight physical cores will scale better than intel's hyper-threaded ones three things that have improved on the processor side are frequency ranges and supported memory which is now up to four two six six megahertz if a notebook uses lpddr4x the last thing is the xc graphics engine which is completely new from the previous generation and it now features up to 50 more execution units those clock speeds are exactly what last gen processors needed since in most situations they just

Couldn't compete all that well but now there's a leap forward that should take performance to another level versus ice lake but given how poorly those cpu is performed that isn't much of a complement one thing i wanted to focus a bit more is on the power range one of the main challenges with benchmarking notebook processors is the way they're implemented in devices unlike desktop parts where you could have it installed in any system and expect pretty similar performance in the mobile market companies actually

Choose a cpu and then determine its power limit based on a bunch of different design factors like cooling surface temperatures and even the notebook size so while the cpu has access to less current it performs or would perform slower while more means higher sustain clock speeds so that means is that if you have an identical processor installed on two different notebooks they're going to perform very differently from one another in tiger

Lake's case there are two ranges depending on the processor either 15 to 28 watts or 7 to 15. so the notebook that we have comes with an i7 1185 g7 16 gigabytes of lpddr4x memory operating at four two six six megahertz and a one terabyte samsung pm 981a nvme ssd so it's basically what you'd expect to find in a high-end ultrabook we're also able to test different wattages since the power plants on this notebook have been set to run at about 28 watts when in balance mode while battery safer limits the cpu to

Just 15 watts this should give you an idea of how the i7 1185 g7 performs in a lot of different designs there's another mode called high performance that enables intel's dynamic tuning algorithm and what this does is it pushes the power to 35 watts in certain usage scenarios provided the cpu has enough temperature headroom but before i get to the benchmarks i do want to emphasize one more time that you need to take all these numbers

With a grain of salt because they'll be accurate for this very early pre-production sample and just like the production units performance will be different from one design to another so take this as more of a rough guidance of where the i7 1185 g7 at 28 watts and 15 watts will probably stand once production notebooks are launched with the final drivers and bios's we're also comparing it to a few other notebooks there's the xps 13 from 2020 that has a

Previous gen isolate core i7 1065 g7 operating at 25 watts the asus zenbook 14 we reviewed a few weeks ago with a 4700u finally there's the lenovo yoga slim 7 with a 4800u that operates at 35 watts in extreme performance mode and it just arrived a few days ago so that should be an interesting comparison to the 35 watt mode starting off with cinebench and right away it's evident that tiger lake is a huge generational push ahead from iceland

Also there's just no way tiger lake would have beat amd in a purely multi-threaded workload so that was a foregone conclusion but then again the 35w setting does give it an extra boost single core and lightly threaded benchmarks is where the i7 1185 g7 likes to play considering iceland was a step back in this regard intel needed to nail this metric and that's what they did all right so that's our last set of synthetic results

Because the real focus of our notebook reviews lately has become real world testing starting with blender and again the performance improvements versus ice lake are really evident here we're talking about a good 30 improvement and even the 15 watt setting nets results are equal to a 25 watt isolate cpu photo editing is pretty equal across the board but the 15 watt setting does cause the i7 1185 g7 to fall behind while the 28 watt and 35 watt specs are the fastest ulb processors we've seen in this

Program so far meanwhile winrar sees the new tiger lake cpu beating the 16 threaded ryzen 7 4800u by a really slim margin and that 15 watt spec well that shows just how far behind isolate really was in more general usage cases the i7 1185 g7 really starts to shine since it can take advantage of high clock speeds in lightly threaded scenarios excel is a great example of that and at both wattage settings it really puts the screws to everything else

In this test the same thing goes for microsoft word where our chart pasting test of a large excel chart represents a real world scenario that a lot of you could probably relate to tiger lake's dominance is pretty clear in this situation though all of intel cpus tend to do well here now in this test we take a document with 20 hardware canucks sales kits which are loaded with images and then export them from powerpoint to a pdf document at a compressed resolution and yes you

Probably guessed the results before seeing them one thing that was really surprising was how poorly ice lake did here but that's likely due to its really low clock speeds matlab's a program that's widely used in science and engineering fields along with classrooms all over the world that means ultra portable notebooks need to deliver a good performance in that application and well the i7 1185g7 does really really well here which is likely due to a combination of clock speeds and

Optimizations built into this app transcoding is another multi-core test and tiger lake actually falls really far behind even with the 4700u we're not sure what's going on here but amd is pretty dominant on the other hand this doesn't take into account the hardware acceleration amd has through vce or intel does through quick sync or handbrake we're going to add that in upcoming reviews but the test wasn't ready in time for this one now the chances of

Someone using premiere on an ultrabook notebook is pretty slim but it's still nice to have the option if you need to do some quick video editing on the fly and here intel's quick sync is able to step in and really accelerate render times amd on the other hand has shockingly bad results since even with the new premiere 14.2 and later updates the integrated graphics never really kicks in on the ucs chips during any of the h.264 or h.265 renders

We test luckily amd's aware of the issue and they're supposedly looking into it all right so now on to gaming performance and this is a bit of a controversial thing because a lot of you might be thinking you know who games on a thinlite notebook i guess a better question that i have for you is why not because if a super portable notebook can provide decent frame rates and some basic games

That's great and we should be celebrating that remember that intel has been moving towards the brand new xc gpu architecture and the performance it gives even with super early drivers is pretty mind-blowing for an ultrabook the iris xc with 96 execution units actually manages to either beat or match the amd 4000 u series even though it's one percent lows are a bit all over the place right now not only that but it blows ice lake out of the water the only real hiccup came in with rainbow six siege where it used to run pretty well but something

In the latest game update caused crashing intel says that they know what the problem is and they expect to fix it before these systems launch well it looks like tiger lake feels like two steps forward for intel because isolate caused them to take a step back because when you look at these early results it actually puts them in a much more competitive position in the thinner light market now of course there are tons of questions swirling around how final devices will perform

And most importantly battery life but it looks like tiger lake can spank ice lake pretty good and it performs way better compared to the ryzen new series especially when it comes to lightly threaded applications and considering those apps are the ones that are being used by the majority of users it's an important win now on the professional side it's a bit of a mixed bag but there's lots of progress too a 35 watt tiger lake still has trouble matching a 4700u

Set to 25 watts in heavy multi-thread applications that shows how well amd has done with their 7 nanometer architecture and if they ever get around to fixing their drivers for premier acceleration intel will have a battle on their hands there as well there are some warnings for amd though specifically on the gpu side since they're now getting beat in an area where they dominated intel sunk a ton of money into their graphics architecture and it's starting to show even with very

Early drivers while zen 3 may have navi graphics their slow rollout of new gpu architectures has allowed intel to catch up so i guess i'll be waiting for the final notebooks to start showing up but until that point i'm pretty excited about what intel has showed with tiger lake and just sort of a performance preview uh honestly it's going to be an interesting rest of the year especially in the notebook side and let me know what you guys think about tiger lake and are you impressed with

Its performance i'm really curious to know thank you so much for watching stay safe and i'll talk to you guys in the next one

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