It won’t only be Intel Core i9 laptops that get 8 cores, suggests leaked slide

Intel Comet Lake S

Recently leaked slides detail the specifications of Intel’s upcoming 10th Gen Core H-series lineup. If these are correct, the most interesting of these SKUs isn’t its flagship i9 10980HK CPU but is its new i7 10875H CPU. A leaked slide (via VideoCardz) suggests that the i7 10875H will have 8 cores and 16 threads, just like the i9 10980HK.

With an inordinate abundance of leaks and rumours surrounding Intel Comet Lake 10th Gen Core CPUs, what we consider to be the best CPUs for gaming might soon be very different. Maybe. We’ll have to wait and see. These are still only rumours, after all, no matter how many of them there are corroborating each other.

While Intel’s Core desktop Comet Lake CPUs’ release date will reportedly be April 30, its Core laptop series is rumoured to release on April 2 (via VideoCardz), just in time to give AMD Renoir laptops a run for their money. These same rumours also say that Nvidia GeForce Super GPUs will be packaged with the Intel Comet Lake-H laptops. There could very soon be plenty of laptop-sized options to choose from for the best working from home PC setup, then.

The Comet Lake-H series CPUs’ supposed specs, as per the latest leaked slide, are as follows:

Cores/threads Base clock Boost clock TDP
Core i9 10980HK 8/16 2.4GHz 5.3GHz 45W
Core i7 10875H 8/16 2.3GHz 5.1GHz 45W
Core i7 10850H 6/12 2.7GHz 5.1GHz 45W
Core i7 10750H 6/12 2.6GHz 5GHz 45W
Core i5 10400H 4/8 2.6GHz 4.6GHz 45W
Core i5 10300H 4/8 2.5GHz 4.5GHz 45W

Providing these are correct, the flagship Core i9 10980HK doesn’t seem too much more impressive than its similarly specced Coffee Lake counterpart, the Core i9 9980HK. This current-gen CPU also leads its lineup with 8 cores and 16 threads, with a base clock of 2.4GHz and a boost clock of 5GHz. So, only a potential 300MHz gain from the i9 10980HK’s Coffee Lake counterpart. And considering Comet Lake CPUs are still made using its now-heavily tried and tested, heavily-optimised 14nm process node, architectural advancements likely won’t give a revolutionary step up in performance, either.

This 300MHz gain from its current generation counterpart might also be inconsistent since it will presumably be predicated upon Intel’s Thermal Velocity Boost technology. This microprocessor technology enables higher performance temporarily, by increasing the processor’s clock frequency only until it surpasses a temperature threshold. And considering laptops are still facing the battle between form factor and decent cooling solutions, it’s likely that this 5.3GHz will be no more than a very occasional boon to performance.

Intel i7 9700K

What is new and interesting in the supposed lineup, however, is the addition of an Intel Core i7 10875H SKU with 8 cores and 16 threads. This CPU doesn’t have a Coffee Lake-H equivalent, and seems to have been thrust between the i7 and i9 SKUs, boasting the core count of an i9 CPU but with a reduced base clock. And, to be clear, this base clock is even lower than those of the reported Intel Core i5 Comet Lake-H series SKUs, putting it more in line with AMD Renoir CPUs than anything else.

As for what this would translate to in terms of real-world performance, it’s a case of ‘wait and see’. But, if the leaked slides are correct, it will definitely be nice to see a new SKU thrown into a lineup to cater to user diversity. With the i7 10875H’s single core turbo frequency reportedly remaining at the same 5.1GHz as the Intel Core i7 10850H, its gaming performance should be relatively similar, but the addition of extra cores and threads would benefit those who also make use of apps that benefit from Hyperthreading.