Ryan Shrout
Sep 4 · 6 min read

Today at IFA we held an event for attending members of the media and analyst community on a topic that’s very near and dear to our heart — Real World Performance. We’ve been holding these events for a few months now beginning at Computex and then at E3, and we’ve learned a lot along the way. The process has reinforced our opinion on synthetic benchmarks: they provide value if you want a quick and narrow perspective on performance. We still use them internally and know many of you do as well, but the reality is they are increasingly inaccurate in assessing real-world performance for the user, regardless of the product segment in question.

It’s also reminded us of the importance of software, and how the investments we continue to make in optimizing for new workloads and experiences matter more than ever before. We now live in a world where Moore’s Law is as much about software as it is hardware and transistor technology. This is a significant change to how we look at the world and something we’ve been investing in for a very long time. With 15,000 software engineers working alongside our hardware design teams we will continue to advance the promise of Moore’s Law with each new generation.

At IFA we’ll look to build on these and add a few new wrinkles, focusing on the client computing landscape and Intel’s continued investments in driving leadership in performance, features, and user experiences versus our competitors.

Desktop has and will continue to be a core focus for Intel, and we’re excited to release the 9900KS next month and share some updated perspective on performance-per-dollar for our X-series. In a world where specs around overclocking and boost technologies can be less than transparent, we are proud of the headroom we continue to offer and the reliability of our products for the enthusiast community on the desktop.

The new Core i9–9900KS is the first CPU to offer a 5.0 GHz all-core turbo clock speed, taking the gaming performance leadership we have with the 9th Gen desktop product line and making it even better. This capability will allow games that depend on IPC and frequency, more than just raw core count, to offer better and more consistent frame rates. We showed press Hitman 2 running on the new 9900KS with all 16 threads running at 5.0 GHz with a light per-core load, further driving home the point that what gamers need is better overall performance, not just higher core counts.

We are proud of the technologies and products we build, and despite some competitor solutions that the community is questioning, the Core i9–9900K and Core i9–9900KS are TRUE 5.0 GHz processors.

Intel has dramatic changes coming next month for the X-series and HEDT (high-end desktop market) line as well. The new family of products code-named Cascade Lake-X will offer up to 2x the performance per dollar of the previous generation. Though it is too early to talk about the specifics of how we are accomplishing this, you will see soon enough our commitment to the X-series and W-series families across Intel.

As we said at IFA earlier this week, in the notebook world we continue to be excited by the broad-scale innovation we are driving with Project Athena and a new class of performance and visual experiences enabled on our 10th generation mobile platforms. Our first series of OEM devices are available now and they do not disappoint in driving leadership in graphics, AI, and connectivity across gaming, content creation, and productivity experiences.

Our investment in this space is topped off by our partnership with the world’s leading system OEMs like Dell, Lenovo, HP, and others, helping to further optimize both Comet Lake and Ice Lake architectures for their designs. This includes enabling and advancing features like ML-based Adaptix Dynamic Tuning and ensuring that each system design goal meets or exceeds consumer expectations.

During our press event we showed data comparing our early numbers for Ice Lake (shown to media at Computex on Intel development systems) to a commercially available, retail 10th Gen “Ice Lake” design, with additional performance improvements as high as 18–47% in real-world workloads. A 25-watt implementation on a Razer Blade Stealth 13 design also continued to demonstrate integrated graphics performance leadership over AMD for ultra-thin and light gaming. Our point here is clear: Intel does more than design silicon and pass it to our partners. Only through true, sustained, long-term platform partnership can we provide the world’s best mobile experiences to consumers.

The AI PC is here, and we believe our early investments to lead the world in a new class of AI hardware for notebook PCs will be transformational in the coming years. We couldn’t be more excited by the activity we’re seeing with our software partner ecosystem in this area with a growing number of new experiences in development. But AI isn’t just a future application of compute, it’s here today and accelerating adoption rapidly.

Everything from image manipulation, subject selection, denoising and deblurring, audio filtering, and image search and categorization is changing with the addition of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Even modern game engines like Unity are implementing AI-based animation and activity, with the research pointing to the importance of low latency CPU-based inference over GPU-only acceleration.

Finally, at IFA we also shared the latest competitive comparisons versus Windows on Arm. At Intel, we believe the power of Windows is based on an experience without compromise, where all of your applications — old and new — work as advertised. You shouldn’t have to change the way you work or play when moving from one Windows platform to the next. If you use Intel Architecture on Windows, you don’t have to.

We demonstrated a “day in the life” of a typical Windows on Arm user today who is challenged with application incompatibility across segments including content creation (Adobe Photoshop Elements), security (NordVPN), productivity (Dropbox), drivers (Logitech Options/Plantronics Hub), and gaming (Dirt Rally 2.0). Just as important, when applications are compatible with or without the requirement of emulation, Intel maintains performance leadership over competing products.

Today marks yet another step in Intel’s journey to showcase the benefits and need for the industry to think about Real World Performance when evaluating hardware and platforms across a spectrum of options. We know that we have a lot more engagement to do across the technical community, but we see this is a good place to start the conversation. We welcome your constructive input and we look forward to our next opportunity to continue the discussion.

For more complete information about performance and benchmark results, visit www.intel.com/benchmarks.

Performance at Intel

Intel’s blog to share timely and candid information specific to the performance of Intel technologies and products.

Ryan Shrout

Written by

Chief Performance Strategist @ Intel

Performance at Intel

Intel’s blog to share timely and candid information specific to the performance of Intel technologies and products.

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