Intel’s fastest laptop processor gets tons of speed boosts, but it’s still on an old-ass architecture


The best part about last year’s MacBook Pro was the 8th gen H-series processor that Apple chose to put inside. The H-series is aimed at beefy laptops or bulky workstations, so finding it in something as thin and light as a 13-inch MacBook Pro was a welcome change of pace, mainly because that meant the MacBook Pro was leagues faster than competitors like the Dell XPS 13 and HP Specter 13.

Now that the H-series is being refreshed, and while that doesn’t necessarily mean an update to the MacBook Pro, it does mean you’ll be able to buy faster laptops, at least until the 10nm processors. Intel timers are finally making an appearance later this year.

The 9th generation H-series processors are based on the 14nm process that Intel has been using for almost half a decade. This is potentially bad because its main rival, AMD, already uses a 12nm process and will soon be upgraded to 7nm. A smaller process usually means the processor will be faster and more efficient.

But Intel has done a decent job of really tweaking its 14nm process. The company has refined it to the point that this new processor could really be incredibly fast, but probably not as fast or battery efficient as a possible 10nm version.

There are some decent speed gains for the 9th Gen H series, mostly when it comes to clock speed. Intel promises that its high-end processor, the i9-9980HK, will have a turbo clock speed of 5 GHz, which means that when it speeds things up, it should hit the best performance quickly and handle the workload more. quickly. The i9-9980HK is notably also the rare laptop CPU that can be overclocked. The rest of the H series, ranging from the i5-9300H to the i9-9880H will not have this capability, although Intel says the i7-9850H will be “partially” unlockable.

Image: Intel

Along with a few modest speed improvements, the real magic of these new processors comes from the chipset they run on. The new Intel 300 mobile chipset can support up to 128GB of DDR4 RAM, as well as Intel’s recently announced hybrid SSD and Optane drive, the H10. This drive should give you all of the impressive speed boosts of Optane memory that come with an already fast SSD storage drive.

The 300 series will also support 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6. This word soup signifies the potential for blistering streaming speeds, up to three times faster than current 802.11ac standard, provided your router supports 802.11ax and your ISP gives you enough bandwidth to take advantage of. these speeds. If all of these caveats apply to you, then the new H-series processors are worth getting excited about!

Razer, Asus, Dell and Alienware have all announced updated lines of gaming laptops supporting the H-series, with other gaming laptop makers expected to follow. Desktops can be slower to update, so don’t hold your breath during an Apple refresh.

Besides the new mobile processors, Intel also announced a whole line of desktop processors to complement the desktop line. Their price ranges from US $ 122 ($ 173) for the i3-9100T to US $ 440 ($ 625) for the i9-9900.


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