Intel 11th-gen Core i7-1185G7 Tiger Lake Preview: It’s (mostly) faster than Ryzen

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Intel 11th-gen Core i7-1185G7 Tiger Lake Preview: It’s (mostly) faster than Ryzen

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Intel’s 11th-gen Tiger Lake is perhaps the most important laptop CPU launch for the company. While previous generations suffered no real competition from AMD, Tiger Lake enters the ring facing a legitimate foe: Ryzen 4000.

You can read up on AMD’s game-changing Ryzen 9 4800HS, or its recently surfaced and equally impressive Ryzen 7 4800U for mainstream laptops. And yes, that was a budget Acer beating a Core i7 MacBook senseless.

Today, however, is about whether Intel’s new 11th-gen 10nm Tiger Lake chip and its SuperFin transistors and Iris Xe graphics have what it takes to keep AMD at bay. Intel gave us the opportunity to take an 11th-gen Tiger Lake reference laptop (a sample design, not a retail product) for a spin.

Keep reading to see how it fares in a grueling roster of benchmarks. And if you want to skip to a specific section, please use the links at left or below: 

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Intel gave us full access to a reference laptop with an Intel 11th gen Core i7-1185G7 inside of it.

A preview with conditions

For this performance preview, Intel loaned us the laptop with a few strings attached. We say few, because there were a couple more for which we had a nerds’ agreement not to test.

The main one was battery life. Intel said the reference laptop was still pretty rough in tuning, and the company didn’t think it would be representative of battery life from a final unit. The trickle-down of that meant we also couldn’t report on, say, how much power it used while on battery. Although battery power is extremely important in a laptop, we felt it was a fair request.

The second request was not to show a photo of the insides of the laptop. We are allowed to show you the bottom of it, and since we have seen the inside, we’ll sketch out where the components are. 

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The Intel Tiger Lake reference laptop we used featured two heat pipes and a single fan and fin stack.

The laptop itself is built on a fairly light 14-inch body. In weight, it’s actually very close to the 10th-gen Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 7390 and slightly lighter than Lenovo’s 14-inch, Ryzen 7-based Slim 7. The laptop is actually capable of taking discrete graphics and features two heat pipes routed to a single fan and fin stack. The laptop features a Core i7-1185G7 Tiger Lake CPU with 16GB of LPDDR4X/4266 RAM and a 1TB NVMe SSD. There screen is a 1920×1080 panel without touch.

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