Intel’s latest 14th Gen Meteor Lake processors are here and they’re now called the Intel Core Ultra processors, and it also comes with a new naming scheme. Anything under the Core Ultra series will now have the naming scheme of Intel Core Ultra 7 165H, for example.
Here’s a rundown of what the Intel Core Ultra with Meteor Lake architecture is all about – we have much better efficiency to the point that Intel is claiming it’s their most power-efficient client processor yet, made with the Intel 4 process (which is actually a 7nm process but similar density to TSMC’s 4nm process), a new P- & E-core packaging, new integrated graphics, and of course – a built-in NPU for AI.
The Intel Core Ultra processors are made using the Intel 4 process node, made possible thanks to the EUV lithography process for denser transistor counts. Since Intel’s 12th Gen processors, we have a hybrid processor architecture – a set of P-cores (performance cores) and another set of E-cores (efficiency cores).
Now, they’re taking it a step further. Instead of having just the P- and E-cores, there’s another LP E-cores, which stands for low-power E-cores. With and even lower powered efficiency core, simple tasks can be moved to those LP E-cores and further decrease the power consumption of the processor.
The E-cores are based on Crestmont microarchitecture, while the P-cores are based on the Redwood Cove microarchitecture. Both of them work together to create the best multithreaded performance for its performance-to-watt ratio.
Intel Arc integrated GPU
Yes, it’s finally happening. It’s using the new Xe LPG architecture that is based on the Intel Arc discrete graphics. This new iGPU is integrated in all H-series Intel Core Ultra processors and brings forth all of the amazing features like the AV1 encoding and XeSS supersampling.
Even though all of these numbers are provided by Intel, I am personally optimistic as Intel’s Iris Xe already proved to us that integrated graphics can be used for gaming. The Intel Arc integrated GPU just takes it to a much higher level.
Since XeSS can be used, we can seven lower the render resolution to lower than the native resolution of the screen, and get more or less the same visual fidelity while shortening the frame render time, increasing performance, and also lower the overall power consumption while gaming.
Neural processing unit
Of course, one of the main highlights of the Intel Core Ultra processor is the integrated neural processor that they’re calling the Intel AI Boost. It’s a different type of processor that is made to run AI-related workloads. Both the CPU and GPU can also run AI workloads, but each of them will have their own purposes.
Having an on-board AI processor is definitely beneficial for many different scenarios – like better privacy, faster and more efficient AI processing, and also usable even when we’re disconnected from the internet.
But why do we need an NPU in our laptops? We have another article discussing about this – so click here to know more.
Intel Core Ultra H-series key features
Let’s take a look at the highest-end Intel Core Ultra series of processors and see what it has to offer. What I’m surprised is WiFi 7 support alongside 4x Thunderbolt 4 ports alongside actually HDMI 2.1 FRL (the new HDMI 2.1) support.
The entire Intel Core Ultra family
At launch, we have a total of 8 different processors within the family, ranging from Intel Core Ultra 5 and 7, from both H- and U-series. There will be 3 more processors coming later, one of them being the highest-end Intel Core Ultra 9 185H.
The wattage of each processor is not that straightforward either as the U series is once again split between 15W and 9W since the P-series is not present here. The H series will generally have 28W, except for the highest-end Intel Core Ultra 9 185H with 45W nominal power. All processors will boost to a much higher power when the task require.
Already available right now!
Well, not really. Subject to the availability in your country. You can already get the ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3405) – one of the first laptops to be using the latest Intel Core Ultra processor that is based on the Meteor Lake architecture. This laptop weighs in at only 1.2kg with a 14.9mm profile, while promising exceptionally good battery life since it is Intel Evo certified.
It also uses the integrated Intel Arc graphics – so you can play games using the integrated graphics and experience great visual quality thanks to the 3K resolution 120Hz ASUS Lumina OLED display. Then, do AI-centric processing efficiently and quickly while you’re not gaming.
Honestly, I can’t wait to get my hands on one of the laptops running the latest Intel Core Ultra to test out the performance – especially the Intel Arc integrated GPU. ASUS senpai, notice me please.
Maybe it’s time for me to create my own data set to be used in AI programs – generate my own videos or something. 🤔