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Rivals Intel and AMD Got Together and Made Something Beautiful for Gamers...Radeon RX Vega M

Question asked by kingfish on Apr 1, 2018
Latest reply on Apr 3, 2018 by Hardwood

"After Intel’s very bad last few months and AMD’s very good last few months, it seemed awfully confusing that the two rival CPU makers would team up for a new chip. Sure, it was all good for AMD—which is riding high on the success of its new Ryzen CPUs and Vega GPUs—but Intel has spent the last few months in the hot seat courtesy of the Meltdown and Spectre security fiasco. Every CPU the company makes, including the one reviewed here, is vulnerable without patch. Fortunately, the new Intel 8th-gen CPU with integrated AMD Vega graphics is so fast you can almost forgive the fact it had to be patched to be secure."


"I’ll be honest when I say I was surprised at the speed of this new CPU with integrated graphics. Intel has been providing its own graphics on the CPU for eight years now, meaning it has built-in processing so you don’t need a separate graphics card. The integrated graphics Intel provides has previously been extremely adequate, but not necessarily good. While reasonable for a round of Gwent or Hearthstone, Intel’s integrated graphics have struggled to handle more complex rendering demands like Rise of the Tomb Raider. Heck, they’ve even choked on less demanding games like Overwatch and Civilization VI. But the new 8th Generation Intel Core mobile processor with Radeon RX Vega M is a whole other story."


"That official name is a mouthful though. So let’s call it by its other name: The i7-8809G. The i7-8809G is one of the two new Intel processors with AMD graphics built right in. This G-series is available only with AMD graphics, so don’t go hunting for a less potent version. Both processors are 8th-gen and based on the Kaby Lake R microarchitecture. Both processors are intended for mobile devices, so you can’t just buy one and slap it in your desktop.

The slightly less awesome one is the i7-8705G. It’s less awesome primarily because it cannot be overclocked. You’re stuck with the speed you get out of the box. The i7-8809G can be overclocked. Many people avoid overclocking because it can, if you’re not careful, harm the computer’s hardware. If you are careful, or like to tinker, it also allows for much improved speeds at the cost of power and thermal efficiency. In the i7-8809G’s case the only barrier between you and crazy speeds is the temperature of the CPU itself." ( Intel® Core™ i7-8809G Processor )


"This particular CPU, because it’s intended for mobile devices, will only overclock so much in a laptop—unless you’re operating it in a freezer or directly under a few dozen fans. The i7-8809G also uses a lot more power, 100 watts versus the i7-8705G’s 65W. So they’ll be crammed into different kinds of laptops. Don’t expect to find either in something super fast and light, but the i7-8705G will at least be found in laptops as light as the 4.7-pound Dell XPS 15 2-in-1, while the i7-8809 high power demands means it will be found in something a little thicker—think hefty gaming laptops.

But both are also available in Intel NUC form, which is Intel’s lineup of tiny desktops with mobile CPUs crammed in that are intended for tinkers. Previously NUCs have been a decent deal, you have to provide your own storage and memory, but you could get one for under $500 and have a great little machine to play ROMs and watch media on your TV, or run your server, or just use as a very cute little desktop PC. But with much improved graphics comes a much higher price. The i7-8705G version is priced at $800, while the i7-8809G version tested here, the NUC8i7HVK, is priced at $1,000."


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