Intel Ice Lake has landed, and it's smarter, faster and more efficient than ever

Intel Ice Lake
Intel Ice Lake is here (Image credit: Future)

Back at Computex 2019, Intel gave us our first real look at Ice Lake. A platform designed for the next generation of mobile computing, it would use AI to boost productivity. And, finally Intel has detailed exactly what to expect from Ice Lake

Now, these processors are mobile chips, so you won't be able to buy them and slot them into your desktop – Ice Lake isn't Intel's answer to AMD Ryzen 3000, that will likely come with Comet Lake. Instead, these processors serve as the first step in Intel's future-looking Project Athena

Now, these 10th-generation mobile processors will come in U- and Y-series flavors, which for the uninitiated are for Ultrabooks and fanless laptops, respectively, and will, of course, feature the latest connectivity options. That means Wi-Fi 6 (formerly known as 802.11ax) and Thunderbolt 3 will be supported natively – the latter with up to four USB-C ports.

What may be more important, however, is the inclusion of Intel Gen11 graphics. These still won't likely make for the best gaming laptops by themselves, but should feature more than enough power to get through a round of Fortnite on your lunch break – something we definitely aim to test when laptops bearing Ice Lake processors make it to market. 

Ice Lake processors are also smart, which might be the most interesting thing here. These processors will leverage the power of artificial intelligence to boost performance when you need it, or slow things down when idling in order to reserve battery power. These processors will use Deep Learning to adapt to your workloads to make sure they're delivering the most performance and the most efficiency when needed. 

All the processors

There are plenty of new processors that will be heading to a laptop near you over the next few months. There are a ton of high-performance U-series chips that will be featured in upcoming Ultrabooks, alongside some Y-Series chips that will be behind the thinnest and lightest products. 

We went ahead and listed all of the new processors down below, along with the specs you can expect from each of them. One thing to note is that many of these processors come with Intel Iris Plus graphics, which was previously reserved for more premium SKUs. 

One thing we have to note is that Intel is measuring its graphics cores as "EUs", or Execution Cores. In the Intel Core i7-1068G7 – the most powerful Ice Lake processor  – you'll be getting 64 Execution Units. These are functionally similar to Nvidia's CUDA cores, or AMD's Stream Processors, in that the more you have the faster the GPU will be able to handle complex graphics workloads.

Obviously, graphics cards have thousands of these streaming processors these days, but those also cost a significant amount of cash, and you can't exactly slot one into an Ultrabook

We don't have a full list of laptops packing Ice Lake processors yet, but we're sure we can expect some impressive graphics performance out of this generation – at least compared to other integrated graphics solutions. Perhaps we can expect Intel's Xe graphics cards to follow in Gen11's footsteps. 

Ice Lake U-Series processors: 

  • Intel Core i7-1068G7 – 4-cores, 8-threads | Intel Iris Plus | 64 EUs| 4.1GHz boost
  • Intel Core i7-1065G7 – 4-cores, 8-threads | Intel Iris Plus | 64 EUs|3.9GHz boost
  • Intel Core i5-1035G7 – 4-cores, 8-threads | Intel Iris Plus | 64 EUs|3.7GHz boost
  • Intel Core i5-1035G4 – 4-cores, 8-threads | Intel Iris Plus | 48 EUs|3.7GHz boost
  • Intel Core i5-1035G1 – 4-cores, 8-threads | Intel UHD | 32 EUs | 3.6GHz boost
  • Intel Core i3-1005G1 – 2-cores, 4-threads | Intel UHD | 32EUs | 3.4GHz boost

Ice Lake Y-Series processors: 

  • Intel Core i7-1060G7 – 4-cores, 8-threads |Intel Iris Plus |64 EUs | 3.8GHz boost
  • Intel Core i5-1030G7 – 4-cores, 8-threads |Intel Iris Plus |64 EUs | 3.5GHz boost
  • Intel Core i5-1030G4 – 4-cores, 8-threads |Intel Iris Plus |48 EUs | 3.5GHz boost
  • Intel Core i3-1000G4 – 2-cores, 4-threads |Intel Iris Plus | 48 EUs | 3.2GHz boost
  • Intel Core i3-1000G1 – 2-cores, 4-threads | Intel UHD | 32 EUs | 3.2GHz boost

You'll notice in the above spec lists that this is the first time Intel's Y Series of fanless processors has gone quad-core. Sure, it's on i5 processors and above, but don't you wish the 2019 MacBook Air came out just a little later now?

Bill Thomas

Bill Thomas (Twitter) is TechRadar's computing editor. They are fat, queer and extremely online. Computers are the devil, but they just happen to be a satanist. If you need to know anything about computing components, PC gaming or the best laptop on the market, don't be afraid to drop them a line on Twitter or through email.