Monday, 08 January 2018 21:02

Intel launches 8th-gen Core Processors with AMD Radeon RX Vega M graphics, plus new NUC Featured


Proving that if you can't beat 'em, you join 'em, Intel has done what was once unthinkable: delivered an Intel processor with accompanying AMD graphics technology, after promising this in November 2017.

Competition among CPU and GPU vendors of all types has clearly gone so far to the next level that Intel and AMD have become co-opetitors of sorts, at one level, working together to bring forth what Intel calls a "first-of-its kind processor: the 8th Gen Intel Core processor with Radeon RX Vega M Graphics".

See Intel's detailed 32-page PDF presentation for plenty more info here

Intel claims the new processor is "packed with features and performance crafted for gamers, content creators and fans of virtual and mixed reality", and that "it expands Intel’s portfolio thanks to its optimisation for small form factors like 2 in 1s, thin and light notebooks, and mini PCs".

Among the devices launching with this processor are "new thin and lightweight 2-in-1s from Dell and HP, as well as the most powerful NUC Intel has ever introduced", with more detail on the new NUC below.

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Intel says its new 8th Gen Core processor will come in two configurations:

  • 8th Gen Intel Core processor with Radeon RX Vega M GL Graphics (65W total package power); and
  • 8th Gen Intel Core processor with Radeon RX Vega M GH Graphics (100W total package power), which features an unlocked configuration.

Promising this sets the stage for continued innovation, Intel reminds us that it "first shared initial details about this new addition to the 8th Gen Intel Core processor family in early November (2017)".

Here's the video Intel published at the time to showcase how this works:

As Intel noted in November, this new processor "brings together the Intel quad-core CPU, Radeon RX Vega M graphics and 4GB of dedicated HBM2 using Intel’s Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge (EMIB) technology".

We're also reminded that "EMIB acts as a high-speed intelligent information bridge between the GPU and HBM2 and reduces the usual silicon footprint to less than half that of discrete components implemented separately".

The explanation continues, with Intel noting that "with these space savings, OEMs have more freedom and flexibility to create innovative thin and light devices. For example, many three-year-old systems weigh nearly 7 pounds, last a mere four hours and are more than 32 mm thick".

"With this new processor, enthusiast devices are slimmed to under 17 mm and can run up to eight hours1,5 on a single charge, while still delivering next-level performance. This, combined with the new real-time power sharing framework and software drivers, is a prime example of hardware and software innovations intersecting to create new possibilities."

What this means is "a processor for gamers, content creators and other enthusiasts."

Intel says its new 8th Gen Core processor with Radeon RX Vega M graphics "delivers a top-of-the-line experience to gamers and VR enthusiasts".

"This includes up to three times the frames per second on thinner, lighter and smaller devices compared with similar systems from three years ago and up to 40% compared with current discrete graphics. Now, gamers can play the latest titles like Vermintide 2 in high resolution on the go or in their living room with smooth motion and vivid colours, all as part of a truly immersive gaming experience.

"Content creators can also do more with this new processor, whether it’s creating 3D images from scratch, editing videos seamlessly at home or on the go, or using the most popular creative applications. Compared with a three-year-old PC with discrete graphics, content creation with Adobe Premier Pro is 42% faster. Imagine the combined flexibility and performance enabled with this new processor for content creators in the growing 2 in 1 form factors for PCs.

"With the performance and graphics capability to run everything from Windows Mixed Reality headsets to Oculus, consumers have the options of which reality fits them best – whether they want to watch live sports and movies, explore famous landmarks or play VR games – all on a PC that is sleek, thin and smaller than they expect."

Naturally, Intel says its "8th Gen momentum continues."

In addition to the Intel NUC and new Dell and HP devices, Intel says its new processor "will enable a gaming cloud solution brought on by Artesyn and Gamestream", but that "this is only the start of what’s coming with the 8th Gen Intel Core product portfolio this year".

"Expect to see more from Intel on the high-end performance notebook segment, the Intel Core H-series, Intel Optane memory coming to 8th Gen Intel Core mobile devices for the first time and more details on 8th Gen Intel Core vPro platform for businesses."

Intel also launched its "most powerful Intel NUC: smallest VR-capable system ever"

This new NUC is naturally based on the newly announced processor above.

Formerly code-named Hades Canyon, Intel says its new NUC "brings this powerful new processor and graphics solution into an incredibly tiny 1.2L system. Great for VR enthusiasts and workload-heavy content creators, it will be Intel’s smallest premium VR-capable system in the market".

The new NUC will come in two versions: NUC8i7HVK and NUC8i7HNK

  • The NUC8i7HVK is based on the unlocked version of the new 8th Gen Intel Core processor with the Radeon RX Vega M GH graphics, giving overclockers1 the ability to take the system to higher levels.
  • The NUC8i7HNK uses the 8th Gen Intel Core processor with the Radeon RX Vega M GL graphics.

To support all of this processing and graphics horsepower, Intel proudly boasts both NUCs offer "the ultimate in connectivity, including dual Thunderbolt 3 ports and dual Gigabit Ethernet ports".

"The system can drive six independent monitors simultaneously, and one of the HDMI ports is out the front of the unit, making it easy to plug in a VR headset. These NUCs will be sold as bare-bones kits, targeted to DIYers who are looking for small, sleek and powerful mini PCs. The units will be available starting this spring," which is autumn in the Southern Hemisphere.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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