Intel releases Apollo Lake processors, will redefine budget PCs segment?

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After recently launching Kaby Lake and making it go public, Intel has now launched its other series of chipsets – the Apollo Lake.

Remember how there used to be the Intel Atom processors alongside the more power-heavy and capable i3, i5 and i7 processors? This is the new generation of the Atom. And while they are the younger siblings, their more prominent and famous siblings, even they get an update this year that has been translated into the Apollo series.

The Apollo chipsets will contain a 14nm process technology, with generation 9 graphics integrated. This means better performance in graphics and in processing as well. The Apollo will run on 6 SKUs – 3 desktops and 3 mobiles, all under the Pentium and Celeron banner.

On the desktop front, there is a large improvement in the GPU and the CPU performances, but as far as energy efficiency is concerned, Intel hasn’t shed any light on that yet. The GPU EU count has been raised from 16 EUs in the last generation to 18 EUs in the current generation; PCIe lanes have also increased from four to six lanes.

On the mobile front, very little to actually compare with. The CPUs have been clocked lower, compared to their previous iteration, mostly because Intel wanted to stick to the 6W consumption range and this had to compromise the base clock in order to meet that margin. Hopefully, the new system architecture should make up for that. Intel wanted the CPUs to match the 6W consumption and thus had to compromise the base clock in order to meet that margin. Hopefully, the new system architecture should make up for that in performance.

Intel has focused more on improving the GPU capabilities on its newer Apollo chipsets, with the Gen9 chipsets featuring Graphics capabilities straight out of Skylake. Not only with graphics, but with media too, because encoding and decoding has quite significantly increased up to Skylake’s standards. To put it plainly, according to Intel, the new Apollo range should have 30% increase in CPU performance and 45% in GPU performance compared to previous generations.

Having said that, the Apollo series won’t be wowing consumers with its numbers and performance, since it’s meant for the budget-minded crowd, mostly those who use netbooks and smaller PCs that don’t need to take up too much load. Since the launch has just happened, there won’t be any devices sporting these new chipsets just yet. Consumers would need to wait a week for other manufacturers to start using them in their systems.

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