Intel is here with Lakefield, its newest chip that the company hopes will power a whole new breed of Windows devices. However, companies like Microsoft and Samsung have cause to be concerned here.
The reviews and benchmarks of this new SoC (system-on-chip) from Intel have veered between two extremes — they either praise the hardware or ring the alarm bells. And that’s all got to do with the pattern of performance that this latest Intel creation delivers.
Thing is, expectations from this new platform were quite a bit higher.
Sure, this 5-core chip is no competition for a full-size Core processor, which is why Lakefield struggles even against the Core m3 some tests. And that one is a 2-core, 4-thread chip.
Where this new chip really falters is in the x86 versus ARM wrestle.
Lakefield manages to beat the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx in browser tests and Geekbench single-thread benchmarks, but loses the fight in Geekbench multithread tests. And when you take into account battery life data, it becomes clear that Lakefield has failed to deliver the killer blow.
And this should be telling for hardware makers like Samsung who just launched their new Lakefield machine, and Microsoft who are exploring it.
As argued, this was seen as a new beginning for Intel, a chip that would take on one of its biggest competitors in the mobile space and show how it’s done. There’s a reason why Microsoft was keen on optimizing Windows 10X for the new Lakefield architecture.
Before deciding otherwise.
For buyers though, it all comes down to the tradeoffs. Whether they want an Intel x86 chip that slips ahead of the company’s previous ultra-low-power efforts, or whether they should go with the longer lasting Qualcomm Snapdragon ARM chips when it comes to battery life.
On the other side of the park, Qualcomm has some good things going with its Windows on ARM initiative, but it apparently has nothing to be scared of from this new launch.
It will likely surpass the Lakefield performance with its next-generation CPUs, and the company is already testing a stopgap solution in the form of the 8cx+ that should tide it over until later this year when it gets a true successor out.
That’s when things will really heat up!
And that’s the battlefield where devices powered by versions of Windows like Windows on ARM and Windows 10X will duke it out next year.