Buying a new PC? Intel’s 7th generation Core processors are here

‘Process improvements’ might sound dull, but who’s complaining as long as Photoshop and your fav games work faster?

Moore’s law might have broken down so thoroughly you could be excused for thinking it’s something to do with Gurgaon traffic in rush hour. Even the ‘Tick-Tock’ model of CPU refreshes is now history. Nope, it’s now the season of fine-tuning and polishing. But we aren’t complaining…

In the market for a new laptop? Hang on and don’t pull the trigger yet. There’s a new processor in town and it might make sense to wait for PC makers to get their hands on this. Yup, it’s that time of year again and Intel’s refreshing its CPU lineup - we’re now into the 7th generation Core series, and it looks enticing enough.

Finely tuned silicon

There aren’t any breakthrough architectural changes, but don’t let that wipe the smile off your face. Intel’s decided to instead optimise what it already had, and the results seem interesting.

The 7th gen Core series, nicknamed Kaby Lake, might still be based primarily on the Skylake architecture, but Intel says it has made enough improvements to please even the most jaded, Mountain Dew-swilling gamer.

Video killed every other star

What makes Kaby Lake better than Skylake? Performance. That’s what. And video processing power. Intel claims PCs based on new Kaby Lake CPUs will deliver “more than 70% faster mobile productivity” and “3.5x better 3D graphics performance” than a 5-year-old PC.

And since 4K is the hottest thing around, Kaby Lake processors will have support for HEVC 10-bit video in 4K, playback of 360-degree 4K content, and up to “3x longer battery life during local 4K video playback”. What does this mean in real life? Easy streaming and editing of 4K, and yes, better, more realistic VR!

Other cool stuff includes support for 3rd gen PCIe interfaces, enabling the use of faster SSDs, wider support for Thunderbolt 3 and support for a new sensor API which will let app makers make more use of your device’s sensors.

Santa’s coming

Devices based around Intel’s shiniest, newest processor should start shipping around end-September. In fact, we’ve already seen a couple of new launches at IFA - Acer’s nutty Predator 21X gaming laptop (ignore the very loose definition of ‘laptop’) and Lenovo’s Yoga 910. So hang in there, and somehow coax your old laptop into lasting a few months more and you should have a lot more devices to choose from.