2020 has been a rollercoaster ride for everybody, but the year was particularly worse for Intel. First, Apple announced to do away with Intel and was actually able to produce a powerhouse in the form of a new M1 chip. Then the arch-rival AMD was able to achieve an IPC and gaming performance advantage with the release of the new Zen 3 based Ryzen 5000 series processors.
The new processors for the laptop market are the only hope for Intel, and it seems they are performing well. These 11th-Gen Tiger lake processors are based on Intel’s 10nm architecture and offer a serious upgrade compared to their predecessors. The use of a new node also allows Intel to pack more transistors while maintaining power efficiency.
According to Forbes, the Tiger Lake processors are performing better than Intel’s M1 chips according to initial benchmarks. These processors have only been released on a handful of laptops. Dell has recently refreshed its XPS lineup, and these are the earlier laptops that support the tiger-lake chips. The Core i7-1185G7 present in Dell XPS 13 9310 pulls slightly ahead in terms of single-core performance but lags behind in multicore performance in Cinebench R23. The new Geekbench 5 that supports the M1 chips natively favors the M1 chip during both single-core and multicore performances. At the same time, the difference in single-core performance is only marginal.
In multicore performance, a case can be made for the Intel processor as it is only a quad-core processor, and it is competing against an octa-core processor. However, if we consider prices, the XPS 13 equipped with the Core i7 processor costs significantly more than the MacBook Air. Lastly, it seems Intel is maintaining its ground at the higher-end of the spectrum, but the MacBook Air or even the MacBook Pro offer multicore and price advantages.