Intel chips that use the new Gemini Lake architecture will start appearing in budget PCs during the next quarter. Look for them under Intel's Pentium Silver and Celeron lines in laptops, 2-in-1 convertibles, all-in-one PCs and desktops.
Consumers who upgrade will see a significant performance boost, according to Intel, which unveiled the chips on Monday. The Pentium Silver processors are 58 to 68 percent faster than Pentium chips from three to four years ago, it said. The new Gemini Lake chips feature dual or quad cores, though they reportedly represent only a modest 10 to 15 percent performance boost over the previous generation known as Apollo Lake, which began shipping in late 2016.
Both Gemini Lake and Apollo Lake use a 14-nanometer chip manufacturing process, and have base processor clock speeds starting at 1.1GHz.
However, the Gemini Lake chips have higher boost speeds that can reach up to 2.6GHz, or 2.7GHz depending on the processor line. The newer chips also have improved graphics, more cache, and support for an Intel technology designed to make your PC's display viewable outdoors in glare or bright light.
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In addition, Intel said the chips will bring gigabit Wi-Fi connection speeds to budget PCs.
The processors support the 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard for download speeds of up to 1733 Mbps (216 MB/s). But it isn't clear if the technology is baked in or requires the Intel AC 9560 wireless adapter in the PC. Intel did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In terms of battery life, the Pentium Silver chips were able to show local video playback of an HD movie for up to 10 hours on a laptop.