Intel's new "Apollo Lake" processors up the ante for affordable laptops

intel apollo lake cpus pentium celeron launched intelhq
Shutterstock
Now that Intel has officially churned out its seventh-generation “Kaby Lake” Core processor lineup to the masses, the company has quietly unleashed its arsenal of budget “Apollo Lake” processors as well. These will target affordable devices like low-end laptops and all-in-one desktops, and currently consists of six chips. Three of which will be used in desktop form factors, and three will go into mobile devices. Pricing ranges from $107 to $161.

The desktop “J” processor family includes the Pentium J4205, the Celeron J3455, and the Celeron J3355. They’re based on Intel’s Goldmont CPU core technology, with base clock speeds ranging from 1.5GHz to 2GHz. Compared to the previous generation of “Braswell” processors, the new lineup has a higher thermal envelope at 10 watts, whereas Braswell consumes only 6.5 watts. The new chips also now support six PCIe 2.0 lanes, up from four lanes with Braswell. However, like Braswell, the Apollo Lake chips support only up to 8GB of system memory.

In addition to those details, Intel’s new Apollo Lake processors now support Windows 10 Modern Standby, which essentially mimics the instant on/instant off model we see with smartphones and tablets. This was first introduced in Windows 8 as Connected Standby for systems with SSDs, but now the Windows 10 version expands to “rotational media” like hard drives and hybrid drives. To help reduce power when idle, Modern Standby will limit network activity without disconnecting the device entirely from the network.

Finally, the desktop chips rely on Intel’s Gen9 graphics technology, up from Gen8 used in the older Braswell chips. The turbo clock frequencies range from 700MHz to 800MHz, and the number of execution units have increased a small amount as well – at least with the higher-end Pentium J4205 part, this is. In a nutshell, these execution units essentially perform the operations and calculations as commanded by an installed program.

Desktop Lineup Pentium J4205 Celeron J3455 Celeron J3355
Cores 4 4 2
Threads 4 4 2
Base Clock 1.5GHz 1.5GHz 2GHz
Turbo Clock 2.6GHz 2.3GHz 2.5GHz
Graphics HD 505 HD 500 HD 500
EUs 18 12 12
Graphics Turbo Clock 800MHz 750MHz 700MHz
Price $161 $107 $107

Next we have the “N” mobile processor lineup, which consists of the Pentium N4200, the Celeron N3450, and the Celeron N3350. Unlike their desktop counterparts, these chips have a thermal envelope of six watts, the same power used by the older Braswell chips. Strangely enough, the base clock speeds are 1.1GHz across the board, while the turbo clock speeds range between 2.2GHz and 2.5GHz. The clock speeds of the internal graphics component ranges from 650MHz to 750MHz.

Other than that, the mobile chips are similar to their desktop siblings — Goldmont processor cores, Gen9 integrated graphics, support for six PCIe 2.0 lanes, support for Microsoft’s Modern Standby mode in Windows 10, and support for up to 8GB of system memory. The pricing is similar too, ranging from $107 to $161.

Mobile Lineup Pentium N4200 Celeron N3450 Celeron N3350
Cores 4 4 2
Threads 4 4 2
Base Clock 1.1GHz 1.1GHz 1.1GHz
Turbo Clock 2.5GHz 2.2GHz 2.4GHz
Graphics HD 505 HD 500 HD 500
EUs 18 12 12
Graphics Turbo Clock 750MHz 700MHz 650MHz
Price $161 $107 $107

As Anandtech points out, we don’t know much about Intel’s Goldmont processor core architecture, only that it’s a “significant” upgrade from the previous Airmont and Silvermont processor cores. However, because the new chips have adopted Intel’s Gen9 GPU architecture, customers should see better support for games relying on DirectX 12 (not that they’ll run well, mind you). Video performance may be improved too thanks to the GPU’s efficient use of the overall processor’s limited memory bandwidth.

Intel says that the Pentium N4200 “Apollo Lake” processor provides more than 30 percent better CPU performance, and more than 45 percent better graphics performance, than the older Pentium N3710 “Braswell” chip. The number from the CPU aspect was generated by SYSmark 2014, whereas the GPU number stems from 3DMark Skydiver.

Expect to see Apollo Lake-based products to roll out in affordable laptops and desktops over the coming months.

Computing

I tried an LTE laptop for a month, and I wasn’t really convinced

LTE laptops offer up plenty of benefits and are becoming more common. After spending one month with one in my daily life in New York City, I really wondered if it is something that consumers really need in their lives.
Computing

Ryzen 3000 CPUs could be the most powerful ever. Here's what we know

AMD's upcoming Ryzen 3000 generation of CPUs could be the most powerful processors we've ever seen, with higher core counts, greater clock speeds, and competitive pricing. Here's what we know so far.
Computing

Intel's 9th-gen chips could power your next rig. Here's what you need to know

The Intel Core i9-9900K processor was the star of the show for consumers, but a powerful 28-core Xeon processor also led announcements. Here's everything you need to know about the latest Intel chipsets.
Computing

Intel’s 2019 NUC may get even more powerful, thanks to 9th-Gen Core i9 processor

Intel may be looking at adding even more performance to its compact desktop range. The company's 2019 line of NUC PCs could be refreshed with the latest 9th-Generation processor, which packs in eight cores and 16 threads.
Computing

Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser may be adding your Chrome extensions

Fans sticking to Google Chrome because due to its vast extension library might be able to switch over to Microsoft's latest iteration of Edge, as a project manager confirms that the company has its eyes on Chrome extensions.
Gaming

Apple Mac users should take a bite out of these awesome games

Contrary to popular belief, there exists a bevy of popular A-list games compatible for Mac computers. Take a look at our picks for the best Mac games available for Apple fans.
Emerging Tech

An A.I. cracks the internet’s squiggly letter bot test in 0.5 seconds

How do you prove that you’re a human when communicating on the internet? The answer used to be by solving a CAPTCHA puzzle. But maybe not for too much longer. Here is the reason why.
Computing

Qualcomm’s dual-screen PC concept looks like two connected Surface Go tablets

In Qualcomm's video teaser, we got a glimpse of the company's vision for how a dual-screen ARM PC should work. The internet reacted to Qualcomm's video, calling the device in question merely a mashup of two Surface Go tablets.
Deals

Check out the best Green Monday deals for those last-minute gifts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but that doesn't mean you've missed your chance of finding a great deal. We're talking about Green Monday, of course, and it falls on December 10.
Computing

Hololens 2 could give the Always Connected PC a new, ‘aggressive’ form

Microsoft is said to be leaning on Qualcomm to power its Hololens 2 headset. Instead of Intel CPUs, the next Hololens could use a Snapdragon 850 processor, allowing it to benefit from the always-connected features.
Computing

Chrome’s dark mode may cast its shadow over Macs by early 2019

By early 2019 Google may release a version of Chrome for Mac users that offers a Dark Mode feature to match MacOS Mojave's recent darkening.
Computing

These laptop bags will keep your notebook secure wherever you go

Choosing the right laptop bag is no easy feat -- after all, no one likes to second-guess themselves. Here are some of the best laptop bags on the market, from backpacks to sleeves, so you can get it right the first time around.
Home Theater

Step aside set-top boxes, the best streaming sticks are tiny and just as powerful

Which streaming stick reigns supreme? We pit the Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra against the Roku Premiere, Roku Streaming Stick+, and the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K to help you decide which one will be the best fit in your living room.
Computing

If you've lost a software key, these handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.