Intel shines up low-powered PCs for 2018 using its Pentium, Celeron CPUs

Pentium Silver
After rebranding its seventh-generation Pentium processors as “Pentium Gold” in October, Intel is now delivering new post-Atom Pentium Silver and Celeron “Gemini Lake” chips to the PC market. They are based on Intel’s Goldmont Plus processor core architecture designed for maximum power performance using the lowest amount of energy possible, aka Ultra Low Power, extending battery life. These chips will be used in tablets, ultra-slim notebooks, all-in-ones, 2-in-1 devices, and entry-level PCs early in 2018.

That said, you can get an idea of what Intel is doing by adding color to the Pentium branding: Painting chips based on its performance architecture with gold, and using silver for its “cost-optimized” low-power models. Either way, Pentiums (and Celerons) won’t reach into Core-branded performance numbers, but at least now you can get a feel for what the Pentium processors bring to the table.

First, here are the new desktop chips:

Pentium Silver J500S Celeron J4105 Celeron J4005
Process node: 14nm 14nm 14nm
Cores: 4 4 2
Threads: 4 4 2
Base speed: 1.50GHz 1.50GHz 2.00GHz
Maximum speed: 2.80GHz 2.50GHz 2.70GHz
Cache: 4MB 4MB 4MB
Graphics: UHD Graphics 605 UHD Graphics 600 UHD Graphics 600
Min Graphics speed: 250MHz 250MHz 250MHz
Max graphics speed: 800MHz 750MHz 700MHz
Power use: 10 watts 10 watts 10 watts
Memory type support: DDR4 2,400MHz
LPDDR4 2,400MHz
DDR4 2,400MHz
LPDDR4 2,400MHz
DDR4 2,400MHz
LPDDR4 2,400MHz
Max memory support: 8GB (4GB x 2) 8GB (4GB x 2) 8GB (4GB x 2)

Now here are Intel’s three new mobile chips:

Pentium Silver N5000 Celeron N4100 Celeron N4000
Process node: 14nm 14nm 14nm
Cores: 4 4 2
Threads: 4 4 2
Base speed: 1.10GHz 1.10GHz 1.10GHz
Maximum speed: 2.70GHz 2.40GHz 2.60GHz
Cache: 4MB 4MB 4MB
Graphics: UHD Graphics 605 UHD Graphics 600 UHD Graphics 600
Min Graphics speed: 200MHz 200MHz 200MHz
Max graphics speed: 750MHz 700MHz 650MHz
Power use: 6 watts 6 watts 6 watts
Memory type support: DDR4 2,400MHz
LPDDR4 2,400MHz
DDR4 2,400MHz
LPDDR4 2,400MHz
DDR4 2,400MHz
LPDDR4 2,400MHz
Max memory support: 8GB (4GB x 2) 8GB (4GB x 2) 8GB (4GB x 2)

Intel indicates that systems built with all six processors will ship with an Intel Wireless AC component supporting 160MHz channels, which results in theoretical wireless speeds of up to 1,733Mbps. That will be accomplished through the “industry standard” two incoming and two outgoing streams, although, in the real world, you will likely not hit that wireless gigabit ceiling, nor will the connection surpass wired gigabit-capable networking. Regardless, the chips will supposedly bring Intel’s Wireless AC networking to low-power devices, and that is what counts.

The six new chips will also bring Local Adaptive Contrast Enhancement technology to the “value” space. This feature will adjust the screen’s contrast and brightness so you can better view your favorite content outdoors, even on a brightly lit sunny day. They ship with hardware-based security features too including Secure Key for better encryption, and Intel Software Guard Extensions.

Intel didn’t say when the six new processors will be sold as stand-alone chips, but devices manufactured by original equipment manufactuers will appear in the first quarter of 2018. We may even get a glimpse of these devices at the CES 2018 technology show in early January.

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