Intel’s first chips based on the company’s new Gemini Lake architecture are here. The company is launching three new low-cost, low-power processors aimed at desktops and three aimed at notebooks.
These are the successors to Intel’s Apollo Lake processors, which first hit the streets last year, and the new models are expected to offer a slight performance boost, new graphics and video capabilities, and memory improvements.
Intel is also starting to use a new naming convention to help differentiate some of these chips from higher-performance variants based on Intel Core architecture.
For the last few years Intel has been using the Celeron and Pentium names to describe both chips based on the same low-cost, low-power architecture as its Atom processors, and on its higher-performance (and cost) Core architecture.
Now an Atom-based Pentium is called Pentium Silver, while a Core-based Pentium is called Pentium Gold. That saves you the trouble of looking up a model number if you want to figure out what kind of Pentium chip you’re looking at. Unfortunately there’s still no easy way to tell whether you’re looking at a Gemini Lake Celeron or a Core-based one without looking at the model number.
Anyway, if you’re wondering why you’d want the less powerful Pentium Silver rather than Pentium Gold, here’s a hint: Intel describes them as “the cost-optimized option in the Pentium processor family,” while Pentium Gold chips are higher-cost models based on Intel Kaby Lake (Core) architecture.
All Gemini Lake chips now include support for Gigabit WiFi (802.11ac 2×2 connections with 160 MHz channels), a new Local Adaptive Contrast Enhancement technology to make it easier to view computer screens outdoors, and Intel says you should be able to get up to 10 hours of playback while watching HD video on a device with a Gemini Lake processor an a 35 Wh battery.
Here’s a run-down of the new chips:
- Celeron N4000 – 2.6 GHz dual-core/dual-thread with 650 MHz Intel UHD 600 graphics
- Celeron N4100 – 2.4 GHz quad-core/quad-thread with 700 MHz Intel UHD 600 graphics
- Pentium Silver N5000 – 2.7 GHz quad-core/quad-thread with 750 MHz Intel UHD 605 graphics
- Celeron J4005 – 2.7 GHz dual-core/dual-thread with 700 MHz Intel UHD 600 graphics
- Celeron J4105 – 2.5 GHz quad-core/quad-thread with 750 MHz Intel UHD 600 graphics
- Pentium Silver J5005 – 2.8 GHz quad-core/quad-thread with 800 MHz Intel UHD 605 graphics
Note that all of those CPU and graphics speeds are the top speeds available on those respective processors. All of the chips have 4MB of cache and support for DDR4-2400 and LPDDR4-2400 dual channel memory