Some of the laptops shipping with 10th-gen Intel “Ice Lake” processors feature Iris Plus graphics, while lower-priced models have less impressive Intel UHD graphics instead. But one thing they all had in common until recently was that they were 15 watt processors.

When Intel unveiled its Ice Lake chips last year, the company promised to deliver Y-series processors with 9 watt TDPs, as well as at least one chip (the Core i7-1068G7) that would be a higher-performance 28 watt processor.

That higher-performance chip has yet to see the light of day — and it’s even disappeared from Intel’s website.

But two previously unannounced chips did show up recently. They’re both 28 watt Ice Lake processors with Iris Plus graphics… and it looks like they’re exclusively available in the new Apple MacBook Pro 13 inch laptop, which was announced earlier this month.

Here’s an overview of the new chips and how they compare with their closest 15-watt cousins:

ModelCore i5-1035G7 (15W)Core i5-1038NG7 (28W)Core i7-1065G7 (15W)Core i7-1068NG7 (28W)
Base frequency1.2 GHz2 Ghz1.3 GHz2.3 GHz
Boost frequency3.7 GHz3.8 GHz3.9 GHz4.1 GHz
Base graphics freq300 MHz300 MHz300 MHz300 MHz
Max graphics freq1.05 GHz1.05 GHz1.1 GHz1.1 GHz

In other words, the biggest differences are higher power consumption and higher base and boost speeds — but since these chips appear to be made exclusively for Apple, they also don’t support some features available for other Ice Lake processors.

There’s no support or configuring the TDP up or down, for example. And there’s officially no support for Intel Optane memory, since that’s not an option Apple offers for its MacBook Pro 13.

This isn’t the first time Intel and Apple have partnered on a set of exclusive chips, by the way. The 2020 MacBook Air also features a set of exclusive “NG” series Ice Lake-Y processors, making the notebook the only laptop I’m aware of to feature Intel’s lower-power Ice Lake processors.

It’s unclear if or when we’ll see 28 watt Ice Lake-U series chips for non-Apple laptops (or lower-power 9W Y-series chips, for that matter). At this point I wouldn’t be surprised if PC makers decided to wait for Intel’s next-gen Tiger Lake processors which are expected to launch later this year, bringing up to a 50-percent boost in graphics performance, among other things.

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3 replies on “Apple’s 2020 MacBook Pro 13 is the first laptop with 28W Intel Ice Lake chips”

    1. Those rumours/leaks were for the 2021 models. Most referenced the A14 chipset which hasn’t even been released (iPhone 12).

      I think it’s more likely they’ll pull an “iPhone SE” where they’ll combine an old design with new chipset. I’m thinking it’ll be the old Late-2015 “MacBook” 12in, but instead of a Core-M it’ll be the A14Z SoC. And probably unveiled in Q4 2020.

      Unless of course, corona…

  1. Interestingly both new 13-inch MacBook Pro Apple offers, the one with the 8th generation, 15W CPU and the one with the 10th generation, 28W CPU offers the same

    “Up to 10 hours wireless web
    Up to 10 hours Apple TV app movie playback
    Up to 30 days of standby time”

    battery life, even though the model with the 10th generation, 28W CPU comes with a slightly smaller, 58.0‑watt‑hour battery (while the model with the 8th generation, 15W CPU comes with a 58.2‑watt‑hour battery). But does that mean anything?

    Something else. @Brad, a significant Acer Chromebook was introduced last week I think worthy of the interest of your site’s visitors. I had to got to Chrome Unboxed to be informed about it. So my plan to get all the gadget news of my interest from a single source (maybe your site?) is still away. 😉

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