The Intel Core m3-8100Y is a low-power processor designed for use in thin and light laptops and tablets, and it’s proven particularly popular since the chip launched in 2018 among Chinese PC makers like GPD and One Netbook, who have used it in a number of mini-laptops.
But Intel began phasing out the processor earlier this year, with the final shipments set to go out to customers in October. While there are a number of other options available for PC makers looking for a low-power chip for use in laptops, tablets, or mini PCs, one new option is particularly interesting… because on paper the new Intel Pentium Gold 6500Y processor looks nearly identical to the Core m3-8100Y.
Both chips are 5-watt processor manufactured using a 14 nm process. Both are positioned under Intel’s “Amber Lake” processor lineup.
Both are also dual-core processors with support for hyperthreading, allowing for up to four threads. Both have base clock speeds of 1.1 GHz and support for boost speeds up to 3.4 GHz, although either chip can be configured with a base frequency as low as 600 MHz or as high as 1.6 GHz.
And both feature Intel UHD 615 graphics with 300 MHz base and 900 MHz max graphics frequencies.
There are at least two differences:
- The Pentium Gold 6500Y may be more energy efficient, as it supports TDP-down configurations as low as 3.5 W or TDP-up as high as 7W, while still apparently offering similar speeds to the m3-8100Y (which supports 4.5W down or 8W up).
- Intel launched the Pentium Gold 6500Y in the first quarter of 2021, making it about two and a half years newer than its predecessor. As such, it’s still available and fully supported.
Intel seems to be moving away from the Core m3 brand altogether, and positioning the current version of this chip as a “Pentium Gold” processor helps differentiate it from higher-performance chips sold under the Core i3 or higher names.
But honestly, the chip appears to be very closely related to another new processor, the Intel Core i3-10100Y, which has similar features but slightly higher CPU and graphics frequencies.
According to information posted recently to the GeekBench website, the next-gen Microsoft Surface Go tablet may be available with a choice of Intel Pentium Gold 6500Y or Core i3-10100Y processor options, which suggests that the top-tier version of the upcoming Microsoft Surface Go 3 may not be all that different from a top-of-the-line Surface Go 2 (which already has a Core m3-8100Y system-on-a-chip), but the entry-level model could be a significant upgrade over starting configuration for the Surface Go 2 (which has a 1.7 GHz Pentium Gold 4425Y processor that does not support Intel Turbo Boost technology).