Intel is making a small update to its low-power Atom chip lineup. The new Intel Atom x5-Z8350, Atom x5-Z8550, and x7-Z8750 will replace the current Cherry Trail lineup soon.

So what’s new? Not a whole lot… but the new chips should be a little faster and a little more reliable.

intel atom cherry trail

The updated processors have the same base clock speeds, but support higher CPU burst frequencies. They also fix some problems with alpha blending and ATSC graphics.

Intel will be phasing out its current Cherry trail chips to make room for the new models, but here’s an overview of the existing chips and the new ones that will replace them:

  • x5-Z8300: 1.44 GHz chip with 1.84 GHz burst and Intel HD 400 graphics
  • x5-Z8350: 1.44 GHz chip with 1.92 GHz burst and Intel HD 400 graphics
  • x5-Z8500: 1.44 GHz chip with 2.24 GHz burst and Intel HD 400 graphics
  • x5-Z8550: 1.44 GHz chip with 2.4 GHz burst and Intel HD 400 graphics
  • x7-Z8700: 1.6 GHz chip with 2.4 GHz burst and Intel HD 405 graphics
  • x7-Z8750: 1.6 GHz chip with 2.56 GHz burst and Intel HD 405 graphics

All of processors are quad-core chips.

Update: Intel is also updating three of its Braswell chips. In January the Celeron N3050, N3150, and Pentium N3700 will be replaced with new models with higher burst speeds and named graphics.

There aren’t a lot of details about the new chips yet, but here’s what we do know so far:

  • Celeron J3060: 6 watt dual-core chip with Intel HD 400 graphics
  • Celeron J3160: 6 watt quad-core chip with Intel HD 400 graphics
  • Pentium J3710: 6.5 watt quad-core chip with Intel HD 405 graphics


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23 replies on “Intel’s new Cherry Trail and Braswell chips are (a little) faster”

  1. My question is, where the hell are the laptops with these? Really wanting an updated Asus X205 with these chipsets and better keyboard that’s in their Chromebooks.

  2. Oh god!!! so you should not buy a celeron/pentium nuc , last time I bought a n2810 celeron nuc , now a pentium n3700 nuc, both were replaced within months due to bugs, Intel is beta testing processors in nuc(specially celeron ones).next time I will never buy on initial launch, but will wait

  3. I wonder if this fixes the overheating issue that seems to be across all x5 devices.

    1. My impression of this was just that OEMs are not implementing proper cooling solutions.

      1. Could be, but if Asus couldn’t get it figured out for the new t100 I suspect there is a deeper problem. Especially as the 14 nm process should mean less power draw, I suspect the GPU portion is just too big for the rest of the design.

        1. Less power draw is relative, as smaller FAB also means concentrating more into a smaller space and that means while total power usage may be down that the surface area to dissipate the heat generated is also down and with only passive cooling that can make it harder to dissipate the heat efficiently…

          So that can compound a increase, like from the more powerful GPU…

          But the main issue seems to be just the OEMs re-using the same cooling methods they used for Bay Trails for the new Cherry Trails… as the guy over at Tablet Tech showed, just adding a simple copper heat sink can improve cooling by up to 20 degrees and wouldn’t be costly for OEMs to implement.

          Though, increased clocks do indicate they’re improving the thermal limits of the SoC. So either generate less heat or simply can handle higher temps before needing to be throttled.

          This usually happens as they improve a given FAB, same thing happened with Bay Trail and resulted in max clock speeds being increased from 2.4GHz to near 2.7GHz between the first and second wave of released SoC models…

          Though, this Cherry Trail update is less significant and means the older Bay Trail’s may still retain a max CPU performance advantage while the Cherry Trails shrink the gap but still rely on much better GPU performance…

          A improvement in thermal management, however, should significantly improve performance compared to the models that now experience fairly severe throttling issues…

          1. You are exactly right when you say that OEMs are using their old Bay Trail cooling solutions on Cherry Trail products.

          2. The follow up video noted that the x98 pro continued to throttle even with the mod. Even with better cooling, Cherry Trail still pulls an 810 and throttles all over the place.

            Cherry Trail is a hot mess. The HP Pro Tablet 608 throttles as well. When Asus and HP start to struggle, there is a problem.

            We’ll see what the x98 pro plus does. The downside there is the additional cost and weight of purchasing the third party cooling solution Teclast is buying for each tablet.

          3. The cooling mod did cool significantly enough that it took prolonged heavy usage before it throttled and showed significantly better benchmarks but that mod was very basic… Just adding a copper plate just helps increase conductance but not necessarily significantly improve dissipation, which requires increasing surface area.

            Despite the heat issues, the even more powerful x7-8700 in the MS Surface 3 shows it can still be handled… The OEMs just can’t treat it the same as a Bay Trail…

            But anyway, we’ll see how these improved batch of SoCs handle thermals once there are models out we can test…

          4. Agreed. It can be done, but the price and weight are nasty tradeoffs.

          5. Price maybe, but weight… If they can put a liquid cooler into a phone (MS Lumia 950) then they can definitely fit it in a tablet…

          1. Chris does a good job of reviewing these things but the fact that they are putting out this much heat is because they turbo too long too hard and use too much power doing it. As a result the battery life of these models is significantly less than their baytrail counterparts. The heatsink mod alleviates a symptom it doesn’t cure the cause.

          2. No, Cherry Trail does not have a issue with Turbo too long… Bay Trail can Turbo nearly continuously unless it also has bad cooling design and they push higher CPU clocks for Bay Trail of up to 2.7GHz… Even these new Cherry Trail’s don’t push that high yet…

            Cherry Trail just generates more heat and that’s likely due to both the new FAB (there are reasons why they had to delay release for a year), factors like higher transistor concentration causing more heat generation per given area and less efficiency for dissipation via the normal passive systems, and the increased size and performance of the iGPU…

            While keeping Cherry Trail cool enough is still much easier than doing the same with a Core M… OEMs just actually account for Core M but have yet to do so for Cherry Trail…

    1. All cherrytrail socs have 2 lanes of sata3, they just aren’t used in some end products. Broxton has the significant cpu core upgrade which brings the performance up to arm a72 level.

        1. I put the 2 lanes of sata3 on cherry trail myself. The pads are on the SOC, they are just not bonded out from the package. At least I know what I am talking about.

          1. Uhuh, so you’re saying you wasted space for a product that will never ever offer SATA… And Intel apparently developed Braswell for no reason if Cherry Trail could cover both ranges like Bay Trail did with just features that can be enabled or disabled….

            Yeah, that sure sounds like you know what you’re talking about…

          2. I’m saying the project planners fixed the floor plan and decided for all versions to have the same high speed IO. There’s only two silicon versions for all the cherrytrail/braswell products (the gpu versions). There is unique packages for each product version, and it looks like they don’t bond-out all the ic pads to the package. The NRE is very high for each new Floorplan.

          3. Assuming what you’re stating is true, also assuming Intel didn’t just use a common template to then create two separate templates for Cherry Trail and Braswell, it doesn’t change that a space/feature is sealed off then it doesn’t exist for end users, period! There is no SATA that end users can take advantage of for Cherry Trail SoCs, only Braswell allows it to be enabled…

            Really, you make it sound like anyone can just modify a SoC to enable and disable features… If that was true then OEMs wouldn’t be using USB 3.0 to connect external SATA drives inside of docks and besides, it just makes it confusing that Intel bothered to give Braswell a different name if it’s just a modified Cherry Trail when they never did that for Bay Trail other than the T/M/D designations…

            While eMMC support is still limited to 4.51 specification regardless and we won’t see 5.0 support until Broxton. So we can never see SATA 3 performance in Cherry Trail, regardless… Intel would have to produce a completely different SoC model and that’s unlikely when they got Braswell models already available and tablets in general don’t use SATA drives, especially when pushing mobile range designs…

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