Yesterday Intel announced their Gemini Lake-based Pentium Silver and Celeron-branded CPUs with integrated graphics. Intel claims these are “are engineered for a great balance of performance and connectivity for the things people do every day”. In other words computers that aren’t as fancy as ultrabooks and devices such as network attached storage (NAS).
For both desktop and mobile, the Pentium Silver is 4Core/4Thread while the Celeron comes in 4Core/4Thread and 2Core/2Thread variants. The desktop versions reach up to 2.8GHz (“Burst Frequency”) while the mobile versions can hit 2.7GHz. All CPUs offer dual-channel, DDR4-2400 plus LPDDR4-2400 memory support, and feature Intel UHD 600-series graphics. As you might suspect “UHD” means they support 4K output at 60hz.
Unsurprisingly Optane support, Speed Shift, Turbo Boost, vPro, and Hyper-Threading are absent from these chips. However virtualization (VT-x and VT-d) is present, along with SpeedStep, AES and Execute Disable Bit.
The latest Pentium Silver and Celeron chips are part of the Gemini Lake platform, which uses the Goldmont Plus architecture. Goldmont Plus succeded Goldmont, which came after Airmont. In case you’re wondering, the desktop TDP for this sort of platform appears to be in the 10W range, while the mobile TDP is in the 5W-10W range (or perhaps less).
One new feature according to Intel is a PC platform first – Gigabit WiFi that uses 2×2 801.11AC with 160MHz channels. Intel promises “extremely fast networking performance that delivers download speeds up to two times faster compared with systems using 802.11AC, 12 times faster compared with systems using 802.11 BGN, and even faster than a wired Gigabit Ethernet connection” (emphasis mine).
For what it’s worth, these are not the first quad-core Intel CPUs branded as Pentium or Celeron. As per Intel’s confusing nomenclature (at least to me), anything not branded as “Core” seems to be a free-for-all. That said, Intel’s latest Core i9 and Core X branding is also quite a spaghetti of names and SKUs.
Finally, don’t forget that all Kaby-Lake Pentiums which use a different microarchitecture (Core µarch) are now branded as “Pentium Gold”.
Image credits: Intel