It's that time of year when Intel, the largest maker of laptop and desktop processors in the world, announces the guts of your future PC. These CPUs are always a little faster and a little more battery efficient. This year Intel is launching it's latest processor on the same day as the first major solar eclipse in North America in four decades. Coffee Lake, besides being the place I dream of waking up in each morning, is the 8th generation Core processor from Intel. It's fast, efficient, and it's going to be coming to a lot of very thin laptops later this year.
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Apple's big developer conference, WWDC, is usually not the place for hardware updates, but as Tim Cook said at the beginning of WWDC 2017, "This is the biggest WWDC ever." To that end, Apple announced upgrades to nearly every single product in its computer line up, and thoroughly screwed over every single person who bought a MacBook Pro back in November.
Sometimes it feels like computers have reached peak speed. Often times, when trolling YouTube or playing a quick round of Overwatch the limitations on performance seem tied to something else. Your internet is too slow, or you need a new graphics card. Computer processors have gotten faster -- every year Intel unveils a microarchitecture with breathless claims of mighty performance improvements, but CPUs haven't had a real leap forward in a while. AMD's new Ryzen processors comes perilously close to changing the game.
It's CES, and every laptop manufacturer is taking the opportunity to refresh its product lines with Intel's latest seventh-gen Kaby Lake CPUs and Nvidia's Pascal GPUs -- both of them much more efficient than their predecessors. That combo means gaming laptops that can actually game away from a power point, and Gigabyte's new machines are no different.
This evening, Netflix is airing a four part Gilmore Girls special. I have no shame in admitting that, at some point, I'll be supremely keen on watching it.
And with good reason: it's a good show. But if you were hoping to watch it in 4K -- since Netflix does that sort of thing now -- Microsoft has some crappy news for you.
Kaby Lake, Intel's latest processor family, wasn't supposed to exist. Earlier this year Intel announced the end of its well-known tick-tock release schedule, whereby it trots out a new processor every September. The tick is the shrinking and improvements of the current microarchitecture, while the tock is a whole new architecture. Instead last year's "tock", Skylake, was going to hang around a while, with no new "tick" in sight.
Buying a laptop with Intel on the inside often boils down to two choices. Do you go with the potent Core i processor like the i5 or i7, or do you save some money (and battery life) and grab the super low powered Core M processor usually reserved for tiny tablets? Core i and Core M, despite both coming from Intel, are very different families of processors and provide very different services to a computer user. So it's kind of bullshit that Intel, with the release of Kaby Lake, has quietly changed the name of two Core M processors (the m5 and m7) and is now calling them i5 and i7 processors.