The only comparison given in the image is against the Intel Core i3-6006U, also a 15W chip built on 14nm at a flat clock of 2GHz, no Turbo, and 3MB of L3 cache instead of the 4MB on the 8th Generation Core. These gains deliver a 1.26x overall CPU performance improvement in an affordable system (the Lenovo IdeaPad 330 is priced at 420 Euros), with an AMD RX 540 GPU with its own 2GB of RAM (the IdeaPad includes 4GB of DDR4).
As low-cost systems go, this isn’t necessarily bad, but the chip specs are low compared with the usual suspects in this price range, and the CPU has no integrated graphics. That’s unusual for Intel, which has fielded integrated GPUs in all its chips almost without fail for the past few years. The general conclusion would be that yields on its 10nm chips may be too low to allow it to enable the capability, or that it’s simply doing some die recovery and tossing some parts out the door to regain some revenue on an otherwise currently underperforming product line.
As of this writing, it’s not clear if the Core i3-8121 is an unusual one-off or a sign that a few more SKUs might pop up here and there before the product line launches in wider volume. We’re in uncharted waters at this point. This is the first time we’ve seen Intel delayed so badly on a major product line, and the ramifications for overall development aren’t known. The Core i3-8121 isn’t a particularly impressive specimen, but given that we already know Intel’s 10nm development is troubled, it’s not fair to treat the CPU as a final verdict on Intel’s 10nm, either.
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