You'll Probably Want to Wait to Buy That Laptop: Intel's Newest Chips a Boon for Content Creators

You'll Probably Want to Wait to Buy That Laptop: Intel's Newest Chips a Boon for Content Creators

Intel revealed more details about its new 8th generation CPUs with AMD’s RX Vega M graphics, and if you’re a VR video producer, avid gamer, or just a lover of fast laptops (like all photographers), you’re going to want to wait for this tech to hit your favorite laptop.

VR and 360 videos especially have been a pain for content creators to work with. Even with the fastest of computers, it’s a slog, and that’s just on the desktop front. On laptops, it’s been even more of a wasteland, especially if you want to travel light. Anything with enough power for road work has generally been a rather thick and fan-laden affair. These new chips, officially called the “8th Gen Intel Core with Radeon RX Vega” series promises to change that, at least if you believe their official presentation on it that illustrates what’s possible.

What really made me sit up, though, was the claims in the presentation that the processor can outpace an NVidia GTX 1060 GPU – one that I bought not that long ago specifically because it flies through 360 video work. This is no small feat:

Tests results from Intel's presentation on the new processors.

Tests results from Intel's presentation on the new processors.

It’s no secret that Apple has left a big, fat 360-degree hole in my heart lately with its comparatively underpowered and overpriced small form factor machines. I know more than a few 360 and VR producers that have jumped ship because of lacking hardware on the Apple side of things. I’m one of them, having switched my desktop to a PC but still clinging to a MacBook Air to indulge my tastes for Apple’s software.

Slapping these new Intel chips into a MacBook Pro or a Mac mini (or heck, why not both?) would go a long way towards bringing high-end users back into the fold. What do you say, Apple?

[via Engadget]

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Ben Perrin's picture

Lol, I wouldn't be trusting Intel anytime soon after their latest fiasco.

David Penner's picture

Exactly. At this point there is no way of really knowing how fast they will be once they actually release a firmware to patch the issue. They are saying a loss of 5-30% performance once they fix the issue. Technically amd has the same issue but with them you arent gonna have any issues unless someone has physical access to your computer. Intels issue is that a hacker can remotely access your system.

David Penner's picture

Not according to a few youtube videos I watched. They said that everyone put out a patch to temporarily fix the issue till Intel creates a better driver solution.

Programmer here, everything you guys need to know about Meltdown and Spectre:
These exploits only allow memory reads, not writes (so there's no chance that someone installs malicious software on your computer but they can still read things like passwords etc.)

Spectre can be split into three kinds of attacks (1, 2 and 3).
Spectre 3 is also known as Meltdown

By completely disabling speculative execution, these exploits would all be fixed. But this fix comes at a very high cost, that's why it hasn't been done.

Meltdown seems to be fixable with a (reasonable) performance loss via software. The highest performance loss from the current patches seems to hit I/O (accessing the hard-drive for example). This is probably bad for photographers and videographers.

Spectre 1&2 are not fixable right now, at least not generally. But there are things you can do: In addition to allowing OS updates, make sure you update your browsers regularly because Spectre can be used with JavaScript. But JavaScript code only gets translated into machine code when it's actually needed and this translation is done by your browser. So, it's a fixable problem and it has been fixed, for example in the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox. After your browser update, you just have to make sure to use your brain while surfing and to not download random shit ;)

Spectre 1 (and 2) are harder to use but affect basically every CPU on the market. This includes mobile devices like smartphones or tablets.

All operating systems are affected.

Intel is affected by all three exploits and Meltdown is the most severe one.
AMD CPUs are affected by Spectre 1, and possibly 2 ("risk near zero")
Nvidia GPUs are only affected by Spectre 1 [Update: this information was wrong. Nvidia GPUs are not affected, just like AMD GPUs]
AMD GPUs are not using speculative execution and are therefore immune

Diego Labrador's picture

I don't see this coming to a 13'' MBP, but sure that'd be lovely.

Wasim Ahmad's picture

I sure wish it would!

Holy gods! Whopping 7%-13% increase in test performance. So, no noticeable increase in real life...

You say... I’ve just upgraded from 5-years-old configuration (4 cores, SSds, good video) to the newest one (8 cores, crazy fast SSDs, same goid video) just to discover that accordind to benchmarks it is crazily capable machine, which in fact runs even slower in LR (as anything above 4 cores is too complicated for LR) and saves multilayer PSDs as slow (down to the same seconds) as my older PC.

PS: surface blur runs faster, at least :)

The comparison is not with a GTX 1060 the author has linked to. It is with a GTX 1060 Max-Q which is a mobile GPU with significantly lower Performance than the GTX 1060.