Published in AI

Intel’s Core M benefits from Apple hype

by on17 March 2015

Although Lenovo and other PC players had it first

One of the advantages of being named as going under the bonnet of something Applish, is you have your product hyped by the Tame Apple Press, which would otherwise ignore you. 

Chipzilla has not had a good time of it in the mobile arena, something it is continually reminded of every time someone mentions smartphones. However on the laptop front, its Core M range is looking very interesting.

Enter Apple

So interesting that Apple has signed it up for its Retina MacBook the company unveiled during its Spring Forward event last week, and it will be released on April 10th.

This caused a problem for the Tame Apple Press which has been spending its time running down Intel mobile processors. However now it seems that the Core M benchmarks show that basically the chip can give anything Apple fanboys threw at it a good kicking.

Oddly, it is one of Apple’s rivals which is showing how good the chip really is. We played with the ultra-slim Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro at an Intel event and it is damn impressive. It can deliver the sort of performance you got from older PC-grade CPUs for next to nothing power draw in a super thin case.

What worries some is that the Intel Core M is that it won’t be able to offer the same sustained performance as other laptops when it comes to activities that require continuous power. In short - it is a little slow for really demanding productivity applications.

However looking at the Yoga for some sustained workloads, yes, the 4.5 watt TDP limited how much performance you are going to get from the CPU. However how often on a laptop is this a problem?

Keeping up with 15W Haswell

In short bursts the new 5Y71 outperformed the Haswell Core i5-4200U from last year’s Yoga 2 Pro.

Our sources tell us that Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro benchmarks were close to last year’s early-2014 13-inch MacBook Air. If Apple does something to improve its OSX to handle a more energy efficient processor it should be a bit better.

The main specs of Lenovo’s slim laptop, including RAM, GPU and storage, also seem to be on par with what the MacBook has to offer: 8GB of DDR3 RAM, Intel HD 5300 graphics card and 256GB/512GB SSD.

Of course it might be just better and cheaper for Apple fanboys to save their cash and buy the Yoga 3 in the first place, but it does mean that Intel is going to suddenly have the Tame Apple Press on its corner cheering for the Core M chip.

Oh, and another thing – while many Core M products are rather expensive, some offer rather good value. The Yoga 3 11.6-incher starts at €599 with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. Asus Zenbook models start at about €770, but they feature 8GB of RAM and a bigger, 13-inch panel.

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