The Intel Core i7-1255U: A High-End Mobile CPU for Thin and Light Laptops

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The Intel Core i7-1255U is a high-end mobile CPU designed for thin and light laptops. It was announced in early 2022 and is based on the Alder Lake architecture, which combines two performance cores (P-cores) with eight efficient cores (E-cores). The P-cores are based on the Golden Cove architecture and support Hyper-Threading, allowing for a total of 12 supported threads when combined with the E-cores. The E-cores are based on the Gracemont architecture and offer performance similar to old Skylake cores.

The clock rate of the Core i7-1255U ranges from 1.7 to 4.7 GHz on the performance cluster and 1.2 to 3.5 GHz on the efficient cluster. All cores can use up to 12 MB of L3 cache. In terms of power consumption, the Core i7-1255U has a minimum assured power consumption of 12 W and a base power consumption of 15 W. Its maximum Intel-recommended Turbo power consumption is 55 W. The CPU is built with Intel's third-generation 10 nm process, known as Intel 7, which offers decent energy efficiency.

One key feature of the Alder Lake architecture is its ability to support various memory types, including DDR5-4800, DDR4-3200, LPDDR5-5200, and LPDDR4x-4267. The Thread Director, a hardware feature, helps the operating system to decide which thread to use on the performance or efficient cores for the best performance. For AI tasks, the CPU also integrates GNA 3.0 and DL Boost (via AVX2). Quick Sync version 8, which is the same as in the Rocket Lake CPUs, supports hardware decoding of various codecs, including MPEG-2, AVC, VC-1, JPEG, VP8, VP9, HEVC, and AV1. The CPU only supports PCIe 4.0, with x8 available for a GPU and two x4 available for SSDs.

The Core i7-1255U also includes an integrated graphics card based on the Xe architecture, which offers a total of 96 EUs (Execution Units) operating at up to 1.25 GHz. In terms of performance, the Core i7-1255U should offer significantly faster multi-threaded performance than older quad-core Tiger Lake CPUs with 15 W TDPs, such as the Intel Core i7-1160G7. The sustained performance of the Core i7-1255U will be limited by its TDP setting and thermals, and will be best suited for short-term loads. Thanks to the architectural improvements of the Golden Cove cores, the single thread performance of the Core i7-1255U should also be better than similar clocked Tiger Lake CPUs.

The Core i7-1255U is part of the Alder Lake-M series and is codenamed Alder Lake-U. It is one of several Alder Lake-M CPUs available, including the Intel Core i7-1265U, Intel Core i5-1245U, and Intel Core i5-1235U. Other Alder Lake-M CPUs include the Intel Core i7-1260U, Intel Core i7-1250U, Intel Core i5-1240U, Intel Core i5-1230U, Intel Core i3-1215U, Intel Pentium 8505, Intel Core i3-1210U, and Intel Pentium 8500. The series also includes several Intel Celeron CPUs, such as the Intel Celeron 7305, Intel Celeron 7350, and Intel Celeron 7320.

Overall, the Intel Core i7-1255U is a powerful and efficient CPU that offers a good balance between performance and energy efficiency. Its combination of P-cores and E-cores allows it to excel at both multi-threaded and single-threaded tasks, making it well-suited for a wide range of workloads. Its support for various memory types and hardware decoding of various codecs further enhance its capabilities. With its 15 W TDP, it is designed for use in thin and light laptops, but its performance may be limited by thermals and the TDP setting in some cases. Nevertheless, it should offer a significant improvement over older quad-core Tiger Lake CPUs and is a good choice for users looking for a high-end mobile CPU for their laptops.

We welcome your comments on the Intel Core i7-1255U! Let us know what you think of this high-end mobile CPU and how it has performed for you. Have you noticed any improvements in performance or energy efficiency with the Alder Lake architecture? Share your thoughts with us using the hashtags #IntelCorei71255U and #AlderLake.

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