Outside of games, Iris Plus Graphics also adds support for VESA's adaptive sync standard, which should reduce screen tearing and smooth out performance on supported displays. Additionally, it'll offer video encoding acceleration for HEVC/VP9 4K/60FPS content and even 8K at 30 fps. You'll be able to take advantage of those encoders in apps like Adobe Premiere and Cyberlink PowerDirector, something that seemed unimaginable with integrated graphics a year ago. And, as a nice bonus, there's direct support for HDR and Dolby Vision playback, as well as better power efficiency.
You can also look forward to faster AI computation in 10th-gen CPUs. The new Core i7 is around two and a half times faster than last year's when processing images through the ResNet-50 deep-learning interface. In real-world usage, that means the new processors will be faster at things like semantic search in Microsoft Photos, which relies on local AI to sort images. During Intel's Computex keynote, the company also showed off how the AI capabilities could help sharpen blurry video footage almost instantly.
As for other upgrades, the 10th-gen chips will include WiFi 6/802.11ax, which offers around 40 percent faster speeds than AC wireless, and far better performance in congested areas. There's also Thunderbolt 3 support, as expected.
While it's a bit tough to get excited about ultraportable laptop CPUs these days, Intel's 10th-gen chips seem like a more fully featured upgrade than previous generations. The jump to 10nm is a big part of that, allowing the company to craft a more efficient architecture that's not just focused on chasing faster clock speeds. And together with the massive leap in graphics quality, these new processors will ultimately let thin and light laptops do more than ever before. It's no wonder Intel has started a new initiative for next-generation laptops in Project Athena -- all of a sudden, we can expect a lot more from notebooks.