Sep 17, 2020 2 mins, 3 secs

Our reference system has the top-of-the-line Core i7-1185G7 CPU, tuned for a 28W default TDP—although that, too, gets complicated.

However, assuming one i7-1185G7 system is much like the next would be a mistake.

Intel warned us that this was a reference system, not retail-ready, and likely not tuned the way retail versions will be.

At first blush, you'd think the quad-core, octa-thread Core i7-1185G7 in this reference system is a mostly even match for the octa-core, octa-thread Ryzen 7 4700U in our Acer Swift SF314-42.

This already isn't really a match to brag about—the Swift 3 wrapped around our Ryzen 7 4700U is a budget laptop that doesn't have the best thermals, and the 4700U itself is roughly in the middle of AMD's Renoir lineup.

Of course, Intel has been getting sand kicked in its face for a while now, and seeing something like performance parity is refreshing, even if we have to compare the company's top-of-the-line CPU in a high-powered reference system versus a middling-high AMD CPU in a budget laptop.

This means that one i7-1185G7 system is likely to perform very little like another—so now your less-technical colleagues not only won't pay attention to the difference between one i7 and another, they won't notice whether the exact same i7 SKU is configured for TDP of 12W, 28W, or anywhere in between.

At its out-of-box defaults, Intel's reference system—set on the middle of three notches in Windows 10's "performance" slider, found when clicking on the battery icon in the toolbar—is configured for a 28W TDP.

The tau on the reference system isn't specified, but it appears to be roughly 25-30 seconds regardless of TDP, judging from our observations and Anandtech's.

But tau, on the other hand, becomes governed by Adaptix, an algorithm that extends turbo time by dynamically regulating clock frequencies down when the CPU itself isn't the bottleneck. In general, users who enable Adaptix can expect a modest multithreaded performance gain with a somewhat larger corresponding power draw.

In its default configuration, with a 28W TDP and roughly 25-second tau, the i7-1185G7 reference system runs pretty much neck-and-neck with a Ryzen 7 4700U-equipped Swift 3.

However, we suspect many retail 1185G7 systems won't be configured for a 28W TDP—they'll likely be configured at 15W TDP, just as both the Ryzen 7 4700U in the Swift 3 and the Ice Lake i7-1065G7 in the Dell XPS 13 are.

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