Intel has unwittingly published details of an unannounced CPU with AMD Radeon RX Vega graphics integrated directly on the processor package. In November 2017, Intel and AMD sent the PC enthusiast community into a frenzy with an unprecedented joint announcement that the two rivals are collaborating to launch one or more such products. At the time, Intel only stated that these CPUs would slot into its 8th Generation lineup with a launch in the first quarter of 2018, leading to speculation of a launch at the CES trade show in January.
That now seems to be spot on, with a premature listing of the Intel Core i7-8890G appearing on a page comparing the overclocking features of various high-end CPUs on Intel’s India website. It was spotted by Anandtech and verified by Gadgets 360, but has since been removed. According to the listing, the new CPU will feature a ‘Radeon RX Vega M GH GPU’ as well as Intel’s own integrated HD Graphics 630 GPU. This confirms that the Radeon GPU is essentially a discrete GPU that shares the physical CPU package, but is not a part of the actual CPU die in the same way that integrated GPUs are. Intel will likely find a way to balance loads so that the Radeon GPU can be shut down entirely when not required, to save power and reduce heat output.
The purported Core i7-8809G looks like it will be a quad-core processor with Hyper-Threading for eight effective threads, with a clock speed of 3.1Ghz. It isn’t known whether this is a base clock speed or maximum turbo speed, but it is more likely to be the former based on the comparison to other CPUs. It has an 8MB cache and a 100W TDP. The listing is part of a table that includes all of Intel’s current-gen unlocked desktop CPUs as well as the 7th Gen X-series lineup, all of which are overclockable. It is unclear whether the Core i7-8809G is also a socketed desktop CPU, and if so, whether it will require a new socket and motherboards. Intel was expected to target the high-end laptop segment with this launch, but the 100W TDP raises questions of thermal management in a laptop form factor.
The fact that this is a quad-core part, plus the Intel HD Graphics 630 name (as opposed to Intel UHD Graphics 630) point to Intel’s Kaby Lake or Kaby Lake Refresh architectures as the basis of this new processor, rather than the newer Coffee Lake. Anandtech references a codename ‘Kaby-G’, which is further evidence of this CPU’s provenance. No specifications about the GPU itself have been revealed, such as the number of cores or amount of RAM, though it stands to reason that AMD will be harnessing its HBM2 memory technology. Expected performance is therefore completely unknown.
For AMD, the GPU is a semi-custom design just like the ones it supplies to the manufacturers of various gaming consoles. We already know that Vega on the desktop runs hot and draws a lot of power, so it will be interesting to see how the architecture performs on this level.
Right after the announcement of the new joint effort between Intel and AMD, Raja Koduri, the former Chief Architect of AMD’s Radeon Technologies Group who oversaw the development of Vega, announced that he was jumping ship and taking up a new role at Intel. He is now the Senior Vice President of a newly formed division within Intel called the Core and Visual Computing Group.