Battery Life

Built on what Intel now calls Intel 7, the new Alder Lake processors do not get a completely new foundry node to reduce power consumption. The idea of having P-Cores and E-Cores though is an interesting one for the laptop space, as in theory the E-Cores could lower power consumption quite a bit. However, that discussion will need to likely wait for the thin and light notebooks to arrive with U-Series and P-Series processors as a H-Series device with a massive RTX 3080L Ti GPU, DDR5-4800, multiple PCIe 4.0 SSDs, and a 360 Hz display are not going to be a showcase for power efficiency of a processor.

As always, our battery life tests have the display set to 200 nits brightness and the system set in its most efficient mode.

Web Battery

Battery Life 2016 - Web

Our first test shows that the Raider GE76, despite a 99.9 Wh battery, performs very poorly if used as a portable computer. Thankfully it is not really intended to be used this way, as it is big and heavy to carry around, but the regression over the outgoing Tiger Lake model is clear. What is also very clear is how much better AMD is able to power-gate its large discrete GPU compared to NVIDIA, as the AMD gaming system dominates in the battery life tests.

Battery Life 2016 - Web - Normalized

The normalized results remove the battery size from the equation and drops the new Raider GE76 to the bottom of the results. There are several variables, so it is difficult to pinpoint exactly what is causing the power consumption regression, but likely DDR5-4800 is a part of it.

PCMark Modern Office Battery

PCMark 10 Modern Office Battery

The PCMark test will run a series of workloads in a ten-minute window, and if a device finishes the work quicker, it is able to idle for a larger percentage of the ten minutes, which probably assists the new Alder Lake system here as it is overall a more performant device compared to the outgoing Tiger Lake laptop.

Movie Playback

Battery Life Movie Playback

The battery life regression is even more pronounced in the battery life playback time. Clearly there is a significant amount of passive power draw in this system.

Battery Life Tesseract

Looking at the Tesseract score, which divide the movie playback time by the length of the movie The Avengers shows that you would run out of juice halfway through your third viewing.

Battery Life Summary

In a word the battery life could be summed up as "unimpressive". The Raider GE76 is not an ideal test bed to determine CPU efficiency under load since the underlying power draw is significant. To see how Alder Lake compares we will have to wait for more power efficient platforms to get more meaningful results.

Storage Performance

Unlike with the desktop counterpart for Alder Lake, the laptop variants are limited to “just” PCIe 4.0 storage. The Raider GE76 offers support for two of them, and the system shipped with two Samsung PM9A1 PCIe 4.0 drives at 1 TB each.

PCMark 10 System Drive Benchmark Average Access Time

PCMark 10 System Drive Benchmark Bandwidth

PCMark 10 System Drive Benchmark Score

The drive performance is class leading, with the highest results we have ever achieved in the PCMark Full System Drive test.

Gaming Performance Initial Thoughts
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  • Netmsm - Tuesday, January 25, 2022 - link

    "High? not at all" said Patrick Gelsinger.
    :)))
    Reply
  • maroon1 - Wednesday, January 26, 2022 - link

    115w is max power for shot period. sustained power consumption is 85w in extreme performance mode

    And 75w when using balanced mode but you lose 3% in cinebench
    Reply
  • undervolted_dc - Wednesday, January 26, 2022 - link

    ... and spec sheet says 45w, but probably during bench are using the full power boost.. and gets benchmarked against 45w ( with boost at 54w) in performance..
    e cores seems to no help in low performance tasks also.. seems less efficient than amd despite having the complexity to manage hybrid cores in the OS
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Thursday, January 27, 2022 - link

    It's Intel's strategy ever since they got stuck on 14nm. Prior to that, they kept dropping power while incrementing performance, leading to a progressively improving overall experience (better sustained power, less bulky devices, etc.)

    Then AMD got back in the game and Intel had to compete somehow, so they started raising their TDP ratings to get benchmarks that look good. The results are easy to see when you look at sites like Notebookcheck that measure performance of large groups of devices: Intel get good benchmarks, but performance drops quickly under sustained use in anything other than a DTR, and there's a massive error bar around the average performance of an Intel mobile CPU because it's dependent on how well the chassis can remove 45W+ of heat (even the Ultra Mobile ones).
    Reply
  • sandeep_r_89 - Monday, January 31, 2022 - link

    Higher battery capacity doesn't help win benchmarks........ Reply
  • bogamia - Tuesday, January 25, 2022 - link

    wonder how it would perform against Rembrandt which will presumably offer 30% better mt uplift. Reply
  • Spunjji - Thursday, January 27, 2022 - link

    I wouldn't expect to see an increase like that in practice. Rembrandt may be a little faster than Cezanne, but probably not a lot.

    If you're one of the majority of people who buy a device that's designed to cool 45W sustained, though, then it'll be less of a disappointment than Alder Lake.
    Reply
  • vlad42 - Friday, January 28, 2022 - link

    Maybe, maybe not. The base clock does appear to have gone up from 1.9 GHz in the 5800U to 2.7 GHz in the 6800U, a 42% increase! Granted, it is possible the 2.7 GHz base clock is only when the chip is in 28W mode - it really was not clear from the slide.

    We also do not know how much benefit RDNA2 is bringing over Vega in terms of energy efficiency (there may be more thermal/power budget available to the Zen 3 cores), the improvements in 6N vs 7N, or the yield improvements/better binning now that the process is even more mature - 6N is still just a variant of 7N after all.

    While I would normally agree with you, we clearly need more information to know for certain. The Ice Lake to Tiger Lake improvements were pretty significant and the changes Intel made look to be fairly similar to what AMD has done here.
    Reply
  • Samus - Saturday, January 29, 2022 - link

    I agree. I don't think AMD is going to take the IPC performance crown back here unless they can considerably scale up clock speed at the cost of efficiency like a Black Edition part.

    The fact is all these new CPU's are SO fast that it's Lamborghini's vs Ferrari's. I think people are going to prefer the one that has double the MPG at a virtually unnoticeable performance penalty.
    Reply
  • FwFred - Wednesday, February 2, 2022 - link

    How does higher clock speed help IPC exactly? Let's just call it single thread performance and leave IPC to microarchitectural discussions. Reply

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