Welcome to the NotebookReview Forum Spotlight, a biweekly series where we highlight the hottest and most important topics in our forum. The NotebookReview forum is the largest Internet forum dedicated to the discussion of notebook computers, including Macs and tablets. You can sign up for free by clicking here.
Intel Core i7-9750H in the Wild
Intel’s 9th generation processors for notebooks have barely been out for a few days, but one of our forum members already got their hands on one. @GizmoSlip posted benchmarks of the new Core i7-9750H chip using an MSI GT75 gaming notebook. The early results show promising gains over the outgoing Core i7-8750H. The Core i7-9750H has six processing cores like its predecessor, but has a higher base frequency of 2.6GHz (instead of 2.2GHz), and a higher Turbo Boost clock (4.5GHz versus 4.1GHz). The Core i7-9750H is still based on Intel’s 14nm manufacturing process, which it has been using since 2014. The process technology has improved since then, allowing Intel to squeeze more performance out of the processor architecture. I’m hoping their next die shrink happens within the next year.
It should be noted that the benchmark results were performed with a slight undervolt applied to the processor, so it’s unclear how a non-undervolted chip would stack up. These days, the thermal performance varies wildly from laptop to laptop, making it difficult to compare results.
In related news, Intel also announced its first eight-core processors for notebooks, the Core i9-9880H and the flagship, multiplier-unlocked Core i9-9980HK.
Intel Wi-Fi 6 Cards Are Coming
The 802.11ax standard, commonly called Wi-Fi 6, is starting to become available. The Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 (codenamed “Cyclone Peak”) is one of the first supporting cards to appear, destined to replace the Intel 9260AC card commonly found in notebooks today. The Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 (“Harrison Peak”) is on the horizon, but hasn’t been officially listed on Intel’s site.
A Killer-branded, gaming-centric version should become available later this year as the Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650. Few notebooks are available with 802.11ax wireless as I write this, but like everything else with computers, it’s just a matter of time.
Upgrade an Older Desktop for Modern Gaming
The increasing availability of inexpensive graphics cards makes it more than plausible to upgrade an older desktop for modern gaming. Forum member @Clify asked about upgrading an AMD Phenom X4-based desktop to play Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Rainbow Six Siege. Suggested upgrades by our forum members include a used Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, or an AMD Radeon RX 570. I’ve seen the latter go for under $100 in refurbished condition. The processor in this desktop will most certainly hold back its capabilities, but it’s good enough for the mentioned games.
Samsung Portable SSD T5 Review
Forum member @Ultra Male took the time to review the Samsung Portable SSD T5, a small external storage drive. Besides being light and just a few inches square, it also has excellent data-transfer performance. The posted benchmark results show it approaching 500MB/s transfer rate over its USB 3.1 Gen2 interface.
The Samsung Portable SSD T5 is available in capacities ranging from 250GB to 2TB.