Monday, May 14th 2018

Intel Core i3-8121U "Cannon Lake" Processor Debuts in Lenovo Ideapad 330 Laptop

Online Chinese retailer JD.com has listed Lenovo's latest Cannon Lake-based Ideapad 330 laptop on its website. The Ideapad 330 incorporates an Intel Core i3-8121U dual-core processor fabricated on Intel's 10 nm process. The processor comes with a base frequency of 2.2 GHz and lacks integrated graphics as it's been disabled. Therefore, Lenovo pairs the Intel Core i3-8121U processor with an AMD Radeon RX 540 2GB graphics card in this particular laptop. The base model is equipped with 4 GB of DDR4-2400 memory and a 500 GB 5400RPM hard drive. However, JD.com also offers numerous configurations including one with 8 GB of memory, 256 GB SSD and 1 TB hard drive.

The 15.6-inch Ideapad 330 uses a TN panel with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. The laptop measures 378 x 260 x 22.7 mm and weights approximately 2.1 kg. According to JD.com, the battery life is estimated to around five hours. Connectivity options include a Gigabit Ethernet port, two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, a single USB Type-C port, a 3.5mm jack, a HDMI port, and a CD/DVD drive. The base model costs 3299 CNY (~$445) while the highest-end model will set you back 4299 CNY (~$580).
Source: JD
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21 Comments on Intel Core i3-8121U "Cannon Lake" Processor Debuts in Lenovo Ideapad 330 Laptop

#1
wiak
is this also single channel gimped like the rest?
Posted on Reply
#2
Hood
wiak said:
is this also single channel gimped like the rest?
This from the Lenovo site -
  • 4 GB onboard DDR4 + 8 GB DIMM
  • 4 GB onboard DDR4 + 4 GB DIMM
  • 4 GB onboard DDR4 + 2 GB DIMM
  • 16 GB DIMM
  • 4 GB onboard DDR4
  • 16 GB Intel® Optane™ (optional)
So yes, looks like single channel.
Posted on Reply
#3
Supercrit
Why they even bother putting in a decent laptop GPU in it with single channel ram and such horrid screen.
Posted on Reply
#4
Tomorrow
Supercrit said:
Why they even bother putting in a decent laptop GPU in it with single channel ram and such horrid screen.
Because this 10nm CPU has iGPU disabled.
Kinda shows how bad the current 10nm process is if they can only make a super low end dualcore CPU with iGPU disabled.
Posted on Reply
#5
birdie
It's a complete failure - looks like their 10nm process is so bad they can't implement a GPU with it.

Also, just two cores in 2018. This must be a joke. Luckily it features a 4MB third level cache and turbo boost, so at least it should run quite faster than its Skylake counterpart from 2016.

Also, it's been three years in making.

Also, Intel hasn't even bothered to update its Ark DB.

Also, Ryzen 2700U: 15W, built-in GPU, 4 cores and 8 threads, and 3.8GHz boost.

Also, laptops with soldered RAM, where RAM is less than 8GB, must die. I wouldn't even buy one with 8GB of soldered RAM.

What the hell is going on in Intel?
Posted on Reply
#6
dj-electric
birdie said:
Also, just two cores in 2018. This must be a joke. Luckily it features a 4MB third level cache and turbo boost, so at least it should run quite faster than its Skylake counterpart from 2016.
Some people are ok paying for a cheap PC with 2 cores (4 threads), if all they do is write documents and read the news. This thing has the power of 2gen old i5's.
birdie said:
Also, it's been three years in making.
Show me a chip that isn't.
birdie said:
Also, Intel hasn't even bothered to update its Ark DB.
It has not been officially announced yet. Intel has a CPU database website after all.
birdie said:
Also, Ryzen 2700U: 15W, built-in GPU, 4 cores and 8 threads, and 3.8GHz boost.
TDP is not power consumption, and intel and AMD look at this term differently. There are chips within the same TDP that can be massively different with their power consumption numbers. This refers to the cooling solution capacity needed.
birdie said:
Also, laptops with soldered RAM, where RAM is less than 8GB, must die. I wouldn't even buy one with 8GB of soldered RAM.
Lenovo's desicion
birdie said:
What the hell is going on in Intel?
... Lenovo.
Posted on Reply
#7
Tomorrow
dj-electric said:
Some people are ok paying for a cheap PC with 2 cores (4 threads), if all they do is write documents and read the news. This thing has the power of 2gen old i5's.
These people also use iGPU wich is disabled on this CPU. Or was this also Lenovo's decision?
Also no - with such low clock speed this i3 will not be surpassing any last few gen i5's. That's wishful thinking.
Posted on Reply
#8
birdie
Tomorrow said:
These people also use iGPU wich is disabled on this CPU. Or was this also Lenovo's decision?
Also no - with such low clock speed this i3 will not be surpassing any last few gen i5's. That's wishful thinking.
Actually it might surpass Sky Lake/original Kaby Lake i5 U CPUs - remember this one has turbo boost enabled, and an increased cache for good measure.

For instance, Intel Core i5 7200U: 2.5 GHz/3.1 GHz, 3MB cache - so, this Cannon Lake part could be faster.

It's a lot more interesting to know whether Cannon Lake CPUs have (the) Meltdown (vulnerability) fixed in silicone. And at least certain Spectre variants.
Posted on Reply
#9
jabbadap
Out of interest, what make you think it have disabled igpu? It might use switchable graphics(Enduro) as does most intel cpu with amd dgpu laptops. After all RX 540 is very close to desktop rx 550(same core config), thus direct competitor to mx150 and notebooks with those are ~always with optimus.
Posted on Reply
#10
R0H1T
jabbadap said:
Out of interest, what make you think it have disabled igpu? It might use switchable graphics(Enduro) as does most intel cpu with amd dgpu laptops. After all RX 540 is very close to desktop rx 550(same core config), thus direct competitor to mx150 and notebooks with those are ~always with optimus.
It doesn't have a functional IGP, why do you think Intel didn't list anywhere on their sites? Also Lenovo doesn't mention anything but Radeon, so there's that.
Tomorrow said:
These people also use iGPU wich is disabled on this CPU. Or was this also Lenovo's decision?
Also no - with such low clock speed this i3 will not be surpassing any last few gen i5's. That's wishful thinking.
This thing will beat most SKL ULV skus possibly with the exception of i7, remember they were all dual cores even up until KBL-R. Since there's no IGP working on them, the chip has all 15W (or whatever the cTDP is) for its 2 cores & could run at its max turbo for as long as its cooling can handle it.
Posted on Reply
#11
Tsukiyomi91
it's a low powered, budget oriented laptop. What are you expecting more? Also, it's the OEM's decision to do whatever they please with their own board. Don't like it, don't bother looking here. Simple as that.
Posted on Reply
#12
londiste
Aren't you guys jumping the gun a little? Most of the stories speculate that iGPU is simply disabled, not missing. With specs being practically identical to Kaby Lake i3-8xxxU that does seem to be the more likely use case. Also, this is a low-end chip that is likely to not get dGPU in most use cases, I don't think Intel are stupid enough to count on that.

This thing has die size of <100mm². 10nm yields are a question but the difference iGPU makes here is small.
birdie said:
Also, Ryzen 2700U: 15W, built-in GPU, 4 cores and 8 threads, and 3.8GHz boost.
At twice the size or more...
Also, we convienently have no idea of the mobile Ryzen prices but judging by laptop prices, 2700U is twice the cost as well.

TDP on mobile chips is difficult. There are some breakpoints that everything aims for in the industry. 15W is one of them. None of the 15W chips will actually run at full boost even when thermals are taken care of. Some of them will throttle faster, others slower, but they all will throttle.

dj-electric said:
[QUOTE="birdie, post: 3841623, member: 131299"]Also, Intel hasn't even bothered to update its Ark DB.
It has not been officially announced yet. Intel has a CPU database website after all.[/quote]This is more of a leak than announcement, so dj-electric is right. Other than that, it might be an OEM chip - these do not always get their own entry in Intel's ARK.
Posted on Reply
#13
Caring1
londiste said:
….
This thing has die size of <100mm². 10nm yields are a question but the difference iGPU makes here is small.
At twice the size or more...
Also, we convienently have no idea of the mobile Ryzen prices but judging by laptop prices, 2700U is twice the cost as well....
Twice the cost of what?
The equivalent Intel powered laptop?
Or manufacturing cost?
The new HP Envy 15 has the choice of either AMD (Ryzen) or Intel, and the AMD unit is cheaper
Posted on Reply
#14
londiste
Caring1 said:
Twice the cost of what?
The equivalent Intel powered laptop?
Or manufacturing cost?
The new HP Envy 15 has the choice of either AMD (Ryzen) or Intel, and the AMD unit is cheaper
I meant the CPU price. R7 2700U is priced against i7-8550U that is $409. i3-8121U does not have ARK entry but its older and faster (by specs) sibling i3-8130U is $281. So, not quite twice but a significant difference. Whole laptop price has way too many variables to compare. Even these Envies kept having discounts one way or another while these were getting reviewed for comparison.

Manufacturing cost is likely to have a significant difference as well. R7 2700U (as well as its lesser siblings) comes in at 209 mm². That's twice the size.

Edit:
Raven Ridge is awesome, it's just not competing in the same segment.
Posted on Reply
#15
ShurikN
londiste said:
That's twice the size.
And twice the cores, twice the threads, higher boost and ∞ more gpu power.
Posted on Reply
#16
londiste
ShurikN said:
And twice the cores, twice the threads, higher boost and ∞ more gpu power.
Sure. But my point was that this thing is not competing against the full R7 2700U.
Try comparison with R3 2300U or even R3 2200U that are are direct competitors and are the same die.
Posted on Reply
#17
ShurikN
londiste said:
Sure. But my point was that this thing is not competing against the full R7 2700U.
Try comparison with R3 2300U or even R3 2200U that are are direct competitors and are the same die.
It has no igpu, and has to be paired to a dedicated one every time.
Therefore it's not comparable to anything.
Posted on Reply
#18
londiste
Found it where the lack of GPU information is derived from. Intel's Meltdown/Spectre Firmware Update document briefly included Cannon Lake U 2+GT2 and 2+GT0 configurations. Together with the Lenovo Ideapad 330 details the assumption is i3-8121U is the 2+GT0 variant.

The thing is, that CPU has to be minuscule. 2+0 would have to be somewhere in the vicinity of 50 mm².
Intel's 4 cores are 49 mm², GT2 is about the same and 20-30 mm² is other uncore stuff. 8700K (6+GT2) is 149 mm², 7700K (4+GT2) is 126 mm². 23 mm² for the 2 extra cores, so close enough.
Posted on Reply
#19
efikkan
Intel recently said 10nm will ship in limited quantities this year, and the 10 nm node is not broken.

And BTW, Cannon Lake does have integrated graphics.
Posted on Reply
#20
jabbadap
i3 8121u is now on ark.intel. And yes it has no igpu so yeah this is that 2+GT0 configuration. One new feature is support for LPDDR4 memory. Question does this have spectre/meltdown hardware fix. It sure does more security features than coffee lake i3 us.
Posted on Reply
#21
TheGuruStud
efikkan said:
Intel recently said 10nm will ship in limited quantities this year, and the 10 nm node is not broken.

And BTW, Cannon Lake does have integrated graphics.
Intel is lying. They hope they can ship in 2020 lol. 5 yrs late....ouch. Trickling out some dinky chips doesn't count.
Posted on Reply
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