Although everyone was hoping to see the 13-inch MacBook Pro from 2019 to be replaced by the 14-inch MacBook Pro, Apple quashed those hopes. It unveiled the 13-inch MacBook Pro with upgraded internals and the Magic Keyboard. While entry-level variants of the laptop still use Intel’s 8th Gen. processors, higher-priced models use 10th Gen. Intel Ice Lake CPUs that are exclusive to Apple.
Intel’s 10th Gen. Ice Lake CPUs were unveiled in August of 2019 with 10nm process, beefier Iris Plus Graphics, 4K HDR video playback, and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity. Most of the Y-series CPUs in the lineup have a maximum of 12W TDP, while U-series CPUs top at a TDP of 25W. Only one of those 11 CPUs had a TDP of 28W, but even that disappeared from Intel’s website.
Now, it has been revealed that Intel’s 28W Ice Lake CPUs are exclusive to Apple’s 2020 MacBook Pro 13-inch. This is nothing new, though. Even the 2020 MacBook Air uses 10th Gen. Intel Core CPUs that are exclusive to Apple. These CPUs have higher TDP and higher clock speeds when compared to CPUs that are available to other laptop OEMs.
The Intel Core i5 1035G7, which is found in laptops from other brands, features 4 cores, 8 threads, 1.2GHz base clock speed, 3.7GHz boost clock speed, and 15W TDP. On the other hand, the MacBook Pro’s Intel Core i5 1038NG7 features 4 cores, 8 threads, 2.0GHz base clock speed, 3.8GHz boost clock speed, and 28W TDP.
Similarly, the Intel Core i7 1065G7 is a generic Ice Lake CPU for laptops, and it features 4 cores, 8 threads, 1.3GHz base clock speed, 3.9GHz boost clock speed, and 15W TDP. In comparison, the Intel Core i7 1068NG7, which is used in the 13-inch MacBook Pro 2020, features 4 cores, 8 threads, 2.3GHz base clock speed, 4.1GHz boost clock speed, and 28W TDP.
However, these Apple-exclusive CPUs seem to be missing a few features. These processors lack support for configuring TDP up or down, and they are not compatible with Intel Optane memory. But Apple doesn’t use those features in its laptops anyway.
It looks like Apple hoarded all the 28W CPU models from Intel’s 10th Gen Ice Lake lineup for itself. The company was able to do so because it sells millions of MacBooks and can command exclusivity due to high number of orders. These exclusive 28W Ice Lake CPUs offer better performance due to the higher base and boost clock speeds as well as higher TDPs, so it is possible that no other Windows laptop powered by Intel’s 10th Gen. Ice Lake U-series or Y-series CPU would be able to beat the 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro in terms of CPU and integrated GPU performance.