Intel Core i7 1165G7 "Tiger Lake" Linux Performance With The Dell XPS 13 9310
Written by Michael Larabel in Computers on 16 October 2020. Page 13 of 14. 35 Comments

When looking at the CPU peak frequency during the duration of testing, the Core i7 1165G7 was clocking higher than the Core i7 1065G7 -- the average peak frequency was at 2.62GHz with the Core i7 1165G7 compared to 2.40GHz for the Core i7 1065G7 while both CPUs reported peak frequencies up to 3.9GHz. (Due to the Linux interfaces, the uppermost frequencies might not be displayed, but the same monitoring interface in any case was used across all the laptops tested.) But in some workloads as shown the Dell XPS 13 9310 with i7-1165G7 wasn't clocking as high as Ice Lake when lightly loaded.

The Dell XPS 13 9310 CPU temperature over the span of all the workloads tested led to an average operating temperature of 65 degrees with a peak of 86 degrees, down from the 69 degree average and 100 degree peak with the prior generation Dell XPS Ice Lake model.

The CPU package power consumption was just monitored for the Intel CPUs due to the new AMD Energy driver not being currently exposed for Renoir. The Core i7 1165G7 CPU package power consumption was 19 Watts under all the benchmarks on average but with a reported peak of 46 Watts. That is based on the data exposed via Intel's RAPL framework on Linux.

The Dell XPS 13 9310 Developer Edition laptop does not expose any knobs for the configurable TDP value.

The Dell BIOS does offer a "thermal management" area where the default is "optimized". With the same benchmarks I did re-run all of these Linux tests when setting the BIOS to "ultra performance", but even then it still didn't provide any significant uplift on Linux.

Being rather disappointed and pondering over the relatively disappointing Tiger Lake i7-1165G7 performance I did also try pulling back from Linux 5.9 to Linux 5.6. The Dell XPS 13 9310 Developer Edition does ship with a Linux 5.6 OEM kernel as part of its Ubuntu 20.04 LTS image, but again repeating the tests there led to no measurable difference compared to the upstream Linux 5.9 kernel.

I also restarted the tests after removing Intel's ThermalD, which is installed by default on Ubuntu. That wasn't interfering either with the tests and only regressed the performance further.

So even with trying some additional tweaks so far, there hasn't been any apparent workaround for further ramping up the Tiger Lake performance on Ubuntu Linux.

Here is a geometric mean of all the benchmarks (CPU and GPU) carried out for this article. The Core i7 1165G7 with the Dell XPS 13 9310 did deliver a 17% generational improvement compared to the i7-1065G7 with the prior Dell XPS 13, but that was still behind the Ryzen 5 4500U. Not to mention both the Ryzen 5 4500U and Ryzen 7 4700U laptops under test cost significantly less than Dell XPS 13 9310... The Lenovo Flex with 4500U and 16GB of RAM I picked up for just $599 USD (though more recent retail pricing has been around $650) and the Lenvoo IdeaPad with 4700U and similar specs to the Dell XPS was just $800~850. The Dell XPS 13 9310 Developer Edition laptop as tested cost $1349 USD.

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