Processors vs. Platforms for Mobile Computing: What IT Needs to Know

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For many years, the potential performance of a new laptop has been judged by the processor it uses. The typical IT team uses the CPU installed as shorthand to encapsulate a laptop’s business-related performance capabilities. It’s a simplistic approach which assumes that the end user’s requirements can be met simply by the device’s processing muscle and implies that the faster the CPU, the more responsive and faster the computer is with apps and programs.

While paying attention to a high-quality processor is crucial during technology purchases, this is not the only element that defines a mobile computing platform in today’s hyperconnected era. Outside of the central processor chip, a lot more is required to make the user’s experience faster, smoother, more secure and responsive. As technologies and workflows advance, high-quality computer processors alone are challenged to support the agility, reliability and speed needed by competitive businesses and remote, hybrid workforces.

When it comes to business-class PC refresh cycles, processing speed is are not the only metric that matters. It needs to be complemented with hardware-based components that are designed to improve overall productivity, as well as cutting-edge security, manageability, and stability features. The platform-centric capabilities are pivotal to the end-user computing experience. Simply put, the platform is much more than just a mobile processor.

The Integrated Platform Approach to Buying Business-Class PCs

In the new business reality, hybrid workforces require endpoint devices that can stand the demands of heavy workloads and fight off ever-growing cyber threats. For instance, users need PCs with an all-day battery life that allows them to multitask seamlessly. Meanwhile, IT teams grapple with heterogeneous computing infrastructure and older systems that aren’t equipped to handle optimal business-class performance needed today.

With budgets tightening and economic uncertainty rising, IT decision makers (ITDMs) should go beyond processing muscle via CPUs, cores, threads and RAM, and prioritize features such as stability, remote manageability and hardware-enforced security in their PC purchase decisions. What IT teams need is a validated PC platform that can standardize, simplify and centralize remote management, drive agility, and improve IT efficiency.

In the disruptive business environment, overstretched IT teams need every advantage they can get to help secure enterprise networks, systems and data from constantly evolving threats.

Intel vPro® Platform: Key to Next-Gen Computing

The best starting point is a PC platform that supports endpoint devices with game-changing innovation, enabling users and IT to be more productive and business-ready. Apart from significant performance boost and end-user productivity benefits, IT can earn quantifiable business value and ROI by deploying a market-leading PC platform while also using built-in AI-based technologies to protect endpoints against constantly emerging threats.

The Intel vPro platform goes beyond processors, offering not only business-class performance, but also pushing the envelope on capabilities around security, manageability and stability. A 2021 Forrester Total Economic Impact studyOpens a new window commissioned by Intel outlines how IT can cut down on ballooning operating costs and resources to maintain their growing PC fleets and instead focus on what matters most –driving new initiatives. Over 66% of surveyed professionals revealed they had avoided third-party software costs on laptops and desktops powered by the Intel vPro platform. Meanwhile, respondents also attributed an average of 76% of security improvements to the Intel vPro platform security features and tools, including Hardware Shield, Intel Active Management Technology (Intel AMT), Intel® Endpoint Management Assistant (Intel® EMA), and others.

The Intel vPro platform, powered by the 11th Gen Intel® Core™ vPro processor, sets the standard for innovation by delivering advances in security, reliability, and manageability.1

Let’s take a deeper look under the hood of the Intel vPro® platform.

1. Stability
The pandemic-led workforce transformation has necessitated the shift towards well-defined PC fleet management practices, shorter maintenance cycles and disciplined device management to optimize total cost of ownership (TCO). That’s why platform stability is essential to reduce maintenance costs, especially for organizations with a fleet of laptops in use by employees working from anywhere. For IT teams, it’s crucial to ensure that the best hardware is installed during PC refresh cycles to meet the rising needs of an evolving workforce.

To provide stability the Intel® Stable IT Platform Program (Intel® SIPP), part of its Intel vPro® platform, aims for no hardware changes throughout the buying cycle for at least 15 months or until the next generational release which helps organizations avoid any compatibility issues. In addition, having the right hardware in place means that the risks associated with any changes are minimized. The Intel® SIPP commitment goes beyond validation for just the CPU, but includes other key hardware components that affect real-world performance like chipset, graphics, wired/wireless NICs, Intel® Optane™ memory.

2. Remote Manageability
In an era of hybrid workforces, the remote manageability of PCs is critical to business success. The Intel vPro platform provides Intel® Advanced Management Technology (Intel® AMT) which helps lower overall PC maintenance and administrative costs by allowing IT teams to remotely power on, repair, and help protect networked computing assets with updates and patches. It provides persistent out-of-band connectivity that operates independently of the OS, allowing fixes to a broader range of system issues, even when the OS is down.2 Intel AMT also provides IT teams KVM (Keyboard-Video-Mouse) to monitor OS upgrades or to boot the system BIOS. The big advantage is that IT teams can remotely repair corrupted drivers, application software, or non-responsive systems that won’t run or boot, in turn saving time and money associated with employee downtime and IT support resources.

Remote manageability is also enhanced by Intel® EMA. This makes it possible to remotely and securely manage Intel® AMT devices beyond the firewall using the cloud on known Wi-Fi networks. Intel® EMA is cloud-based, providing both in-band and out of band support using an agent in the operating system for any Microsoft Windows 10 platform.

3. Hardware-enhanced security
Hardware security benefits come in a number of different forms. For a secure PC fleet, the Intel® Hardware Shield helps protect from hackers using firmware attacks to gain access to an endpoint. The security is built into the Intel Core vPro processor hardware and provides:

  • Below-the-OS-security protections3
  • Application and data security protections3
  • Advanced threat detection
  • Intel Control-flow Enforcement Technology (Intel® CET).
  • Silicon-enabled AI threat detection to help stop ransomware and crypto-mining attacks using Intel® Threat Detection Technology (Intel® TDT)

Meanwhile, Intel CET also helps protect against memory safety-based attacks such as jump/call-oriented programming (JOP/COP) attack methods and control flow subversion techniques such as return-oriented programming (ROP) attack methods. This kind of malware comprises over half of ZDI-disclosed (zero-day initiative) vulnerabilities.

Intel® TDT provides IT teams with near real-time insights about end-user devices. Using silicon-enabled AI threat detection, this security feature takes full advantage of the advanced telemetry capabilities of Intel® Hardware Shield by augmenting ISV (independent software vendors) solutions to help stop ransomware and crypto-mining attacks.4

4. Performance
Apart from hardware-backed security and stability benefits, users of the Intel vPro platform can enjoy significant performance gains. Intel announced that its 11th Gen Intel® Core™ vPro platform uses 10-nanometer SuperFin technology. This helps them achieve up to a 17.5% performance improvement and significantly higher clock speeds compared to other 10nm chips available.5 Another game-changing innovation is that the 11th Gen Intel® Core™ vPro platform also comes with Intel® Iris® Xe graphics built-in. Iris® Xe graphics deliver stunning creation and graphics capabilities for immersive work experiences. Your workforce — no matter where they work — can experience the rich media and visuals delivered to power applications, collaboration, productivity, and creation.

Plus, the Intel® vPro® platform is designed to dramatically accelerate the future of AI-enhanced applications and workflows, with up to 8x better AI performance compared with 8th Gen Intel® Coreâ„¢ vPro® i7-8650U processors.6 Besides the breathtaking speed of the 11th Gen Intel® vPro platform, the newly launched Intel® Evoâ„¢ vPro® platform packs the latest PC technologies in thin and light form factors designed into one validated solution. It’s built to provide what IT needs and employees want, a mobile PC that’s thin and light, fast and responsive, with long battery life (9 or more hours of real-world battery life on systems with FHD displays) and high-end security features.7

Wrapping Up

Since the initial outbreak of the pandemic, companies worldwide found themselves bracing for a new reality — one where IT teams need to deliver scale, resilience, and security without sacrificing agility and end-user performance. Though businesses were quick to embrace next-generation technologies, they failed to stabilize and secure PC fleets that came with their own technology risks and security implications. To better prepare for what lies ahead for the future and drive business resilience, it’s imperative to look beyond the processor and select the industry-leading Intel vPro platform that offers exceptional value to organizations, allowing IT to reduce hardware costs and support broader digital transformation agenda.

Notes and Disclaimers
Performance varies by use, configuration and other factors. Learn more at Performance results are based on testing as of dates shown in configurations and may not reflect all publicly available updates. See backup for configuration details. Intel does not control or audit third-party data. You should consult other sources to evaluate accuracy. Intel technologies may require enabled hardware, software or service activation. No product or component can be absolutely secure. Your costs and results may vary. ® Intel Corporation. Intel, the Intel logo, Intel vPro and other Intel marks are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

1 In thin & light Windows-based devices, based on 1) unique features and performance testing on industry benchmarks and Representative Usage Guides across 3 key usages: productivity, creation, and collaboration, comparing Intel® Coreâ„¢ vPro® i7-1185G7 to AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 4750U and 2) an IOActive study (commissioned by Intel) comparing Intel® Hardware Shield security capabilities on 11th Gen Intel Core vPro processors with corresponding competitor technologies. All testing as of December 2020. Intel Evo vPro designs are co-engineered as part of Intel’s comprehensive laptop innovation program Project Athena then tested, measured, and verified against a premium specification and key experience indicators to ensure unparalleled user experiences. Visit for details. Results may vary.

2 As measured by December 2020 IOActive study (commissioned by Intel) of in-band software-based remote management functions; out-of-band hardware-based remote management functions; and cloud-based support in thin & light Windows-based PCs. AMT requires a network connection; must be a known network for WiFi out-of-band management. Learn more at . Results may vary.

3 Intel® Control-Flow Enforcement Technology (Intel® CET) and Intel® Total Memory Encryption (Intel® TME) are not included with Intel® Hardware Shield on 11th Gen Intel®Core™ vPro® S-series processors.

4 In thin & light Windows-based PCs, based on December 2020 IOActive study (commissioned by Intel) comparing malware detection by Intel 11th Gen Core vPro platform with Intel® TDT and AMD Ryzen Pro 4750U-based system. Visit for details on Intel’s industry-leading CPU behavior monitoring technology. Results may vary.

5 As measured by SYSmark 25 overall score. 11th Gen Intel® Core™ vPro® i5-11500 and AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 4750G.

6 As measured by MLPerf v0.7 Inference, Mobile Notebooks, Closed Division with Offline Scenario using OpenVINO™ 2021.1 Pre framework on MobileNetEdge model int8 GPU (Batch=16) on 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-1185G7 processor vs highest attainable MLPerf v0.7 Inference, Mobile Notebooks, Closed Division with Offline Scenario using OpenVINO™ 2021.1 Pre framework on MobileNetEdge model int8 GPU (Batch=1) on 8th Gen Intel® Core™ vPro® i7-8650U processor. For workloads and configurations visit . Results may vary.

7 Charge attained from OEM-default shutdown level. Visit for details. Results may vary.