Windows 8 will be a game changer when it hits the first tablets this year, but it needs the ideal chipset configuration for the best experience. Intel is on board with this idea and it intends to provide the dual core x86 Clover Trail SoC solution, that will power some of the upcoming Win 8 machines. Clover Trail is seen as a follow-up to the Medfield chip, in case you want to place it on the roadmap.

While Medfield is targeted at smartphone, Clover Trail is intended for tablets and “hybrids”, according to Intel’s Mark Miller, recently speaking to CNET. Clover Trail will be showcased on devices at CES 2012, an even that starts next week in Las Vegas. We’ll have to see the Win 8 devices in action in order to figure out if Intel can challenge ARM solutions to a duel. x86 chips may deliver great performance, but they do so at great cost: power consumption.

VR-Zone already has some stats regarding that aspect and they seem to claim that the Medfield tablet platform consumes 2.6W in idle mode, although Intel had targeted a 2W  consumption. 720p video playback in Adobe Flash pushes power usage to 3.6W, 1W more than Intel was hoping for. However, with great consumption comes great power, as the Medfield scored 10,500 points in Caffeinemark 3, compared to the Nvidia Tegra 2’s 7200 and the Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8260’s 8000. Samsung’s Exynos reached a score of 8500.

Now let’s see what ARM comes up with at CES…

  • Anonymous

    Windows 8 will not be a game changer in the tablet market at all. Win8 tablets will be way too expensive to compete with the Android tablets, the Kindle Fire and even the iPads. MS can’t see this because they are, and always have been, too full of themselves. So, like past failures, only the market can tell them they missed the mark.

  • Anonymous

    And what makes you think the market will tell them they’ve missed the mark? There are already Win 8 tablets in the works at the $700 price range. That price will fall when ARM tablets are introduced later in the year. And even at $700-$999, they will sell MANY tablets! Why? Because these are the first tablets that are TRULY laptop/desktop replacements. Your statement assumes that people have stopped shopping for laptops and ultrabooks. Unlike the ipad and Android tablets, Windows 8 tablets will actually be able to compete in that market. 

    Windows 8 could easily end up with all of the same apps in iTunes given the ease of development… but even if it doesn’t, I could easily see myself owning both a Win 8 tablet and my regular tablet(s)… b/c the Win 8 tablet easily allows the most productivity, the others could just be used casually.

  • Anonymous

    I really hope Clover Trail chips are in production in time for Samsung’s Win 8 slate.

  • Anonymous

    I am super excited by this news and brings closer my hope of getting a Windows 8 hydrid. Being able to run legacy windows apps via the new Intel Cloverfiled chipset because it will support x86 unlike the ARM chipsets