The Core i7-8750H is one of seven new Lake Lake H series processors designed for performance notebooks, workstations and gaming laptops. The i7-8750H is basically the successor of the hugely popular 'Kaby Lake' Core i7-7700HQ which is used in almost every top-end gaming laptop over the last year or so.
This week Intel unveiled its new line of CPU Coffee's six core CPU laptops, among many other announcements. Today, we include one of these CPUs to test. The Core i7-8750H is one of seven new Lake Lake H series processors designed for performance notebooks, workstations and gaming laptops.
Core i7-8750H is basically the successor of the highly popular 'Kaby Lake' Core i7-7700HQ which is used in almost every top-end gaming laptop for the past year or so. I hope the i7-8750H will also be a chip for gaming laptops and other mobile performing devices, so this review will be useful for anyone looking to upgrade to the new Coffee Lake H-series system.
The main improvement on the i7-8750H is in essence: we are now looking at 6 cores and 12 threads, up from 4 cores and 8 threads on i7-7700HQ while remaining at the same 45W TDP. To fit this extra core under the same envelope power, Intel has gone with the same approach that they use with 'Kaby Lake Refresh' U-series CPU: the base clock speed has been reduced from 2.8 GHz at 7700HQ, to just 2 , 2 GHz with 8750H.
While the base clock has been reduced, Intel is pushing the single-core performance higher with this new 8-gene processor. The 8750 H hits a maximum of 4.1 GHz on a single core, up from 3.8 GHz at 7700HQ. It's also capable of the same 4.1 GHz clock speed on two cores, along with 4.0 GHz to four cores, and 3.9 GHz on up to six cores. It was a huge jump in clock speed considering the 7700HQ peaked at 3.4 GHz in all core workloads.
You'll also see a 9MB L3 cache at 8750H, built using Intel's + 14nm ++ process, similar to the Coffee Lake desktop part.
Joining the i7-8750H in the line-up is another Core i7 hexa-core, i7-8850H, which features increased base and increased clock speed. The Core i5 line with 8400H and 8300H remains a four-core, eight-thread component, while at the top we have a newly opened Core i9-8950HK.
The use of the Core i9 brand here is very exciting, as we've seen previously used with Intel's core 10+ C Intel Skylake-X CPU. However, the i9-8950HK is only 6 cores, 12 CPU threads like the other parts of Coffee Lake H-series but runs at higher clock than 8850H and 12MB L3 cache increase. It's also completely overclocked, unlike the rest of the lineup.
The Coffee Lake H-series is rounded off with two Xeon chips for a mobile workstation. Those who want to buy a gaming laptop will not see this chip in their system but technically they are part of a new line of Coffee Lake and they will be a great choice for a premium productivity oriented device. Hopefully we can use the device with various Coffee Lake-H CPUs in the next few months, but for now we are testing Core i7-8750H
Our test system is the new Gigabyte Aero 15, which we'll be reviewing shortly. In addition to the 8750H, this laptop also packs the GPU Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 16GB DDR4-2666 memory, 512GB PCIe SSD, and 1080p 144Hz screen.
Brief notes before we get to benchmarks. Testing laptop hardware can be a bit tricky, especially apple-to-apple, because we can not swap components like CPU and GPU to get rid of congestion and make the system identical if needed. But across all benchmarks up front, we'll focus on the closest comparison we could possibly make.
Since Aero 15 only has GTX 1070 Max-Q, in some GPUs and game tests, we will have a limited GPU. But this indeed brings the most real results because most laptops that use this CPU will have discrete GPUs no faster than the GTX 1070. Yes, you can get faster GPUs like the GTX 1080 on laptops, but they are expensive and usually not the most popular option.
I made one hardware change to Aero 15 for this CPU review, and that was to swap memory configuration from single channel to dual channel. The laptop is shipped with a single 16GB stick in it, but since most other laptops in our graphs use dual-channel memory, I swapped a single 16GB stick for two 8GB sticks at the same speed. To test results ...
The general consensus is that i7-8750H delivers significant performance improvements over i7-7700HQ for productivity workloads, especially multi-threaded ones and can take advantage of two extra cores. But what about gaming, especially on typical gaming laptops that are limited in both CPU and GPU power?
Let's kick things out with one of the games with the most limited CPU we tested: Civilization VI. Here the 8750H provides a decent 29 percent performance improvement when looking at the average framerate, compared to 7700HQ on MSI laptops with the same GPU and memory configurations. However, the lowest one percent does not benefit at all from the extra CPU power, so gaming experience on newer 8-generation CPU genes is not necessarily superior.
Assassin's Creed Origins is another fast-loving CPU game, and here we see a 12 percent rise in support of 8750H when viewing the average framerata using Ultra presets at 1080p, which extends to 30 percent in one percent of low performance. When we talk about the difference between 36 and 47 FPS in a very low 1% figure, having extra CPU power is very useful.
I also tested with a Medium preset at 1080p, and the margin was no bigger than the 8750H, at 11 percent average framerates and 24 percent in the lowest percent. At least in this game, it seems that both quality presets have some CPU limitations.