Intel Core i7-8650U vs Intel Core i7-6820HQ vs Intel Core i7-6870HQ
Intel Core i7-8650U► remove
The Intel Core i7-8650U is a power efficient quad-core SoC for notebooks and Ultrabooks based on the Kaby Lake Refresh generation and was announced in August 2017. Contrary to its direct predecessor the Core i7-7600U, which were still dual-cores, the i7-8650U is equipped with four cores but at a lower base frequency of 1.9 GHz. The Turbo Boost can go up to 4,2 GHz and therefore also offer good short term single core speeds. The GPU is now named Intel UHD Graphics 620 but otherwise identical to the Intel HD Graphics 620. The integrated memory controller supports DDR4-2400 / LPDDR3-2133 and dual channel memory.
Intel basically uses the same micro architecture compared to Skylake, so the per-MHz performance does not differ. The manufacturer only reworked the Speed Shift technology for faster dynamic adjustments of voltages and clocks, and the improved 14nm process allows much higher frequencies combined with better efficiency than before.
According to Intel, the new quad core models are up to 40% faster than their dual core predecessors. Due to the reduced TDP and the same 14nm+ process, the long term performance and throttling behaviour will be interesting and depending on the laptop design. Therefore, the older 35 Watt quad-core models should be faster in applications that demand longer CPU loads. The performance however is highly depending on the TDP settings and cooling solution of the laptop. Especially, longer loads will show varying results in different laptops.
Contrary to Skylake, Kaby lake now also supports H.265/HEVC Main 10 with a 10-bit color depth as well as Google's VP9 codec. The dual-core Kaby Lake processors announced in January should also support HDCP 2.2.
The chip is manufactured in an improved 14nm process with FinFET transistors (14nm+), the same as the 7th Gen Kaby Lake processors. Intel still specifies the TDP with 15 Watts, which is typical for ULV chips. Depending on the usage scenario, the TDP can vary between 7.5 (cTDP Down) and 25 Watts.
Intel Core i7-6820HQ► remove
The Intel Core i7-6820HQ is a quad-core processor based on the Skylake architecture, that has been launched in September 2015. In addition to four CPU cores with Hyper-Threading clocked at 2.7 - 3.6 GHz (4 cores: max. 3.2 GHz, 2 cores: max. 3.4 GHz), the chip also integrates an HD Graphics 530 GPU and a dual-channel DDR4-2133/DDR3L-1600 memory controller. The CPU is manufactured using a 14 nm process with FinFET transistors.
Compared to the very similar Core i7-6820HK, the Core i7-6820HQ supports additional administration and security features like Intel vPro and TXT, but lacks the unlocked multiplier for OC.
Skylake replaces both Haswell and Broadwell and brings the same microarchitecture in every TDP class from 4.5 to 45 W. The extensive improvements of the Skylake design include increased out-of-order buffers, optimized prefetching and branch prediction as well as additional performance gains through Hyper-Threading. Overall, however, performance per clock has been increased by only 5 to 10 percent (compared to Haswell) respectively under 5 percent (compard to Broadwell), which is quite modest for a new architecture ("Tock").
Thanks to the improved architecture, the Core i7-6820HQ performs roughly on par with the former Core i7-4900MQ (Haswell) or the Core i7-5700HQ (Broadwell). Under long-lasting full load, the Skylake chip will take the lead over most of its Haswell-based predecessors, as the advanced 14 nm process leads to a higher energy efficiency and reduces throttling.
Even the most demanding applications and excessive multitasking are handled easily.
The integrated graphics unit called HD Graphics 530 represents the "GT2" version of the Skylake GPU (Intel Gen. 9). The 24 Execution Units, also called EUs, are clocked at 350 - 1050 MHz and offer a performance about 20 percent above the old HD Graphics 4600. Games of 2015 can thus be played smoothly in low or medium settings. For more information about performance and features, check our page for the HD Graphics 530.
Specified at a TDP of 45 W (including CPU, GPU and memory controller), the CPU is best suited for bigger notebooks 15-inches in size and above. Optionally, the TDP can be lowered to 35 watts (cTDP down), reducing both heat dissipation and performance.
Intel Core i7-6870HQ► remove
The Intel Core i7-6870HQ is a fast quad-core processor for notebooks based on the Skylake architecture and was introduced in the beginning of 2016. Besides four CPU cores including Hyperthreading, which are clocked between 2.7-3.6 GHz (probable Turbo steps: 4 cores: up to 3.2 GHz, 2 cores: up to 3.4 GHz), the processor also includes a very fast graphics unit. The Iris Pro Graphics 580 (GT4e) has 72 EUs as well as 128 MB eDRAM cache, which can also be used by the CPU cores. It is manufactured using a 14 nm process with FinFET transistors.
Contrary to other models like the Core i7-6820HQ, the i7-6870HQ does have a much faster GPU, but neither supports the instruction set extensions TSX-NI nor vPro.
Intel uses Skylake to replace both Broadwell as well as Haswell and therefore uses one core design for all TDP classes between 4.5-45 Watts. Several improvements of the Skylake architecture include bigger Out-to-Order-Buffer, optimizations for pre-fetching as well as bigger gains by Hyperthreading. However, the changes are small for a "Tock" – a new micro architecture – in general, so the per-MHz performance is only between 5-10 % (compared to Haswell) or less than 5 % higher (compared to Broadwell), respectively.
The i7-6870HQ also benefits from the additional eDRAM cache in some cases, which can accelerate memory-heavy applications in particular.
Thanks to the additional eDRAM cache, the i7-6870HQ should even compete with the similarly clocked i7-6820HQ and is therefore one of the fastest notebook processors in the beginning of 2016. Even the most demanding applications and excessive multi-tasking are no problem for the high-end CPU.
The integrated GPU with the designation Iris Pro Graphics 580 (also known as "GT4e") represents the fastest version of the Skylake GPU (Intel Gen. 9). 72 Execution Units (EUs) run at 350 up to 1000 MHz and allow a performance comparable to a dedicated mainstream chip. The GPU might be able to compete with a GeForce 945M under perfect conditions and it is therefore the fastest iGPU on the market by a pretty big margin. Modern games from 2015/2016 can usually be played smoothly at medium settings. More information about the performance and the features is available on our dedicated page for the Iris Pro Graphics 580.
According to its TDP of 45 Watts, the chip is primarily designed for bigger notebooks starting with 15-inch screens. The TDP can optionally be reduced to 35 Watts (cTDP down), but this would obviously affect the performance.
|Intel Core i7-8650U||Intel Core i7-6820HQ||Intel Core i7-6870HQ|
|Intel Kaby Lake Refresh||Intel Core i7||Intel Core i7|
|Kaby Lake Refresh||Skylake||Skylake|
|: Core i7 Skylake|
|1900 - 4200 MHz||2700 - 3600 MHz||2700 - 3600 MHz|
|256 KB||256 KB||256 KB|
|1 MB||1 MB||1 MB|
|8 MB||8 MB||8 MB|
|4 / 8||4 / 8||4 / 8|
|Dual-Channel DDR4 Memory Controller, HyperThreading, AVX, AVX2, Quick Sync, Virtualization, AES-NI||Dual-Channel DDR3L-1600/DDR4-2133 Memory Controller, AVX, AVX2, Quick Sync, Virtualization, AES-NI, vPro, TXT||Dual-Channel DDR3L-1600/DDR4-2133 Memory Controller, AVX, AVX2, Quick Sync, Virtualization, AES-NI, TXT|
|iGPU||Intel UHD Graphics 620 (300 - 1150 MHz)||Intel HD Graphics 530 (350 - 1050 MHz)||Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580 (350 - 1000 MHz)|
|$409 U.S.||$378 U.S.||$434 U.S.|
|Intel Kaby Lake Refresh i7-8650U||Intel Core i7 6820HQ||Intel Core i7 6870HQ|
|100 °C||100 °C|