Intel Core i7-8550U specs and early benchmarks
AMD really managed to put the pressure on Intel with their impressive Ryzen CPUs. Intel announced their 8th generation Core CPUs codenamed Coffee Lake as a response to the Ryzen threat, and initial roadmaps showed the new processors coming in late August – early September. Looks like Intel did not want to waste any more time, and already started distributing Coffee Lake laptops to select reviewers. The LaptopMedia review team has entered into possession of a Core i7-8550U laptop and already published some initial test results, ahead of the final review.
The i7-8550U CPU is a 14 nm 4-core / 8-thread CPU running at 1.8 GHz by default, with boosted clocks going up to 3.69 GHz. It also integrates 8 MB of Level 3 cache memory, but the most important feature seems to be the TDP of only 15 W.
Intel has worked on reducing the TDPs for all their Coffee Lake mobile CPUs, improving the performance per watt ratio. Since laptop batteries have not been improved much over the course of the past few years, the CPU consumption remained an important factor when choosing a laptop. For comparison purposes, the high-end i7-7700HQ CPU has a 45 W TDP and previous ultra-low voltage CPUs with the U denominator did not impress in the performance department. The new i7-8550U, however, proves to have an excellent performance per watt ratio for its 15 W TDP.
LaptopMedia tested the i7-8550U in Chinebench 11 and 15 and it turns out that the Coffee Lake CPU overtakes the i5-6300HQ and is just a bit behind the i5-7300HQ. Compared to the i7-7500U (the gen 7 ULV king), the new Coffee Lake CPU manages an impressive 50% performance jump. The performance jump is even bigger if we analyze the Photoshop test (check out the images at the bottom of the article).
LaptopMedia notes that the i7-8550U could prove to be a decent choice for gaming laptops, when paired with a GTX 1060. The HD Graphics 620 integrated GPU is still decent for light games like Dota 2 and CS: GO. Moreover, the new CPU could also be a good solution for creative professionals using Photoshop or Premier, as long as the laptop comes equipped with enough RAM and a fast M.2 NVMe SSD.
The first Coffee Lake laptops should start arriving in early September. Be sure to check our review section for extensive reviews of all Coffee Lake CPU models.