Intel Core i7-8557U
The Intel Core i7-8557U is a quad-core SoC for notebooks based on the Coffee Lake architecture that was announced in the new entry level MacBook Pro 13 in mid 2019. Compared to its predecessor, the CPU is now a quad-core with Hyperthreading support for the execution of up to 8 threads simultaneously. The base frequency is only 1.7 GHz, but the Turbo goes all the way up to 4.5 GHz. It is also equipped with an Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 GPU with 128 MB eDRAM, a dual-channel memory controller (DDR4) as well as VP9 and H.265 video decoding as well as encoding. The chip is still manufactured in a 14nm process with FinFET transistors.
Compared to slower Core i5 model with eDRAM and 15 Watts, the i5-8557U features 8 MB smart cache and the fastest clock of the Iris Plus GPU.
Intel basically uses the same micro architecture compared to Kaby Lake, 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.
Clocked at up to 4.5 GHz, the Core i7-8557U should offer an excellent single thread performance. The multi core performance is greatly improved due to the two additional cores (compared to the predecessor) but may be limited by the 15 Watt TDP (especially for sustained workloads).
The integrated Intel Iris Plus 645 Graphics is the GT3e model of the Coffee Lake GPU (Intel Gen. 9.5). It has 48 Execution Units running at 300-1150 MHz and the performance is comparable to a GeForce 930M or 940MX thanks to fast eDRAM cache. However, there aren't any significant improvements compared to the old Iris Plus 650, so modern games can often not be played smoothly or only at the lowest or medium settings, respectively.
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, which improves the efficiency even further. Intel specifies the TDP with 15 Watts and therefore suited for thin and light laptops.
|Series||Intel Coffee Lake|
Series: Coffee Lake Coffee Lake-U
|Clock Rate||1700 - 4500 MHz|
|Level 1 Cache||256 KB|
|Level 2 Cache||1 MB|
|Level 3 Cache||8 MB|
|Number of Cores / Threads||4 / 8|
|Power Consumption (TDP = Thermal Design Power)||28 Watt|
|Manufacturing Technology||14 nm|
|Max. Temperature||100 °C|
|Features||Dual-Channel DDR4 Memory Controller, HyperThreading, AVX, AVX2, Quick Sync, Virtualization, AES-NI, Intel SSE4.1, Intel SSE 4.2|
|GPU||Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 (300 - 1150 MHz)|
|64 Bit||64 Bit support|
|Product Link (external)||Intel Coffee Lake i7-8557U|