That embarrassing realization when the Core i9-9880H has outperformed every Core i9-9980HK laptop thus far

The MSI GE75 9SG and its Core i9-9880H CPU is faster than the Core i9-9980HK
The MSI GE75 9SG and its Core i9-9880H CPU is faster than the Core i9-9980HK
The slowest laptop with the Core i9-9980HK is the Dell XPS 15 7590 which the Core i9-9880H can outperform by as much 25 percent. If you're out looking for the "ultimate" Core i9 performance on mobile, the i9-9980HK offers only a marginal boost over the fastest i9-9880H laptop in the best of scenarios.
Allen Ngo,

During the 8th generation Intel Core H-series, some laptops like the Asus ZenBook Pro 15 or Gigabyte Aero 15 had the option between the Core i7-8750H or Core i9-8950HK. The latter, of course, would supposedly be the faster processor. The unfortunate reality is that laptops with the i9-8950HK would only be faster by mere single-digit percentage points over the i7-8750H.

Fast-forward one year and we are seeing a similar picture between the Intel 9th gen Core i9-9880H and Core i9-9980HK. The key benefit of the latter is its unlocked multiplier for potentially faster performance if the overlying laptop cooling solution can maintain the faster clock rates. As of this writing, however, we've yet to come across any laptop that can fully exploit the Core i9-9980HK. Of the five laptops we've tested thus far with the Core i9-9980HK, all of them score lower than the MSI GE75 9SG equipped with the less expensive Core i9-9880H. (buy MSI GE75 9SG now at Amazon)

A single CineBench Multi-Thread run never tells the entire story and so we always repeat the benchmark 30 times or more in an automated loop to unravel any potential throttling behavior. As shown below, the MSI GE75 9SG and its i9-9880H is able to edge out all the Core i9-9980HK laptops at stock settings even after accounting for any throttling behavior. It appears that these i9-9980HK laptops are unable to maintain the very high clock rates commonly associated with unlocked processors.

The single exception is our Schenker/Clevo Core i9-9980HK laptop which, when undervolted, can outperform the aforementioned MSI by 6 to 7 percent. However, when considering the extreme lengths we had to take just to barely squeeze out a win over the i9-9880H, the marginal difference is a bit disappointing.

We should note that our MSI in this example is the fastest laptop in our database with the i9-9880H processor. Other laptops with the i9-9880H like the HP Omen 15 may perform slower than the i9-9980HK. Still, the fact that almost no i9-9980HK laptop thus far can outperform the MSI is a slap in the face to Intel's top-of-the-line mobile Core i9 option. We're still waiting for that one Core i9-9980HK laptop to hopefully break this trend.

MSI GE75 9SG GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile, i9-9880H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø1619 (1602.44-1728.31)
Gigabyte Aero 17 XA RP77 GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i9-9980HK, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW512G8; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø1328 (1301.11-1593.37)
Eurocom Nightsky RX15 GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, i9-9980HK, Samsung SSD 970 Pro 512GB; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø1490 (1469.51-1815.95)
Dell XPS 15 7590 9980HK GTX 1650 GeForce GTX 1650 Mobile, i9-9980HK, Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV1T02; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø1314 (1090.6-1600.38)
Asus ZenBook Pro Duo UX581GV GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, i9-9980HK, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø1573 (1526.78-1689.97)
Schenker GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, i9-9980HK; CPU Multi 64Bit; Undervolting: Ø1728 (1721.24-1742.16)
Schenker GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, i9-9980HK; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø1427 (1404-1600.26)
HP Omen 17-cb0020ng GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile, i9-9880H, 2x Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ (RAID 0); CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø1291 (1278.24-1450)
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 09 > That embarrassing realization when the Core i9-9880H has outperformed every Core i9-9980HK laptop thus far
Allen Ngo, 2019-09-30 (Update: 2019-09-30)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.