An interesting look at Intel's new Kaby Lake platform was published over at PC Perspective. Ryan Shrout got his hands on two HP Spectre X360 laptops, one with the Core i7-6500U "Skylake" processor and another one with the new Core i7-7500U "Kaby Lake" processor.
While the author expected to see performance gains in the range of around 5 percent, he was pleasantly surprised by bigger than expected gains thanks to improvements in the process technology and platform implementation. General system performance benchmarks showed a 20 percent gain, content creation saw decent gains too, and gaming performance in Overwatch saw a big 31 percent boost thanks to the better integrated graphics.
For example, looking at something like H.264 video encoding, I was fully expecting a ~5% performance advantage that was in line with the base clock improvements from the specifications we showed you on an earlier page. Instead, we saw well over double digit gains in some areas, proving that clock speed, thermal improvements and technologies like the updated Speed Shift were combining into a “better than the sum of its parts” result. Other noted surprises were the gaming benefits (over 30% faster in Overwatch) and an 18% edge on POV-Ray, a heavily multi-threaded rendering engine.
Power efficiency also saw a massive increase. The site's battery life test, which consists of Chrome web browsing, saw battery life of 10.6 hours on the Kaby Lake system, almost two hours longer than the Skylake model! As such, PC Perspective concludes Kaby Lake isn't as big a dud as many people thought it would be. We'll have to wait a bit longer until the desktop parts hit the market, but for laptops the gains are real.