Kaby Lake Core i7-7500U Versus Skylake Core i7-6500U on Dell XPS 13

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Real World Benchmarks

Dolphin 5.0 x64 Emulator Benchmark: link

The long awaited Dolphin 5.0 release happened in 2016 and thanks to a major cleaning up of the codebase Dolphin has reached a new level of efficiency, powered by a revitalized dynamic recompiler. Dolphin is considered by many to be the best Nintendo Wii emulator for PC you can find. It also works for Gamecube. We are running the official Dolphin 5.0 benchmark as it offers closer mapping to real world Dolphin performance as the previous version was extremely floating point heavy. We feel this is a pretty good general CPU benchmark for real world performance as emulation workloads are something that most gamers will run at one point or another.  We benchmark the standard Wii homebrew application and run it with the speed limit set to ‘unlimited’ and the External Frame Buffer set to ‘real’ in case you wanted to run this on your personal system.

Agisoft Photoscan 1.2.6 x64 – 2D to 3D Image Manipulation Benchmark: link

Agisoft PhotoScan is a stand-alone software product that performs photogrammetric processing of 2D digital images and generates 3D spatial data to be used in GIS applications, cultural heritage documentation, and visual effects production as well as for indirect measurements of objects of various scales. We us the 50 images from the ‘Building‘ sample data download page for our benchmark. We take the total time it takes to complete four steps: Align Photos, Build Dense Cloud, Build Model, Build Texture with all the default settings for each.

KeyShot 6.3 – 3D Rendering and Animation: link

KeyShot 3D rendering and animation software is one of the fastest, easiest way to create amazing, photographic visuals of your 3D data. We installed KeyShot 6.3 to do some benchmarking and real-world stress testing using the camera_benchmark.bip scene that is included with the application. This benchmark tests a 800×554 pixel image with a continuous sample rate and shows the Frames Per Second (FPS) that the scene is being rendered from. This scene has nearly 42,000 triangles and does a good job at using all available cores to render the scene.

Blender 2.78a Open Source 3D Creation Benchmark: link

Blender is the free and open source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation. We use the BMW CPU Benchmark (CCO, 3MB) created by Mike Pan for our testing.

Real World Benchmark Results Summary: When it comes to our ‘real world’ benchmark tests we found between a 4.7% increase and 18.8% performance advantage for the Intel Core i7-7500U Kabylake processor in the latest Dell XPS 13 9360 laptop. The performance advantage for the Intel 7th Generation Core i7-7500U processor was 9.2% in Blender, 4.7% in Keyshot, 11.3% in Photoscan and a massive 18.8% performance increase in Dolphin!

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  • Alfred Zanini

    I have an option for an i7 6500u model for 940$ us. Worth it?

  • YOUDIEMOFO

    Not sure if I’m just seeing it wrong, but would these scores not be the same if core “clock speeds” were the same…!? I get that there is more performance to be had on the kaby, but this would not be enough for me to jump ship for such a small incremental performance increase.

  • Spineman

    Great review. Thanks. Intel should have just waited on this one. Not enough to warrant an upgrade. They need to acquire Nvidia and get some real graphics pros on board. Yawn! It will hopefully lower the Surface Pro 4 pricing even more as rich boys upgrade to this “power” processor. lol.

    • AdamBoy64

      True, if you’re already using an i7-6500u there’s not much of a jump.

      It’s good for those in the market though to be able to compare. I was considering a 6500u as it didn’t seem much different, but it seems like there’s more of a jump than I expected.

  • Greg Zeng

    Running on battery makes the upgrade very worthwhile. These improvements should also be visible on other products with the new CPU.

  • Patrick DuChene

    Great article. Its not very often we see such thorough information. Thanks for that. Helps clarify a bit more of the true benefits on Kaby Lake over Skylake.
    Nice work

  • anon

    10% more performance for 10% higher clock speed? If scores are not normalized its difficult to compare when products are sooo similar.
    The performance boost could be alleged to a higher absolute performance, but its not.

    Also in the power comsumption chart, HEV (page 8) decoding power use seems missleading. You cannot use a line graph to compare different usages of power because the lines between the points mean a progression which is non existant. Should be a bar chart as well.

    I like very much legit, and I think you should pay attention to this kind of details.

    • anon

      The claim is the 14nm+ process achieves a higher clock with equivalent TDP.

    • Nathan Kirsch

      I get your point on the chart, so I updated it! Thanks for the feedback and we always strive to make the reviews as good as possible!

      • anon

        This kind of feedback is what makes legit what it is. Kudos for you.

  • Earl Keim

    Excellent article, Nathan. Nice to see one can have a long flight overseas, etc. and never run out of battery.