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

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Media Encoding & Encryption Benchmarks

HandBrake v0.10.5 – link

HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows. It is popular today as it allows you to transcode multiple input video formats to h.264 output format and is highly multithreaded. We used Big Buck Bunny as our input file, which has become one of the world standards for video benchmarks. For our benchmark scenario we used a standard 2D 4K (3840×2160) 60 FPS clip in the MP4 format and used Handbrake version 0.10.5 to shrink that down to 1920×1080 to reduce the file size. This is something people often do to save space to put movies onto mobile devices. We the workload is encoded into h.264 output format using the normal preset. The file started out at 642MB in size with a total bitrate of 8476kps and ended up being 342MB in size with a total bitrate of 4515kbps with these settings.

X264 HD Encoding – link

the x264 HD Benchmark is a reproducible measure of how fast your machine can encode a short HD-quality video clip into a high quality x264 video file. It’s nice because everyone running it will use the same video clip and software. The video encoder (x264.exe) reports a fairly accurate internal benchmark (in frames per second) for each pass of the video encode and it also uses multi-core processors very efficiently. All these factors make this an ideal benchmark to compare different processors and systems to each other. We are using x264 HD v5.0.1 for this test.

Media Encoding Benchmark Results Summary: Our media tests showed that the Intel Core i7-7500U Kabylake processor was 3.3% faster in our handbrake test and then in x264 HD it was 14.0% faster on the first pass and a solid 6.6% faster in the second pass.  Not bad results here as this will shave minutes off transcoding entire movies.

VeraCrypt 1.19 – link

VeraCrypt is an open-source disk encryption software brought to you by IDRIX and is a fork based on the discontinued TrueCrypt 7.1a utility. The developers claim that weaknesses found in TrueCrypt have been resolved with the VeraCrypt project. This is a popular utility used by people that don’t want to use Microsoft’s built-in encyption tool for Windows 10 called Bitlocker.

Encryption Benchmark Results Summary: This AES Encryption test shows that the Intel Core i7-7500U Kabylake processor was 16.7% faster than the Intel Core i7-6500U!

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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.