Intel 8th Gen Core Mobile Performance Review: Kaby Lake R Explored

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Intel Kaby Lake R: PCMark, PowerDirector And Premiere Benchmarks

We always want to know how well any laptop we are testing will perform in the general-purpose or office productivity sort of computing tasks that make up the bulk of the workload most users perform. The following tests will put the CPU and GPU on board these Acer Swift 3 laptops under some strain so we can see how well things shake out.

First up, the venerable PCMark 8. Since we aren't concerned with disk performance here - and all three laptops sport the same SSD - we will only concern ourselves with the Home Accelerated and Work Accelerated tests. From Futuremark's website: "Home includes workloads for web browsing, writing, gaming, photo editing, and video chat. The PCMark 8 Work benchmark test measures your system's ability to perform basic office work tasks, such as writing documents, browsing websites, creating spreadsheets and using video chat."

acer swift 3 bench pcmark8 v2

Our Kaby Lake R models again bring an appreciable advantage over their Kaby Lake counterpart. There isn't as dramatic of an uptick in performance as some may expect with doubled core counts, but do keep in mind most tasks are still single-threaded and these tests are dependent on total system performance, meaning storage and memory can still serve as potential bottlenecks.

We then wanted to dive into more focused workloads centered around video rendering.

The first test uses Cyberlink's PowerDirector 16 to encode a 1 minutes and 43 second 4K HEVC project at 30fps and 37MBps with Intel's Quick Sync enabled.

acer swift 3 bench powerdirector 16 v2

These results primarily reflect Quick Sync's continued optimizations, and the Kaby Lake R notebooks complete our render approximately 12.5% faster than the previous generation. The extra CPU cores may contribute a little, but ultimately this benchmark is constrained by the Intel (U)HD Graphics 620's performance.

Our second video rendering benchmark uses Adobe Premiere CC (2018) to encode a 3 minute and 23 second 4K H.264 project at 30fps using the Match Source - High Bitrate preset (target 10MBps).

acer swift 3 bench premiere 2018 v2

Unlike the PowerDirector workload, our Adobe Premiere workload's encode is performed by the CPU and it really shows. The extra cores shave around a third of the encode time off. Of course, we don't see true 1-to-1 scaling across the cores, but the gains are still monumental and welcomed, especially for producing videos on the road.

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