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

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Intel Kaby Lake R: 3DMark, Far Cry 2 And GRID Autosport Gaming Benchmarks

For our final benchmark analysis, we want to briefly explore gaming and graphics performance. Regardless of other improvements, the integrated GPU on-board Intel's Kaby Lake Refresh 8th Gen chips remains virtually unchanged from the previous generation, despite its new UHD moniker.

To test the graphics firepower of our Acer units, we fired up 3DMark and used the Cloud Gate and Sky Diver tests to see how they rank. Sky Diver is the more strenuous of the pair of 3DMark tests we run, Cloud Gate is up first with Sky Diver next.

acer swift 3 bench 3dm cloud gate v2

acer swift 3 bench 3dm sky diver v2

As anticipated, the new UHD Graphics 620 delivers a sizble 20 - 33 percent improvement in both tests, but doesn't quite push the needle into entry-level discrete graphics performance territory. For that, buyers will want to opt instead for a MX150-equipped notebook. This low-end NVIDIA GPU based on the Pascal architecture will still struggle with AAA titles at maximum settings, of course, but still it looks like a strong step forward for affordable gaming on ultrabooks.

Representing some real-world titles these laptops can tackle, we have Far Cry 2 and GRID Autosport. Sure, Far Cry 2 has been around the block a few times and is many years old, but it is still a good test for entry-level PCs and ultrabooks alike. It features high quality textures, complex shaders, and dynamic lighting to create a rich and immersive environment. More importantly, it includes a reliable benchmarking tool. We ran this benchmark at 1080p on the " Very High" detail preset with DirectX 10. It is actually still a great yardstick to see just how far integrated graphics solutions have come.

acer swift 3 bench far cry 2 v2

GRID Autosport is a cross-platform racing simulation developed by Codemasters. After the luke-warm reception of GRID 2, due to its less than realistic racing model, the Codemasters team set out to improve GRID Autosport's handling and environment to make it feel like more of a true racing simulator. The game is based on Codemasters' EGO engine that has an amped-up physics and damage system that adds to the immersion and authenticity. Codemasters also tuned the engine to perform well over a wide variety of mainstream systems, so it makes for a good watermark for a medium-duty graphics workload. It also happens to be listed as "optimized for integrated Intel HD Graphics."

acer swift 3 bench grid autosport v2

Kaby Lake R's UHD Graphics 620 pushes Far Cry 2 just over the line into "playable" frame rates. GRID Autosport still sits just under that 30fps average threshold we like to see as a minimum for games. However, with a couple graphical settings dialed down, this title should be just fine on integrated graphics as well. For the best experience though, we'll certainly reiterate the appeal of NVIDIA's MX150 GPU which serves up more than 60fps even in the minimums for both titles.

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