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PCMark 8 is an interesting benchmark to start with, because it depends on more than just the CPU and GPU: some tests also stress memory and storage performance. However it does give a good idea of how the i7-8550U stacks up against a general field of competitors.
The good news here is that Kaby Lake-R gets off to a strong start, outperforming Core i7-7500U systems in the range of 10 to 20 percent. Impressively, it trades blows with some Core i7-7700HQ gaming laptops we've tested, such as the Gigabyte Aero 15, which benefit from a much higher CPU TDP and also significantly more powerful graphics.
Kaby Lake-R also performs strongly in the newer PCMark 10 test, here improving on the Core i7-7500U by a decent 60 percent when looking at the overall score. This is partially down to a massive boost in the 'digital content creation' score, assisted by double the core and thread count. Again, the i7-8550U trades blows with the i7-7700HQ.