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Simulation, Compression Benchmarks
If you need to do some serious number crunching in Excel, Kaby Lake-R could be exactly what you are after. The i7-8550U absolutely dominates this test, more than doubling the time the i7-7500U puts up. This is down the short duration of the Excel Monte Carlo workload; it allows the i7-8550U to ramp all four cores up to the maximum turbo frequency of 3.7 GHz, which exceeds the 7500U's dual-core turbo speed of 3.5 GHz.
The 8550U even outperforms the i7-7700HQ, and that's for the same reason: the boost frequency of the Kaby Lake-R 15W part is higher by 200 MHz. It'll be interesting to see what Intel's H-series Kaby Lake-R (or Coffee Lake) parts bring to the table this year to counter getting beaten by Intel's own lower-TDP SKUs.
It's a similar story in MATLAB, which will make engineers happy. The i7-8550U once again pushes into i7-7700HQ territory, shaving 30 percent off the simulation time produced by the i7-7500U. Running longer scripts will definitely benefit from this shorter compute time.
Compression is another extremely impressive workload for Kaby Lake-R, especially when multi-threaded. Here, the 8550U crushes the 7500U to the tune of 128 percent, again due to the addition of two cores and the extra clock speed provided. Single-threaded performance is impressive as well, jumping up 30 percent assisted by additional memory bandwidth and more cache.
Single-threaded performance doesn't quite match what the quad-core 7700HQ provides, but multi-threaded performance is on par. This is another great result for Kaby Lake-R.