The general consensus is the i7-8750H provides a significant performance increase over the i7-7700HQ for productivity workloads, particularly those that are multi-threaded and can make good use of the extra two cores. But what about gaming, especially on a typical gaming laptop that is limited in both CPU and GPU power?
Let’s kick things off with one of the most CPU limited games we test with: Civilization VI. Here the 8750H provides a decent 29 percent performance uplift when looking at average framerates, compared to the 7700HQ in an MSI laptop with the same GPU and memory configuration. However, one percent lows don’t benefit at all from the extra CPU power, so the ‘experience’ of the game on the newer 8th-gen CPU isn’t necessarily superior.
Assassin’s Creed Origins is another game that likes a fast CPU, and here we’re seeing a 12 percent gain in favour of the 8750H when looking at average framerates using the Ultra preset at 1080p, which extends to 30 percent in one percent low performance. When we’re talking about a difference between 36 and 47 FPS in that crucial 1% low figure, having that extra CPU power is very handy.
I also tested with the Medium preset at 1080p, and that margin isn’t as large in favour of the 8750H, at 11 percent in average framerates and 24 percent in one percent lows. At least in this game, it appears both quality presets have some CPU limitations.
Watch Dogs 2, another Ubisoft title, famously punishes the CPU. Here we’re looking at an 8 percent gain in favour of the 8750H compared to the 7700HQ in average framerates, which grows slightly to 11 percent looking at one percent lows. This is using the Ultra preset, so if you want to turn the settings down to the Medium preset, the margin grows to 12 percent on average, and 16 percent in 1% lows.
Surprisingly, Mass Effect Andromeda benefits a fair bit from the faster 8750H. Using the Ultra quality preset at 1080p, the game is 17 percent faster on average with the six-core CPU, and 27 percent faster looking at the 1% low results.
In some games, the quality preset you opt for will determine whether you benefit from the extra CPU horsepower, at least with a GTX 1070 Max-Q. If you love the Ultra preset, you’ll only see up to an 11 percent performance improvement in Rise of the Tomb Raider for example, but if you switch to High at 1080p expect 16 percent better 1% lows.
Several other games at fairly typical quality levels showed single digit or even zero performance improvements with the 8750H. Grand Theft Auto V, for example, performed within the margin of error of a 7700HQ system using High settings, and that’s with average framerates that exceed 100 FPS. Prey, which produces a 1% low figure above 60 FPS using the Very High preset, showed no performance gains with the 8750H.
Hitman, which can be CPU limited at times, surprisingly showed no difference to 1% low performance with the 8750H when playing at Ultra detail settings. Middle-earth: Shadow of War was around 6% faster with the 8750H regardless of whether you played using the Ultra or High preset, the latter of which provides a 1% low above 60 FPS.