GPU Performance

Let’s take a closer look at the Vega M GPU included with the Core i7-8705G, because that’s where a lot of the interest will lie. In particular, it’ll be interesting to see how the Vega M GPU with 20 compute units stacks up against other popular discrete GPU options like the GTX 1050.

We want to start with 3DMark’s entire suite of tests here, because we think it paints a really interesting picture of how Kaby Lake G stacks up against the GTX 1050 combined with an i7-7700HQ. Unfortunately, we don’t have data for an 8750H and GTX 1050 combo just yet, but hopefully I’ll be able to follow up on that soon.

In any case, with the more CPU demanding tests like Cloud Gate and Sky Diver, Kaby Lake G is clearly behind the 7700HQ with a discrete GTX 1050. In the overall score for Cloud Gate, the 8705G is nearly 10 percent behind the GTX 1050. However as you move into more GPU intensive tests, the 8705G pulls well ahead, and in the top-tier Time Spy test, the Vega-equipped processor is now 16 percent ahead in the overall score and 17 percent faster in the graphics score.

This paints a good picture for Kaby Lake G’s gaming prospects, as games are mostly going to be GPU bound particularly on a GPU in the class of a 20 CU Vega. For GPU compute heavy workloads as well, you can expect Kaby Lake G to outperform a GTX 1050 and fall just below a GTX 1050 Ti, though clearly well behind a GTX 1060 6GB.

Similar results to 3DMark are seen in our two Grand Theft Auto V game tests. When playing on near maximum settings at 1080p, which is quite GPU intensive, the 8705G pulls 26 percent ahead although both systems are sub 30 FPS at this point. Using medium settings, however, the GTX 1050 gains an 8 percent performance advantage as the game loads up the CPU to a greater degree. Although you can clearly see with an 80 FPS average that GTA V is playable on Kaby Lake G.

In Rise of the Tomb Raider, the discrete GTX 1050 combo does slightly outperform Kaby Lake G using DirectX 12 and High settings at 1080p, to the tune of 6 percent. This is a game that this class of GPU tends to struggle with and to get a good gaming experience I’d recommend turning down the quality levels further.

In Deus Ex Mankind Divided, the Core i7-8705G is a good 8 percent faster than our discrete GTX 1050 combo at 1080p using the High preset.

It’s also worth discussing where Kaby Lake G falls relative to GPUs more commonly found in gaming laptops. Using our newer game testing suite, you can see the 8705G provides almost exactly half the performance of the GTX 1060 6GB in Assassin’s Creed Origins using the Medium preset at 1080p. It’s a similar story in games like Watch Dogs 2 and Prey; you’re going to get around half the framerate of a genuine GTX 1060 gaming laptop.

In general, the 8705G in this sort of form factor provides a decent entry- to mid-level gaming experience, with performance between that of a GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 Ti discrete GPU, though closer to a 1050 Ti in more GPU-intensive games.