Today, we’re finally going to explore Kaby Lake G, one of the most unexpected and interesting pieces of hardware to come from Intel in a while. This is the first ever chip that combines an Intel CPU and AMD GPU onto the one piece of silicon, forming what is essentially the fastest APU-style processor on the market.
It’s not quite the same as an APU or SoC, but it does bring together a powerful CPU and highly capable GPU onto a single, compact chip.
By now you might have seen a bit of coverage of Intel’s Kaby Lake G NUC, otherwise known as Hades Canyon. That was the first Kaby Lake G product to hit the market, but as a NUC it’s a bit of a niche product and most reviewers got access to just the very top end model with the fastest Kaby Lake G SKU inside.
Considering Kaby Lake G is mostly designed for mobile devices like laptops, where the top-end SKU is unlikely to be used, to review this chip we really wanted to get our hands on the processor inside an actual laptop as a more common SKU.
The processor we have on hand to review is the Core i7-8705G, which is one of the 65W Kaby Lake-G variants, as opposed to the full 100W units seen in the NUC. There are already two laptops that use the 65W model, and moving forward if any more laptops are going use Kaby Lake-G, it’s far more likely they’ll be choosing a 65W model like the one we're testing today. So the benchmarks we’ll get to in a little bit should provide a good idea of how Kaby Lake G will perform for most users.
We’ve tested the 8705G inside the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1, a slim and light 15" laptop that also packs 16GB of dual-channel DDR4-2400. Since the best use cases for Kaby Lake G are these sorts of slim and light laptops, again we’ll be getting a good idea of how the chip performs in a typical usage scenario.