Despite the NUC7i7DNHE being the first “desktop” machine to feature Intel’s 8th generation quad-core processors, we’ve reviewed several notebooks with similar processors.
In this review, we’ll be comparing the performance of the Dawson Canyon NUC to the new Dell XPS 13, which is the best performing ultraportable notebook we’ve seen with the 8th generation processors thus far. Additionally, we'll also be using Broadwell-era NUC, the HP Envy x360 with AMD’s Ryzen 5 2500U, and the ASUS ZenBook 3 UX490UA with an 8th generation i7-8500U.
Rendering in Cinebench R15 shows a healthy performance advantage for the NUT7i7DNHE in single-threaded performance, about 4% faster than the next fastest system—the Dell XPS 13.
However, multi-threaded performance shows a massive 15% improvement for the Dell XPS 13 over the NUC system. The performance level of the Dawson Canyon NUC sits above the other notebook options.
Media transcoding in Handbrake shows a much small performance gap between the Dawson Canyon NUC and XPS 13, with the slight edge going to the XPS 13 by about 2-3% in both CPU and QuickSync encoding.
PCMark 10 Extended is a benchmarking suite that aims to emulate several different usage scenarios ranging from basic productivity to mixed workloads, as well as light gaming and to applications for creative professionals like photo and video editing.
The NUC7i7DNHE and Dell XPS 13 continue to trade blows in PCMark 10. While the NUC has a slight edge in the gaming subtest (3DMark Firestrike), and production testing (word processing and spreadsheets), the XPS 13 has a significant performance lead in Digital Content Creation as well as the Essentials test.
The edge in productivity for the NUC is likely due to those apps relying more on a single thread than the test of the tests. As we saw in our Cinebench results, the i7-8650U, with its 100MHz base and 200MHz turbo boost frequency advantage, provides superior single-threaded performance over the i7-8550U.