Gaming Notebooks Compared

One of the most common comments posted in response to mini-PC reviews is that the value proposition of an equivalent notebook is much higher than that of the PC. While there are plenty of factors that might make this comparison invalid, we thought it would be interesting to see how the NUC8i7HVK fares against premium gaming notebooks. Towards this, we borrowed a few benchmarks from our notebook reviews and processed them on the NUC. In the graphs below, we also have the gaming mini-PCs on which the benchmarks were processed. First, we will look at some artificial benchmarks before moving on to the games themselves.

3DMark Revisited

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)
Futuremark 3DMark (2013)
Futuremark 3DMark (2013)
Futuremark 3DMark (2013)
Futuremark 3DMark (2013)
Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

GFXBench

GFXBench 3.0 Manhattan Offscreen 1080p
GFXBench 3.0 T-Rex Offscreen 1080p

Dota 2

Dota 2 Reborn - Enthusiast

Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor

Shadow of Mordor - Enthusiast

The takeaway from these results is that the performance of the Radeon RX Vega M GH roughly slots around GTX 970M. There are some benchmarks such as Dota 2 that are more sensitive to the CPU power, and in those cases, we find that the NUC8i7HVK actually comes in far ahead of other gaming notebooks that use processors with TDPs of 45W or lower.

Gaming Benchmarks Networking and Storage Performance
POST A COMMENT

126 Comments

View All Comments

  • PeachNCream - Friday, March 30, 2018 - link

    The price really is way too high right now compared to a laptop if your focus is gaming. If you need a LAN party portable box, a laptop is usually a better option anyway since the screen and keyboard aren't additional components you'll have to take with you. Because the NUC is so small, it lacks the upgrade advantages offered by a desktop form factor so you're basically dealing with an overpriced, screenless laptop. I'm all for the technology at the heart of the new NUC, but you're absolutely right that it needs to start at $600. Reply
  • bill44 - Thursday, March 29, 2018 - link

    I was hoping so much from this machine, ready to buy, only to be disappointed.

    No Titan Ridge TB3 (DP 1.4)
    No UHD-BD playback
    TB3 not connected to CPU
    UHS-1 only card reader, no UHS-II
    Issues with storage bandwidth since Spectre/Meltdown issues, no in-silicon fix (I know, 2nd half 2018).
    Disappointing WiFi speed, no BT 5, even if M.2 changed no aerial.
    Hardware decoding/codec issues
    etc.

    When can we expect the next (fixed version) :)
    Reply
  • cacnoff - Thursday, March 29, 2018 - link

    Titan Ridge - not out yet.
    UHD-BD playback - doesn't work on nvidia either.
    Point to ANY designs with TB3 connected to CPU.
    Reply
  • repoman27 - Thursday, March 29, 2018 - link

    Apple does this pretty regularly. But last I knew, everyone else had to go through the PCH due to Windows / UEFI limitations. Which is a bummer because of the additional latency and clear potential for bandwidth contention. Reply
  • npz - Friday, March 30, 2018 - link

    That's true uhd-bd can't purely work on nvidia gpus but they have two freaking separate independent gpus here, so surely they could've left the hd 630 enabled. Reply
  • Hifihedgehog - Thursday, March 29, 2018 - link

    “We can actually see that the codec support from the Intel side is miles ahead of the Radeon's capabilities.”

    This is misinformed at best, and categorically false at worse. I have been using a Ryzen 5 2400G, on an ASRock AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac motherboard to drive an HDMI 2.0 4K display at 12-bit (yes, despite lacking formal certification, HDMI 2.0 works flawlessly on 300-series motherboards). I successfully can play back various hefty video material, including HEVC in the form of lossless MKV rips of my UHD Blu-rays, and VP9. Moreover, the color, deblocking, and scaling is far superior in terms of pure optical fidelity to the Intel Skull Canyon NUC’s hazy, unrefined hardware decoding solution. Also, I could go at length about the dropout and timing issues of Intel’s HD Graphics with various high-end AV receivers (Marantz, Denon, and Yamaha) that I have had (e.g. timing issues from their onboard DP-to-HDMI converters causing DAC and sound processing to operate in a compatibility mode with 16-bit sound depth). Suffice it to say, from an objective standpoint, Intel’s NUCs are utter trash, littered with issues, that fall far short from being serious home theater solutions.
    Reply
  • garbagedisposal - Thursday, March 29, 2018 - link

    " misinformed at best, and categorically false at worse"
    Yes, you are.

    "HDMI 2.0 works flawlessly on 300-series motherboards"
    Congrats on discovering the obvious. Nobody claimed otherwise

    "successfully can play back various hefty video material, including HEVC"
    So can intel, better and at lower power. Isn't it sad that the radeon can't do VP9 or netflix?

    "color, deblocking, and scaling is far superior"
    Sure. Everything just looks so wrong on intel. Certainly takes a special snowflake like you to notice, good job.

    "Marantz, Denon, and Yamaha"
    Nobody cares.

    Rabid angry people like you are funny, do you really think anyone is going to read or care about your comment? Go away LOL
    Reply
  • Hifihedgehog - Thursday, March 29, 2018 - link

    Please be polite and less “rabid.” Thanks. Reply
  • Hifihedgehog - Thursday, March 29, 2018 - link

    For anyone reading the post above, Vega can correctly decode VP9, hybrid or otherwise. What was posted above is incorrect. Reply
  • Hifihedgehog - Thursday, March 29, 2018 - link

    “Congrats on discovering the obvious. Nobody claimed otherwise”

    This is also false. Many reviews online of the Ryzen Raven Ridge APUs claimed that HDMI 2.0 support was yet non-existent given that most motherboard manufacturers state only HDMI 1.4 for their 300-series AM4 boards. This concerned many users, but after thorough research and testing (see here: smallformfactor (dot) net /forum/threads/raven-ridge-hdmi-2-0-compatibility-1st-gen-am4-motherboard-test-request-megathread.6709/ ; I am the one who started the thread and led its discussion), it was concluded that all current motherboards work without limitations or issue regardless of the published specifications. I will also ignore the passive-aggressive sarcasm and sentiment laced in-between the lines from the “Congrats” to the “LOL.” Please be less rabid and angry, and more people will take your seriously.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now