8th gen Intel U processors - gaming
So i'm wanting to upgrade my 2015 MacBook Pro this summer but if Apple fail to fix the keyboard issue on the current models at WWDC, i'll instead switch to a Windows laptop for the first time in six years. If so i'll purchase either the Dell XPS 13 or Razer stealth, either way the plan is to pair it with an eGPU.
My concern though is that the U processors, such as the i7-8550U quad core will be too slow for gaming and thermal throttle when it boosts the clock speed. Investing in a nice graphics card to find my processor can't drive the games would be disappointing to say the least.
So i'd be very interested in the experience people have had gaming on these processors, particularly when paired with an eGPU.
I'm in agreement with you (as are many Mac users). The next 18 months will say a lot about Apple's commitment with Mac products. I like the 2016 15" MacBook Pro for its future-proof Thunderbolt 3 architecture but it has many shortcomings. WWDC18 next week is less than two years into this current form so I highly doubt there will be a departure from the thin-at-all-cost design.
Meanwhile there are more and more compelling offers from competitors. I know Apple's grip on Mac users is software rather than hardware alone. The last few macOS versions are cause for concerns though. I haven't used the XPS 9370 but spent a lot of time using the latest Blade Stealth with eGPUs. It's a nice setup for gaming. Here's some benchmarks I did for the RX 580 Gaming Box review showing the difference between 2016 15" MacBook Pro vs 2018 Razer Blade Stealth.
I'm ok with the thunderbolt only design on the MacBooks but won't invest in one when the keyboard can fail at anytime through no fault of my own, and be required to carry around a compressed air canister in case dust gets underneath the keys, which hardly makes it a 'thin & light' option anymore. I've not used Windows in six years so it'll be a tad intimidating moving back to it but i'm sure i'd adjust in a week or two, will loose some software i've bought over the years though.
The concern is the processor for thin & light laptops, I can always upgrade the GPU to push the gains that bit further but I typically keep my laptops for 3-4 years. My goal would be to achieve 1440p resolution at a steady 60fps in games such as Fortnite, Diablo 3, L.O.L, Starcraft 2, Total War games, plus future titles, however most benchmarking focusses on 1080p.
I like the pricing of the Razer core X but for £40 more i could purchase the Mantiz MZ-02 with the benefits of the USB hub and 10GB ethernet port, will also look great next to a Dell XPS or gunmetal Razer Stealth. Guessing there's no performance difference between the two?
The XPS 13 9370 is faster than the RBS
For gaming, the 8250U to 8650U will all perform about the same since you will power throttle out anyway
Today, gaming on a 8th gen U is pretty great - games I've tested are not very CPU throttled (unlike 7th gen U). I think 60fps is very do-able on games that are out now.
I've tested all the ultrabooks except the new lenovo x1; I like the XPS 13 the most, especially for gaming.
XPS 13 doesn't thermal throttle, it power throttles - you can draw about 24w or so and hit ~3GHz steady on all cores loaded. Gaming, you tend to do up to about 80%, so figure 3.5ghz or so steady speed while gaming
Lastly, don't buy the older XPS 13 9360 - totally different design and not nearly as good in terms of CPU performance
Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts