The first systems featuring new processors that combine Intel Kaby Lake-G CPU cores with AMD Radeon RX Vega graphics are available to order, with the first wave being 15-inch convertibles. They include Dell’s XPS 15 2-in-1 and HP’s Spectre x360.
As you might recall, Intel announced last November that it was working with rival AMD to build new Core processors with custom Radeon graphics inside a single chip package, with an emphasis on gaming performance. While not a death knell for Intel’s own integrated graphics, we viewed this as one of the most exciting pieces of hardware news in the last decade. We wrote about what this partnership could mean for PC gaming—short version, the team-up potentially has far reaching ramifications.
Read more: Intel Core i7-9700K review
Starting with Dell, this is the first time it has offered an XPS 2-in-1 in a 15-inch body. The least expensive configuration costs $1,500 and is built around an Intel Core i5-8305G processor, a 4-core/8-thread chip clocked at 2.8GHz to 3.8GHz, with 6MB of L3 cache. On the GPU side, this multi-chip module sports AMD’s Radeon RX Vega M GL graphics with 20 compute units, running at 931MHz to 1,011MHz. Based on some early testing, the Vega M GL is roughly comparable to a laptop with Nvidia GTX 1060 3GB graphics onboard. It also has integrated Intel HD 630 graphics.
Configurations built around the higher end Core i7-8705G processor option start at $1,700. This is also a 4-core/8-thread chip, but clocked at 3.1GHz to 4.1GHz with 8MB of L3 cache. It uses the same Radeon RX Vega M GL graphics.
I recently spent some hands-on time with a fully loaded model, running some benchmarks and analysis for HotHardware. It ran circles around other 2-in-1 devices, proving faster in gaming than devices equipped with Nvidia’s GeForce MX150 GPU, and also systems with mobile Ryzen chips featuring Radeon Vega 8 graphics. In Grid Autosport, for example, it averaged nearly 96 frames per second at 1920×1080 with the graphics settings cranked up, and 46 fps in Rise of the Tomb Raider. Not too shabby.
HP has started taking orders for its 15-inch model Spectre x360 with Intel’s Core i7-8705G processor inside. Pricing starts at $1,490. It comes standard with a 4K resolution panel, whereas Dell offers both Full HD 1080p and 4K options. I haven’t spent any time with one that is based on one of these hybrid chips, but I imagine performance would be similar.
HP’s pricing is more attractive at the moment. Configuring a Spectre x360 with an Core i7-8705G processor, 16GB of DDR4-2400 RAM, and 1TB NVMe SSD costs $1,970. A similar configured Dell XPS 2-in-1 with a 4K resolution panel runs $2,750.