What’s the best CPU for your gaming laptop right now? We understand if you’re confused. We’re currently in an unprecedented state where new laptops based on Intel’s 9th-gen CPUs are on sale next to new laptops based on Intel’s 8th-gen and even 7th-gen CPUs.

The reason is likely Intel’s infamous CPU shortages, which jammed up the pipeline for laptop makers. After all, selling a laptop with a slightly older CPU is better than not having any laptop to sell at all. Unfortunately, for consumers, you’re now looking at similarly priced laptops with different “generations” of Intel CPU. 

We’ve already gone into the spec-by-spec differences between Intel’s 8th-gen and 9th-gen mobile CPUs. Now that we’ve tested a number of laptops in both generations, we can add benchmark data, compiling results from 8th-gen and 9th-gen H-class laptops we’ve seen (‘H’ denotes higher performance). We’ve also thrown in 7th-gen H CPUs. While fairly elderly now, we’re still seeing stocks of 7th-gen-based gaming laptop options on shelves.

The short answer is, when choosing between equal core-count chips, such as a 6-core Core i7-8750H or a 6-core Core i7-9750H, don’t sweat it. If you’re looking at a Core i9-level of performance, then yes, it matters.

Oh, and don’t worry too much about the 10th-generation laptop CPUs coming later this year. We looked at the reasons to wait for 10th gen (or not). While the new architecture brings some notable improvements, based on very early preview benchmarks we anticipate the performance uptick will be incremental. 

Keep reading for all the details. 

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 9th Gen Core i7-9750H Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Adam Patrick Murray

MSI’s updated GS65 Stealth Thin features a 9th-gen Core i7-9750H and Nvidia’s new GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU.

Here’s what we ran

The test results we’re showing are almost entirely CPU-focused and mostly aren’t moved by storage, graphics, or RAM differences.

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The first chart is Maxon’s Cinebench R15. It’s a popular benchmark that measures how  well a CPU will perform when rendering a 3D scene. This task doesn’t always translate into all use cases, but it gives you a general idea of how a CPU will perform in a very efficient multi-threading environment.



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