What Type of Exercise Is Best for the Brain?

Image result for What Type of Exercise Is Best for the Brain?Exercise is just as good for the brain as it is for the body, a growing body of research is showing. And one kind in particular—aerobic exercise—appears to be king.

“Back in the day, the majority of exercise studies focused on the parts of the body from the neck down, like the heart and lungs,” says Ozioma Okonkwo, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. “But now we are finding that we need to go north, to the brain, to show the true benefits of a physically active lifestyle on an individual.”

Exercise might be a simple way for people to cut down their risk for memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease, even for those who are genetically at risk for the disease. In a June study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Okonkwo followed 93 adults who had at least one parent with Alzheimer’s disease, at least one gene linked to Alzheimer’s, or both. People in the study who spent at least 68 minutes a day doing moderate physical activity had better glucose metabolism—which signals a healthy brain—compared to people who did less.

The brain benefits of exercise go beyond disease prevention. Okonkwo has also shown that people who exercise have greater brain volume in areas of the brain associated with reasoning and executive function. “We’ve done a series of studies showing that increased aerobic capacity boosts brain structure, function and cognition ,” he says, “Other people have found exercise can improve mood.” Okonkwo’s research has also shown that exercise can diminish the impact of brain changes on cognition, not just prevent it. “Exercise is the full package,” he says.

Exercise likely improves brain health through a variety of ways. It makes the heart beat faster, which increases blood flow to the brain. This blood delivers oxygen—a good thing, since the brain is the biggest consumer of oxygen in the body. Physical activity also increases levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which i s known to help repair and protect brain cells from degeneration as well as help grow new brain cells and neurons, says Okonkwo .

In one study. Joe Northey, a PhD candidate at the University of Canberra Research Institute for Sport and Exercise in Australia, showed that when people ride a stationary bike, they experience increased blood flow to the brain, and within that blood are a range of growth factors that are responsible for cell growth and associated with improved brain function. “Considering exercise can also reduce the risks associated with common lifestyle diseases that impact the brain, such as high blood sugar and hypertension, it is further motivation to try to incorporate exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle,” says Northey.

MORE: The Simple Reason Exercise Enhances Your Brain

Aerobic exercise, like running and swimming, appears to be best for brain health. That’s because it increases a person’s heart rate, “which means the body pumps more blood to the brain,” says Okonkwo. But strength training, like weight lifting, may also bring benefits to the brain by increasing heart rate. The link between resistance training and better brain health is not as established, but research in the area is growing.

For now, Northey recommends a combination of the two. “Combining both is ideal,” he says, for all of the other benefits exercise bestows on the body. “In addition to improving your brain function, you should expect to see improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength, as well as reducing the risk of obesity, diabetes and hypertension amongst other diseases.”


This is what you should eat after different types of exercise

Eat well afterwards to get the most out of your exercise

Congratulations! You’ve make it through your workout. But the job isn’t done just yet – because if you really want to get the most out of your exercise, you need to put some thought into what you eat afterwards.

And according to Anna-Jane Debenham and Alex Parker, dietitians from nutrition consulting business The Biting Truth, it’s not just about protein.

Although important, particularly for muscle repair, “having protein on its own, although it may seem ‘trendy’, isn’t ideal in a lot of cases”.

Instead, they say snacks containing both carbohydrate and protein will “allow your body to recover and repair effectively”. And don’t forget to replace all those lost fluids (hey, we all get sweaty!) with extra water.

Failing to refuel or rehydrate after exercise can result in a host of problems, including earlier onset of fatigue, reduced speed and endurance, poor concentration and gut upset, Anna and Alex warn. Not to mention the fact you might not be getting the full benefits of all that effort!

Here, they explain why post-exercise nutrition is so important…

Don’t just wait until your next meal to eat

Restricting calories after a workout can be counterproductive, and after the extra strain you’ve put on your body, nutrition is even more crucial.

Anna and Alex explain: “During exercise (especially resistance training), the body shifts towards a catabolic state (muscle breakdown) which then transitions back to an anabolic state (muscle building) within the first few hours of completing your workout.”

Essentially, this means there’s a 60-90 minute “window of opportunity” after your training session, where you have a chance to replenish the stores of carbohydrates in the liver and muscle cells, as well as encourage muscle repair.

What to eat after… cardio

Running, dancing, boxing – all great cardio workouts, and they can leave you seriously pooped. “The key is replenishing carbohydrate stores,” say Anna and Alex, “and adequate hydration is essential.”

They recommend a slice of wholegrain bread with peanut butter and banana: “This snack provides high-quality carbs, protein and heart-healthy fats, and is full of potassium which helps soothe muscles.”

Other snacks you could reach for after a cardio workout include a plain banana, some nuts, or some wholegrain toast with either ricotta and fruit, or cottage cheese and tomato.

What to eat after… strength training

If you’re lifting weights and your goal is to gain muscle, Anna and Alex say: “An energy-rich diet with adequate amounts of protein is just as important as your well-developed strength-training programme.”

So, after strength training, your food intake should be low in fat and high in nutrients. “Consuming carbohydrates in conjunction with protein allows the protein to be used for muscle growth and repair,” they explain.

They recommend smoothies as a great option for fitting in a lot of nutrients in one go – you can just blend up your ingredients (such as berries, low-fat yogurt and/or oats) and you’re sorted.

What to eat after… HIIT

HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is all the rage, hailed as a speedy way to burn more fat and build more muscle compared to traditional workouts. And putting your body well and truly through its paces (no one ever said HIIT was easy) means refuelling well is crucial.

Anna and Alex suggest an onion and pepper omelette plus some fruit, and their top tip is to include pineapple.

“Aside from their protein content, eggs are high in leucine, which triggers muscle protein synthesis,” they explain. “The vitamin C in the capsicums [peppers] is essential for maintaining the healthy cartilage you need to cushion your bones. Research suggests bromelain (an enzyme in pineapple) may help reduce exercise-induced inflammation.”

(Photo: Neville Williams)

What to eat after… stretching and toning-based exercise

What you decide to eat after classes like yoga, Pilates or barre depends on what your fitness goal is: whether you want to lose weight, boost your core strength, or increase your overall muscle mass.

“If your goal is weight loss, then a nutrient rich meal within 60 minutes of your workout is essential, as the meal will be more efficiently digested,” say Anna and Alex. “If your goal is to improve strength, then protein is key.”

They suggest two hard-boiled eggs with multigrain toast, or something like a slice of roast vegetable and feta frittata would be ideal.

To help repair tired muscles and replenish energy stores after yoga, Anna and Alex say: “Your body needs a hit of protein, some low-GI carbohydrates and fruits or vegetables.” Try a small tub of Greek yogurt with a couple of spoonfuls of muesli containing nuts and fruit, or a small can of tuna, four-bean mix and some chopped veggies.


Gmail is dumping Windows XP and Vista, now what?


Life isn’t getting any easier for holdouts on Windows XP and Vista. Google recently announced that Gmail would stop supporting Chrome version 53 and lower by the end of 2017. The move specifically impacts XP and Vista since Google capped support for both of those systems at Chrome v49.

So what does this all mean for XP and Vista users? Is Gmail going to stop working in Chrome? Not exactly, but it could suck a whole lot more.

The first thing that will happen, Google says, is that starting on Wednesday, February 8, a banner will appear at the top of Gmail encouraging users to upgrade their version of Chrome. That’s obviously not going to happen if you can’t upgrade because you’re limited to Chrome 49.

Then, by the end of 2017, it appears that Google could possibly redirect at least some users to the basic HTML version of Gmail instead of the “web app” version you see now, although it’s not a certainty yet.

If the Gmail interface doesn’t change then there’s really nothing to worry about, really. Gmail will continue to work as always, but if Google makes a change that breaks Gmail in Chrome 49 that’s too bad for you.

Where the hard choices come in is if Google does switch XP and Vista users to the HTML version of Gmail. That would mean moving back to the original Gmail interface, which is very basic. You’d also lose a number of useful features including chat, the spell checker, the ability to add or import contacts, rich formatting, customized “from” addresses, and keyboard shortcuts.

That’s a pretty tall list of shortcomings, but if all you’re looking for is the ability to write text, add attachments, and press Send, then the HTML version will meet your needs.

You’ll miss out on chat, but if you’re still using Google Talk a third-party chat client such as Pidgin will cover that.

If the basic HTML version doesn’t cut it for you, the best thing you can do is switch to a desktop program for email such as the built-in Outlook Express on XP. Or you can download Mozilla Thunderbird, which currently supports Windows XP with Service Pack 3 installed.

Thunderbird will give you pretty much everything that the HTML version of Gmail doesn’t. The exception would be customized “from” addresses (also known as aliases), which are dependent on Google. Though if you already have an alias in use, you can use it with Thunderbird.

If you don’t know how to set up an email client, Mozilla has a simple tutorial on how to use Thunderbird with Gmail.

Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention that another alternative is to finally upgrade your operating system to Windows 10 or switch to Linux. But who am I kidding? If you haven’t already switched after losing Google Drive, Chrome, and soon Firefox, then Gmail isn’t going to persuade you either.



Weekly poll: LG G6 is a clean break from the G5, what do you think?

LG tried something novel with the G5 but recent leaks show it’s changing course for the LG G6. Gone is the removable battery and gone are the bezels (the headphone jack is reportedly safe and sound). The LG G6 is rumored to have an usual 2:1 screen (well, extra wide screens are not that unusual for LG) that will cover more than 90% of the front.

LG officially confirmed that the G6 will be waterproof in addition to slimming down the bezels. Not officially confirmed yet, but reports suggest it will drop the modular design but will keep the dual cameras. Renders show the back will be quite similar to the G5. A Google’s digital assistant will be a highlight of the phone (poised to launch at MWC) but a Snapdragon 835 will not feature due to availability issues (chances are the Snapdragon 821 will be used).

That’s the LG G6 story so far and with MWC fast approaching (starting at the end of February), we wondered what you thought of the narrative so far. Many voiced concerns about the chipset, some were unhappy about the battery (the V20 has a removable battery), though others were delighted at the minimalist bezels. What is your say?

LG G6: a step forward or back?

Love the bezels and waterproofing

Let’s see the price

Sealed batteries suck


Weekly poll: what do you think of Samsung Galaxy S8’s screen size?

We received schematics for the Galaxy S8 duo with dimensions and discovered something amazing – the upcoming S8 will be about as big as the S7 it replaces, but its screen will be as big as that of the S7 edge! Similarly, the Galaxy S8 Plus will have a honking 6.3” screen in a body about the size of the S7 edge.

Now, the rule for screens is that there’s no such thing as “too big,” just look at people’s reaction to the Xiaomi Mi Mix. As with the Mix, slender bezels are key, because there’s definitely such a thing as a phone that’s too big.

With that in mind, we wonder which model will be more popular. It seems that the sweet spot for screen size was 5.5” or so but that’s a number that keeps growing. Will you take a 5.7” Samsung Galaxy S8 and be happy with the more compact body? Or would you go for broke and grab the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus, it’s not that much bigger than the current S7 edge, after all. But it is wider, so the perennial super mini fans must be wondering how tiny a 5.1” S8 would have been. Of course, if an S8 is that big, how huge would the Galaxy Note8 be?

What do you think of Galaxy S8’s screen size?

A 5.7″ Samsung Galaxy S8 is ideal

Where’s the 5.1″ Galaxy S8?

Go bigger, a 6.3″ Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus


What to eat & avoid in PCOS

What to eat & avoid in PCOS
A healthy lifestyle involves many choices. Exercise and eating right is always top-most on that list. As every disease condition has a few do’s and don’ts, choosing the right diet plan depending on your health issues is most important. If PCOS is your new-companion these small but important changes in your eating habits can help in alleviating your symptoms, increasing your energy levels and in maintaining your weight.

Ditch Processed and Refined Food: In PCOS, the crux of eating healthy is to consume food which is low in calories and is preservative free. Consuming food in its most natural state prevents our hormones from going berserk. In order to keep them in check cutting down on processed and refined food helps immensely.

Opt for whole gluten-free grains like oats, brown rice, millet and quinoa instead of white flour, pasta and bread.

Skip the Sugar: Women with PCOS have high insulin levels and eating too much sugar will add to their existing problem. Not only that, it also makes losing weight more difficult. Eating fewer sugars and simple carbohydrates can help you lose weight and reduce your risk for diabetes. Avoid sweetened juices, cakes, cookies, sodas and those delectable desserts in your refrigerator.

Opt for food that has natural sugars like fruits, jaggery, honey and dates instead of artificial sugar.

Limit the Liquor: Alcohol consumption increases the risk of developing PCOS by 50% and adds to the hormonal imbalance by upping the oestrogen levels. Apart from that alcohol gets converted to sugar immediately in our body, thereby raising the already high blood sugar levels even further. So alcohol is definitely a no-no as far as PCOS is concerned.

If you feel like letting your hair down and a drink is a must, limit yourself to just one glass of wine once in a while.

Stay Away From Salt: One teaspoon of salt contains more than a day’s requirement of Sodium and high sodium leads to excessive water retention in our body. Women suffering from PCOS have a lot of water retention anyway, so excessive salt adds to their problem. S

Stay clear of salty snacks through the day. Opt for nuts, fruits instead. Not only does it give you the important nutrients but also helps you keep your sodium levels under control.

Up Your Intake of Veggies and Fruits: Vegetables and fruits are packed with a lot more nutrients per calorie than any other food. Most fruits and veggies are rich in iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium. They also have ample of vitamin K, C, E and many of the B-complex group. All these are known to help in reducing PCOS symptoms.

Though medical intervention is an absolute necessity in PCOS, these small but important changes in your daily dietary intake can help you increase your energy and help maintain your weight.

To know more about PCOS and its symptoms, causes, complications and Homeopathic Treatment visit https://www.welcomecure.com/diseases/Polycystic-ovary-syndrome-PCOS/overview

Disclaimer: This article is written by our Sponsor and we do not take any responsibility for the accuracy of their views. This should not be considered as a substitute for Physician’s advice. Please consult your treating Physician for more details.


What You Need to Know About Teeth Whitening

If you are unhappy with discolored teeth, there are several ways to reverse the effect. You can now regain bright white teeth after a simple dental procedure. Professional teeth whitening has become one of the most popular treatments in cosmetic dentistry. In fact, it is one of the most commonly performed dental procedures. Bleaching is commonly performed to remove stains from teeth and brighten individual’s smile.

Before the many options are discussed, it is important that you understand what causes teeth discoloration. One of the most common reasons is your eating habits. The food and beverages you consume can stain your teeth. If you wish to maintain good oral health, it is recommended to avoid food and beverages such as tea, coffee, red wine, soda drinks, and berries too frequently. Keep in mind that antibiotics such as tetracycline can also discolor the teeth. You may already be beware of how smoking can discolor teeth.

While all of these are strong reasons, many people naturally have yellow-toned teeth. This is determined by genetics.

Different Methods of Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a popular procedure and there are various options available on the market. Depending on what you are comfortable with, you can choose to do it at the comfort of own home or set an appointment with the dentist.

Understandably, the in-office procedure yields better results. It is also much quicker when compared to the in-house method. When you go to a dentist, you will most likely see the result of teeth whitening immediately. However, if you are uncomfortable going to the dental office, you can do it yourself.

Manu over-the-counter products such as whitening strips and whitening gel trays can be used. Dentists usually prescribe a mouth tray with bleaching gel. If you want to do it at home, read all application instructions properly and follow consistently.

Cost of the Products and Procedure

Depending on the method you select, your cost will vary. The most expensive option is in-office teeth whitening conducted by a professional. Dentists can charge a few hundred dollars for teeth whitening. If you are not willing to spend so much on teeth whitening, the best option would be to pick over-the-counter products. These are significantly cheaper. Prices start from $30.

Maintenance After the Procedure 

Irrespective of whichever method you select, the result will not last forever. Keep in mind that discoloration will happen again. The effects of teeth whitening generally last from a few months to 1 year. You can prolong its effect by simply avoiding certain food items and drinks. It is also important to avoid smoking if maintaining bright smile is important to you. Even when you eat berries, drink carbonated soda or other drinks that can lead to discoloration, it is advised to brush teeth immediately.

Why Teeth Whitening Results Vary

The same procedure can have different results on 2 people. You must understand that all teeth do not respond equally to whitening. Those who have yellow toned teeth may see results quickly while teeth that are gray may take some time to whiten. In some cases, results are unsatisfactory when whitening is attempted at home. If having white teeth is important to you, it is advised to set an appointment with your dentist. Professionals can analyze teeth and the suggest the best teeth whitening treatment.

Before you decide on a method, consider important factors like time, budget and efficiency. If you choose to use over the counter products, consider factors like ease of procedure and side effects. It is always best to discuss options with the dentist beforehand.

You have to trade-in your Galaxy Note7, what should you get?

After glowing reviews, the future of the Samsung Galaxy Note7 proved dim. Now everyone who bought one faces a question – what do I get now? It’s not easy to replace one of the best reviewed and best received phones, but we have no other choice but to try.

We will split this in two – alternatives from the Galaxy (because Samsung gives better financial incentives if you stick with their brand) and anything else.

A Galaxy alternative

Clearly, the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge is the closest alternative. It has a similar-sized curved screen (5.5″ vs. 5.7″), same chipset, same waterproofing, same camera, same battery (S7 edge is actually ahead on this one) and so on.

It’s all the same with one major exception – no S Pen. That is in the exclusive purview of the Note series. Sure, you can go one generation back and get the Galaxy Note5 (there was no Note6). However, you’ll lose the microSD slot and waterproofing, the Dual Pixel autofocus on the camera, USB Type-C as well and the chipset is a generation older.

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge Samsung Galaxy Note5
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge • Samsung Galaxy Note5

While you’re at it, have a look at the Galaxy A8 (2016). It has a 5.7″ Super AMOLED screen (1080p resolution, though) and an all-metal body (no glass on the back). This phone uses the same chipset as the Galaxy Note5 but does have a microSD card. No S Pen, of course, but that was to be expected.

The Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro (2016) is a solid (if rare) choice too. It grows the Super AMOLED screen to 6″ (the 1080p resolution is a bit of a stretch here) and uses a decently powerful Snapdragon 652. Its 16MP camera boasts OIS, something the A8 (2016) lacks. The non-Pro Galaxy A9 (2016) is easier to find in stores worldwide, but it drops the main camera to 13MP (keeping the OIS) and the battery capacity from the impressive 5,000mAh to the still plentiful 4,000mAh (Note7 had 3,500mAh, Note5 just 3,000mAh).

Samsung Galaxy A8 (2016) Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro (2016) Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
Samsung Galaxy A8 (2016) • Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro (2016) • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)

Samsung has many other phones with Super AMOLED screens ranging from 5.5″ to 6″. On8, C7, A7, plenty of choices, but they are more mid-fielders than flagship alternatives.

Looking elsewhere

The premium Pixel XL has a 5.5″ AMOLED screen with QHD resolution and is the first to launch with Android 7.1 Nougat and with Snapdragon 821. It’s not waterproof, but is at least splash resistant. It has the impressive 12MP camera from the now defunct Nexus phones that feels great shooting at night.

Defunct or not, the Huawei-built Nexus 6P is still an awesome choice. It boasts a bigger AMOLED screen – 5.7″ QHD – excellent stereo speakers around it. It does use the older Snapdragon 810 chipset with “only” 3GB of RAM, but as discussed, its camera is awesome.

Google Pixel XL Huawei Nexus 6P
Google Pixel XL • Huawei Nexus 6P

The iPhone 7 Plus is Apple’s new darling – its first with a water resistant body and a dual camera (12MP). It also boasts what’s probably the best mobile chipset, a promise of software updates that can make even the Nexuses a little bit jealous and an app/accessory ecosystem that’s second to none.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus
Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Speaking of dual-cameras (16MP 75° + 8MP 135°), the LG V20 has that, plus a dual-FoV selfie camera and a second screen (Always on). This heavily loaded phone has a MIL-STD-810G rating of ruggedness (no water resistance, though), but a sleeker, more attractive body than the V10.

LG V20
LG V20

We looked over the conclusion in our Galaxy Note7 review. The first alternative offered there is the Moto Z – a super thin (5.2mm!) phone with a metal frame, 5.5″ QHD AMOLED screen, 13MP camera with OIS and Snapdragon 820. The Moto Z Force alternative gives the 2,600mAh battery a much-needed boost to 3,500mAh (matching the Note7) and ups the camera to 21MP (keeping the OIS and f/1.8 aperture).

Motorola Moto Z Motorola Moto Z Force
Motorola Moto Z • Motorola Moto Z Force

The breed of €400 flagship killers has plenty to offer too. The ZTE Axon 7 (available in the US and elsewhere) boasts powerful stereo speakers around its 5.5″ QHD screen (an AMOLED, of course), a 20MP OIS camera (f/1.8 lens) and Snapdragon 820 with 3,250mAh battery.

The OnePlus 3 drops the screen resolution to 1080p, but it’s an AMOLED built by Samsung. It has a 16MP camera with OIS and a Snapdragon 820 chipset with a wild 6GB of RAM.

ZTE Axon 7 OnePlus 3
ZTE Axon 7 • OnePlus 3

Huawei has more to contribute to this discussion than a Nexus. The Huawei P9 Plus boasts the same Leica-branded dual camera (12MP) and a 5.5″ Super AMOLED screen (1080p). It’s powered by a Kirin 955 chipset and despite being thinner than the Note7 (7mm vs. 7.9mm) it has a comparable battery (3,400mAh).

And to go out with a bang, the Huawei Honor Note 8 has a beastly 6.6″ Super AMOLED display (yep) with QHD resolution and a large 4,500mAh battery. It’s powered by the same chipset as the P9 Plus, but boasts a 13MP OIS-enabled camera (just the one).

Huawei P9 Plus Huawei Honor Note 8
Huawei P9 Plus • Huawei Honor Note 8

Well, which one are you getting? Is it something not on this list – it’s far from exhaustive, it’s just some of the better known, easy to find devices that can live up to the Galaxy Note7 experience. Not one with a stylus to match the S Pen, though. LG had some phones with a capacitive stylus, but they fell off the map, perhaps the rumored Surface phone can fill that gap.


What are the best ways to pick the best Wedding Ring?

Image result for What,are,the,best,ways,to,pick,the,best,Wedding,Ring

You’ve picked the engagement ring of your dreams, now you have to select a ring that compliments your choices. Choosing a wedding ring that matches your style and informs the world I’m taken and this rings shows it!” is no simple job, specifically considering that there are many different choices today. To contribute to the difficulty is the have to find a ring that looks simply as gorgeous as your engagement ring.

For the Guys

Men are not used to using rings or fashion jeweler for that matter so the idea of using a wedding ring terrifies them. For some men it is other and uneasy men are concerned the ring might look not manly or girly enough. , if careful consideration takes place there must be no issue in finding a product that works with your active way of life and fits with your character.. Today there is a large selection of metals choices and designs readily available and you make certain to find a one that will please all your needs.

One option you might think about is purchasing your choice with a convenience fit. When using the ring while making the ring more long lasting, this will offer a soft smooth feel. Producing a small dome utilizing metal on the within the ring where the finger is put forms a convenience fit. This dome softens the edges of the ring so absolutely nothing goes into the finger; it likewise avoids much of the metal on the within the ring from being available in contact with the finger.

For the Gals

You’ll have much time to fantasize and gaze about a wedding band as similarly gorgeous as the ring he proclaimed his love for you with once you’ve ended up being engaged. Our experience informs us that bride-to-be’s extremely concerned about finding a best match and will not choose anything that will subdue the engagement or detract ring. It is vital that you pick something that has comparable style components as your engagement ring and fits perfectly against it. Today’s styles can be quite intricate which is terrific however it develops the issue of finding a perfectly matched band.

Technique – Choosing a band that looks excellent with your ring

If you’ve received a ring that has numerous diamonds or has a unique and intricate special you special have elaborate a style finding might band. In an effort to get your choice to mesh you might select a contoured ring, or a wrap. A contoured ring is a band that has been specifically created to carefully curve to the contoured profiles these day’s most popular engagement ring designs. Check out more at Micro Pave Engagement Rings.

Then you might desire to think about some of the more valuable metals offered, if you do not work with your hands or you do not believe you’ll harm the ring. White gold, yellow gold, platinum, and palladium provide a much richer appearance than the hard metals. Because they are more flexible and simpler to craft, you’ll likewise find a much greater choice of wedding ring designs to pick from in the valuable metal family. Because of the valuable metal content, you’ll likewise have the included advantage of acquiring a product that is more important.

Intel Kaby Lake Review: What optimization can do for a 14nm CPU

kaby lake

When Intel’s Kaby Lake CPU arrived at our doorstep in the form of Dell’s XPS 13 laptop, it was wrapped in foreboding. Hardware fans have long been in denial about the inevitable end of Moore’s Law. With Kaby Lake, Intel’s abandoned its relentless “tick-tock” march in favor of a slower “process-architecture-optimize” stroll. Semiconductor doomsday seemed nigh.

Kaby Lake is the first CPU produced under Intel’s new plan. The plan started with a “tock”—a CPU shrink (22nm Haswell to 14nm Broadwell), then a “tick” of efficiency improvement (14nm Broadwell to 14nm Skylake). Intel wasn’t ready to produce another tock yet, though. Instead we got a second tick, an “optimized” 14nm Kaby Lake. The question is whether there really is much improvement from Skylake to Kaby Lake, or is Intel just stalling while it looks for a way to stretch Moore’s Law even further.

I can say now that it’s a decent step forward. To find out just how much you get and where it’s from, you’ll have to read on.

kaby lake wafer new

Gordon Mah Ung

Intel’s 7th-gen Kaby Lake is built on a 14nm process similar to that of Skylake CPUs, but manufacturing tweaks give it a performance boost, the company says.

How we tested

A laptop CPU is inherently more difficult to review than a desktop CPU. You can’t isolate a laptop CPU like a desktop CPU—it’s part of a complete package. Each laptop vendor makes different performance decisions for thermals, power and weight, so it can be hard to suss out the CPU’s impact unless the laptops are exactly the same. Otherwise, you’re really comparing laptop A with laptop B.

Fortunately, I had access to three generations of Dell’s excellent XPS 13. They’re not identical, of course, but they’re close enough that the comparison has some validity. I purposely selected tests that will minimize those differences.

Meet the XPS 13s


Gordon Mah Ung

Kaby Lake, Skylake, and Broadwell power these three generations of XPS 13 laptops.

The newest XPS 13 costs $1,100. It’s equipped with a 7th-gen Kaby Lake Core i5-7200U, 8GB of LPDDR/1866 in dual-channel mode; a 1920×1080, non-touch, IPS panel; and a 256GB Lite-On NVME M.2 SSD.

I reviewed its predecessor last year. It has a 6th-gen Skylake Core i5-6200U, 8GB of LPDDR3/1866, a 1920×1080, non-touch, IPS panel and a 256GB NVMe M.2 Samsung SSD.

Then there’s the original XPS 13, configured with a 5th-gen Broadwell Core i5-5200U. Because it was the entry-level model, it had 4GB of DDR3/1600RS in dual-channel mode and a 128GB M.2 SATA drive. It also had a 1920×1080, non-touch IPS panel.

Prior to testing, all three laptops were reset, and all three were updated with the same Windows 10 version (OS 1607 Build 1493.222). All three also had the latest drivers and BIOSes applied from Dell’s support site.

If your PC world tends to swing desktop, know that what we’re only looking at laptop Kaby Lake performance. Desktop CPUs (and quad-core laptop chips) are due early next year. Consider what you see here a preview of what you might see with the upcoming desktop CPUs.

xps 13s

Gordon Mah Ung

Three generations of XPS 13 laptops: On the left is the 1st-gen Broadwell. On the right is 2nd-gen Skylake, and in the middle is the latest: A 3rd-gen Kaby Lake version.

Three 14nm CPUs enter a bar…

Unlike previous generations, Intel now has three CPUs built on its 14nm process. I’ve lined up the comparative details from Intel’s ARK page. I’ve also included the Core i7-6560U chip used in the gold XPS 13 that occasionally appears in my benchmark charts.

If you look at the specs below, you can find the main performance advantage Kaby Lake has—clock speed. Kaby Lake cores are, for the most part, identical to Skylake cores. By massaging the 14nm process  squeeze out a CPU that can hit higher clock speeds. For example, where 6th gen Broadwell Core i5-6200U maxes out at 2.8GHz, 7th-gen Kaby Lake can hit 3.1GHz.

So what does that 10 percent increase in clock give you? Let’s find out.

kaby sky broad

Cinebench R15 multi-threaded performance

First up is Cinebench R15. This test is based on Maxon’s real-world rendering engine and is a pure CPU test. That roughly 10-percent clock speed advantage the current Core i5-7200U has over the prior Core i5-6200U results in roughly a 10 percent bump. With the older Broadwell-based Core i5-5200, the gap widens to 20 percent.

As for the gold XPS 13, you’d think its Intel Core i7-6560U and Iris 540 graphics core, with the ability to hit a maximum of 3.2GHz, would prove slightly faster than the Kaby Lake version, but it’s not. In fact, it’s slightly slower. I think the Kaby Lake Core i5 with its improved process is able to run at its highest clock speed speed for longer than the Skylake Core i7. That’s another testament to Intel’s “optimize” step.

dell xps 13 kaby lake cinebench vs skylake broadwell

The 7th gen Kaby Lake Core i5 unit is surprisingly faster than the Core i7 by a smidge.

Geekbench 4.01 performance

While Maxon’s Cinebench R15 is based on a 3D rendering engine the company sells, Geekbench is a synthetic test that tries to simulate what it believes are real-world workloads. The test isn’t without controversy, but much of that is due to Primate Lab’s attempts to make it a usable cross-platform tool that would let you compare an iPad Pro to a PC.

When you get involved in the quasi-religious wars between tech tribes, expect mudslinging. I won’t re-litigate the politics of it here, but the good news is Geekbench 4.01 is completely new, and Primate Labs seems to have taken much of the criticism to heart.

Geekbench 4.01 tests cryptography, integer, floating point and memory tests. As I didn’t have Geekbench 4.01 for the gold XPS 13, I’ve omitted that laptop. The result is an unsurprising 11 percent performance difference. Moving on to the Broadwell XPS 13, Kaby Lake shows a very respectable 24 percent improvement in performance. That pretty much echoes what I’m seeing elsewhere.

dell xps 13 kaby lake geekbench 4 multi threaded performance

Geekbench 4.01 shows the 7th-gen Kaby Lake also ahead of the 6th-gen Skylake by a reasonable margin.

Handbrake Encoding Performance

Moving on to our final CPU-centric test, we use the free and popular Handbrake encoder to transcode a 30GB 1080P MKV file using the Android Preset. The test is mostly CPU-limited and loves multiple cores.

On most ultrabooks, we use it as both a performance and thermal soak test to find out what happens to a laptop when it’s forced to heat up the the CPU for almost two hours. Typically, this is where you see the limits of the laptop’s cooling system. Performance often falls off as the it heats up—or the fans get loud. Historically, Dell’s XPS 13s have done really in this test, and that’s because Dell generally isn’t afraid to make a little noise in favor of performance.

The results for the 5th-gen Broadwell and 6th-gen Skylake are as expected, with the 7th-gen Kaby Lake coming in about 11 percent faster than 6th-gen and the 24 percent faster than 5th gen. As for the gold XPS 13 with its Skylake Core i7-6560U. Despite having a higher maximum clockspeed of 3.2GHz, the Core i7 actually finishes slightly slower than the Core i5 unit.

This seems to back up up my suspicion that the Kaby Lake Core i5, with its “optimized” process, can sit at higher clock speeds far longer than the Skylake Core i7 chip.

dell xps 13 kaby lake handbrake vs skylake broadwell

It’s no surprise that the Kaby Lake CPU aces both its Skylake and Broadwell siblings by a reasonable amount. The surprise is beating the Core i7 Skylake chip.

3DMark Cloud Gate Graphics performance

I didn’t get too heavy into the gaming performance of Kaby Lake, because like the CPU side, it’s very similar. The Kaby Lake chip has Intel HD 620 graphics, with 24 execution units and clock speeds of 300MHz to 1,050MHz. That probably sounds pretty similar to what you got out of Skylake’s Intel HD 520, which has 24 execution units and a clock speed range of 300MHz to 1,050MHz

To gauge the performance of the laptops, I used Futuremark’s 3DMark Cloud Gate. It’s a synthetic benchmark, but its value lies in being a neutral title that doesn’t favor any particular vendor’s optimizations. The Cloud Gate test is well suited for integrated graphics gaming, too.

In 3DMark, Kaby Lake comes in just 7 percent faster over the comparable Skylake chip. Over Broadwell’s Intel HD 5500, though, you get a very respectable 27 percent difference. Based on a 3DMark Cloud Score from the gold XPS 13 with Core i7-6560U chip. You can see where the Iris 540 graphics and its embedded 64MB of eDRAM pay real dividends.

One thing that should be said: Intel says Kaby Lake graphics can play some eSports-level games at 30 fps with resolutions and settings turned down. It’s nice that you’re getting near Iris-level performance in a standard CPU, but if games are going to be something of a focus in your laptop, get one with a discrete graphics chip (and with a Kaby Lake chip too).

dell xps 13 kaby lake 3dmark cloud gate vs skylake and broadwell

Using the graphics test of 3Dmark Cloud Gate, Kaby Lake is faster but not by quite the same margin over Skylake. The 64MB eDRAM cache in the Core i7 also pays off handsomely.

Battery life is better, maybe

One of the more difficult tests in a laptop is comparing battery consumption of different CPUs. Ideally, you’d test a laptop and then swap the CPU out and test again. That world doesn’t really exist anymore, because all of Intel’s mobile CPUs are soldered to the motherboard.

The best-case scenario is what I have today. It’s not perfect but still an interesting comparison to make.

In the interest of full disclosure though, I should mention there are key some key differences. Dell uses cells that are physically the same size, but due to denser batteries has increased the capacity. The Skylake-based XPS 13 has a 57,532 watt-hour battery, while the Kaby Lake-based XPS 13 has a 59,994 watt-hour battery.

The other key difference, which may matter more, is the SSD. Both have 256GB SSD’s but the brands and rated power consumption are different. The Skylake unit has a Samsung PM951 NVMe drive which can use up to 4.5 watts, while the Kaby Lake unit has a Lite-On CX2 which absolutely sips power at 1.32 watts under load. What’s not clear is whether the Samsung drive is using a full 4.5 watts while being read from, or if that’s only a worst-case scenario. Ideally, both would have the same drive, but that’s out of my hands today. At least both pack 8GB of LPDDR3/1866.

For our rundown test, I stuck with our standard workload, which is to play the open source Tears of Steel using Windows 10 Movies and TV with the brightness set to around 255 nits. Audio was on using a pair of ear buds and the tests were conducted in airplane mode.

The result? The Kaby Lake in the 3rd-gen XPS 13 gives you an hour’s more battery life than the Skylake version. Because these are laptops I can’t separate the CPU’s role from the battery’s, but at least we’re not going backwards.

dell xps 13 kaby lake 4k avc tears of steel 255 nits battery life

The Kaby Lake XPS 13 gives up slightly better battery life than the Skylake XPS 13, but other factors contribute to that outcome.

Greatly improved video engine

You know Kaby Lake’s magic on the CPU side is mostly a clock speed bump. Graphics? Another bump. The big upgrade is to the video engine, where Intel added a wealth of hardware support for such things as VP9 at 4K resolution and 10-bit color support for HEVC.

To find out the practical upshot I used an Intel-supplied 10-bit HEVC file at 4K resolution. The file was actually the same open-source Tears of Steel video, but encoded at a 10-bit color depth.

Using the same settings for the previous battery run-down test I wanted to see how much that hardware support for 10-bit HEVC mattered. As it turns out, it matters a lot.

dell xps 13 kaby lake 4k 10 bit hevc tears of steel 255 nits battery life

,Battery life during playback of 10-bit HEVC video barely dented the Kaby Lake XPS 13 thanks to its hardware support. I can’t say the same for the Skylake XPS 13.

As you can see, the Kaby Lake XPS 13’s battery life is just over 10 hours. On the Skylake XPS 13, you take a yuge hit with Skylake tapping out at just under three hours. Ouch.

Kaby Lake’s dedicated hardware for playing back 10-bit HEVC on the graphics cores means the CPU can sit idle most of the time during playback. Skylake doesn’t have the same video hardware support, so decoding of that 10-bit content is shifted to the CPU cores, which must run at at far higher speeds to process it. The more you use the CPU, the more power you use.

As a comparison test, I downloaded a pair of videos encoded in HEVC at 10-bit color depth from Jelly.fish.us. The files are provided so people can test network streaming performance.

I didn’t stream them though–I just played the files directly from the SSD using Movies and TV. In this first screenshot you can see the Kaby Lake XPS 13 playing the 1080p version of the 10-bit HEVC file. Because the GPU is doing all of the work, the CPU is basically idling.

jelly 1080 kabylake 10bit

With hardware acceleration of 10-bit HEVC video, the 7th-gen Kaby Lake Core i5-7200U is buttery-smooth playing both 1080p and 4K video.

In the next screenshot, you can see the same file being played on the Skylake XPS 13 in Movies and TV. It’s pretty apparent what’s using all the power on the Skylake XPS 13: The CPU is working hard to decode that 10-bit content, and with both cores running at 2.7GHz during the playback.

What’s worse: Rhe Skylake XPS 13 constantly drops frames even with the CPU running at near top speed. To put a finer point on it: The Kaby Lake XPS 13 can play the file at 4K resolution with 10-bit color and HEVC and still cruise, while the Skylake XPS 13 can barely play the 1080p version. Ouch.

Intel says you can expect similar results for Google’s VP9 video too using the Chrome browser. VP9 is a video codec Google supports and how it encodes all videos on Youtube. I tried replicating Intel’s tests using Chrome on Youtube but didn’t have the network bandwidth at home to reliably stream two 4K VP9 videos simultaneously (one to each laptop). I see no reason to doubt Intel’s claims, though, as the claim about 10-bit content in HEVC is pretty crystal-clear.

One thing that should be pointed out: 10-bit content is very rare today. One area I think it does matter though, is in HTPC use. If I were building or buying a machine to run my 4K-and-up television, I’d want Kaby Lake over Skylake in a heartbeat.

jelly1080p skylake

This 1080p HEVC file encoded with 10-bit color depth will drag a Skylake Core i5-6200U to the ground.


In the end, Kaby Lake is a decent step forward. Is it as exciting as reading about a 10nm-based CPU? No. But it does deliver a margin of improvement that’s actually in line with the evolutionary steps that what we’ve seen from the last few generations of chips. Haswell to Broadwell gave us maybe 10 percent. Going from Broadwell to Skylake yielded similar results.

Does it mean dump your Skylake laptop and rush out to buy a Kaby Lake laptop? No, not at all. However, when you’re looking at a 20 to 25 percent difference between Kaby Lake and Broadwell, then you start to wonder. As you get to Haswell, where it probably opens up to 30 to 35 percent, or Ivy Bridge and even Sandy Bridge, then yes, an upgrade would be a game-changer.

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