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The evergreen Cinebench benchmark is powered by Maxon's Cinema 4D rendering engine. It's multithreaded and comes with a 64-bit executable. The test runs with a single thread and then with as many threads as possible.

In the single-threaded portion of the benchmark, the Ryzen 5 2500U beats out the Speed Shift-less i5-7200U, and it only narrowly trails the Core i5-8250U and i7-7700HQ.

Cinebench is really about its multithreaded portion, though. The Core i7-7700HQ still reigns supreme here, but the Ryzen 5 2500U handily outperforms the i5-8250U.

Cinebench seems to like AMD CPUs, and AMD certainly likes talking up Cinebench in its CPU marketing, so let's see whether this win carries over to other CPU rendering tasks.

Blender rendering

Blender is a widely-used, open-source 3D modeling and rendering application. The app can take advantage of AVX2 instructions on compatible CPUs. We chose the "bmw27" test file from Blender's selection of benchmark scenes to put our CPUs through their paces.

Cinebench isn't an anomaly among the systems we have at hand. The Ryzen 5 2500U shaves more than a minute off the Core i5-8250U's performance here.

So why the major gap? My instinct is that the form factors of the systems on our test bench play a major part. The 15.6" HP Envy x360 that hosts the Ryzen 5 2500U has lots of metal in its expansive chassis, and it has a powerful-sounding and aggressive fan inside. The Core i5-8250U is in a 14" chassis with a quieter fan. Acer plans to release a 15.6" Swift 3 with Ryzen Mobile APUs inside, so it'd be interesting to get the i5-8250U version of that same Swift 3 and see just how large the performance gap between those two systems remains.

Corona rendering
Here's a new benchmark for our test suite. Corona, as its developers put it, is a "high-performance (un)biased photorealistic renderer, available for Autodesk 3ds Max and as a standalone CLI application, and in development for Maxon Cinema 4D."

The company has made a standalone benchmark with its rendering engine inside, so it was a no-brainer to give it a spin on these CPUs. The benchmark reports both a rays-per-second and time-to-completion figure, and we're reporting the time-to-completion result.

Here, the Ryzen 5 2500U and the Core i5-8250U emerge dead-even.

Handbrake transcoding
Handbrake is a popular video-transcoding app that recently hit version 1.0.7. To see how it performs on these chips, we're switching things up from some of our past reviews. Here, we converted a roughly two-minute 4K source file from an iPhone 6S into a 1920x1080, 30 FPS MKV using the HEVC algorithm implemented in the x265 open-source encoder. We otherwise left the preset at its default settings.

Handbrake seems to favor the wider SIMD units and higher per-core performance of the Core i5-8250U in this workload, but the Ryzen 5 2500U isn't far behind.

CFD with STARS Euler3D
Euler3D tackles the difficult problem of simulating fluid dynamics. It tends to be very memory-bandwidth intensive. You can read more about it right here. We configured Euler3D to use every thread available from each of our CPUs.

It should be noted that the publicly-available Euler3D benchmark is compiled using Intel's Fortran tools, a decision that its originators discuss in depth on the project page. Code produced this way may not perform at its best on Ryzen CPUs as a result, but this binary is apparently representative of the software that would be available in the field. A more neutral compiler might make for a better benchmark, but it may also not be representative of real-world results with real-world software, and we are generally concerned with real-world performance.

With that in mind, the Ryzen 5 2500U beats out the dual-core i5-7200U, but it can't close the gap in Euler3D performance that typifies AMD CPUs versus their Intel competitors.