AMD’s Ryzen 5 2500U APU reviewed

Ever since their arrival in March of this year, AMD’s Ryzen desktop CPUs have proven themselves compelling alternatives to Intel’s chips at nearly every common price point. Ryzen CPUs generally bring more cores and threads to the table than equivalently-priced Intel CPUs, and recent sales have made it easier than ever to get gobs of multithreaded computing power for less.

Intel’s latest Coffee Lake CPUs have closed the multithreaded performance gap in much of our testing, but the company’s continued insistence on careful feature segmentation and the spotty availability of Coffee Lake parts in general has made the blue team’s next-gen broadside less damaging to the resurgent AMD than one might expect so far.

  Cores/

threads

Base

clock

(GHz)

Boost

clock

(GHz)

GPU

compute

units

GPU

peak

clock

L3

cache

TDP RAM

support

Ryzen 7 2700U 4/8 2.2 3.8 10 1300 MHz 4MB 15W Two channels

DDR4-2400

Ryzen 5 2500U 2.0 3.6 8 1100 MHz

AMD’s renewed competitiveness in the enthusiast desktop is a border skirmish compared to the war it’s getting ready to wage in the mobile-CPU marketplace. Most PCs sold these days are laptops of some kind, and AMD’s Ryzen Mobile chips are its latest in a long line of “accelerated processing units”: CPU cores with a powerful on-die Radeon graphics processor. For the first time since the advent of the APU, AMD has both competitive CPU cores and a cutting-edge graphics-processing unit that it can bring together. With four Zen CPU cores and eight threads, plus as many as 640 Radeon Vega compute units, the Ryzen 5 2500U and Ryzen 7 2700U stuff a ton of potential computing horsepower into their 15W TDPs.

In an unusual reversal of roles for this year of CPU upheaval, though, Intel beat AMD to the punch with its eighth-gen mobile CPUs, which have been available for some time in shipping systems since shortly after their August launch. Kaby Lake Refresh brings the same four cores and eight threads to 15W CPUs that AMD is targeting with the CPU side of the Ryzen Mobile family.

The fact that this first battle is being waged in a 15W theater may help AMD compete better with Intel’s chips in general. In the no-holds-barred arena afforded by 95W-and-higher TDPs, Intel can often clock its client cores to the moon and render discussions of IPC differences versus Zen moot in the wash of its chips’ clock-rocket exhaust. Shrink that thermal envelope to 15W, though, and those minor differences become a lot more relevant. The Ryzen 5 2500U boasts a single-core Turbo speed of 3.6 GHz, a clock-for-clock match for Intel’s Core i5-8350U, and its base clock speed is 300 MHz higher than that of the Intel chip’s.

The improved Precision Boost intelligence in Raven Ridge chips also affords the Ryzen 5 2500U much more granular control over its per-core Turbo speeds versus its desktop cousins, too, meaning that the chip could potentially run more of its cores at higher clocks for longer as it distributes its thermal budget over given workloads. That improved precision seems essential for a thermally-restrictive environment like a laptop chassis.

HP’s Envy x360 takes the stage

There’s more to Ryzen Mobile, but we’re here to test the thing, not dissect it further. For more information on the guts of Ryzen Mobile, be sure to check out my launch-day coverage. Let’s talk a bit about the first system with a Ryzen Mobile APU inside: HP’s Envy x360.

Given the importance of Ryzen Mobile’s performance to the competitive landscape of mobile computing, we went out and bought one at retail to see how it handles. Our $750 test system pairs a Ryzen 5 2500U APU with a one-terabyte, 7200-RPM mechanical hard drive, 8 GB of dual-channel DDR4-2400 RAM, a 15.6″, 1920×1080 screen with a convertible hinge. Most impressively, this rather beastly system is just 4.75 lb (2.15 kg) and slips into a body just 0.77″ (19.6 mm) thick. Svelte. The massive-for-a-laptop Bang and Olufsen speaker array above the keyboard on this thing is the best-sounding mobile audio setup I’ve heard, too.

We can never end our judgment at looks alone, though, and choosing a mechanical hard drive, no matter how good, as the primary storage device in any computer is an unfortunate decision in 2017. Any virtues of the Ryzen APU are eclipsed by the agony of tangling with the limits of mechanical storage. For the moment, HP is offering $100 off a custom Envy x360 from its website, making a 256GB SSD an affordable upgrade from the factory at $130. $760 for this same system with a 256GB SSD upgrade is an immeasurably better starting position for the Envy x360 and its Ryzen 5 2500U.

To make benchmarking the Envy bearable (and to put it on a level playing field with the Acer Swift 3s I just reviewed), I stuck a Samsung 960 EVO 500GB NVMe from our stockpile inside. This setup won’t be representative of the Envy x360 you might buy at retail, but it’s a much fairer starting point for the Ryzen 5 2500U.

HP also seems to have put a 6-bit IPS panel of some kind in the Envy x360 to show the output of the Vega 8 IGP to the world, another decision that puts the wrong foot forward for this system. Color banding in photos, on web sites, and apps with any kind of fine gradations between colors will be immediately obvious. I find this decision quite odd, given the Envy’s Wacom pen support and the potential content-creation chops of the Ryzen 5 2500U.

I could go on about the Envy’s feathery, feedback-free keyboard and aggressive fan, but this isn’t a review of the x360 in and of itself. HP’s engineers can certainly design a dashing and classy-looking notebook, but looks alone don’t make a solid PC. I’d recommend waiting and seeing how other Ryzen Mobile systems shake out unless you simply must have one of these APUs in a laptop today. The Envy x360 falls short in enough places that I’d have a hard time justifying its price tag.

For information about the Envy x360’s battery life, refer to our separate article published after this piece hit the wires.

 

Our testing methods

As always, we did our best to deliver clean benchmark numbers. We ran each benchmark test at least three times and took the median of the results.

Here are the specifications of our test systems:

  Acer Swift 3

(i5-8250U)

Acer Swift 3

(Nvidia MX150)

Acer Swift 3

(i5-7200U)

Alienware 13 R3 HP Envy x360
CPU Intel Core i5-8250U Intel Core i5-7200U Intel Core i7-7700HQ AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
CPU TDP 15W 35W 15W
Memory 8GB (2x4GB) DDR4-2400 8GB (2x4GB) LPDDR3-1866 8GB (2x4GB) DDR4-2133 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4-2666 8GB (2x4GB) DDR4-2400
GPU Intel UHD Graphics 620 Nvidia GeForce MX150 Intel HD Graphics 620 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB AMD Radeon Vega 8
Graphics memory N/A 2GB GDDR5, 6 GT/s effective N/A 6GB GDDR5, 8 GT/s effective N/A
Storage Intel SSD 600p 256GB NVMe SSD Samsung PM961 512GB NVMe SSD Samsung 960 EVO 500GB SSD
Battery 3220 mAh Li-ion 76 Wh Li-ion 55.8 Wh Li-ion

Our thanks to Intel for providing the three Acer Swift 3 systems for our testing. The Alienware 13 R3 playing host to our Core i7-7700HQ is my personal system and was not provided by a manufacturer for evaluation. The Tech Report independently acquired the HP Envy x360 and its Ryzen 5 2500U for testing.

Some additional notes regarding our testing methods:

  • All systems were configured to use Windows’ default “Balanced” power plan over the course of our testing. 
  • Unless otherwise noted, all tests were conducted with display resolutions of 1920×1080 and refresh rates of 60 Hz. Vsync was disabled using the graphics-driver control panel, where possible.
  • All drivers and system firmwares were updated to the most recent versions publicly available before testing.

Our testing methods are generally publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions regarding our methods, feel free to leave a comment on this article or join us in our forums.

 

Memory subsystem performance

Let’s kick off our testing with a quick look at the main memory performance from these systems using the built-in benchmarks from the AIDA64 utility.

Given that it has a hungry CPU and GPU in the same package, it’s good that the Ryzen 5 2500U nearly sweeps our synthetic memory bandwidth tests.

Despite the move to a single Zen core complex, however, the Ryzen 5 2500U doesn’t improve on its desktop counterparts’ tendency to post high memory access latency numbers. That higher latency could reduce the chip’s effective memory bandwidth compared to the competition.

Some quick synthetic math tests

AIDA64 also includes some useful micro-benchmarks that we can use to sketch out broad differences among CPUs on our bench. The PhotoWorxx test uses AVX2 instructions on all of these chips. The CPU Hash integer benchmark uses AVX, while the single-precision FPU Julia and double-precision Mandel tests use AVX2 with FMA.

Photoworxx proves a strong start for the Ryzen 5 2500U. The AMD chip pulls about even with the Core i5-8250U and its freshly-doubled core count in this test.

CPU Hash would seem to deliver a resounding win for the Ryzen 5 2500U, but remember that the Zen architecture supports Intel’s SHA Extensions. The Ryzen 5 2500U can accelerate SHA-1 hashing, while Intel’s chips have to do it the hard way with good old CPU muscle. Since AIDA64 uses SHA-1 for this benchmark, the AMD chip can blast past the Intel CPUs in this test.

In these AVX-intensive floating-point tests, the Ryzen 5 2500U pulls ahead of the Core i5-7200U and its dual cores, but it can’t quite catch the Core i5-8250U. That’s because the 2500U’s SIMD units are half as wide as those of the i5-8250U’s, so even with a core-count and potential clock-speed advantage, we should only expect the AMD chip to end up slightly ahead of the i5-7200U.

Zen CPU performance is kind of a known quantity at this point, so while it’s exciting to have four of those cores in 15W, it’s even more exciting to see how the Vega 8 integrated graphics processor performs. Let’s do that now.

 

Dota 2 (Fastest)

Let’s kick off our gaming tests with one of the most popular games on the planet today. Dota 2 has a reputation for running on everything, even Intel integrated graphics, thanks to a wide and forgiving range of graphics options. More importantly, Dota 2 has a powerful built-in replay system that allows us to precisely replicate the most intense moments in a match from a given player’s point of view, letting us reliably repeat the game’s chaotic battles for benchmarking.

We’ll begin our Dota 2 trek with the Fastest preset at 1920×1080, which cranks down the resolution scaling setting to 52% or so and disables virtually all of the game’s eye candy. It ain’t much to look at with these settings, but budding e-sports pros can at least get in on the fun with Fastest.


Well, these numbers aren’t quite what I expected. It would seem that Dota 2 is pretty CPU-bound with its Fastest preset, even on integrated graphics, and that’s bad news for IGPs sharing a common memory interface with a CPU. The Vega 8 IGP is definitely somewhat faster than the Intel parts, but its 99th-percentile frame time isn’t much better. The GeForce MX150 and its dedicated GDDR5 RAM score a major victory over the IGPs here in both performance potential and delivered smoothness.


These “time spent beyond X” graphs are meant to show “badness,” those instances where animation may be less than fluid—or at least less than perfect. The formulas behind these graphs add up the amount of time our graphics card spends beyond certain frame-time thresholds, each with an important implication for gaming smoothness. Recall that our graphics-card tests all consist of one-minute test runs and that 1000 ms equals one second to fully appreciate this data.

The 50-ms threshold is the most notable one, since it corresponds to a 20-FPS average. We figure if you’re not rendering any faster than 20 FPS, even for a moment, then the user is likely to perceive a slowdown. 33 ms correlates to 30 FPS, or a 30-Hz refresh rate. Go lower than that with vsync on, and you’re into the bad voodoo of quantization slowdowns. 16.7 ms correlates to 60 FPS, that golden mark that we’d like to achieve (or surpass) for each and every frame, while a constant stream of frames at 8.3-ms intervals would correspond to 120 FPS.

As the spiky frame-time plots above suggested would happen, all of the IGPs post enough time past 50 ms that noticeable hitches and stutters will likely be the order of the day. The Vega 8 IGP fares the worst of this bunch by that metric. Click over to the 33.3-ms graph, and AMD’s IGP spends twice as much time as Intel’s UHD Graphics 620 working on those tough frames.

We have to shift our attention to the 16.7-ms graph to find the crossover point where the Vega 8 delivers superior results to the Intel IGP duo. Although the Vega 8 spends two fewer seconds past 16.7 ms compared to the UHD Graphics 620, its higher time-spent-beyond figures at 33.3 ms and 50 ms means that the Radoen’s potentially more fluid experience will be punctuated by more hitches and stutters than the Intel IGPs deliver.

For all that, I wouldn’t read too much into these chips’ performance with Dota 2‘s Fastest preset. If the game truly is CPU-bound with these settings, our results would suggest that it might be beneficial to find a recipe of settings that shift more of the work to the IGP. We may need to retest with the “Fastest+” preset and see what kind of effects it has on these results.

 

Dota 2 (Best Looking)

You can’t have fast without slow, and Dota 2 offers a preset called Best Looking that turns up all of the game’s eye candy and returns resolution scaling to 100%. I turned on Best Looking while keeping resolution at 1920×1080.

Before I dive into these numbers, I should be clear that we’re not trying to slag any of these chips by going with this setup. We’re not expecting playable frame rates, for the most part. This is a stress test designed to really throw the differences in processing power among these IGPs into stark relief.


Dota 2‘s Best Looking settings certainly put some room between the integrated graphics processors on the bench today. Even if it’s not turning in playable frame rates, on average, the Vega 8 IGP is at least flirting with them. The Radeon also shaves nearly 20 ms off the 99th-percentile frame time of Intel’s latest and greatest entry-level IGP, even if it’s still far higher than what we’d like for a smooth experience.


For all its spikiness at these settings, the Vega 8 spends far, far less time than the Intel IGPs past the 50-ms mark. The Radeon also struts its stuff at 33.3 ms, where it spends less than a third of the time on those tough frames compared to the UHD Graphics 620’s results. Even if one wouldn’t want to play Dota 2 on the Radeon at these settings, these results prove that AMD’s Vega IGP is in its own class for integrated graphics performance. We’d still have to relax some eye candy to get Dota 2 above the 30-FPS bar that’s widely accepted as “playable” for this class of product, but the AMD IGP is a lot closer to clearing that bar than Intel’s latest.

 

Rocket League (1280×720)
Rocket League is another wildly popular title with a runs-anywhere reputation. We dialed in some fairly high settings at a low resolution to see how it played on this trio. Like Dota 2, Rocket League has a wonderful replay interface that lets us precisely play back a given match in-engine and from a player’s viewpoint.


The Vega 8 IGP gets off to a strong start with Rocket League. Even at this low resolution, we avoid the apparent CPU-bound coffin corner that Dota 2 hits with its lowest preset. In both performance potential (as measured by its average FPS) and in delivered smoothness (as measured by its 99th-percentile frame time), Vega 8 stomps all over the Intel IGPs.


Thanks to one big spike toward the middle of our test run, the Vega 8 does post some time past 50 ms and 33 ms in our time-spent-beyond filtering of the data, but that isn’t typical of the experience it delivers. The most important threshold to consider is at 16.7 ms, where the Vega 8 spends almost a quarter of the time that the UHD Graphics 620 does on frames that would drop the delivered frame rate below 60 FPS. Entry-level gamers can generally be assured of a smooth and fluid Rocket League experience at these settings.

 

Rocket League (1920×1080)

Our second round of e-sports stress testing cranks up the resolution to 1920×1080 while leaving all of our previous graphics settings in place.


Where Intel’s UHD Graphics 620 can’t quite clear the 30-FPS average that defines “playable” for many folks at these settings, the Vega 8 can. Its 99th-percentile frame time is just a hair above the 33.3-ms mark, too, so the Radeon is clearing that bar for the vast majority of our test run. If you prefer high resolution to high frame rates in Rocket League, the Vega 8 IGP can do it.


In fact, the Vega 8 spends just half a second beyond 33.3 ms in this test—a figure you’d barely notice in practice over the course of our one-minute test run. The UHD Graphics 620 spends an order of magnitude more time past this threshold.

For the e-sports portion of our gaming tests, the Vega 8 IGP proves itself far more capable than the GT2 configurations of the Gen9 IGP shipping in Intel’s Kaby Lake and Kaby Lake Refresh CPUs. One still might need to tweak the graphics settings in these titles for the best experience on AMD’s Vega IGPs, but the red team offers considerably more breathing room than Intel’s IGPs do.

 

The Witcher 3 (1280×720)
The Witcher 3 kicks off our primarily AAA-focused phase of testing. I wanted to test Tomb Raider‘s 2013 reboot on the Ryzen 5 2500U to get a sense of how it compared to the Intel IGPs in that title, but the Radeon’s drivers forced vsync on with Tomb Raider regardless of the in-game settings I chose. Although Tomb Raider certainly runs well on the Ryzen 5 2500U, it’s hard to get a sense of its performance at a locked 30 FPS.

That left the significantly-more-demanding The Witcher 3 to serve as my older triple-A test mule. I selected a blend of medium and low settings to really give these IGPs a workout with this demanding title.


Despite the hair-raising nature of that match-up on paper, the Vega 8 runs The Witcher 3 just 15% slower than the discrete GeForce does at these settings. The Radeon’s significantly spikier graph and higher 99th-percentile frame time don’t paint as favorable a picture for its performance, but hey—this is integrated graphics we’re talking about. Even with that 99th-percentile result, it’s still kind of a wonder that the Vega 8 IGP can turn in a playable experience with The Witcher 3 when the blue team’s IGPs are running the game so slowly that Geralt literally hangs in midair while he runs.


My generally favorable impression of The Witcher 3 on the Vega 8 is borne out by our time-spent-beyond-33.3-ms graph. While the Radeon IGP does spend enough time past 50 ms and 33.3 ms to be noticeable in The Witcher 3, it’s not enough to be ruinous over the course of our one-minute test run. I’d happily play The Witcher 3 on either of these systems, even if I would prefer the GeForce.

 

The Witcher 3 (1600×900)

Time for another stress test. I bumped The Witcher 3 to 1600×900 while keeping my graphics settings the same as I did at 1280×720.


The extra resolution harms the performance potential of both of these graphics processors, but surprisingly, it doesn’t increase the Vega 8 IGP’s 99th-percentile frame time at all (not that the Radeon had a stellar result to begin with, but hey). The Ryzen 5 2500U can’t quite clear the 30-FPS bar that we want to see.

The GeForce’s average-FPS result with these settings is still flirting with a playable experience, but its 40.5-ms 99th-percentile frame time suggests some bumps in the road. Let’s look at our time-spent-beyond-X graphs to see just how bumpy things got.


If you’re willing to rough it in exchange for every possible pixel of resolution, the GeForce MX150 spends just over a second and a half of our one-minute test run on tough frames that would drop the frame rate below 30 FPS. The Radeon is thoroughly outclassed at these settings, so gamers will want to stick with lower settings, less eye candy, or both approaches to keep frame rates playable and frame delivery smooth-ish.

 

Doom (Vulkan)

To close out our triple-A testing, it only seemed fitting to give Doom‘s 2016 reboot a try. I cued up the game’s Vulkan renderer at 1280×720 with the low graphics preset, compute shaders, and a few of the game’s minimally-intensive post-processing settings enabled.


This is the kind of result that frame-time analysis was built to capture. Even though the Radeon isn’t churning out the frames nearly as fast as the MX150 can, both cards turn in roughly the same 99th-percentile measure of delivered smoothness. You’d expect as much, given the furriness of the frame-time graph for the Nvidia chip.

Although the graph for the MX150 may look ugly, that kind of result is repeatable. After my first glimpse of those results, I re-ran the test from scratch to see if I could get better performance, to no avail. I tried monitoring the MX150 with the GPU-Z utility to see if I could get to the bottom of the issue, and the card frequently reported running into a thermal limit during the course of my tests. That thermal limit resulted in swings in clock speeds of a couple hundred MHz, so it could be that Doom just doesn’t react well to that kind of variance.

For its part, the Vega 8 comes quite close to clearing the “playable” bar in Doom at these settings, although I have to note that a 30- to 40-FPS range in this title really does not do its lightning-quick gameplay any justice. You can play Doom on the Ryzen 5 2500U, but it’s not the most fulfilling experience. Still, it could be worse.


Starting at the 33.3-ms mark, the Vega 8 turns in an admirable performance. The chip spends barely any time on tough frames that take longer than 33.3 ms to produce, so one can be assured of a consistently smooth experience at Doom‘s tougher moments, even if its gameplay isn’t as fluid as I’d like.

For all its spikiness, the MX150 still turns in less time past 33.3 ms than the Vega 8 does by a small margin, although we’d really hope to see no time at all in the green team’s bucket given the card’s high average frame rate. The 16.7-ms threshold really isn’t that concerning for the GeForce, either. The net result of all that furriness in the graph is that the MX150 spends just about six seconds past 16.7 ms working on tough frames. We’d still like to see less variance, but it’s clear that the MX150 is still delivering a different class of experience than the Vega 8 in this title.

At this early stage, the Vega 8 graphics processor is a bright spot for the Ryzen 5 2500U. Although Dota 2 players might need to carefully tweak their graphics settings for the best experience on integrated graphics, that’s not a complaint that’s unique to AMD’s APUs. In a range of other titles, the Vega 8 IGP provides much better gameplay experiences than Intel’s entry-level IGPs, presuming that a given title can be made playable on the blue team’s IGPs at all.

All that performance comes from the same total CPU power budget on paper as that of Intel’s latest chips, too, so AMD has undeniably crammed an impressive amount of graphics oomph into one low-power package.

The Vega 8 is no match for a GeForce MX150, of course (though it comes surprisingly close in The Witcher 3). The integrated Radeon could be a better performer than older versions of Nvidia’s entry-level discrete chips, though. Without testing, it’s hard to say, and we don’t have a GeForce 940MX-equipped laptop handy to find out.

I’m certainly curious to see what the more-capable Vega 10 IGP in the Ryzen 7 2700U is capable of now, and the prospect of a higher-TDP desktop chip with this CPU-and-graphics combo inside is especially exciting. Hopefully we’ll be able to find out with time.

Now that we’ve got an idea of the Vega 8 IGP’s gaming performance, it’s time to find out how the CPU side of the die handles.

 

PCMark 10

We don’t usually include Futuremark’s wide-ranging PCMark benchmark in our test suite, but I’m making an exception for these general-purpose laptops. PCMark 10 tests some things that we don’t have tools for, like video conferencing, app launch times, and general productivity performance with common office apps like LibreOffice Writer and Calc. Considering that PCMark is a one-click test, it was hardly a burden at all to rotate it in for this review. Thanks to Futuremark for providing us with access to a PCMark 10 Professional license for these tests.

Let’s start off with these systems’ overall scores, including gaming results. Even with the Ryzen 5 2500U’s powerful Radeon IGP in the picture, it doesn’t open that much of a lead over the Acer Swift 3 with a Core i5-8250U alone inside. Hm.

The essentials benchmark tests web-browsing performance, video conferencing, and a range of app start-up times. This test would seem to favor single-threaded performance and responsiveness most of all, so it’s perhaps not a surprise that Intel’s chips still hold a lead. For folks who use their PCs for the most basic of tasks, Intel’s single-threaded performance edge and technologies like Speed Shift seem to give it quite an edge.

The productivity test checks word-processing acuity and spreadsheet performance with both lightweight and heavy-duty number-crunching. Some portions of the test are even OpenCL-enabled. Still, the nature of this test would seem to favor per-core performance above all, and the Ryzen 5 2500U still can’t eke out an edge.

The digital-content-creation portion of this test covers three phases: photo editing tasks with large raw files from a range of DSLRs (some parts of which are OpenCL-enabled), video editing across both CPU and OpenCL code paths, and rendering and visualization of 3D models. Given those workloads, it’s no shock that the Alienware 13 R3 comes out on top, but the Ryzen 5 2500U finally has an opportunity to demonstrate superiority over even the MX150-powered Acer Swift 3.

Although we already know the story the PCMark gaming test tells, it’s nice to see it confirmed in yet another benchmark.

PCMark may not be the most demanding benchmark, but its workloads seem typical of how the middle of the bell curve of users will experience PC performance. For common web-browsing and office tasks, Intel CPUs would still seem to have a substantial edge in responsiveness and snappiness. Let’s see if we can tease out some of those differences further with some directed benchmarks.

 

Javascript

The usefulness of Javascript benchmarks for comparing browser performance may be on the wane, but these collections of tests are still a fine way of demonstrating the real-world single-threaded performance differences among CPUs.

These latency-sensitive, single-threaded Javascript workloads confirm some of PCMark’s lighter-weight numbers. If those tests heavily consider single-threaded responsiveness, it would only make sense that the Ryzen 5 2500U comes out toward the back of the pack. The AMD chip isn’t that far behind a Kaby Lake Core i5 without Speed Shift enabled, but it’s no match for the Core i5-8250U in these results.

Compiling code with GCC

Our resident code monkey, Bruno Ferreira, helped us put together this code-compiling test. Qtbench records the time needed to compile the Qt SDK using the GCC compiler. The number of jobs dispatched by the Qtbench script is configurable, and we set the number of threads to match the hardware thread count for each CPU.

Our compiling benchmark has always had a scent of Amdahl’s Law about it. Even with four cores and eight threads across the board, the Ryzen 5 2500U can’t catch the Core i5-8250U.

File compression with 7-zip

Although the Ryzen 5 2500U is a little behind the i5-8250U’s file-compression performance with 7-zip, it’s just about as fast in the more common decompression task. Not bad.

Disk encryption with Veracrypt

Veracrypt, a continuation of the TrueCrypt project, offers a built-in benchmark that tests both the AES algorithm (which many of today’s CPUs can accelerate) and a variety of other algorithms that require good old CPU elbow grease to crunch. In the accelerated AES portion of the benchmark, the Ryzen 5 2500U can’t quite catch the i5-8250U, core-for-core and thread-for-thread.

In the unaccelerated Twofish portion of the benchmark, the Ryzen 5 still trails the Core i5-8250U.

 

Cinebench

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 1920×1080, 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.

 

Digital audio workstation performance

One of the neatest additions to our test suite of late is the duo of DAWBench project files: DSP 2017 and VI 2017. The DSP benchmark tests the raw number of VST plugins a system can handle, while the complex VI project simulates a virtual instrument and sampling workload.

We used the latest version of the Reaper DAW for Windows as the platform for our tests. To simulate a demanding workload, we tested each CPU with a 24-bit depth and 96-KHz sampling rate, and at two ASIO buffer depths: a punishing 64 and a slightly-less-punishing 128. In response to popular demand, we’re also testing the same buffer depths at a sampling rate of 48 KHz. We added VSTs or notes of polyphony to each session until we started hearing popping or other audio artifacts. We used Focusrite’s Scarlett 2i2 audio interface and the latest version of the company’s own ASIO driver for monitoring purposes.

A very special thanks is in order here for Native Instruments, who kindly provided us with the Kontakt licenses necessary to run the DAWBench VI project file. We greatly appreciate NI’s support—this benchmark would not have been possible without the help of the folks there. Be sure to check out their many fine digital audio products.


The DAWBench VI test at 96 KHz and 64 samples is the most punishing of this bunch, and none of our mobile CPUs can handle it. Even the i7-7700HQ delivered crackling and popping with no voices of polyphony in play. Relax the buffer size to 128 samples, and the Ryzen 5 2500U stays more competitive with the Core i5-8250U than most any Ryzen CPU has with an equivalent Intel chip in our testing so far. Perhaps the single CCX of the Ryzen 5 2500U is helping here.


The DAWBench DSP test is less about agility and more about pure multithreaded grunt. Even so, the Ryzen 5 2500U can’t keep up at 96 KHz and 64 samples. Relax the buffer size again, and the 2500U hangs right with the i5-8250U.


With our sampling rate reduced, we return to the VI portion of DAWBench. Once again, the Ryzen 5 2500U hangs right with the i5-8250U.


Returning to the more straightforward DSP test at a 48 KHz sampling rate, the 2500U is slightly behind the i5-8250U, but its performance remains competitive at both buffer depths.

Aside from its one unusual stumble in the DAWBench DSP test at 96 KHz, the Ryzen 5 2500U is—strangely enough—the most competitive AMD CPU for DAW performance that we’ve tested of late. The single-CCX design of the 2500U seems to afford it better performance in the latency-sensitive DAWBench VI test than any of its dual- or quad-CCX counterparts can manage, and it hangs right with the i5-8250U in DSP testing.

 

Conclusions

The Ryzen 5 2500U is the ultimate expression of AMD’s APU concept that we’ve tested so far. Its four Zen CPU cores finally offer competitive performance for Intel’s latest chips in a wide range of tasks, and its Vega 8 integrated graphics processor generally offers smooth and responsive entry-level gaming experiences that the blue team’s comparably-positioned CPUs can’t match.

The Vega 8 IGP is the brightest spot for the Ryzen 5 2500U. Where Intel’s UHD Graphics 620 IGP might run out of gas even at the lowest possible resolutions and graphics settings in some titles, Vega 8 usually provides playable experiences even with more demanding games and sometimes even higher resolutions. It’s no replacement for a GeForce MX150, but Vega 8 certainly sets a high new bar for integrated graphics performance in this power envelope.

On the CPU side of the die, Zen still has a modest single-threaded performance deficit versus a similarly-clocked Skylake core in our testing, and that seems to hurt the Ryzen 5 2500U in productivity tasks like web browsing and office work where responsiveness is paramount. Outside of its wins in Blender and Cinebench, the Ryzen 5 2500U hits multithreaded parity with the i5-8250U more often than not, though whether that parity will hold outside of a 15-inch notebook with plenty of metal casing and an aggressive fan remains to be seen.

 

Overall, AMD finally has the competitive CPU cores it’s so desperately needed to go with the powerful graphics processors in its APUs, but for the middle of the bell curve, single-threaded performance and snappiness still matters most. Considering how precious that kind of performance is for a responsive user experience, AMD and its partners will have to make the case that the all-around competence of the Ryzen Mobile APU is worth trading away a bit of the single-threaded oomph of Kaby Lake Refresh for a broad swath of users.

The strongest way for AMD’s partners to make that case will be with price tags. As I outlined in my i5-8250U review, Intel’s partners can put together Core i5-powered ultrabooks with GeForce MX150 graphics, 8 GB of RAM, and 256 GB SSDs inside for around $700 to $800. If one of AMD’s partners can get a Ryzen 5 2500U into a thin-and-light laptop with a similar SSD and RAM configuration for around $600, we’ll really be talking.

With only one Ryzen Mobile system on the market right now, though, it’s too early to make broad proclamations about the success of AMD’s return to competition in mobile computing. Without a doubt, the Ryzen 5 2500U and Ryzen 7 2700U are AMD’s best and most competitive mobile APUs ever. Whether that achievement can persuade notebook buyers to choose a Ryzen system over one with Intel inside remains to be seen.

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Comments closed
    • LieutenantTofu
    • 2 years ago

    After seeing one of Dell’s desktops, which comes standard with a 4c/8t Ryzen 5, equipped with just one stick of RAM, I have to ask if this machine has a dual-channel arrangement for RAM. I understand wanting to leave room for an upgrade later, but the performance delta between what kind of performance Ryzen can produce when paired with dual-channel, decently-clocked/timed RAM, versus the cheapest possible single stick of “green” RAM.

    This issue is compounded when you consider that the CPU cores and the GPU are sharing the same path to memory! The CPU or GPU alone would be impacted by the limitations imposed by single-channel memory, but both at once (such as in a gaming scenario), I can’t see this having anything but a measurably negative impact on performance.

    Hopefully, new Ryzen OEM offerings are better indicative of how the platform shines when you don’t cheap out for profit margins.

      • thecoldanddarkone
      • 2 years ago

      His machine is in no way configured with single channel memory. The memory bandwidth test shows this. Dell and Lenovo do this with a huge amount of machines. Even the business machines I purchased come with a single stick.

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 2 years ago

      I’m in the habit of collecting 2nd-hand workstations instead of buying new hardware, and maybe 3 of 5 (or 6) of these have had asymmetric RAM configurations of one sort or another. Not good for benchmarks, but life goes on.

      Definitely I see those 1-stick configs on order forms from Dell & Lenovo though, even for decent hardware. [i<]Don't click that box.[/i<]

    • derFunkenstein
    • 2 years ago

    These things are just too late to market. Intel had plenty of time to prepare the Kaby Lake refresh and jam quad-core CPUs into 15W envelopes. If Ryzen APUs had gone up against the Core i5-7200U and i7-7500U it wouldn’t be much of a contest. As it is, AMD is a day late and a dollar short. Again.

      • NTMBK
      • 2 years ago

      They give CPU performance very close to the Intel option, and blow the Intel GPU out of the water.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 2 years ago

        That’s cute and all, but you can get a notebook with a roughly-equivalent (and often faster) Intel CPU and a far-superior discrete Nvidia chip for the same money.

        AMD needed to get this thing out the door ahead of Intel’s lower-power quads. The company failed to do so.

          • Fursdon
          • 2 years ago

          Except …. this will(should?) eventually be cheaper than the Intel CPU and Nvidia discrete chip combo? I bet HP loves it because they probably earn more margins with the AMD chip. This seems to be a trend for AMD, they probably earn more money for third parties (Retailers, OEMs) than they do for themselves.

          As always, AMD is behind releasing products from where we want them to be, but they’d need more resources (money, humans, time) to go faster.

            • ViuM
            • 2 years ago

            Ryzen 5 2500u smashes Intel offerings on graphics processing, when all cores are used, for real work.

            I do considerable simulation or astro photography work, using an SSD on this laptop. and compare it to workstation class laptops, the Ryzen 5 APU finishes the job in considerable less time.

            Unfortunately I can’t share much about the engineering side, so Ill concentrate on the astro photography side, which does demand a lot of cores and a good graphics card.

            Then processing the image with Deep Space Stacker, PixInsight or StarTools as well as PhotoShop or Gimp 2.9.6.

            I personally use SharpCap, BackyardEOS, StarTools, DSS, PIPP, Gimp 2.9.6 and many other astro photography tools, and this laptop blows away an HP 8650W workstation with an i-7 3820QM and an ZBook G2 with an i-7 4810MQ processor (both with SSDs) as well as a Lenovo P51 with an i7-7820HQ processor and all these with 16GB Ram and higher clock speeds.

            The HDD is the main culprit for the lack of snappiness of the Ryzen 5 2500u laptop. This is easily addressed by installing an SSD and additional RAM and compare then it to the other laptops with similar setups. There is no appreciable difference for the end user, and it outperforms all these others fairly easily by a wide margin, in all graphics tasks and number crunching applications that use all cores consuming very little power while doing so.

            While the workstations need some very bulky and energy consuming batteries or power supplies. They run hot, and are extremely bulky. All these are laptops that run over 2000usd new compared to 750 and cant be used on the go easily. Specially if you travel a lot. It’s worse, if you have to do some climbing or trekking, to do your work.

            Now I do understand this is a niche market, for photography and astro photography or graphic designers, and certainly some developers and scientist or engineers that do intensive number crunching. But under these circumstances, this laptop shines!

            The HP-Ryzen 5 2500u will be my laptop displacing all other workstations (HP8560w too heavy, ZBook G2, and the LenovoP51) for simulation work, astro photography and development purposes.

      • MOSFET
      • 2 years ago

      I don’t know about late…I still haven’t seen a 4C/8T NUC for sale, minus Skull Canyon.

      • jackblin
      • 2 years ago

      LG UC89G- many design elements with other curved gaming monitor .

      price and performance is one of the biggest challenges that monitor manufacturers face in today’s ever-evolving world of display tech, which is why it’s nice to see companies like LG beginning to find more unique niche [url< ]categories.http://www.furniture-appliances-ca.com/2018/01/lg-34uc89g-gaming-monitor-review.html%5B/url<]

    • Techwizard
    • 2 years ago

    I’m sorry, but this is not an apples to apples comparison. According to anandtech, the Acer Swift 3 chassis has been designed to utilize the Ryzen APUs configured to 25 Watt TDP, while the X360 Envy and IdeaPad 720S are both made to handle the APUs at 15 Watt TDP.

    [url<]https://www.anandtech.com/show/11964/ryzen-mobile-is-launched-amd-apus-for-laptops-with-vega-and-updated-zen[/url<] Based on the fact that the i5-8250 in the Acer Swift 3 outperforms the i7-8550 in the HP X360 Envy, it is likely that that the TDP configurations are the same for the in Intel machines. [url<]https://hothardware.com/reviews/ryzen-mobile-benchmarks-and-performance-analysis[/url<] By comparing the Ryzen 5 2500U in the X360 Envy to the i5-8250 in the Acer Swift 3, you are essentially comparing a 15 Watt TDP CPU to a 25 Watt TDP CPU. This would be fine if you were mearly comparing two similar laptops that happenend to have different hardware, however the title of this review is "AMD's" Ryzen 5 2500U APU reviewed and you literally say "this isn't a review of the x360 in and of itself". Either change the title and focus of the review, or take the review down and retest the Ryzen 5 2500U version of the HP X360 Envy against the i5-8250 version of the HP X360 Envy and then put the review back up.

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 2 years ago

      Your argument rests on flawed assumptions. In fact, I’m not entirely sure which side of our results you’re impugning. I believe that you’re accusing me of testing an Acer Swift 3 with an i5-8250U at 25W TDP against our HP Envy x360 with Ryzen inside running at 15W. That’s just incorrect.

      Acer makes 14″ and 15.6″ versions of the Swift 3. The 14″ model I used to test the i5-8250U’s performance is not a 15.6″ chassis like the upcoming AMD-powered Swift 3 you linked to, which may well operate at 25W.

      30 seconds of investigation with CPU-Z and Intel’s Extreme Tuning Utility confirms that the 14″ Acer i5-8250U system is most definitely limited to 15W. Our results are as valid as they can be when testing across 14″ Intel systems and a 15.6″ AMD system.

        • Techwizard
        • 2 years ago

        I do apologise for my assumption that the Ryzen Swift 3 was the same chassis as the KabyLake Swift 3. However, the i5-8250 in the Swift 3 14″ still outperforms the i7-8550 in the x360 Envy in the hothardware review. Even if it’s not configured for 25 Watt TDP, if the Swift 3 14″ has a beefier cooling solution than the X360 Envy, it would be able to maintain higher boost clocks for longer periods of time, thus making this an unfair comparison.

          • Jeff Kampman
          • 2 years ago

          I’m loath to comment on other sites’ testing methods or results, because we all test differently and in different environments. That said, Geekbench has a reputation for producing unusually variable results and I tend to shy from it for that reason. If HotHardware’s Acer Swift has Speed Shift enabled (as ours does) and their Dell-implemented i7-8550U does not (as my Alienware 13 does not), then that could explain some of the variance in Geekbench results, depending on how that benchmark weighs its numbers.

          HotHardware’s Cinebench numbers, which are more of a steady-state workload compared to the short and bursty nature of Geekbench, shake out more as you’d expect. I’m not convinced it’s down to TDP or thermal solutions given that behavior.

            • Techwizard
            • 2 years ago

            I was actually referring to as the i7-8550 in the HP spectre X360, which the i5-8250 outperforms in CineBench, geekbench, and in grid 2. Regardless, when it comes to comparing laptop CPUs, I still think it’s crucial that the same laptop is used to ensure that there are as few variables as possible, but as I don’t have any direct evidence that the Acer Swift has a thermal advantage, I won’t push any further. Also, I am sorry that I was being an ass earlier with the whole “take down the review” thing. I am still on edge when it comes to reviews ever since the CoffeeLake Multi-Core Enhancement fiasco from last month.

            EDIT: My Grammar Sucks

      • DancinJack
      • 2 years ago

      Whoops?

    • USAFTW
    • 2 years ago

    Looks to be a great chip. Great graphics (particularly as compared to the descrete MX 150), 4 capable cores, all in 15 watts.
    What’s not to like? AMD’s starting to get the hang of the whole APU thing.
    Best of luck to them.

    • zkratzz
    • 2 years ago

    Can you please say what the heat output was? CPU/GPU Temperatures? How hot did the device feel? Nobody seems to mention this about this laptop. Thanks!

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 2 years ago

      I don’t have temperatures for the SoC but it’s a relatively small chip in a big chassis. It never got particularly hot to the touch, even after extended gaming.

    • USGroup1
    • 2 years ago

    “To make benchmarking the Envy bearable (and to put it on a level playing field with the Acer Swift 3s I just reviewed), I stuck a Samsung 960 EVO 500GB NVMe from our stockpile inside.”

    500GB 960 EVO is alot faster than it’s 256GB version and that is much much faster than the 256GB Intel 600P in Swift 3 systems. Well after reading the review I understand the desperation.
    Not mentioning this in PCMark 10 overall score is specially funny.

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 2 years ago

      Scandal.

    • carlot
    • 2 years ago

    Nice and thorough review, Jeff.
    The correct comparison, architecture-wise, is between iGPU only. In this perspective Ryzen is good enough in office works and wins in games and graphic works.
    BUT you can find a huge amount of MX150+Intel notebook, so i think its inclusion is equally correct and useful .
    A side tought, I’d like to know how this notebook fares in crypto-mining, perhaps this is the first nb that can repay itself in the hands of a student at school/college/university.
    You could add a “Current Leecher Repay Score” (measured in computing hours, of course) to your reviews. 🙂

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 2 years ago

    It strikes me as odd that both the AMD and Intel silicon on hand for testing are not the highest-end option. When it comes to desktop reviews, they provide the best. For laptops, they leave it to the websites to put it together.

    I think AMD would have been wise to provide 2700U review systems to ensure they put some distance between themselves and Intel GPUs.

      • NoOne ButMe
      • 2 years ago

      Because AMD provided the laptops from OEM. Did HP have a Ryzen 7 model ready yet?

      even Lisa Su going to store grabbed a 2500u…

      [url<]https://twitter.com/LisaSu/status/929885959918845952[/url<]

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 2 years ago

        AMD provided nothing, TR had to get what they could find, and there have been plenty of negative comments even on this fairly well educated forum.

          • NoOne ButMe
          • 2 years ago

          hm. I though it was AMD sending out the HP samples.

          Either way, it is screwy.

      • MOSFET
      • 2 years ago

      I read that Asus has a 2700 unit coming soon. Whether it shows up here or at any other site, I have no idea.

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 2 years ago

        Would be nice of them to send it around for testing, but I wonder if they will go through the effort for an AMD product.

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 2 years ago

      Ryzen 7 2700U systems aren’t on the market yet and AMD isn’t sampling reviewers with these HP systems. We had to go out and buy one, as you noted, and that limits us to whatever is on the market.

      For its part, Intel probably understands that Core i7 numbers are a hit with enthusiasts on the desktop, but the vast majority of regular laptop users are going to be shopping Core i5s. I’m actually glad we got to test the less-exotic Kaby Lake Refresh chips first, and I’m also glad that we had i5 systems on hand to let us run a fairly even match-up with the Ryzen 5 2500U.

    • Jeff Kampman
    • 2 years ago

    By popular demand, I’ve added full frame-time data for [i<]The Witcher 3[/i<] and [i<]Doom[/i<] on the Intel IGPs. Don't say you weren't warned.

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      Yaaa – oh…errr…Oh.

      • ptsant
      • 2 years ago

      With every generation of Intel iGPUs, many people say that the performance gap is “closing” and that they should be “good enough”. Well, no.

        • jarder
        • 2 years ago

        Wow! You have to worry for the future of Intel’s IGPs. With those results in the picture it looks like the gap is widening.
        Not to mention that there are question marks over Intels long term commitment to integrated graphics. With Rajachip imminent and Intel looking to get back into the the discreet graphics game it gives Intel much less incentive to push integrated graphics beyond where they are now. I have a feeling that while those new products mean renewed competition in the discreet graphics arena, which is really great, at the same time it looks like integrated graphics will be stuck in the slow lane.

          • tipoo
          • 2 years ago

          I don’t see their dGPU investment that way. Surely any advances in a dedicated GPU architecture would also reflect in integrated GPUs, like we’re seeing in Vega mobile in this very article, like Pascal, etc.

          As for keeping IGPs here to let their dGPUs shine – competition would not allow that.

          • Kretschmer
          • 2 years ago

          I actually read this the opposite way. With discrete graphics now within striking distance for price and battery life, why buy an APU and sacrifice performance?

            • dragontamer5788
            • 2 years ago

            The discrete graphics version of this laptop is the x360 Spectre which starts at $1400.

            [url<]http://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/hp-spectre-x360-convertible-laptop-15t-touch-1wb97av-1?jumpid=ma_2017-cyber-sale~spectre~8~CTO~1WB97AV_1~HP_Spectre_x360_Convertible_Laptop_-_15t_touch[/url<] The iGPU versions of laptops are hundreds of dollars cheaper than discrete (aka: MX150) versions of the same laptop. Yeah, I know you have links to cheap Asus and Acer machines. But believe it or not, some of us are willing to pay a bit more for some higher-end features (ex: touchscreen, stylus and touchpads that actually work). Laptops are more than benchmark machines. They need to match all of my requirements if I'm going to buy them. ------------- Anyway, for those who want the absolute cheapest systems and don't care about some occasional quality issues, the [url=https://tech4gamers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Acer-Swift-3-amd_ryzen_processor.jpg<]Acer Swift 3 is going to have Ryzen in it soon[/url<]. We can talk prices once those hit the shelves, but I'm fairly certain that Ryzen Swift 3 will be cheaper than Intel+MX150 Swift3.

            • tipoo
            • 2 years ago

            Or read another way; if they develop high performance dedicated architectures, some of it should also reflect down into better IGPs. I mean, we’re seeing exactly that with Vega and Pascal mobile in the above article. I don’t see why developing dedicated GPUs would make thier IGPs worse.

        • tipoo
        • 2 years ago

        If my memory is right there was one of those charts with an eDRAM model once, and it fared much better in frame times. The 620 is not that, in fairness. Iris Plus 650 would be interesting to compare in total package power vs these.

          • MOSFET
          • 2 years ago

          [url=http://i67.tinypic.com/b6y3gn.jpg<]GT2 vs GT3e at 15W[/url<]

        • Andrew Lauritzen
        • 2 years ago

        To be fair, results like this indicate something pathological is going on with the test case/driver/etc, not really anything about the hardware… like OS paging memory every frame or something (Witcher) or just immature vulkan driver (DOOM).

        While that sort of thing is obviously relevant to someone trying to play The Witcher on that laptop, it doesn’t really say anything interesting about architecture. All GPUs will fall into pathological behavior when pushed too far outside their operating parameters so really the only takeaway here is “Witcher is unplayable on that system”, after which point the details are mostly noise and obviously don’t generalize to any other test case, as those test cases themselves indicate 🙂

        Thus I think Jeff was right not to include them initially as people will get misled. It’s worth noting that while I understand the purpose in trying to “push the GPUs” in some of the tougher test cases, once you get too far into an unplayable range the relative results of the different GPUs do not necessarily generalize anymore to less stressful workloads. Example: if you push a pair of GPUs hard enough to get it down to 1 and 2 fps respectively, that absolutely doesn’t mean on a lighter workload they are going to run 30 and 60! You can even get inversions at these very low performance levels since other factors dominate when you push everything so high that you’re just constantly trashing the small caches in these GPUs, etc.

        The conslusion that should be taken here is that Ryzen has a strong showing and certainly provides playable performance for broader set of games than the Intel laptops. But it’s important to remember when looking at reviews that the further a system is away from the 30-60ish range of performance the less meaningful the specific values of the results are.

      • NTMBK
      • 2 years ago

      Mother of god.

      • Waco
      • 2 years ago

      Holy hell. That’s pretty ugly, but not unexpected I guess.

      • IGTrading
      • 2 years ago

      Why no power consumption tests and battery autonomy tests ?

      And no Tomb Raider ? I would have really liked to see how Vega Mobile looks in various games, with and without Game Works.

        • Waco
        • 2 years ago

        This was addressed in the article.

      • Mr Bill
      • 2 years ago

      That is fabulous!

    • odizzido
    • 2 years ago

    Did I miss how much these cost compared to the intel ones?

    Either way this seemed pretty decent to me. GPU wise, the MX 150 has a 25W TDP according to wiki. I don’t know if that includes the dedicated memory or not. Considering the huge TDP difference, the lack of dedicated memory, and the performance disadvantage the vega GPU is working with on the CPU side I think it did pretty well.

    CPU wise it was at least okay for the most part. I think it’s going to depend what you do with your laptop when deciding how much intel’s performance matters.

    I’ve generally liked AMD’s APUs for laptops and this one doesn’t disappoint me at all.

      • NoOne ButMe
      • 2 years ago

      25W would include the memory+MC
      Probably closer to 15W without them.

        • mczak
        • 2 years ago

        I’m pretty sure 10W for memory/MC is way too high – even half that is probably too high but more reasonable (this is only 64bit, and nowadays everybody uses low voltage gddr5 too).
        But in any case, even if we’d knew the exact number (and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s variable depending on the notebook), we don’t really know the TDP of the APU neither, it is possible HP configured it differently than the 15W default, plus it’s certainly allowed to boost higher (albeit I don’t know the specifics of this).
        I’d really like to see actual power draw figures for both of the intel + nvidia gpu and amd apu when running these games – while the notebooks are different if you subtract the idle power draw that should give a pretty good idea.

          • NoOne ButMe
          • 2 years ago

          I forgot it was 64b… so probably 5-7W? 18-20W for GPU.

    • ozzuneoj
    • 2 years ago

    Looks like a nice chip for some mobile gaming without many compromises. Very happy to see AMD competing so well in this market again.

    I have to say though… we had some discussions not long ago where people told me I was wrong in saying that these APUs wouldn’t perform anywhere close to an RX 550. Whelp…

      • NoOne ButMe
      • 2 years ago

      Given this is in 15W, with about 20% lower clock than Ryzen Mobile iGPU can handle, and only about 73% of the CUs enabled…. what a shocker?!

      Expect full fledged chip in 35-45W TPD to be MX150 level.

      On desktop, I think a 95W APU pushing RAM speeds might be able to catch the 550.

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 2 years ago

        I want to see that test.

          • NoOne ButMe
          • 2 years ago

          just hope it’s not bandwidth bound. But peak computer for Ryzen 7 2700U should be about 50% higher than 2500U.

            • bhtooefr
            • 2 years ago

            Or thermally-bound, for that matter – when you’re in the 15 watt space, TDP budget affects performance. That may create awkward results where a faster chip is slower, depending on how resources are apportioned. (See the example of Cherry Trail often throttling much harder than Bay Trail-T despite a lower SDP, due to much more GPU power consumption.)

        • derFunkenstein
        • 2 years ago

        I would be incredibly surprised if it worked out that way for reasons you already outlined – sharing memory bandwidth is always a huge constraint.

          • DavidC1
          • 2 years ago

          This. Back when Intel didn’t put eDRAM on the Iris parts non-Pro, the performance improvement compared to the HD graphics were only 10-15%. That’s for having 2x the graphics resource mind you.

          I expect we’ll see decent gains on the 2700U, probably 10-15% gain on top of the 2500U. Considering the TDP, and only using shared system memory, it would be a very good level of performance.

            • Anonymous Coward
            • 2 years ago

            I’ll also place my “bet” on 10-15% better GPU performance in the 2700U. I think you’re right.

            The really interesting thing to discover at this point is what this silicon could do with the power and cooling of a desktop form-factor. Also, the higher RAM speeds.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 2 years ago

            Or even a 35-45W version, similar to the Intel HQ notebook line.

    • NoOne ButMe
    • 2 years ago

    impressive given the 150MX is a 20-25W card incld. GDDR5 on it’s own. As I understand.

    35W Ryzen 7 mobile APUs could be pretty spectacular, for budget esports/lowrez gaming.

      • bhtooefr
      • 2 years ago

      The Acer Swift 3 with the Ryzen 5 2500U/Ryzen 7 2700U, for what it’s worth, is cTDP-upped to 25 watts. Could be an interesting one for TR to go back and review…

      • Lord.Blue
      • 2 years ago

      I would love to see a beefed up Radeon IGP with the Ryzen 7 for a total system power of 35w-45w.

    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    Apples-to-apples comparisons are always hard between laptops but I think you did well enough to separate the two IGPs and the two CPUs for the sake of gauging the R5 2500U.

    The mobile Zen CPU part seems to be performing better than expected.

    Despite the Vega8 stomping all over the Intel IGP, I was expecting more, somehow. I guess I was hyped over the initial rumours that Raven Ridge GPU would have 704 shaders. Rather than being upset that most design wins are going to use the 512 shader variant, I should probably be ecstatic about how these integrated graphics sharing RAM and TDP budget with CPU cores in a measly 15W package are even remotely comparable to a 25W dGPU with dedicated GDDR5.

    • juampa_valve_rde
    • 2 years ago

    Sweet Jeff! Also sweet AMD! Little ryzen is a bit rough around the edges but gets kudos. AMD has to work around the mem latency issues that hurt performance on some places (maybe this doesnt help with the spiky frame timing on some games). I’ll save some pennies for the desktop version.

    • Kretschmer
    • 2 years ago

    To me, iGPUs are either “fast enough” or “not worth it.” With such meager showings in games as undemanding as DOTA 2 @ Fastest (which runs at 42% render quality and looks beyond awful), this APU falls into the latter category.

    For the price of this Envy you can pick up a 15″ Dell with a GTX 1050 and quad-core CPU. I understand that these devices are in different TDP categories, but someone who is interested in gaming would want to target a higher TDP, and someone who doesn’t want to game would be happy with Intel integrated.

    Hopefully these APUs are more competitive at higher TDPs.

    • dragontamer5788
    • 2 years ago

    A lot of these comments are complaining about the price. A few things:

    1. The HP Envy x360 has active digitizer + stylus support. I realize that not everyone wants a stylus, but touchscreen + Stylus support is very convenient for users of OneNote and some other applications (ie: drawing and stuff).

    A professional artist will not be satisfied with just pressure sensitivity. Professional artists want tilt-support and direction-senses, as well as eraser functionality IMO. But from a “convenient” perspective of using OneNote, surfing the web (using stylus + touch: touch to pan with hovering stylus to see tooltips, etc. etc.)… Stylus + Touch is an incredible experience.

    2. Numpad. Maybe I’m the only one who cares, but… surely someone else out there actually uses the numpad and can appreciate this feature? (Numpads are getting rarer and rarer… I think keyboard manufacturers are trying to cheap out on the keys or something).

    Not everything is about specs or raw hardware. The complete laptop package should be considered. Stylus computing + Numpad is very important for my personal workflow, and its hard for me to find other laptops within this price range that have a GOOD active digitizer (a lot of them are awful) and a decent numpad. And yes, I am willing to pay $100 or $200 more on a laptop that properly works with my workflow. (IE: Stylus support and Numpad)

    Any touchscreen + stylus will eat up battery life as well. So I think Techreport made a wise move with regards to battery-life testing. A more “barebones” laptop (maybe an Acer or Asus) with just a screen + keyboard + touchpad (no stylus, no touchscreen, etc. etc.) would be a better comparison.

    Or, if they want to compare “apples to apples”, getting the HP Envy x360 Intel i5 8250U would be the most obvious choice (as it’d have the same screen, RAM, 1tb hard drive, stylus, and touch screen).

    • DavidC1
    • 2 years ago

    The CPU is quite competitive, and the GPU is very good. The latter beats Iris parts without using eDRAM, and does it at a relatively affordable price.

    (Part of the deficiency on the Intel part is because they are screwing up on the process, and thus product timeline but that’s the real world)

    Battery-life wise it looks to be Ryzen Mobile is still in the pre-Haswell era generation. Coupled with the fact that HP generally makes low efficiency laptops, it won’t impress. I want to see how the Acer does.

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 2 years ago

    How does an APU compare to a DGPU if you took the same silicon and separated them. Is it on motherboard simplicity/compactness (traces, etc)? Are there efficiencies to be gained in shared components? Otherwise why couple them onto a single package? It seems like a smaller CPU die + a small discreet GPU would perform better due to better cooling at the same power consumption.

      • DavidC1
      • 2 years ago

      There would be no difference if the TDPs are still dynamically shared. You could do the same thing as a discrete chip if despite the integration the TDPs are fixed for the CPU and GPU, and add GPU-only VRAM.

      The point of integrating a GPU is to maximize performance at very power constrained form factors. With integration you can quickly switch power states so at one moment CPU could have more power, and at another moment the GPU could have more power.

    • Shobai
    • 2 years ago

    We’ve seen that giving desktop Ryzen speedy memory can provide a tidy little boost to performance, at least partially due to increasing the IF speed. Any idea, Jeff, whether this Envy will boot with faster RAM?

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 2 years ago

      Nothing about these mobile CPUs is unlocked, so faster RAM will likely run at the highest multiplier the processor supports by default (i.e. DDR4-2400.)

        • Shobai
        • 2 years ago

        That’s fair enough, I guess. Thanks for the response!

        • Shobai
        • 2 years ago

        Hope you don’t mind another question:

        Do you have any insight on what differences we’d see if a manufacturer provisioned this CPU for 25W?

        • thx1138r
        • 2 years ago

        This restriction won’t be in place on the desktop version I assume, because they will be running on standard AM4 motherboards. It will be interesting to see the effect of different memory speeds on the performance of the integrated GPU… just an idea…

          • Jeff Kampman
          • 2 years ago

          We don’t know anything about desktop Raven Ridge yet. AMD might offer unlocked versions, or it might not. AM4 alone is not an assurance that a chip will have all its levers and dials exposed.

    • GAMER4000
    • 2 years ago

    Regarding the system costs,the X360 is part of the more expensive Envy range of 2 in 1 touchscreen laptops:

    [url<]http://store.hp.com/us/en/mdp/laptops/envy-x360-204075--1#!&tab=vao[/url<] The RRP of the Core i5 8250U variant is $829.99 and the Ryzen 5 2500U variant is $729.99,although the former is on offer at $619.99 and the latter at $629.99.

      • noko
      • 2 years ago

      To do an accurate battery comparison with different size installed screens – hook up an external monitor and turn off the built in screen and test the different laptops on the same monitor. That would be apples to apple – then having the results with the built in screen would also be nice.

        • GAMER4000
        • 2 years ago

        It wouldn’t be Apple to Apples since the laptops used different chassis and other parts. Look on the HP website,the Ryzen 5 2500U and Core i5 8250U variants of the laptop have identical specs down to using a 1TB hard drive,etc. This way it would also be easier to test battery life as the batteries are probably the same capacity. The only difference would be the CPU and chipset.

        I don’t think HP would have any problem sending such an old tech site like this a laptop just for the review,as either way whether they sell an AMD or Intel X360 they win both ways! :p

          • MOSFET
          • 2 years ago

          Comparing Apples to Apples would be a comparison of iPhone 7 versus iPhone 8. I think we all mean apples to apples.

    • tipoo
    • 2 years ago

    Hmm, kind of figures on the GPU side, the best hope was catching the MX150, but that has dedicated memory going for it, IGPs are hard pressed for memory bandwidth contention.

    It’ll take mobile dedicated Vega for that, and if then – the MX150 is one wicked efficient chip.

    • Bumper
    • 2 years ago

    Jeff kampMAN please for the love of tech do some battery life testing. I have a feeling amd puts up a poor showing in this very important metric.

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 2 years ago

      We held off on battery life testing because comparing 14″ Intel machines to this 15.6″ HP is potentially unfair. I’m still trying to figure out a method that ensures a level playing field.

        • chuckula
        • 2 years ago

        Turn off the displays and normalize for battery capacity.

        • GAMER4000
        • 2 years ago

        Its simple,get hold of the Intel version of Envy X360 using the same chassis and a Core i5 8250U:

        [url<]https://www.intel.com/buy/us/en/product/laptops/hp-envy-x360-15m-bp111dx-16ghz-i5-8250u-156-1920-x-1080pixels-touchscreen-silver-hybrid-2-in-1-629870[/url<] This way you equate both systems to each other,even down to chassis cooling.

          • tsk
          • 2 years ago

          This would be great.

        • thecoldanddarkone
        • 2 years ago

        Thank you for your hard work. Hopefully you find some decent tests to run. I’d like a continued cinebench run where we check power usage at 1 minute, 5 minutes, and 15 minutes. Both plugged in and unplugged.

          • DancinJack
          • 2 years ago

          Do you mind if I ask why?

          Like, are you planning on buying a 2500U laptop to run Cinebench on for work or something? Or just using Cinebench as a stresser?

            • thecoldanddarkone
            • 2 years ago

            It’s just a medium/heavy stress test. I’d have zero problem if he substituted it with blender. As long as he doesn’t use small fft’s prime, lol…

        • Bumper
        • 2 years ago

        Ok! I appreciate the review. Hope you get tons of clicks and cash flow.

        • Pancake
        • 2 years ago

        Why not run the standard TR laptop battery life Browserbench? This would be a much more interesting test than looping videos as HotHardware did. And Civ IV for those that care about gaming? Even without comparing against the other laptops in the review it provides a valuable data point. For many people, battery life is absolutely critical in a laptop.

        Without more than gut feeling, I’m guessing 5.5hrs for Browserbench. This would be 10W consumption over that time to flatten the battery.

        Edit: I should point out Browserbench was used in the “Intel’s Core i5-8250U CPU reviewed” article just below… Enquiring minds need to know!

        • ptsant
        • 2 years ago

        Just measure watts at the wall. It’s up to the manufacturer then to decide the size of the battery.

          • NoOne ButMe
          • 2 years ago

          sometimes power profiles/tweaks will be based on if it is plugged in or not.

          I don’t trust manufacturers of notebooks to have no rigged it so Windows options don’t reflect these changes.

            • Andrew Lauritzen
            • 2 years ago

            They are almost *always* changed depending on whether the laptop is plugged in. In cases with discrete GPUs the battery often can’t even supply enough power to run the system at full tilt so the GPU is often heavily underclocked on battery.

            This does bring up the note though that it’s probably interesting to do a few of the benchmarks on battery power as well just as a sanity check if nothing else. While plugged in laptops are obviously a relevant usage model, I still question the utility of getting a laptop if it is *never* going to be unplugged 🙂

            This does indeed complicate matters though as it will vary a lot from one laptop to another even with theoretically identical hardware. That said, we’re already kind of in that world with cooling so it’s just a fact of life now.

            • auxy
            • 2 years ago

            On the contrary I wish someone would make a “laptop” with no battery. (‘ω’)

            A portable computer, basically a DTR, but in a slimmer form factor due to not having to design for battery power, or dual power sources (battery/AC). A really nice desktop-equivalent PC that you can take anywhere. Limited storage expansion and no PCIe expansion, but who cares? All you need is that MXM-B GPU anyway. (*’▽’)

            A laptop with a 20″ display that is still relatively lightweight (similar to thinner 17″ designs) due to not needing a battery or space for it. Could be a killer LAN machine!

            • NoOne ButMe
            • 2 years ago

            I never got why OEMs didn’t just remove the display on a laptop and sell it as a thin PC for under the TV.

            • Redocbew
            • 2 years ago

            They did, and they called it a NUC, or a Brix, or a Z-Box.

        • windwalker
        • 2 years ago

        In the context of reviewing the CPU and GPU combination only, it makes sense to try to isolate them.
        For people who are interested in actually purchasing a laptop, the raw results of a battery test are exactly what they care about.

        • Klimax
        • 2 years ago

        Just a suggestion for video playback part: MPC-HQ can show detailed diagnostics (including timing info) which can show what HW acceleration is in use. At least one review showed very poor battery life with video playback when using VLC.

        It might shed light on WTF is going on.

      • jarder
      • 2 years ago

      Seconded, we need some more information.

      From what I’ve seen so far, Hothardware rated it’s battery life as “weak” using it’s video-playback benchmark:
      [url<]https://hothardware.com/reviews/ryzen-mobile-benchmarks-and-performance-analysis?page=2[/url<] Whereas notebookcheck said the power consumption results were "incredible" (in a good way in case anybody is wondering) in their preview: [url<]https://www.notebookcheck.net/Our-first-Ryzen-5-2500U-benchmarks-are-in-and-Intel-has-every-reason-to-worry.266618.0.html[/url<] I'd like to see the Techreport verdict...

      • ET3D
      • 2 years ago

      Definitely looking forward to battery life figures. I’d like to see this APU in something like a Dell XPS 13, and though gaming seems significantly better than on an Intel chip, that wouldn’t be enough if battery life was significantly lower. I do hope that AMD pulls through here.

      • Unknown-Error
      • 2 years ago

      According HotHardware -https://hothardware.com/reviews/ryzen-mobile-benchmarks-and-performance-analysis?page=3

      Battery life appears abyssal at first but seems like AMD is its own enemy here. Specifically Vega graphics. There is some weird behavior when ruining VLC. They hypothesize that this maybe a Vega driver issue. Honestly what else do you expect from the AMD graphics driver teams?

      All in all promising performance or at least they can keep up or beat previous gen 7200u on the CPU side. GPU is a clean-sweep. Now just compare that to a year ago using the benchmarks of the Pro A12-9830B, FX-9830P 😮 :O

        • chuckula
        • 2 years ago

        They even updated the article with new drivers from HP and noted that the CPU usage during video playback was quite low so it’s not like there was a software bug that was preventing the GPU from handling video offload duties. Even with all those tweaks it’s still not that good.

          • NoOne ButMe
          • 2 years ago

          They also claim at max brightness the screen is under 110 nits. Which is utterly bizarre.

          Something is a bit odd with their unit.

          I believe a comment showed it was Vega+Ryzen not playing nicely with the VLC.

          A huge bug, which is understandable given the platforms first gen. Not good or acceptable, but understandable.

    • dragosmp
    • 2 years ago

    Awesome post, and at the right time. Do you have any info weather the CPU was configured for 25W TDP? Some places on the web (yes I know…) claimed the CPU can be adjusted for 25 or 15W, and it’s the higher wattage option that is the default in the Envy

    Otherwise I think this looks like a proper success. Within 15W it gets to be close to a 15W CPU + 25W for the MX150 – some battery life tests would probably show the APU running with it.

    I’m looking forward for the 15″ Ryzen Acer review. As good as the 2500U looks, I wouldn’t buy a leaf blower with a doubtful panel if there is a choice.

      • bhtooefr
      • 2 years ago

      AnandTech’s claiming of the three launch devices, the Acer Swift 3 is the only 25 watt one. (It’s slower RAM, though, at DDR4-2133, vs. 2400 for the HP.)

      Also, reviewing the Ideapad 720S would likely give a terrible picture of Ryzen performance, as it’s saddled with single-channel DDR4-2133, with no possibility to upgrade to dual channel.

      • Klimax
      • 2 years ago

      According to system table system under testing was in 15W TDP mode.

    • Concupiscence
    • 2 years ago

    It’s not easy to hit a niche balancing CPU performance and acceptable IGP speed, especially within the thermal and power constraints of the ultrabook market. A discrete Nvidia GPU’s always going to do better with its own memory bus, and given what they’re working with I think AMD did really well. I wouldn’t hesitate to grab a 2500U after reading this. Thanks for the great work, guys!

    • maroon1
    • 2 years ago

    It seems that ryzen only do well in 3nd rendering (specially cinebench). It is no suprise that AMD marketing team (and AMD fanboys comment section in wccf website) keep showing us cinebench infront of out face, even though the average joe don’t do 3d rendering. I care more about wirar, 7-zip compression and video encoding (handbrake) than 3d rendering.

    iGPU wise, it wins against intel but the gap is not as big as what I was expecting. And nvidia MX 150 still beat it by huge margin

    Also, I little surprised how big the gap between UHD 620 and HD620 because both have same architecture and 24 EU. UHD 620 might be hitting the higher clocks because of improved 14nm. Or maybe it is possible that the extra CPU cores in 8th gen i5 is helping with gaming performance.

    • DancinJack
    • 2 years ago

    I think AMD shows well here. I am just not sure I can advise someone to buy this over an MX150 equipped machine with an 8th Gen Intel CPU. For instance…

    [url=https://www.amazon.com/Acer-i5-8250U-NVIDIA-GeForce-SF314-52G-55WQ/dp/B0746P25QX/?tag=techreport09-20<]$720 bucks for i5-8250U+MX150[/url<] [url=https://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-envy-x360-2-in-1-15-6-touch-screen-laptop-amd-ryzen-5-8gb-memory-1tb-hard-drive-hp-finish-in-dark-ash-silver/6124570.p?skuId=6124570&ref=199&loc=M5xBRlxV1sE&acampID=1&siteID=M5xBRlxV1sE-XgykurfpFLADel99xNJ2Qw<]$750 for Ryzen 5 2500U + a 1TB mechanical spinner...[/url<]

    • mdkathon
    • 2 years ago

    I was hoping for a little more out of this APU, but for the price and TDP it certainly beats an Intel IGP only system.

    Would love to see this APU paired with a 20W AMD GPU for something CrossFire-ish. Anyone know if that’s in the cards?

      • chuckula
      • 2 years ago

      Really? If anything I’m pretty disappointed in the IGP performance of the Ryzen parts considering the flak that Intel gets over its rather weak integrated graphics.

      Given the “in-house” results that AMD issued we were led to believe that you’d need that MX-150 GPU on an Intel system just to match a Ryzen IGP, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.

      I frankly see no real reason why Cannon Lake’s mobile IGP won’t be able to keep up with these mobile parts given that the IGPs in the Kaby Lake refresh parts are basically mid-level Intel IGPs that were first launched in 2015.

        • mdkathon
        • 2 years ago

        I should have been more clear. What I was hoping for is the IGP portion of the 2500U to pack a little more punch. Yes, I know lots of things are going to need to be taken into account for performance bottlenecks and what not.

        Just wanted to see a little more out of team Red. I’m itching to upgrade my Yoga 14 (i5-5xxx + GTX 940M) and this does not look like it’ll be worth it…

          • DancinJack
          • 2 years ago

          Welcome to the i5-8250U + MX150!

          • Andrew Lauritzen
          • 2 years ago

          I think the iGPU performance is pretty reasonable and expected for the power constraints. People who are expecting much more really have a pretty skewed idea of the different pieces of hardware here (or are just being brand loyal or whatever). No one is ~2x off efficiency across the board iso-process/TDP, so when comparing SoCs near their design points (which 15W definitely is for both this and the Intel chips), you’re not going to see massively different results in aggregate.

          I was actually worried the race would be even closer than it is on the GPU, even vs. Intel’s GT2 parts. Seeing Ryzen with a solid if not crushing win at an important design point (no matter what you guys say, desktop APU/iGPU wins are uninteresting) on the GPU front gives me hope that Intel will see more pressure to continue to improve and put larger GPUs on their SoCs going forward.

        • Kretschmer
        • 2 years ago

        As dirty as this makes me feel, I agree with chuckula. This APU isn’t a significant enough advancement over the Intel IGP to warrant the hit to CPU performance, as APUs are either “good enough to game with” or “might as well be Intel IGP.” With the MX150 in the same price range, this APU has no reason to exist.

        I’m also curious as to the battery life vs a low-power Intel chip and MX150.

          • dragontamer5788
          • 2 years ago

          [quote<] APUs are either "good enough to game with" or "might as well be Intel IGP." [/quote<] But this evaluation differs from game to game. Rocket League hits 60fps (even if only at 720p), which is more than acceptable for Rocket League. For example, my primary games are like, Factorio, Cuphead, Touhou, a few Tetris clones, DiveKick and the like. There are a LOT of games that may give Intel Drivers some problems, but this APU will likely crush. Not everyone plays Witcher 3 on the go (besides, I have my Desktop for that).

            • Kretschmer
            • 2 years ago

            Again, if you can get a superior MX150 and Intel chip in the same form factor and price range, why both with the APU besides vendor boosterism?

            • Anonymous Coward
            • 2 years ago

            If AMD prices a 15W Raven Ridge in such a way that a 15W Intel + 30W MX150 is price competitive in an otherwise comparable chassis, then AMD has made a [i<]mistake[/i<].

            • DancinJack
            • 2 years ago

            Odd, it didn’t link my comment properly so here’s the text.

            I think AMD shows well here. I am just not sure I can advise someone to buy this over an MX150 equipped machine with an 8th Gen Intel CPU. For instance…

            $720 bucks for i5-8250U+MX150

            $750 for Ryzen 5 2500U + a 1TB mechanical spinner…

            That’s an Acer 14″ vs an Envy 15″ but I’m not sure anyone but enthusiasts would reallllllly care much about that.

          • MOSFET
          • 2 years ago

          It’s the memory bandwidth, I’m pretty sure, and the contention for it. Well, and the thermal envelope, of course.

          • mczak
          • 2 years ago

          I’d agree at the same price point as a i5-8250 and MX150, it’s definitely not a good option. But from what I can tell, the MX150 typically adds about ~100$ or so to the same system without the discrete GPU, and I’d nearly bet intel doesn’t actually sell the i5-8250 cheaper than AMD sells the Ryzen 2500U (though I have no idea what these chips actually cost, intel has price lists but you can completely forget about them for OEM parts).
          And hence you might be looking at a 600$ notebook with Ryzen mobile vs. 700$ with the core i5-8250 + mx150. Or alternatively, the i5 one at the same cost but without the mx150. And I’d think the mobile ryzen would look quite good then – yes the cpu overall might be somewhat slower (not by much really – this is very different to the previous AMD chips, you probably couldn’t tell in most cases) but the GPU definitely very noticeably faster, which seems reasonable to me.
          Of course, depending on the special deals you get all the time, the actual price difference might be lower or higher, which could easily swing what’s the better pick. (That is assuming though the mobile ryzen actually competes efficiency-wise in low-load / idle scenarios, that is it must have similar runtime – aside from performance that’s the most important metric for a mobile cpu, and some would probably put that as more significant than performance even.)

        • NoOne ButMe
        • 2 years ago

        Given that the Ryzen 7 mobile should have peak GPU performance of about 45% over this Ryzen 5. Yes. I would say AMD’s statement was pretty accurate. It might be held back by bandwidth, but I would still expect 25% at least.

        35W Ryzen 7 mobile system should keep up with a 20-25W MX 150 and 15W Intel CPU just fine. If not better.

        • HERETIC
        • 2 years ago

        Disappointed yes,but not at performance.I think it leads it’s class in overall performance.
        My disappointment is that AMD didn’t start with a 35 Watt APU.
        Could then have relegated MX150 and below to obsolete.

        • LostCat
        • 2 years ago

        My favorite part of Intel IGPs were fans telling me how great they were…maybe twice the perf for only five times the money!

          • chuckula
          • 2 years ago

          Yeah… where were all the people telling anybody about how “great” Intel IGPs were?

          I seem to recall years of propaganda telling us about how AMD literally invented the concept of slapping graphics cores onto a chip and how Intel could never compete… ever!

          Put another way, not one person would be impressed if an 8 core Intel CPU from late 2017 beat up on a quad core AMD CPU from 2015 by the margins we see in this article. Not one person. However, that’s basically what we see here, and frankly I remain unimpressed given the fact that Intel has yet to basically copy the GPU architecture of one of its major rivals and pretend that it was “innovated” out of thin air.

            • NTMBK
            • 2 years ago

            *looks at frametime numbers for Witcher 3 and DOOM*

            Yeah… Intel IGP still can’t compete.

        • DavidC1
        • 2 years ago

        Chuckula:

        Cannonlake iGPU won’t beat Ryzen iGPU because Ryzen iGPU already beats the 28W Iris 650. Even if they get the 15W Cannonlake parts out, they plan to release GT3e Coffeelake parts. If the 15W GT2 Cannonlake is capable of outperforming the GT3e Coffeelake, they wouldn’t release the latter.

        Again, its quite amazing Vega 8 can beat GT3e without having eDRAM.

          • Andrew Lauritzen
          • 2 years ago

          Are there benchmarks comparing to the Iris 650 btw? Would be curious to see that 🙂

          • chuckula
          • 2 years ago

          Considering that the RyZen 2500 has a GPU that’s roughly as big as a Skylake GT4 (and the 2700 is probably closer a non-existent GT6 GPU in size) I’m still not in awe of AMD here.

          Also you could post links to the real benchmarks that show this dominance. And you’ve been wrong before about the Rajachip (it’s most certainly a Vega GPU in there and even as an official internal AMD product number).

          Not to mention the battery life figures that are coming out where even trivial 1080p video playback sucks hardcore power.

            • Anonymous Coward
            • 2 years ago

            The Ryzen is both cheaper and faster, what’s your point with die area?

            That 1080p playback is easily explained by software on a new platform, I think it reflects poorly on you that you offer it as a problem at this early stage.

            • chuckula
            • 2 years ago

            If AMD can’t get 1080p video playback running on their APU that’s using a GPU architecture that’s been out for months then telling the truth about their problems isn’t a bad reflection on me, it’s a bad reflection on AMD.

            • DavidC1
            • 2 years ago

            “And you’ve been wrong before about the Rajachip (it’s most certainly a Vega GPU in there and even as an official internal AMD product number).”

            [url<]https://cdn.wccftech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Geekbench-Intel-Kaby-Lake-G-Series-Integrated-Radeon-GPU.jpg[/url<] [url<]https://videocardz.com/67503/amd-polaris-12-spotted-with-640-stream-processors[/url<] GFX804 is Polaris, a search would show you. Now, it could be an early sample and they changed to Vega. But that doesn't make it wrong. "I'm still not in awe of AMD here." I am not in awe of AMD either. But they have done a good job, a very good one. Forget about the die size, Skylake needs an expensive and custom eDRAM and also 45W to reach that kind of performance. It looked like Intel would have needed Gen 10 Cannonlake, or even Gen 11 Icelake GPU to reach that kind of performance, and who knows, maybe even need eDRAM/HBM on top of that.

            • chuckula
            • 2 years ago

            Try this more up to date information instead: [url<]http://fudzilla.com/news/notebooks/45040-intel-8-gen-core-hbm-2-meets-gpu-is-p22[/url<]

            • DavidC1
            • 2 years ago

            “Also you could post links to the real benchmarks that show this dominance. And you’ve been wrong before about the Rajachip (it’s most certainly a Vega GPU in there and even as an official internal AMD product number).”

            You sound a bit sore. I’m not here to say who’s wrong or right. Since you seem to want it to go this way,

            *Google* will help you get the information you need. You can extrapolate from the delta between HD and Iris graphics to see how it’ll fare here.

      • thx1138r
      • 2 years ago

      This is AMDs attempt at a mid-range Zen APU and for a mid-range APU I was actually pretty impressed. The CPU part is quite competitive, and the built-in GPU lets you play games at noticeable higher settings than the intel counterparts.

      It’s certainly a quantum leap beyond the Bristol ridge range and it’s a shame we couldn’t have some comparison points with them in the review to see how much of a jump AMD made. That’s a minor nit-pick though, as ever, the TechReport review might not be the first, but it’s always worth waiting for.

        • Rza79
        • 2 years ago

        They did a Cinebench comparison:
        [url<]https://www.notebookcheck.net/Our-first-Ryzen-5-2500U-benchmarks-are-in-and-Intel-has-every-reason-to-worry.266618.0.html[/url<] 80% faster in single 139% faster in multi As you say, it's a quantum leap beyond the Bristol ridge. 3DMark11, 40% faster than a GeForce 940MX.

      • NoOne ButMe
      • 2 years ago

      asymetric crossfire is not good last seen. I doubt improved very much.

      • HERETIC
      • 2 years ago

      The “little more” is probably the 2700

      • derFunkenstein
      • 2 years ago

      would a dual-graphics solution even work splitting the load between GCN and Vega? There’s not a Vega GPU that small (yet).

        • Andrew Lauritzen
        • 2 years ago

        Any load splitting between multi-gpu stuff is still just incredibly wasteful/inefficient at the moment. In TDP limited form factors it makes zero sense outside of OEMs trying to sucker people with marketing.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 2 years ago

          Oh, for sure, and the benchmarks of AMD’s dual-graphics iGPU/dGPU combinations have always borne that out. I just don’t see how it’s even possible right now, since even Crossfire on the desktop has needed the same architecture on both cards.

    • chuckula
    • 2 years ago

    Thank you very much for the thorough review and for actually taking the time to run tests that take longer than 5 seconds to complete. This is the type of analysis that we need since lots of websites can’t get past the synthetics that don’t really approximate a real-world test.

      • Welch
      • 2 years ago

      Agree 100%. Too many sites want to put up a 3-5 minute video showing their “results”. The people who watch typically don’t care or understand the minute details that Jeff has put into this review.

      Thanks Jeff, been waiting to see this review.

        • MOSFET
        • 2 years ago

        there are other sites?

          • Welch
          • 2 years ago

          On the contrary to popular belief there is, but they have no souls.

      • trackerben
      • 2 years ago

      I agree, it’s not that easy to find accurate in-depth tests without passing by TR.

    • DancinJack
    • 2 years ago

    The little MX150 that could. That thing continues to impress me.

      • Voldenuit
      • 2 years ago

      Yeah, makes me think intel partnered with the wrong GPU maker for its EMIB implementation.

        • chuckula
        • 2 years ago

        1. Intel actually sees Nvidia as the more dangerous enemy despite what you might think from the propaganda that gets flung around the comment section.

        2. Love or hate HBM2, Nvidia is a ways away from implementing it outside of its very high-end compute chips and HBM2 is pretty much necessary to make a solution like Rajachip actually work.

        • DancinJack
        • 2 years ago

        Oh I don’t know about that. The 2500U is 15W-ish total. The GPU that is going to be in the EMIB silicon is going to be possibly double that TDP alone. I have personally preferred NV GPUs over the past decade or so, but I don’t think AMD+Intel Kaby Lake G will disappoint.

          • bhtooefr
          • 2 years ago

          I’ve been thinking for a while now that AMD has actually managed to pull out an efficiency lead (possibly as early as Polaris on the graphics side, and Ryzen on the CPU side)… it’s just that they made low-leakage mobile parts, and had to overclock them (and squander their efficiency lead) to get acceptably high clocks on the desktop.

          I mean, I want to get my hands on a Ryzen APU and start disabling cores, GPU CUs, and underclocking, just to see how low one can go. I suspect the Core M parts could be beaten in efficiency that way, and the tablet Atoms blown out of the water if you underclock and disable enough.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 2 years ago

            I want to look at this another way – how Raven Ridge compares to the quad-core Ryzen 5s clock-for-clock. There’s less L3 cache, but there’s no cross-CCX-talk penalties to pay, either. Power consumption would be interesting, though, across multiple clock speeds (from 2.2 to 4GHz, assuming both chips can make it that far).

            • bhtooefr
            • 2 years ago

            AMD’s released some numbers showing, on Epyc anyway, 0.6 W per core, for the core itself, at ~1.1 GHz.

            I want to play with Ryzens down [i<]that[/i<] low and slow, really.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 2 years ago

            I guess if you were running a file server that might make for a tiny bit of power savings, but otherwise I don’t see much practical use.

            • Waco
            • 2 years ago

            It’s absolutely practical since most computers spend their lives idling…

            • derFunkenstein
            • 2 years ago

            Practical to idle. Not practical to Max out at that doesn’t. Whatever

            • Waco
            • 2 years ago

            Sure, but there are a lot of applications that would greatly benefit from an extremely power efficient CPU. More power efficiency *always* equates to more performance or runtime in a thermally or power constrained scenario.

            I’d love a netbook/notebook that could run for 12 hours on battery under light loads *or* game for 3+ hours at heavy loads. If that machine happened to achieve that because the CPU cores were ultra-efficient at light loads (versus a huge battery)…how is that not practical?

        • tipoo
        • 2 years ago

        Nvidia being in such a strong position probably meant they weren’t interested in that implementation. AMDs in there, but it’s very much an Intel product, AMD margins unknown.

      • tsk
      • 2 years ago

      It’s a good chip, I wonder if the R7 2700U at a 25W TDP can catch it.

        • thx1138r
        • 2 years ago

        Going by this review it doesn’t look like the R7 2700u will be able to catch the MX150, but how close it will get to it is very hard to estimate. The 2700u has 25% more Vega cores and up to 30% more Mhz, but will have no increase in memory bandwidth (unless someone is able to pair it with something faster than DDR4 2400).

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 2 years ago

        I don’t see how they would catch it without expending more watts than Intel & nVidia have together. I’d like to see them do that, of course. How expensive can it be to feed this thing 45W in a laptop? They presumably already have that cooling capacity with the MX150 in the chassis.

      • dragontamer5788
      • 2 years ago

      4GB of dedicated GDDR5 will win any GPU fight.

      AMD needs to release a 3x or 4x channel APU or something. iGPUs are probably memory-starved.

        • thx1138r
        • 2 years ago

        [quote<] AMD needs to release a 3x or 4x channel APU or something.[/quote<] That would be very expensive in a laptop, or a desktop for that matter, and you'd think that adding a gpu with dedicated ram would probably be cheaper by that point. HBM also looks like it would be an expensive addition to an APU, so perhaps AMD could borrow intel's cheaper EMIB technology to weld high bandwidth memory onto an APU. In light of their recent collaboration I'm wondering if the deal they struck will give them access to this technology for their own purposes.

        • DancinJack
        • 2 years ago

        Pretty sure it’s 2GB

        • ET3D
        • 2 years ago

        Just to nitpick, the MX150 supports 2GB max. It has 25% more bandwidth (64 bit @ 6000 vs. 128 bit @ 2400), but that’s dedicated bandwidth.

        I do think that more bandwidth would help. If AMD could bundle an HBM2 cache on higher end / higher power chips, they might compete better with the discrete chips. For 15W, assuming that the power draw does work out similar to Intel, I think what we’re getting is pretty good.

          • Rza79
          • 2 years ago

          Yeah, I think the real comparison would be the 2700u @ 25w vs the Intel+MX150. If it can get close then it’s a real winner since even in that configuration it would still be using around 20w less.

      • ptsant
      • 2 years ago

      Well, yeah. It’s a discrete GPU.
      What is the combined wattage of the intel + MX150 vs the APU?

        • DancinJack
        • 2 years ago

        I didn’t even compare it to the APU in this comment. All I said was I was impressed with it. Considering its performance, features, and the price of laptops it has been put in, I think it’s a pretty good little piece of silicon.

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