Notice: All benchmark results on this page are from AMD's announcement and slide decks. We want to get a sample to prove these are accurate.

AMD Goes For Performance

When manufacturers launch new products, they always have to provide a string of benchmark data points to back up the years of effort into building a new product. This data is almost always from their internal testing, but as they are in the business of promoting and selling the hardware, it is taken with a grain of salt until we can get our own hands on the product. AMD told us that their plan was to ‘under promise and over deliver’, citing that when Zen launched earlier this year, they promised a 40% gain in the base performance (instructions per clock, IPC) but ended up delivering a 52% gain.

For Ryzen Mobile, AMD said that they beat all their targets. Overall, they say that the new Ryzen Mobile parts offer up to 200% more CPU performance, up to 128% more GPU performance, and while consuming 58% less power than their previous generation products.

What they had promised, back at an earlier AMD Analyst day this year, was a 50/40/50 improvement.

Looking back at those numbers, it is clear that the 200% CPU gain comes from doubling the cores/threads (+100%) and increasing the IPC (+52% of ‘200%’ gives ~304%, or a +200% gain). This means that the +50% number given back at the Analyst Day was quite a way off, and presumably miscalculated given the base expectation of the IPC increase in the first place, let alone doubling the cores.

In AMD’s slide nodes, the CPU difference was taken using Cinebench R15 in multithreaded mode – a Ryzen 7 2700U scored 719, while the last generation FX-9800P scored 240.  720/240 = 3.00x, or a +200% gain.

The GPU gains look like a better fit to AMD's earlier predictions, moving from 8 3rd Generation GCN compute units to 10 5th Generation Vega compute units. Even without the throughput improvements in graphics, that’s a base 25% increase in available hardware. The peak frequency moves up from 758 MHz to ~1300 MHz, which is a +70% increase as well. Together that accounts for a +112% increase in performance, leaving the base architecture design improvements to account for the remainder.

In AMD’s slide nodes, the GPU difference was taken using FutureMark’s TimeSpy– a Ryzen 7 2700U scored 915, while the last generation FX-9800P scored 400.  915/400 = 2.29x, or +129% gain.

For power, AMD stated a 58% decrease in (total) power consumption from the previous generation and the new generation. This is listed as taking the total system level power consumption during the Cinebench R15 multithreaded test. The Ryzen 7 took 1594 joules while the FX-9800P took 3782 joules. 1594/3782 = 42% power, or a 58% reduction.

Combining the CPU performance and the power advantage, AMD is quoting a 270% performance per watt improvement for the new Ryzen 7 mobile parts. That’s an impressive number, any way to slice it.

System Level Performance

For non-gaming performance metrics, AMD is quoting a series of numbers for some general purpose benchmarks as well as an interesting look at application launch speed. This seems very similar to our PDF Opening test that we’ve been running in our processor reviews.

Overall AMD is stating that users can expect a 20-40% improvement in program launch speed using these four titles. This is different to AMD’s 52% IPC improvement figure on the basis of there is more to opening programs than just raw CPU performance – typically storage and memory, although both of those should be faster on the new platform than the old platform, leaving power as the reason between the difference. I would have expected AMD to offer some opening times for popular creator workloads here, such as video editing software or Photoshop, especially as that is one segment they expect they will target the hardware towards.

For the more system-wide benchmark tests, AMD gave data using POV-Ray, PCMark 10, TrueCrypt and Passmark. In every circumstance apart from PassMark, AMD shows that both of their Ryzen processors outperform Intel’s latest 8th Generation quad-core Kaby Lake-R processor, the i7-8550U, in the Acer Spin 5, as well as the previous generation FX-9800P (although the footnotes state that the 9800P was tested in single channel mode). In the footnotes AMD also lists data taken for the Core i5-8250U, but for some reason AMD didn’t put it in the graph. This gives the following data table:

AMD's Ryzen Mobile vs Kaby Lake-R Results
*All benchmark results on this page are from AMD, not AnandTech
  PovRay 3.7 PCMark 10 TrueCrypt Passmark 9
Ryzen 7 2700U 1320 3102 4.60 3316
Ryzen 5 2500U 1192 2693 3.55 3254
Core i7-8550U 1101 2533 3.30 3550
Core i5-8250U 1195 2814 3.50 3696
FX-9800P 663 1907 1.85 1887

So what is interesting here is that in each of the benchmarks, the Core i5 scored higher than the Core i7. The Core i7 was in an Acer Spin 5, whereas the Core i5 was in an Acer Swift 3. It is likely that the Swift 3 is a bulkier system capable of dissipating more energy, however it does mean that the Core i5 outperforms the Core i7 in all benchmarks, and it also outperforms the Ryzen 5 in all the benchmarks except TrueCrypt. It would be interesting to ponder why AMD left the Core i5 numbers out of the testing, especially as it puts the other data in such a bad light. It might be worth invoking Hanlon's Razor until we get a statement.

Overall, quad-core to quad-core, AMD is trying to promote that their CPUs offer better performance especially in compute intensive workloads. Interestingly enough, the area where I expected them to be good – PCMark 10 which needs both CPU and good OpenCL implementations – the benefits of Zen plus Vega were not as high as I expected. This is likely due to features such as Intel Speed Shift, and with the same data Intel would likely to ask to see performance per watt numbers for these tests, as well as battery life.

Here, AMD is claiming that its 15W, quad-core mobile processor, outperforms a 91W desktop processor at Cinebench R15 by almost 8%. The point AMD is trying to make is that previous users did not see AMD mobile processors as powerful. The score for the Core i5-7600K from AMD was 662 (in our review of the chip we got 656, so within the margin of error) for four cores and four threads, which is below the score of 707 for the Ryzen 7 2700U which also has four cores but has eight threads. If we look at processors from Intel that are 4C/8T, like the 35W Core i7-7700T, this scores 777 in our testing, which kind of drives away from AMD’s point here. AMD succeeds in touting that it has ‘desktop-class performance’ in a small power package, attempting to redefine its status as high performance. Part of me thinks at this level, it could be said that all the mobile processors in this range have ‘desktop-class performance’, so this is a case of AMD now catching up to the competition.

Gaming Performance

The main push behind AMD’s Carrizo and Bristol Ridge mobile processors in years previous was towards the gaming capabilities – being able to drive a good number of eSports titles at high frame rates without the need for a discrete graphics card. This made sense back then, even at the 35W TDP needed to drive a decent gaming experience, although it was let down by some design choices around single channel memory from the OEMs.

With Ryzen Mobile, the same message still applies, except that there is up to double the performance possible. This means either more frames per second or better image quality.

This data is listed as being taken from the HP Envy x360 system using the Ryzen 7 2700U with Vega 10 graphics and dual channel memory. There are no direct comparisons to previous platforms (unfortunately), but AMD is quoting nearly 60 FPS in League of Legends at 1080p at Medium settings, almost 50 FPS at DOTA2 (1080p, Fastest) and CS:GO (1080p, Medium).

Initially, these results did not seem that impressive – these are average frame rates, not 99th percentile frame rates, and getting 60 FPS with these settings seems a struggle, especially without comparison data to show it. AMD made a secondary point alongside this data: the Ryzen Mobile Vega 10 and Vega 8 graphics will support FreeSync 2 panels, especially in that 30-60 Hz range. With this performance and FreeSync/FreeSync 2 support, OEMs will have added incentive to produce gaming laptops with FreeSync capable panels at next to no extra cost, offering a better user experience. It’s a bold strategy Cotton; let’s see if it pays off.

Ryzen Mobile is Launched Sense Me Ryzen: Better Boost
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  • SaturnusDK - Thursday, October 26, 2017 - link

    A few comments

    "If we look at processors from Intel that are 4C/8T, like the 35W Core i7-7700T, this scores 777 in our testing, which kind of drives away from AMD’s point here."

    Not really. You're still comparing a 35W part to a 15W part, so 90% of the performance for 43% the power consumption is still a massive gain. What it really says is the 4T processor, be it with 2C or 4C is truly dead for anything but the lowest tiers. Something Intel have also realized in their current line up.

    " In our desktop Ryzen reviews, we saw per-core power go as low as 8W per core, and AMD’s Vega was power hungry"

    Vega is really only power hungry when pushed beyond ~1200MHz. Underclock it to that and Vega is extremely power efficient.
    Reply
  • smilingcrow - Thursday, October 26, 2017 - link

    "Vega is really only power hungry when pushed beyond ~1200MHz. Underclock it to that and Vega is extremely power efficient."

    This is very relevant for laptops but most desktop users don't seem to care as they want performance rather than efficiency and that is how AMD configure them.
    Reply
  • SaturnusDK - Thursday, October 26, 2017 - link

    Correct. It's also relevant to miners for example that generally run their GPU at around 1GHz as it's the optimum for power cost vs. performance. However, the article is about mobile CPUs, and in that respect it might have been a good idea to mention that running lower clocks rates drastically lowers the Vega power consumption which is exactly what has been done in these APUs. Reply
  • extide - Friday, October 27, 2017 - link

    Yeah, but that 35W part could sustain that performance for a much longer time, if not indefinitely. The 15W AMD part (and likewise 15W Intel parts) will throttle down a fair bit after sustained use. According to AMD the R7 2700U drops to ~550 on cinebench after a 5-min loop. (Last slide on page 3) Reply
  • SaturnusDK - Friday, October 27, 2017 - link

    It's possible it could sustain it for longer. We don't know that though. And even 550 points is still a massive performance per watt advantage to the AMD part. 770 points at 35W is 22 points per watt while 550 points (sustained) at 15W is 36.67 points per watt. A whooping 66.7% performance per watt advantage. Reply
  • neblogai - Friday, October 27, 2017 - link

    550 points are at 25W, 450 at 15W as said in note regarding AMD slide 19. Reply
  • ruthan - Thursday, October 26, 2017 - link

    If could be AMDs TDP value trusted, it could be finally good CPU/GPU for SmachZ or GPD gaming devices.. Present Atoms and AMD solution are very slow for decent mobile gaming.. Reply
  • IGTrading - Thursday, October 26, 2017 - link

    You cannot compare Intel's Atom with AMD's Carizo.

    It would be nonsense. Atom is an extremely low performance part that is barely able to equal the gaming performance of a Pentium 4.

    Moreover, AMD's TDP values are the ONLY ONES TRUSTWORTHY while Intel was proven to respect the TDP when they feel like it and also they change the TDP definition almost every year.

    AMD's Ryzen processors don't step 2% outside their rated TDP no matter the load scenario.

    Intel's 8700K and 7980XE can reach a + 16% on their rated TDP.

    So I'm inclined to trust AMD's specifications 100% more than Intel's.
    Reply
  • t.s - Thursday, October 26, 2017 - link

    A good read, Ian! Thanks! Reply
  • Bateluer - Thursday, October 26, 2017 - link

    I was very interested in that Lenovo Ideapad 720S model, 13.3in with a 4K screen and the 2700U? Seems like it'd be a nice upgrade from my current Yoga 900 after underwhelming options in 910 and 920. Then I read that was going to stuck in single channel with only PC4-2133. That makes it significantly less attractive. Reply

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