AMD Ryzen 5 2500U Mobile APU Performance with Raven Ridge
CPU and Gaming Performance
For our comparison points in this review, we are pitting the Ryzen 5 2500U-equipped HP Envy x360 against four other notebooks. First, we have the previous generation HP Envy x360 with the AMD FX-9800P APU. In addition, we have a series of three Acer Swift 3 machines: one with the last generation dual-core Intel Core i5-7200U, one with a Core i5-8250U quad-core, and another i5-8250U notebook, this time paired with an NVIDIA MX150 discrete GPU.
First, let’s take a look at Cinebench R15—a popular benchmark for CPU rendering performance.
While you aren’t likely to be rendering 3D scenes on a notebook like this, Cinebench gives us a good look at single vs. multi-threaded performance for a given processor. In Cinebench, we see an interesting split in results.
In single-threaded performance, the Ryzen 5 2500U falls short to the Kaby Lake Refresh i5-8250U processors by about 8%. However, in multi-threaded performance, we see the AMD 2500U with a 6% edge over the Intel parts.
Media encoding with X264 shows another mixed bag of results for AMD. While the Ryzen 5 2500U is slower than the i5-8250U in the first pass of encoding, the AMD part pulls slightly ahead in Pass 2. Keeping in mind that Pass 2 of encoding shows more of a performance benefit of multi-threading than pass 1 does, the R5 CPU seems to be slightly better at multi-threaded encoding tasks than the 8250U.
Geekbench 4 is a benchmark aimed at providing the overall performance of a CPU based on models of different real-world tasks.
Like Cinebench, Geekbench results are also separated into single and multi-threaded tests. Unlike Cinebench however, the Ryzen 5 2500U falls behind the Intel i5-8250U in single-threaded tests by 5% and in multi-threaded tests by over 25%.
With 3D rendering in Blender being one of the first workloads AMD showed off running on the Zen architecture, we expect to see the R5 2500U at its best here.
As predicted, the AMD R5 2500U-powered notebook finished first at rendering the BMW benchmark in Blender, by a margin of 3.5%.
Mainstream gaming performance is one of the big targets for the AMD Ryzen 5 2500U processor. With integrated Vega 8 graphics, AMD has positioned this combined CPU and GPU part as a competitor for notebook solutions including Intel processors with low-end NVIDIA GPUs such as the MX150. To test this, we wanted to run our notebooks through a variety of titles.
- Dirt Rally
- Medium Settings, 2X AA
- Rocket League
- High Settings
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
- High Settings, 8X AA
- Doom (2016)
- Vulkan API
- Low Settings, FXAA
With a mix of low-end and higher-end titles, as well as a title that was demanding at its time of release, but has been out for several years (Dirt Rally), we hope to see a clear performance picture. We also decided to include Doom as a test of what advantages the Vulkan API gives on lower-end notebooks.
The Vega graphics in the R5 2500U processor completely dominate any integrated solution offered on Intel’s current generation of CPUs. We see a more than 2x gain in performance across our tested titles.
However, when compared to the MX150, the Vega 8 graphics seem to be no competition. The low-end NVIDIA discrete GPU offers as much as 50% better performance than the AMD integrated option.
The new AMD option also had some software compatibility issues (more on this later), which presented itself in the HP notebook consistently crashing when we tried to launch Doom, which is a flagship title for the Vulkan API.
Even though the previous generation FX-9800P has been in all of our previous performance charts, we didn’t talk a whole lot about it in the context of competition between the current generation AMD and Intel parts.
While the FX-9800P was nowhere near competitive in any of our tests, it’s still a worthy data point to look at for context of the massive generational improvement that AMD has seen.
Comparing this new Ryzen and Vega-based APU to the last generation Excavator-core based APU shows massive improvements for AMD of around 3x. It’s impressive to see such a big performance jump in a relatively short amount of time, taking into consideration that the FX-9800P launched only around a year before the R5 2500U.