This is our first test of the AMD processors of the Ryzen Mobile 4000 U-series, the energy-saving variants for slim, light and ultra-portable laptops. Our exploration begins in the middle with the Ryzen 5 4500U, a 6-core and 6-thread part with a 2.3 GHz base and a 4.0 GHz boost, as well as 8 MB L3 cache and 6 Vega -GPU computing units that are clocked at 1500 MHz. All with a standard TDP of 15W.
When you look at AMD's Ryzen 4000 range, this isn't the lowest part. There is a Ryzen 3 4300U on the market with only four cores, but the 4500U is the next step.
The segmentation of AMD in the U series mainly deals with the number of cores and threads. Therefore, this Ryzen 5 4500U receives an impressive 6 cores, but without SMT. The 4600U, a step higher, is back in SMT. Then Ryzen has 7 parts, both 8 cores, which we hope we will have some time to touch soon.
These Ryzen 4000 APUs are Zen 2-based, the same architecture that drives 3rd generation Ryzen desktop CPUs under the Ryzen 3000 brand. Upgrades from previous generation APUs include increasing the number of cores depending on the model, but also changing the GPU layout.
While this APU still uses the Vega architecture and has fewer processing units, AMD has optimized the design for 7 nm with 8 out of 11, so that overall we see higher clocks and better performance.
Other major upgrades include DDR4-3200 and LPDDR4X-4266 memory support, improved display and multimedia engines, and significant improvements in battery life through efficiency optimization. It's a major overhaul of AMD's mobile offering that makes it more competitive than the Intel powerhouse, as we've shown on the H series, which clearly outperforms Intel's options in many productivity tests.
The main competition for Ryzen Mobile 4000 and Ryzen 5 4500U comes from the split U-series from Intel, which has both Comet Lake and Ice Lake chips. Some popular options are the Core i5-10210U on the Comet Lake side and the Core i5-1035G1 on the Ice Lake side. Given what we've seen with AMD's higher performance mobile parts, the Ryzen 5 4500U is likely to deliver competitive performance with Core i7 CPUs, as we'll see in the upcoming benchmarks.
For today's benchmarking, we used Lenovo's IdeaPad 5 14 ". This is not a complete review of the laptop, and frankly we are still not sure what we think of it – but the display is really bad with a 66% sRGB panel . this is disappointing.
The IdeaPad 5 offers two performance profiles with which the Ryzen 5 4500U is operated at unusual limits. The intelligent cooling mode resulted in a long-term power limitation of the package of 19 W, while the extreme power mode clocked this to 26 W. We will show performance in both profiles where possible.
In contrast to LPDDR4X, this laptop has 16 GB of dual-channel DDR4-3200 memory. We suspect that this will be a common configuration for middle to entry-level systems, while the high-end material will use LPDDR4X memory. Just something to consider.
As usual, our laptop benchmark results are average for systems with the same configuration. We test with two-channel memory if possible and try to make a fair comparison, although this can be difficult with laptops. The full list of laptops we tested can be found here.
Let's start with a look at Cinebench R20. As we are used to from Ryzen, the Ryzen 5 4500U performs very well in this benchmark, especially when it comes to multi-core. In its 26 W configuration, the 4500U can be integrated into the range of six-core Intel processors, including the Core i7-9750H and the Core i7-10750H. In the meantime, it is ahead of the flagship Comet Lake Core i7-10710U, though there are only six threads versus twelve in the Intel section.
The 4500U easily beats the Core i7-1065G7 even with multithreaded workloads. This is Intel's best 10 nm Ice Lake processor. However, since it only has four cores, it can't get anywhere near the 4500U even at 25W. The 4500U is around 50% faster at 26 W, which is an enormous discrepancy. The difference between 19 W and 26 W is not very big in this test because the Ryzen APU can charge for quite a while, often up to about 36 W.
In terms of single-thread performance, the 4500U is also impressive because it can run on a single core up to the 4.0 GHz turbo without exceeding the performance limit. This allows it to deliver worst-case performance equivalent to that of Ice Lake, or better performance than almost any other processor in this table, especially parts of the U-series based on 14 nm.
We also see a significant generation leap for the U-Series from AMD. The Ryzen 5 4500U is over 80% faster than the Ryzen 5 3500U, but with a 4 W increase in power in our test configuration thanks to the strange settings from Lenovo. However, it is clear that the 4500U is a huge leap in efficiency.
Video coding is traditionally not something you would do with an ultraportable, since 15-25 watt processors are not fast. However, the Ryzen 5 4500U claims that a U-series laptop with video instructions in the handbrake can encode video.
As shown in the table, this long-term workload is about as fast as Intel's six-core H processors when the 4500U can consume 26W of power. Even at 19W, the 4500U delivers impressive performance, far outperforming Intel's U-Series parts.
The scope is so great in some situations that it's a bit of a bloodbath. For example, the 26W 4500U handbrake is 52% faster than the 25W Core i7-1065G7 and exactly twice as powerful as the Intel Core i5-10210U, a quad-core Comet Lake processor. While we don't want to encode videos on any of the U-series Intel CPUs, the 4500U is starting to put ultraportables in the frame for higher productivity tasks.
The same story continues with a look at Blender. Typically, this is a workload that you don't want to run on an ultraportable, except for the 25W Core i7-10710U, but the Ryzen 5 4500U approaches the performance of six-core H-series parts and outperforms all other options Intel U series. The margins to the Ice Lake are significant, with an increase of 40% at 25 W and over 60% for the targets with lower power.
One of the most impressive use cases for the Ryzen 5 4500U is code compilation. The 26W variant delivers the power of a Core i7-10750H at this workload, while the margin to the Ice Lake with the 19W configuration is 38%, which corresponds to an increase in long-term power consumption of only 4W. This could make a big difference for those who want fast compilations in a mixed multi-threaded compilation.
Let's see how the 4500U behaves towards an ultraportable for some more relevant workloads. Here's Excel with a crunching test for large numbers. The 4500U is slightly surpassed here by Ice Lake, since both CPUs consume a similar performance in the burst state. However, since the 1065G7 is a higher tier processor and outperforms 4500U parts like the Core i5-10210U, this is still a good performance from AMD.
While our Excel benchmark is fairly difficult, PCMark's productivity test is a little easier. In this mixed benchmark, the Ryzen 5 4500U holds a significant performance advantage that matches the Ryzen 5 4600H, probably because key aspects of this test are easily threaded.
In the end, we have better light productivity performance than Intel's 14nm and 10nm processors. The 4500U is 7 to 15% faster than the Core i7-1065G7 and over 10 percent ahead of the 10210U.
The situation is similar with the Essentials test, which deals with surfing the Internet and loading apps. In the worst case, Ryzen is just ahead of Ice Lake's best 25 W processor, which is fantastic given the middle position of the 4500U. We see bigger gains compared to other parts like the 10210U and older chips like the Core i7-8565U.
In 7-Zip we see strong results from Ryzen. The 4500U is no faster than the Intel Core i7-10710U with the same performance limits, but surpasses every other relevant chip, including the Core i7-1065G7 and even some Intel quad-core H processors. This is a good sign of a workload that is common for productivity and important for ultra-portable devices.
In terms of cryptographic performance, the Ryzen 5 4500U falls behind the Core i7-1065G7 in a loss rare for Ryzen. However, the 4500U is still in the ballpark of other U-series processors.
MATLAB is another strong result for Ice Lake: The Ryzen 5 4500U is in the class between the 1065G7 and other U-series processors like the Core i5-10210U. Not a bad result for the 4500U, especially since the 1065G7 is a higher level part. However, there is a reason for MATLAB to choose a premium notebook processor.
And now we come to the most popular benchmark for everyone's PDF export. This is a test that was terrible for previous generations of mobile Ryzen. But with superior single-thread performance, the 4500U does a much better job here. It's not as fast as the Core i7-1065G7 and loses around 7%, but is somewhere in the middle and comes close to Intel's 14nm U-series processors, especially the quad-core versions.
Adobe Photoshop is another productivity burden that we consider appropriate for an ultra-portable laptop. While Intel generally has a head start in this benchmark when considering parts of the H series, the situation is different for the U series. The Ryzen 5 4500U offers comparable performance to the Core i7-1065G7. Since important parts of Photoshop are still slightly threaded at best, AMD's equivalent single-thread performance does the job. You can see how much worse older Ryzen processors are.
We'll usually show you Adobe Premiere benchmarks next, but the latest update won't work with ultra-portable hardware. With the Ryzen 5 4500U, Premiere still does not allow some GPU-accelerated effects to be performed on the Vega GPU, e.g. B. the Lumetri filter. According to AMD, this is Adobe's fault, and Ryzen Mobile 4000 should be able to run GPU-accelerated filters. In the meantime, the latest update has completely broken support for the MX250 in its attempts to increase GPU-accelerated encoding. Not to mention that this type of video coding is currently heavily dependent on discrete GPUs and is not a good use case for an ultra-portable system.
You can see this in action with Puget's DaVinci Resolve benchmark. While the Ryzen 5 4500U is faster than the Core i7-1065G7 in this test, most H-series laptops with a discrete GPU are four to five times faster. While parts of the Ryzen U-series are great for CPU-limited productivity, an ultraportable isn't always the right type of system for this task if you want GPU acceleration.
Apart from a slight GPU acceleration, the main use case for the GPU integrated in the Ryzen 5 4500U is gaming at low settings. Let's go through some benchmarks and see where AMD's updated Vega GPU tariffs are when they are reduced to 6 processing units.
In Grand Theft Auto V with low settings and native 1080p, the 4500U can achieve a performance advantage over Ryzen 3000 APUs and beats the Ryzen 7 3750H. With the 4500U, which offers an average of around 60 FPS, this can only be played with integrated graphics.
We also see that the 4500U offers a remarkable performance advantage over the Intel Ice Lake Core i7-1065G7 when configured for 25W. However, the Nvidia MX250 remains the preferred choice for this title as the 4500U cannot exceed Nvidia's basic discrete option. We'll see how this changes when all Vega CUs are unlocked when we test the Ryzen 7 4800U later.
The situation is slightly different in Civilization VI. This is a game that Ryzen processors love. The 4500U massively outperforms Ice Lake and even the MX250. In addition, the 4500U leaves older Ryzen APUs in the dust, especially the 3700U, although there is a difference in performance configuration here.
CS: GO hits both the CPU and the GPU at the lowest settings with mobile processors. The Ryzen 5 4500U performs well, but Ice Lake is ~ 15% faster in its G7 graphics configuration because everything is unlocked. Given that the 4500U is a reduced processor, it is still a good result and outperforms the MX250.
Gears 5 is a more GPU-restricted game that runs at medium settings, which is a bit unrealistic on ultra-portable laptops. Here the 4500U is 17 percent faster when you compare the average frame rates to the Core i7-1065G7, but it falls behind the MX250. In combination with a higher performance limit, however, we achieve approximately twice the frame rate of the AMD 3500U.
Breakdown of benefits
Before we finish, let's look at some performance comparisons. We will work with the Ryzen 5 4500U against the Core i7-1065G7 if both have roughly the same performance limit. It would have been nice to compare the Ryzen 5 APU to a Core i5 from the Intel Ice Lake series, but we think the point can still be done well.
This compares AMD's medium-weight Ryzen 4000 APU with Intel's best 25 W offering with Ice Lake.
With multi-core workloads, the Ryzen 5 4500U is up to 50% faster, especially with long-term tests such as hand brakes and blenders. With more burst workloads, the gains are not as pronounced, but Ryzen 5 still leads with around 15%. When looking at single-threaded performance, Ryzen generally leads, but not always, and the margins are close to each other in the single-digit range.
At lower performance limits, it's fairly difficult to make a fair comparison, but you can expect Ryzen to be faster here too, except in some marginal cases. Single-thread performance is largely equivalent, while Ryzen takes the crown in multi-threaded workloads.
In a more reasonable class comparison, we have the Ryzen 5 4500U against the Core i5-10210U. While the Ryzen processor consumes 4 W more power, the CPU can double the performance of the Intel Comet Lake quad-core with multi-thread workloads.
The 4500U is also 5 to 10% faster in single thread tests and generally offers a far better experience if you take into account the enormous gap in the GPU functions.
The Ryzen 5 4500U is not a fair fight, but it can be a reasonable, ultra-portable replacement for the Core i7-10750H in some workloads, which is very impressive. In tests such as handbrake, Cinebench, light productivity and GCC compilation, the single-digit percentage lies behind.
That doesn't mean that buying a U-series processor instead of the H-series always makes sense since the 4500U isn't in the same class for things like video editing, but depending on how you use your laptop, there may not be one Why choose an Intel H-Series system with six cores?
Finally, we have the performance difference between the Ryzen 5 3500U and the Ryzen 5 4500U. There is a 4 W difference in power, but we see very significant increases in performance. Workloads like Handbrake are well over twice as fast and single-thread performance is improved by over 25%.
What we have learned
All in all, the Ryzen 5 4500U is an impressive mid-range processor with low power consumption. The Zen 2 architecture can achieve tremendous performance gains over the previous generation if it is scaled down to a power envelope of 25W or less. The single-thread performance is significantly higher and now corresponds to or exceeds the parts of the Intel U-series. Multi-thread performance benefits significantly from six CPU cores, even if SMT is disabled on that particular chip.
In a way, AMD is redefining the type of workloads an ultra-portable laptop can handle. Previously, you may have chosen a 6-core Intel H-series laptop for video encoding, code compilation, or CPU-based rendering because the U-series components are too slow. However, the Ryzen 5 4500U approaches the performance of a Core i7-10750H in many of these tasks, making a U-Series laptop suitable for real video coding or coding work for the first time.
One could argue that the 4500U is a better choice than Intel's best mainstream Ice Lake processor, the Core i7-1065G7, although it doesn't really compete in terms of class or price. And this may be AMD's weakest point in the mobile space if you can't find these APUs on flagship laptop models that have the best build quality and associated components.
If you compare the Ryzen 5 4500U with a Core i5 part like the 10210U, the competing part from Intel is simply not up to date. If you can choose between a 4500U system and a Core i5 system for the same price, is this is a no-brainer. The 4500U gives you so much more.
AMD also offers good integrated GPU performance. It's an easy win for Ryzen in the Core i5 mount, but the 4500U can also outperform Intel's fully unlocked Core i7-1065G7 most of the time. This makes the 4500U suitable for light games, whether it is casual games with modest settings or even titles with higher performance at the lowest settings.
We are also happy to report no major software problems with this Ryzen 4000 laptop (which we bought in retail, it is not a test device). The launch of the first Ryzen Mobile series was fraught with problems, many of which were show stoppers and related to errors in the GPU.
What is still unknown at this point is the battery life. Anecdotally, the IdeaPad 5's battery life seems decent, but Intel CPUs are particularly good in this department, especially in Ice Lake. For what it's worth, AMD claims to have battery performance similar to Ice Lake, which is mainly supported by the more efficient CPU. AMD does not expect the battery to be idle.
After completing the tests on this mid-range Ryzen Mobile 4000 part, we are excited to see what is possible with the 8-core models, especially the Ryzen 7 4800U. The 4800U may outperform a number of H-series processors and be an excellent choice for CPU-limited productivity, but we have to wait until we finally have time for these laptops.