The Ryzen 7 5800U is AMD's answer to Intel's Tiger Lake and the fastest chip available for ultra-portable and ultra-thin laptops. This is the first Ryzen Mobile 5000 U-series processor to land in our office, despite being announced back in January. However, as with many releases this year, it will take a little longer to actually hit the market.
When Intel launched Tiger Lake last year, they regained the top performance in many major workloads for thin and light laptops. While they only had up to four CPU cores compared to eight in the AMD lineup, Intel has been able to deliver top-notch single-thread and graphics performance and beat the charts in many of the lighter applications you see on this one Kind of computers would expect.
However, with Ryzen 5000, AMD is back to undo Intel's key advantage. The Ryzen 7 5800U retains its 8-core CPU design, doubling the cores of the Intel Core i7-1165G7 and 1185G7, but increasing those cores to use the newer Zen 3 architecture. With a significant downfall from IPC, a redesigned core complex with a single CCX, double L3 cache, and performance optimizations – AMD claims much higher single-thread performance compared to Ryzen 4000 and multi-thread gains that are AMD's lead over Intel will only expand.
However, not every area of Ryzen Mobile 5000 has been updated. The Ryzen 7 5800U shares the same Vega GPU design with 8 compute units, which may not be enough to beat Intel's Xe GPU. The multimedia engine, storage controller, PCIe layout, and other features are also very similar to the last generation APU.
AMD's offering is a bit confusing in that not all Ryzen Mobile 5000 U-series processors use Zen 3 CPU cores. The Ryzen 7 5800U we're looking at today is their new Cezanne cube. But the Ryzen 7 5700U, which sits directly below it, remains a Zen 2 processor that calls Lucienne with an updated AMD chip. This should be considered when buying a new chip from the Ryzen 7 5000 series (and explained in more detail here).
The Ryzen 7 5800U has 8 cores and 16 threads with a base clock of 1.9 GHz and a maximum boost frequency of 4.4 GHz. There is 16 MB L3 cache and 4 MB L2 as well as 8 Vega processing units that are clocked at up to 2.0 GHz. This is all based on the 7 nm manufacturing node from TSMC with a standard TDP of 15 W. The 5800U is a fully activated Cezanne chip, but not quite as clocked as the chips of the H series from AMD, the Boost for example – Increase frequencies up to 4.8 GHz.
Although the Ryzen 7 5800U achieves the absolute highest frequencies that this silicon can achieve, it offers some frequency improvements over the Ryzen 7 4800U. The base clock is 100 MHz higher and the boost clock 200 MHz higher, in addition to the IPC gains of Zen 3 over Zen 2. The GPU is also clocked 250 MHz higher, although they basically have the same Vega design and the same number of Arithmetic units used. We also get twice as much L3 cache as expected.
The system with which we are testing the 5800U is the new ZenBook 13 from Asus, a very compact, slim and light notebook with an impressive OLED display. I'm glad this new wave of ultraportables coming out is using OLED displays as this thing is really impressive in terms of contrast, black levels, and colors. While it's only a 1080p screen, there are tremendous benefits to using OLED, including having proper HDR functionality.
Aside from OLED, we also get the Ryzen 7 5800U in multiple performance modes, 16 GB LPDDR4X-3733 memory and, in my device, 1 TB memory. The build quality is very good, I love how portable this thing is, it has a nice big touchpad and a decent keyboard. And that without talking about performance. Unfortunately, Thunderbolt is missing, which is a common feature of AMD laptops.
As in our previous U-series processor tests, we are measuring the Ryzen 7 5800U today in both its 15 W and 25 W power configuration (long-term performance limits). As with all tested laptops, however, there is also a boost period of up to 30 W with this laptop. The 5800U will compete against other laptop processors that were also tested with 15 W and 25 W. In the case of Tiger Lake, however, we are using the Intel 15W and 28W design as 28W is the highest power configuration available compared to 25W for AMD.
Our benchmark charts are an average of the results of multiple laptops running on the same long-term power configuration. Here is the full list of the laptops we tested. We're testing this method to give you a general idea of how laptop processors compare without being much impacted by variables like OEM configurations and cooling designs.
For this test, we should also note that we tested the Ryzen 7 4800U again with a boost behavior that comes very close to the 5800U in this ZenBook 13, so that we can achieve the absolute best apple-to-apple comparison between AMD processor generations can achieve.
In Cinebench R20, we get a first glimpse into the multi-thread performance of the Ryzen 7 5800U. At 15 W we don't see a significant increase in performance compared to the Ryzen 7 4800U, only a few percent more. However, in the higher 25W configuration, the 5800U is about 5% ahead of the older design.
This small increase in performance enables the 5800U to extend its lead over Intel. In the higher performance class, AMD has a performance advantage of 75 to 80 percent, which is absolutely massive when comparing two processors at a similar price. At the lower power specification of 15 W, AMD's design seems to be more efficient again and to increase the lead to over 2x. This puts the AMD CPU in the range of processors of the H series such as the Core i7-10750H and the Core i9-10980HK for multi-thread performance.
The big question with Ryzen Mobile 5000, however, isn't multithreaded performance, but single-threaded performance and how that compares to Tiger Lake. The results are promising: the 5800U is 14% faster than the 4800U in Cinebench R20 single-thread, and it remains a situation where single-thread performance is practically the same whether tested at 15W or 25W becomes. This is because a single Zen 3 core running at up to 4.4 GHz typically only consumes around 15 W of power, which doesn't give us any benefit when it comes to higher performance specs.
Compared to Tiger Lake, a few interesting things play a role. Intel's design benefits greatly from 28 W, even with single-thread performance, as clocking a Willow Cove CPU core up to 4.8 GHz consumes more than 15 W. This gives AMD a small performance advantage in the lower performance class of around 5%. However, if each chip receives more power and is allowed to operate in the 25 W range, the 5800U does not correspond to the Tiger Lake and is 5% behind the Core i7-1185G7.
Some people asked for Cinebench R23 numbers in our previous reviews so here you are. While the results are different on a 10-minute run, the margins between processors do not change significantly. We find something similar when looking at the single-thread results.
Handbrake is a really interesting benchmark for Ryzen 5000. At 15W we actually see a power regression for the Ryzen 7 5800U compared to the 4800U. Not much, but it's 3% slower on this test, which will disappoint those who expect performance gains in this long-term, multi-threaded workload. With an additional power distribution of 25W, however, the situation is reversed and now the 5800U is faster, actually about 5% faster.
What seems to be happening here is that Ryzen Mobile 5000 has a higher performance advantage over Ryzen Mobile 4000 the larger the power budget. It's about the same or slower at 15W, about 5% faster at 25W, and then in the H series with the 5800H about 8% faster at 45W. In other words, the range between 15W and 25W is in this one Generation has grown, and the sweet spot for Ryzen now seems to be in the higher performance class.
While much of this discussion has centered on the 5800U versus the 4800U, each of these processors ultimately destroys Tiger Lake in CPU video encoding with margins of at least 70%. It's just not possible for a quad-core design to compete with an 8-core design for this type of workload.
In Blender, again, nothing too different from what we just showed in Handbrake. The Ryzen 7 5800U is still in a class leadership, it doesn't change fundamentally from what the 4800U offered.
In GCC code compilation, there is a grouping of Ryzen processors at 15W that only start to separate at 25W, which is where the 5800U is fastest. The 5800U is between 60 and 70% faster than the Intel Core i7 Tiger Lake processors, and we're seeing similar margins on Chromium compilation as well. If you're a programmer who does a lot of compilation work and want a sleek and light system, the last two generations of Ryzen are a good choice.
The benchmark integrated in MATLAB is a good mix of multi-thread, single-thread and cache-heavy tests. Here we see some of AMD's IPC gains that allow the 5800U to easily outperform the 4800U in both performance classes. The 5800U is 23% faster, and I suspect a lot of that is due to doubling the L3 cache. This puts the 5800U at least 11% ahead of Intel's Tiger Lake processors. With the design improvements made by AMD, they have been able to move from slower than Intel to faster than Intel.
Our Microsoft Excel workload also puts a strain on the processor cache, so the 5800U again recorded a 23% increase in performance compared to the 4800U. Since it's a multithreaded workload, Ryzen is not only slightly faster than Tiger Lake in the previous generation, but also significantly faster. The 5800U sees a performance advantage of 72% at 15 W and over 40% at 25 W.
In PCMark 10's Essentials workload, which measures basic things like web browsing and app loading, this is another good result for the Ryzen 7 5800U. Thanks to IPC improvements, the 5800U Tiger Lake leaps into the leading position for U-series processors, with a lead of about 5% on the 1165G7 or an increase of 11% over the 4800U. This isn't a breakthrough difference between AMD and Intel, but it does indicate similar or slightly better basic app performance in a top-of-the-line Ryzen configuration.
In the application test, which measures the performance of Microsoft Office and the Edge web browser, another interesting situation arises between AMD and Intel. At 15 W, the 5800U essentially corresponds to the performance of Tiger Lake. In the higher performance class, however, Intel can come out on top. At 25 W, the 5800U is 10% behind the 1185G7. The 5800U shows a healthy 10% increase over the 4800U, but that's not enough to close the performance gap to Tiger Lake.
With 7-Zip compression, we see one of the biggest gains for the Ryzen 7 5800U over the 4800U: 25% faster at 15 W. Compression was a weak spot for AMD's Zen 2 APU designs, but the increasing cache and IPC Improvements got the 5800U to the charts even before the Ryzen 7 4800H. Tiger Lake processors are slower here due to the lack of CPU cores.
As far as decompression goes, this has always been Ryzen's strong point, so we don't see a huge gain in performance compared to the 5800U and 4800U. The newer Zen 3 chip is only marginally ahead of us. As with compression, Intel's quad-core Tiger Lake designs can't keep up here and are destroyed by Ryzen. This is the largest gap between these two chips in CPU-bound workloads.
In AES-256 cryptography, AMD has massively improved performance with its Zen 3 CPU core. When testing on a single core, this is about 65% faster, so we can eliminate differences in memory bandwidth. However, Intel is still leading the way here with its Tiger Lake designs, and ultimately the 5800U is about 12% slower.
Acrobat PDF export has been the Achilles heel of AMD single-thread performance in terms of laptop form factors for some time. However, that changed with Zen 3. The Ryzen 7 5800U can now compete with Intel's Tiger Lake designs such as the Core i7-1165G7. although the Core i7-1185G7 is a bit faster with 28W. Like other workloads, the 5800U is 20% faster than the 4800U here.
Adobe Photoshop's performance was a big reason to buy a Tiger Lake processor over a previous generation Ryzen processor. That is no longer really the case. Intel is still a bit faster than the 5800U in the higher performance class, but the margins are within 5%. Meanwhile, at 15W, the 5800U can pull 8% ahead of the 1165G7, which is a bit much and depends on the exact laptop configurations you're looking at. I think the takeaway here in general is that AMD was able to balance the performance in this application.
Ultimately, in DaVinci Resolve, which uses the Puget Systems benchmark, there isn't much of a difference between the Ryzen 7 5800U and the Core i7-1165G7 for rendering video. The 1165G7 benefits from its faster GPU, but the 5800U's faster CPU negates that advantage. In fact, the 5800U is up to 15% faster at 15W. However, if you plan to do a lot of video editing on your laptop, I would still strongly recommend something with a discrete GPU as it is significantly faster.
In Adobe Premiere, the Puget System export test results are quite similar. The 1165G7 is a little faster than the 5800U at 28W, but a little slower at 15W. So there will be another situation in which the performance of the laptop plays a role. These types of systems are not bad for video editing in Premiere in my opinion, although unless you buy a system with a discrete GPU, you should expect that they can only do lighter things.
Now is the time for some built-in graphics game benchmarks. To be honest, the results here aren't very interesting so I'm only going to show three games or you will all get bored very quickly. Here is Grand Theft Auto V with an eye on 15W CPUs. The Ryzen 7 5800U offers the same iGPU performance as the Ryzen 7 4800U. In this title, the 5800U is 23% faster than the Intel Core i7-1165G7 when using the same LPDDR4X memory. Again, with 25 W in the same title, there is no difference in performance. Here the Ryzen processor fits the Tiger Lake.
In Gears 5 with medium 1080p settings, which is a major GPU bottleneck, there is no performance difference between 5800U and 4800U at 15W. The 5800U is 13% faster than the 1165G7 in this test. However, if you switch to 25W, the Intel design is now faster, 23% ahead of the 5800U. Here, too, the 5800U delivers the same performance as the 4800U.
Then the Ryzen 7 5800U and 4800U deliver surprise, surprise, the same power in Rainbow Six Siege, regardless of whether it is 15 W or 25 W. In both configurations, the Intel Xe GPU in the 1165G7 offers better performance and, in the best case, a performance advantage of up to 35%. Everything we talked about in our Tiger Lake review still applies because AMD hasn't improved this generation's iGPU performance.
Breakdown of benefits
Before we finish, here are some head-to-head comparisons. If we look at the Ryzen 7 5800U versus the Ryzen 7 4800U at 15W, we can see some clear trends. The 5800U is not much faster than the 4800U in multi-threaded performance, faster in some workloads and slower in others. In applications that either have light threading or can take advantage of Cezanne's specific design enhancements like the double cache, performance can be 20-25% faster.
In the higher performance class, the Ryzen 7 5800U is almost always faster. The multi-thread performance goes from roughly steady to an average of about 5% faster. In the meantime, we're seeing the same single-thread performance gains as in the 15W class, which are very solid. This becomes even clearer when comparing the 5800U at 15 W and 25 W. The 25W configuration is roughly the same for single-thread, but it can be up to 25 to 30 percent faster for multi-threaded workloads.
When the Ryzen 7 5800U competes against the Intel Core i7-1185G7 in the higher performance class of 25 to 28 W, there are a multitude of results. The 5800U is significantly faster on multithreaded CPU workloads, typically in the range of over 70%. However, in light-threaded and single-threaded workloads, the 5800U can be 5 to 10% slower, although this is not always the case. Again a similar story with the 5800U versus the 1165G7.
However, at 15W, the 5800U is generally faster than the Core i7-1165G7 for all workloads. Multi-threaded workloads have a double performance advantage with AMD, while light-threaded tasks can be about 5 percent faster.
What we learned
The Ryzen 7 5800U is finally here, the benchmarks are set, and now we have a great idea of how AMD's Zen 3 APU performs in a low-power class. As we saw in the H-Series for gaming laptops, the biggest step forward AMD has made in single and light threaded application performance is when you compare that generation with AMD's earlier version, Renoir , to compare.
The rest of this design is largely an iteration of the last version that has been given a major makeover, and even in some cases like the iGPU, performance remains unchanged.
The gen-on-gen gains that AMD achieves with the 5800U over the 4800U in the 25 W power class are decent: 5% better multi-thread performance is a little disappointing, but single-thread gains between 15 and 25% show a good performance. Given that lighter workloads are more common on thin and light systems, single-threaded performance is most important for U-series chips. Hence, big gains on apps like Microsoft Office, web browsing, Photoshop, and PDF export will be a boon to everyday users.
The improvements seen in these lighter apps do affect the lower power class at 15W, but I was less impressed with the 5800U overall here. Multithreaded performance is largely unchanged from the previous generation, and there have even been some performance regressions that you never want to see.
But that's a comparison between AMD and AMD … and the real battle of this generation is between Ryzen Mobile 5000 and Intel Tiger Lake CPUs.
When I talk about ultraportable APU performance, I tend to break it down into three key areas: multithreaded, single-threaded, and GPU performance. When we compared Tiger Lake to Ryzen 4000, Intel held the crown on two out of three points, which is why I ultimately recommended it to thin and light laptop buyers. But now that we have Ryzen Mobile 5000, the tables have turned and, in my opinion, AMD has regained its performance advantage.
What hasn't changed in this comparison is multithreaded CPU performance. AMD continues to have a remarkably strong lead here and is destroying Tiger Lake, especially in the low-performance classes. 8 cores against 4 will do that. But what AMD has been able to achieve this generation is single-thread performance that is on par with Intel. This eliminated AMD's weakness in CPU performance and made it harder to recommend Tiger Lake for casual laptop buyers. In the worst case scenario, there are some workloads where the Intel Core i7-1185G7 is faster depending on the matchup, but that doesn't make up for a pretty heavy loss on other workloads. I now believe that the CPU performance balance rests heavily on AMD.
The integrated graphics performance, however, is a mixed bag. It's a pretty even fight at 15W, but Intel is the champion in the higher power class where the Xe design can shine. This doesn't seem to hurt the productivity of the mixed CPU and GPU productivity too much, but Tiger Lake is a better choice for integrated graphics games right now.
That said, a number of slim and light 13- or 14-inch machines with discrete graphics are made these days, whether it's an Nvidia MX350 or even a GTX 1650 Max-Q. So if gaming is a priority for your ultraportable laptop, I'd honestly try to get something with a discrete GPU, and combining a Ryzen 7 5800U with a discrete Nvidia GPU would be a very tasty proposition.
I think AMD currently has the better overall, low-power CPU option. However, this is just a comparison of chip performance and doesn't take into account much else in terms of platform. And it's platform features that AMD is struggling with in general. For example, Ryzen is used in less premium designs. The offer used to be an issue and is still limited today. You probably won't get features like Thunderbolt, USB 4, or PCIe 4.0 storage with an AMD laptop, which can be important depending on your use case.
You can't blame AMD for all of this as it is ultimately the OEMs who implement the chips, but Intel gives you more choices and generally more platform capabilities. A design you like may not have an AMD equivalent.
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