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7 nm AMD Ryzen 7 4800U is as fast as the 14 nm Core i9-9880H and at half the TDP, but there's a huge catch

7 nm AMD Ryzen 7 4800U is as fast as the 14 nm Core i9-9880H and at half the TDP, but there's a huge catch (Image source: AMD)
7 nm AMD Ryzen 7 4800U is as fast as the 14 nm Core i9-9880H and at half the TDP, but there's a huge catch (Image source: AMD)
Can an 8-core 25 W cTDP Ryzen 7 4800U outperform the popular 8-core 45 W Core i9-9880H? They're much closer than what you might think at least until you start stressing the Ryzen processor over very long periods.

The crown to AMD's latest Zen 2 U-series lineup is the Ryzen 7 4800U. Unlike every other processor in its stack, the octa-core Ryzen 7 4800U is notable for integrating 16 simultaneous execution threads within a 15 W to 25 W power envelope compared to only 8 threads on most other U-series processors. Intel currently has no equal in this regard until you start moving up to its 45 W Core H series CPUs like the 9th gen Core i9-9880H or 10th gen Core i7-10875H. This begs the question: How does the Ryzen 7 4800U compare to the more power-hungry Core i9-9880H?

Apparently, the Ryzen CPU can perform a lot closer to the Core i9-9880H than initially expected based on our time with the 14-inch Lenovo IdeaPad 14 Ultrabook. All tested benchmarks like CineBench, Blender, 7-Zip, GeekBench, HWBOT, and LibreOffice show single-digit percentage points between the Ryzen 7 4800U in our Lenovo and the average Core i9-9880H in our database. No matter how you cut it, these consistent results are impressive for AMD especially when considering the much higher performance-per-watt at play.

It's not a home run for AMD, however, as the limits of the Ryzen 7 4800U are revealed when running extreme loads for long periods with no cooldown period in between. When running CineBench R15 xT in a loop, for example, the initial high score of 1620 points would drop and stabilize to about 1210 points by the 5th or 6th loop. This 25 percent dip in performance is steeper than on any Core i9-9880H laptop we've tested thus far.

The CPU performance drop can be observed in more detail when running Prime95 as well. Clock rates would boost to 3.5 GHz to 4.3 GHz for only the first few seconds before steadily falling and eventually stabilizing at 2.3 GHz and at a core temperature of 60 C to 65 C. Otherwise, core temperature would be well over 90 C according to HWiNFO to suggest that the processor could potentially run faster on larger laptop designs.

Since the Ryzen 7 4800U is so new, we'll have to wait and see what other OEMs can do with the processor outside of Lenovo. Its configurable TDP should allow for a wide range of compatible chassis designs and thus a wide range of performance differences between models.

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Lenovo Yoga Slim 7-14ARE Vega 8 R4000, R7 4800U, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB512HBJQ; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø1238 (1192.82-1622.45)
MSI GE75 9SG GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile, i9-9880H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø1619 (1602.44-1728.31)
Asus Strix Scar III G531GW GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, i9-9880H, Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø1267 (1239.62-1311.65)
MSI P65 Creator 9SF-657 GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i9-9880H, 2x Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ (RAID 0); CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø1439 (1417.84-1545.36)
HP Omen 17-cb0020ng GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile, i9-9880H, 2x Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ (RAID 0); CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø1291 (1278.24-1450)
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M Radeon Pro 5500M, i9-9880H, Apple SSD AP1024 7171; CPU Multi 64Bit; macOS 10.15.1: Ø1407 (1386-1435)
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M Radeon Pro 5500M, i9-9880H, Apple SSD AP1024 7171; CPU Multi 64Bit; Win 10: Ø1296 (1268.87-1362.31)
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 16 Radeon Pro Vega 16, i9-9880H, Apple SSD AP0512; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø1238 (1170.34-1317.35)
MSI GE65 Raider 9SF-049US GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, i9-9880H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø1496 (1486.55-1622.78)
Cinebench R20: CPU (Multi Core) | CPU (Single Core)
Cinebench R15: CPU Single 64Bit | CPU Multi 64Bit
Blender 2.79: BMW27 CPU
7-Zip 18.03: 7z b 4 -mmt1 | 7z b 4
Geekbench 5.1 - 5.3: 64 Bit Single-Core Score | 64 Bit Multi-Core Score
HWBOT x265 Benchmark v2.2: 4k Preset
LibreOffice : 20 Documents To PDF
R Benchmark 2.5: Overall mean
Cinebench R20 / CPU (Multi Core)
Average Intel Core i9-9880H
  (2953 - 3712, n=6)
3277 Points ∼100% +2%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7-14ARE
AMD Ryzen 7 4800U
3213 Points ∼98%
Cinebench R20 / CPU (Single Core)
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7-14ARE
AMD Ryzen 7 4800U
474 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i9-9880H
  (441 - 474, n=6)
457 Points ∼96% -4%
Cinebench R15 / CPU Single 64Bit
Average Intel Core i9-9880H
  (181 - 198, n=10)
190 Points ∼100% +6%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7-14ARE
AMD Ryzen 7 4800U
180 Points ∼95%
Cinebench R15 / CPU Multi 64Bit
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7-14ARE
AMD Ryzen 7 4800U
1568 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i9-9880H
  (1317 - 1721, n=10)
1505 Points ∼96% -4%
Blender 2.79 / BMW27 CPU
Average Intel Core i9-9880H
  (293 - 384, n=3)
340 Seconds * ∼100% -6%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7-14ARE
AMD Ryzen 7 4800U
322 Seconds * ∼95%
7-Zip 18.03 / 7z b 4 -mmt1
Average Intel Core i9-9880H
  (4837 - 4924, n=2)
4881 MIPS ∼100% +10%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7-14ARE
AMD Ryzen 7 4800U
4436 MIPS ∼91%
7-Zip 18.03 / 7z b 4
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7-14ARE
AMD Ryzen 7 4800U
44804 MIPS ∼100%
Average Intel Core i9-9880H
  (39455 - 46591, n=2)
43023 MIPS ∼96% -4%
Geekbench 5.1 - 5.3 / 64 Bit Single-Core Score
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7-14ARE
AMD Ryzen 7 4800U
1154 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i9-9880H
 
1115 Points ∼97% -3%
Geekbench 5.1 - 5.3 / 64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Average Intel Core i9-9880H
 
7109 Points ∼100% +2%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7-14ARE
AMD Ryzen 7 4800U
6950 Points ∼98%
HWBOT x265 Benchmark v2.2 / 4k Preset
Average Intel Core i9-9880H
  (10.6 - 11.9, n=2)
11.2 fps ∼100% +4%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7-14ARE
AMD Ryzen 7 4800U
10.768 fps ∼96%
LibreOffice / 20 Documents To PDF
Average Intel Core i9-9880H
 
58.9 s ∼100% +2%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7-14ARE
AMD Ryzen 7 4800U
57.8 s ∼98%
R Benchmark 2.5 / Overall mean
Average Intel Core i9-9880H
  (0.661 - 0.69, n=2)
0.676 sec * ∼100% -10%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7-14ARE
AMD Ryzen 7 4800U
0.613 sec * ∼91%

* ... smaller is better

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 08 > 7 nm AMD Ryzen 7 4800U is as fast as the 14 nm Core i9-9880H and at half the TDP, but there's a huge catch
Allen Ngo, 2020-08-28 (Update: 2020-08-30)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.