AMD Ryzen 5 2500U-powered Lenovo Yoga 530 shown to trade blows with the Core i7-8550U
The Lenovo Yoga 530 aka Flex 14 was first announced during MWC 2018 and featured Intel 8th generation 'Kaby Lake-R' CPU options including the Core i5-8250U and the Core i7-8550U. With support for Amazon Alexa out of the box, the Yoga 530 seemed to offer a compelling option for a starting price of Euro 549. However, not many are aware that the Yoga 530 comes with an AMD Ryzen 'Raven Ridge' APU option as well.
Lenovo has been pretty mum about the availability of the AMD Ryzen variant of the Yoga 530. Only recently, we came across the listing of the Flex 14 on the Lenovo US site. As the Yoga 530, it seems to be currently available only in the UK and a few Asian countries. Indonesian site JagatReview managed to get their hands on the Lenovo Yoga 530 powered by the AMD Ryzen 5 2500U APU with Radeon RX Vega 8 graphics and the benchmarks seem to paint a very positive picture. The test machine featured 8 GB DDR4-2400 RAM in dual-channel configuration, a 14-inch FHD display, and a 256 GB PCIe NVMe SSD.
JagatReviews' benchmarks results are largely reminiscent of our own experience with the Ryzen 5 2500U late last year. The Yoga 530 scored an impressive 596 points in Cinebench R15 multi-core comfortably beating the Core i7-8550U, the Core i5-4670K, and even the AMD Ryzen 7 2700U-powered IdeaPad 720S. The Yoga 530 also managed to move past even the Core i5-7300HQ (multi-core) and the Core i7-7700HQ (single-core) in the Geekbench tests.
The Ryzen 5 2500U displayed impressive performance in the Blender and Handbrake but trails behind the Core i7-8550U. However, it continues to beat the Ryzen 7 2700U-powered IdeaPad 720S. The single-channel and slower memory configuration of the IdeaPad 720S seem to severely handicap the otherwise faster Ryzen 7 2700U. The memory handicap is also reflected in the 3DMark Fire Strike graphics score wherein the Yoga 530 stood way ahead of the IdeaPad 720S despite the latter featuring the Vega 10 onboard GPU. The integrated Vega 8 graphics in the Yoga 530 seems to offer good gaming performance at 720p medium settings in DiRT Rally, Battlefield 1, and DOTA 2.
Overall, the Lenovo Yoga 530 is a formidable offering for Rp 11,799,000 (US$807). For under a grand, one gets a good screen, the flexibility of a 2-in-1 convertible with the included Active Pen, enough port selection, and most importantly, comparable or even greater performance than laptops powered by Intel 8th generation 'Kaby Lake-R'. We've already seen how well AMD 'Raven Ridge' can scale to even offer the 'Kaby Lake' Core i7-7700HQ a tough fight so the performance of the Ryzen 5 2500U in the Yoga 530 is not entirely surprising.
We're in Q3 2018 and still there are not many AMD 'Raven Ridge' notebooks out there, which is in stark contrast to Ryzen's outing in the desktop market. AMD and its OEM partners need to get their act together and ensure premium notebooks are fitted with AMD 'Raven Ridge' chips so that customers have the benefit of choice.