AMD Ryzen 5 'Raven Ridge' APU benchmark shows major performance benefits over last gen 'Excavator'
The AMD Ryzen 5 2500U Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) has made its first appearance in a Geekbench benchmark posting some impressive scores. AMD has been claiming for quite sometime that the upcoming Ryzen Mobile APUs will have up to 50% more CPU performance and 40% more GPU performance for half the power consumed by the previous generation Bristol Ridge APUs. The Ryzen 5 2500U Geekbench scores seem to somewhat testify AMD's claims. The leaked scores show that compared to the Excavator-based A12-9800 'Bristol Ridge' APU, the Ryzen 5 2500U APU has a 36% higher single-core performance with a score of 3561 (compared to 2607 for the A12-9800) and a 48% higher multi-core performance with a score of 9421 (the A12-9800 posted 6329). Interestingly, the Ryzen 5 APU in this Geekbench test was supposedly clocked at 2 GHz (it could have very well turbo-ed during the test) while the A12-9800 was clocked at 3.8 GHz. These benchmarks are not the first ones to be leaked, though. Earlier, there were sightings of the Ryzen 5 2500U and the Ryzen 7 2700U APUs on GFXBench showing promising numbers.
The higher performance figures are a given considering the fact that the quad core Ryzen 5 features SMT, yielding a total of 8 threads and also due to the improvements brought forth by the Zen architecture. There are a lot of details missing, however. We do not yet know the specifics of the on-die components. The Vega GPU used on-die is somewhat of a mystery. It is not yet clear whether the on-die Vega uses the newer HBM2 memory as seen in the desktop Vega GPUs or dual-channel memory. There's also no clarity on the number of stream processors on the on-die Vega. Going by AMD's claims of 40% more GPU performance, one can speculate that the Vega could have as many as 1024 SPs (the GCN 1.2-based GPU in Bristol Ridge had 512 SPs). Then, there is also uncertainty as to whether the integrated chipset will be on-die or on-package.
Although desktop Ryzen made all the right noises at launch, AMD has been somewhat late to the ultrabook CPU party. Intel, on the other hand, has been making headway in the notebook CPU space with the recent launch of the 8th generation Kaby Lake-R chips starting with the Core i5-8250U. It would be useful to note that the "U" moniker means an ultra-low power CPU in case of Intel and a standard mobile CPU in case of AMD. Current Geekbench scores seem to tilt the favor towards Intel's notebook offerings, which might not augur well for AMD. A few high-end laptops such as the Asus ROG Strix GL702ZC already sport AMD Ryzen CPUs but they are of the desktop class and lack an iGPU. Anyways, we will have to wait before Ryzen APU laptops become mainstream toward the end of 2017 to get a better perspective.