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AMD strikes back: Ryzen 5 3500U in the ThinkPad E495 much faster than the Core i5-8265U in the ThinkPad E490

Zen Core architecture (Source: AMD)
Zen Core architecture (Source: AMD)
The implementation of mobile AMD processor is getting better and better, and Intel will definitely notice the stronger competition. The new Ryzen 5 3500U in the ThinkPad E495 consumes a bit less and is much faster than a comparable Core i5-8265U in the ThinkPad E490. Update: Power consumption corrected

Update 06/15/2019: We once again checked the power consumption of the AMD processor and now got a higher result. However, this does not change the Cinebench results. The CPU can consume up to 30W for short periods and 25W for sustained workloads. The TDP configuration is therefore identical to the ThinkPad T490 with the Core i7-8656U, which can also consume up to 25W under load and is slightly slower in our CB Multi loop.

Power consumption CPU in Cinebench R15 Multi
Power consumption CPU in Cinebench R15 Multi

The current situation in the market of mobile processors is a bit disappointing. Since Intel launched the mobile ULV Kaby Lake chips, the performance is pretty much the same. Sure, we got two additional cores since then, but the basic architecture hardly changed at all. The current Whiskey Lake CPUs can even be a bit slower depending on the model and the TDP configuration. Another factor is certainly the manufacturing process of Whiskey Lake-U (14nm+ vs. 14nm++), which also includes hardware based fixes for the Spectre and Meltdown security issues. The development is not amazing for the AMD processors, but the implementation in the corresponding laptops is getting better. While you often had to live with drastic limitations compared to Intel laptops (other materials, worse hardware specs, worse panels), the differences are getting smaller. The best example is Lenovo; they got rid of the A-series and now offer AMD SKUs within the corresponding series (like ThinkPad T490 and ThinkPad T495). We have another example here, because Lenovo also offers its inexpensive ThinkPad E490 (Intel) as the ThinkPad E495 with AMD CPUs. We want to compare where you get more performance for the money.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
GeForce MX250, 8565U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
180 Points ∼100%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N8000RGE
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDHTNG
160 Points ∼89%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G
144 Points ∼80%
Lenovo ThinkPad E495-20NE000JGE
Vega 8, 3500U, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDHTNG
140 Points ∼78%
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
Vega 8, 2500U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
139.52 Points ∼78%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00
GeForce MX250, 8565U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
680 (min: 592.15, max: 661.89) Points ∼100%
Lenovo ThinkPad E495-20NE000JGE
Vega 8, 3500U, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDHTNG
658 (min: 656.79, max: 659.13) Points ∼97%
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE
Vega 8, 2500U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
618 (min: 591.81, max: 618.71) Points ∼91%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G
540 Points ∼79%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N8000RGE
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDHTNG
509 Points ∼75%

The TDP configuration in the current ThinkPad E495 is still not ideal with a limitation at 11 Watts. The Ryzen 5 3500U runs at 3.5 GHz in the Cinebench R15 Single test and is on par with the ThinkPad E485, where the Ryzen 5 2500U still rann at 3.6 GHz. The Intel chips still have a small advantage in this respect.

It gets more interesting when we look at the Multi test, because the 11W 25W are sufficient for 4x 3.0-3.1 GHz. For comparison: The ThinkPad T490 uses a Core i7-8565U with a steady consumption 25W, which is just enough for 4x 2.9 GHz. The Core i7 is a bit faster in the first Cinebench run, but is beaten by the Ryzen 5 under sustained load (see below). It is interesting that the performance of the 3500U is steady, while the ThinkPad E485 still suffered from a slight drop after a few iterations.

The two Intel CPUs in the ThinkPad E480 and E490 can only consume 15W under sustained workloads, and the average score of the Core i5-8265U in the ThinkPad E490 is more than 25% lower.

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Lenovo ThinkPad E495-20NE000JGE Vega 8, 3500U, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDHTNG: Ø658 (656.79-659.13)
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N8000RGE UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDHTNG: Ø487 (483.41-509.01)
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N3S02L00 GeForce MX250, 8565U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G: Ø639 (632-673)
Lenovo ThinkPad E485-20KU000NGE Vega 8, 2500U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP: Ø598 (591.81-618.71)
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G: Ø507 (502.8-539.23)

We obviously have to wait for the results in the other review sections, because previous AMD systems usually suffered from shorter battery runtimes. If you are looking at the pure CPU performance, however, the ThinkPad E495 is better than its Intel counterpart ThinkPad E490.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 06 > AMD strikes back: Ryzen 5 3500U in the ThinkPad E495 much faster than the Core i5-8265U in the ThinkPad E490
Andreas Osthoff, 2019-06-12 (Update: 2019-06-15)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.