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Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15-inch Intel Core vs. AMD Ryzen: There is No Wrong Option

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 Intel Core vs. AMD Ryzen: There is No Wrong Option
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 Intel Core vs. AMD Ryzen: There is No Wrong Option
The Intel version will indubitably offer the faster experience, but the AMD version is not really that far behind. Don't beat yourself over for "settling" with AMD if you want to save a few hundred bucks.

As of this writing, the 15-inch Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 with 16 GB of RAM and 256 GB SSD can be found for $1800 USD if configured with the Intel Core i7-1065G7 or $1700 if configured with the AMD Ryzen 5 3580U. One would expect the Intel version to perform faster than the AMD version based on the small price difference alone, but are there any other differences under the hood?

Our benchmarks below directly compare the Core i7 and Ryzen 5 versions of the Surface Laptop 3 15 and the Intel SKU will indeed outperform the Ryzen 5 SKU in nearly all tests ranging from PCMark to CineBench and the browser-based Jetstream. The differences aren't exceptionally substantial, but they occur consistently enough in Intel's favor to safely dub it the faster model.

3DMark results are the few instances where the Ryzen 5 SKU is favored ever so slightly. Nonetheless, real-world games will still run faster on the Intel Core i7 version. Keep in mind that our Ryzen 5 test unit comes equipped with just 8 GB of RAM compared to 16 GB on the Intel.

Outside of raw processor performance, the Intel system benefits from faster Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, a faster SSD, and a slightly better calibrated display based on our two examples. Our Intel unit ships with the AX201 and Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G compared to the slower Qualcomm QCA6174 and SK Hynix BC501 on the AMD.

When considering that Microsoft is offering the Core i7 SKU for just $100 more than the Ryzen 5 SKU at the moment, it's definitely worth the small extra investment for an overall better experience with the Surface Laptop 3 15. However, the performance differences between them are generally small enough that you likely wouldn't be able to tell them apart if your workloads consist mostly of web browsing, video streaming, word processing, or other light office tasks.

Surface Laptop 3 15 Core i7 on sale now at Amazon
Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 7 on sale now at Amazon

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Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7 Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), 1065G7, Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø717 (684.67-772.41)
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U Vega 9, 3580U, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDGTNG; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø662 (563.52-691.26)
Cinebench R20
CPU (Single Core)
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Intel Core i7-1065G7
460 Points ∼89%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Ryzen 5 3580U
352 Points ∼68%
CPU (Multi Core)
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Intel Core i7-1065G7
1799 Points ∼20%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Ryzen 5 3580U
1549 Points ∼17%
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Intel Core i7-1065G7
184 Points ∼84%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Ryzen 5 3580U
139 Points ∼64%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Intel Core i7-1065G7
733 Points ∼17%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Ryzen 5 3580U
693 Points ∼16%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Intel Core i7-1065G7
267.6 Points ∼76%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Ryzen 5 3580U
206.18 Points ∼59%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Ryzen 5 3580U
1243 ms * ∼2%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Intel Core i7-1065G7
1030.6 ms * ∼2%

* ... smaller is better

3DMark
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Radeon RX Vega 9, 3580U
872 Points ∼6%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), 1065G7
847 Points ∼6%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), 1065G7
3062 Points ∼8%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Radeon RX Vega 9, 3580U
2789 Points ∼7%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Radeon RX Vega 9, 3580U
19255 Points ∼10%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), 1065G7
17892 Points ∼9%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Radeon RX Vega 9, 3580U
70492 Points ∼10%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), 1065G7
59626 Points ∼8%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), 1065G7
4045 Points ∼18%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Radeon RX Vega 9, 3580U
3041 Points ∼13%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), 1065G7
4612 Points ∼9%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Radeon RX Vega 9, 3580U
4380 Points ∼9%
Borderlands 3
1920x1080 High Overall Quality (DX11)
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Intel Core i7-1065G7, Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
10 fps ∼100%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Ryzen 5 3580U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 9
7.8 fps ∼78%
1920x1080 Medium Overall Quality (DX11)
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Intel Core i7-1065G7, Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
16 fps ∼100%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Ryzen 5 3580U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 9
13.5 fps ∼84%
1280x720 Very Low Overall Quality (DX11)
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Intel Core i7-1065G7, Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
37 fps ∼100%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Ryzen 5 3580U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 9
28.3 fps ∼76%
BioShock Infinite
1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF)
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Intel Core i7-1065G7, Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
22.6 fps ∼100%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Ryzen 5 3580U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 9
20.5 fps ∼91%
1280x720 Very Low Preset
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Ryzen 5 3580U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 9
117.9 fps ∼100%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Intel Core i7-1065G7, Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
109.6 fps ∼93%
The Witcher 3
1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off)
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Intel Core i7-1065G7, Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
20.1 fps ∼100%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Ryzen 5 3580U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 9
13.3 fps ∼66%
1024x768 Low Graphics & Postprocessing
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Intel Core i7-1065G7, Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
56.4 fps ∼100%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Ryzen 5 3580U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 9
41.9 fps ∼74%
Overwatch
1920x1080 Epic (Render Scale 100 %) AA:SM AF:16x
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Intel Core i7-1065G7, Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
19.7 fps ∼100%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Ryzen 5 3580U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 9
19.3 fps ∼98%
1280x720 Low (Render Scale 100 %) AA:FX AF:1x
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Ryzen 5 3580U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 9
92.3 fps ∼100%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Intel Core i7-1065G7, Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
90 fps ∼98%
Rocket League
1920x1080 High Quality AA:High FX
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Intel Core i7-1065G7, Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
42.8 fps ∼100%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Ryzen 5 3580U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 9
30.4 fps ∼71%
1280x720 Performance
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Ryzen 5 3580U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 9
100.7 fps ∼100%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Intel Core i7-1065G7, Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
96.1 fps ∼95%
Shadow of the Tomb Raider - 1280x720 Lowest Preset
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Intel Core i7-1065G7, Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
31 fps ∼100%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Ryzen 5 3580U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 9
29 fps ∼94%
F1 2019
1920x1080 High Preset AA:T AF:16x
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Intel Core i7-1065G7, Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
27 (min: 24, max: 29) fps ∼100%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Ryzen 5 3580U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 9
18 fps ∼67%
1920x1080 Medium Preset AA:T AF:16x
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Intel Core i7-1065G7, Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
31 (min: 28, max: 33) fps ∼100%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Ryzen 5 3580U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 9
21 fps ∼68%
1280x720 Ultra Low Preset
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Intel Core i7-1065G7, Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
63 (min: 47, max: 72) fps ∼100%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Ryzen 5 3580U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 9
51 fps ∼81%
PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), 1065G7, Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe
3920 Points ∼30%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
Vega 9, 3580U, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDGTNG
3778 Points ∼29%
Productivity
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), 1065G7, Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe
7275 Points ∼70%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
Vega 9, 3580U, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDGTNG
6102 Points ∼59%
Essentials
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), 1065G7, Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe
9536 Points ∼83%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
Vega 9, 3580U, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDGTNG
7861 Points ∼69%
Score
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), 1065G7, Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe
4644 Points ∼57%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
Vega 9, 3580U, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDGTNG
4056 Points ∼50%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), 1065G7, Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe
4799 Points ∼73%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
Vega 9, 3580U, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDGTNG
4246 Points ∼64%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), 1065G7, Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe
3783 Points ∼62%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
Vega 9, 3580U, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDGTNG
3348 Points ∼55%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Sharp LQ150P1JX51, IPS, 15, 2496x1664
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
Sharp LQ150P1JX51, IPS, 15, 2496x1664
Response Times
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
56 (27.6, 28.4)
47.2 (23.2, 24)
Response Time Black / White *
38 (21.2, 16.8)
36.8 (20.4, 16.4)
PWM Frequency
21370 (51)
21370 (51)
Screen
Brightness middle
412.4
416.9
Brightness
374
389
Brightness Distribution
78
86
Black Level *
0.35
0.4
Contrast
1178
1042
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
1.04
2.75
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
2.83
6.64
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
0.74
0.71
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.3
1.8
Gamma
2.07 106%
2.09 105%
CCT
6634 98%
6646 98%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
62.4
63.4
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
98.4
99.4
Total Average (Program / Settings)

* ... smaller is better

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDGTNG
AS SSD
Copy Game MB/s
1135.91
387.44
Copy Program MB/s
603.67
200.49
Copy ISO MB/s
1191.82
827.96
Score Total
2285
1434
Score Write
487
488
Score Read
1213
639
Access Time Write *
0.619
0.11
Access Time Read *
0.083
0.056
4K-64 Write
292.71
339.93
4K-64 Read
984.75
492.01
4K Write
112.18
96.76
4K Read
52.28
34.98
Seq Write
817.64
514.48
Seq Read
1755.5
1122.12

* ... smaller is better

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), 1065G7, Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
Vega 9, 3580U, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDGTNG
Noise
off / environment *
28.5
28
Idle Minimum *
28.5
28
Idle Average *
28.5
28
Idle Maximum *
28.7
28
Load Average *
30
29.2
Witcher 3 ultra *
39.2
39
Load Maximum *
41.2
41.4

* ... smaller is better

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
1065G7, Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe, IPS, 2496x1664, 15
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
3580U, Vega 9, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDGTNG, IPS, 2496x1664, 15
Power Consumption
Idle Minimum *
4.4
3.3
Idle Average *
8.3
7.1
Idle Maximum *
8.6
7.2
Load Average *
43.6
44.8
Load Maximum *
64.4
53
Witcher 3 ultra *
41.5
45.1

* ... smaller is better

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
1065G7, Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), 45 Wh
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
3580U, Vega 9, 45 Wh
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle
2100
1121
WiFi v1.3
490
546
Load
112
102
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 01 > Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15-inch Intel Core vs. AMD Ryzen: There is No Wrong Option
Allen Ngo, 2020-01- 8 (Update: 2020-01- 8)
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.