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ZenBook 13 in review: Is it better to go with Ryzen or with Intel Core? There are good arguments for both.

Should you buy the ZenBook 13 with an AMD or an Intel CPU?
Should you buy the ZenBook 13 with an AMD or an Intel CPU?
The new ZenBook 13 is finally available in an AMD Ryzen configuration. We have now completed the review of the Intel version and are able to draw a comparative conclusion. While AMD pulls ahead in terms of pure CPU power, the Intel ZenBook still has a few aces up its sleeve.

We have just finished our review of the Asus ZenBook 13 with the Intel Core i7-1165G7. Since we recently reviewed the same ZenBook 13 with the AMD Ryzen 7 5800U, it's time for a verdict and a clear purchase decision - but unfortunately, there's no entirely clear choice.

Both ZenBook 13 variants are good subnotebooks. If you're expecting the only difference to be found in the processor, you're mistaken. Several other aspects depend on the SoC, such as heat development, noise, the internal graphics unit, and also the connectivity capabilities.

If we look at the pure CPU performance, however, things look bad for Intel. In our Cinebench R15 measurement, the Ryzen was almost twice as fast in the multithread test! The lead is clear, which is no wonder, since Intel only offers 4 cores, while AMD offers 8.

0801602403204004805606407208008809601040112012001280136014401520Tooltip
Asus ZenBook 13 UX325EA Intel Core i7-1165G7: Ø644 (604.98-860.99)
Asus ZenBook 13 UX325JA Intel Core i7-1065G7: Ø547 (524.54-724.17)
Asus ZenBook 13 UM325S AMD Ryzen 7 5800U: Ø1209 (1163.3-1526.78)

However, the situation is a bit different when it comes to the integrated graphics unit, as the Intel G7 GPU has slight advantages here. Therefore, users who occasionally want to play computer games on the ZenBook might favor Intel here.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Average of class Subnotebook
  (2979 - 16904, n=56, last 2 years)
8707 Points +31%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1165G7
6830 Points +3%
HP Spectre x360 14t-ea000
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1165G7
6658 Points 0%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX325EA
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1165G7
6642 Points
Average Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs
  (2867 - 7676, n=198)
6355 Points -4%
Asus ZenBook 13 UM325S
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 (Ryzen 4000/5000), AMD Ryzen 7 5800U
5870 Points -12%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX325JA
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Intel Core i7-1065G7
4152 Points -37%
3DMark
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Average of class Subnotebook
  (13768 - 65911, n=37, last 2 years)
30366 Points +21%
HP Spectre x360 14t-ea000
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1165G7
29671 Points +18%
Asus ZenBook 13 UM325S
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 (Ryzen 4000/5000), AMD Ryzen 7 5800U
28491 Points +13%
Average Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs
  (13162 - 38578, n=176)
26437 Points +5%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX325EA
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1165G7
25164 Points
Asus ZenBook 13 UX325JA
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Intel Core i7-1065G7
18164 Points -28%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Average of class Subnotebook
  (2837 - 12349, n=59, last 2 years)
6305 Points +18%
HP Spectre x360 14t-ea000
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1165G7
5384 Points 0%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX325EA
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1165G7
5358 Points
Average Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs
  (2286 - 6482, n=211)
4918 Points -8%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1165G7
4669 Points -13%
Asus ZenBook 13 UM325S
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 (Ryzen 4000/5000), AMD Ryzen 7 5800U
3861 Points -28%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX325JA
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Intel Core i7-1065G7
2983 Points -44%
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
Average of class Subnotebook
  (811 - 4773, n=58, last 2 years)
2161 Points +43%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13 ITL
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1165G7
1562 Points +3%
HP Spectre x360 14t-ea000
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1165G7
1546 Points +2%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX325EA
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1165G7
1512 Points
Average Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs
  (707 - 1871, n=208)
1495 Points -1%
Asus ZenBook 13 UM325S
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 (Ryzen 4000/5000), AMD Ryzen 7 5800U
1082 Points -28%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX325JA
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Intel Core i7-1065G7
788 Points -48%

Another advantage of Intel, and quite a big one, is the integration of Thunderbolt. The Intel version integrates two Thunderbolt 4 ports, while AMD processors don't support Thunderbolt at all. At the same time, the interface is becoming increasingly more popular and important; certain devices, such as an external graphics card case can't be connected to the AMD ZenBook in this way - a big minus point, despite the still not definitively resolved security concerns regarding the Thunderbolt interface.

On the other hand, the low noise levels speaks for AMD; the Intel ZenBook gets louder under load, but it stays cooler and is more energy-efficient due to the lower performance.

Consequently, it always depends on the user's requirements. And we shouldn't forget: This is a small subnotebook at 13 inches. Whether the raw CPU performance (AMD) is more important than interface compatibility (Intel), low noise levels (AMD), or energy efficiency (Intel) is up to each individual user to decide.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > Reviews > ZenBook 13 in review: Is it better to go with Ryzen or with Intel Core? There are good arguments for both.
Christian Hintze, 2021-05-26 (Update: 2021-05-26)