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Zhongshan Subor Z+'s custom Ryzen+Vega SoC has more GPU compute power than the Intel 'Kaby Lake-G' Core i7-8809G

The ZhongShan Subor Z+ sports a very capable Ryzen+Vega SoC. (Source: AMD)
The Zhongshan Subor Z+ sports a very capable Ryzen+Vega SoC. (Source: AMD)
Sporting a custom Ryzen SoC with integrated Vega graphics up to 24 CUs clocked at 1300 MHz, the Zhongshan Subor Z+ is a small form factor PC that tries to offer a console-like experience along with the flexibility of using a traditional Windows PC. The most intriguing aspect of the Subor Z+ is, no doubt, its custom SoC that offers up to 3.99 TF of GPU Compute compared to the 3.65 TF power of the Intel 'Kaby Lake-G' Core i7-8809G. The Subor Z+ also manages a much more consistent performance at 60 fps in 1080p Ultra settings in Battlefield 1 and Destiny 2.

Last month, AMD announced that they were developing semi-custom SoCs for the Chinese gaming market. The Zhongshan Subor Z+, unveiled during the ChinaJoy Expo 2018, is the first PC to sport this new Ryzen+Vega SoC. Recently, Eurogamer/Digital Foundry managed to get their hands on this PC-console hybrid and managed to put it through its paces. Surprisingly, the Subor Z+ managed to pack more power than the Intel 'Kaby Lake-G' Core i7-8809G in terms of GPU compute.

The Subor Z+ has a 4C/8T Ryzen CPU clocked at 3 GHz boost and the onboard Vega GPU has 24 CUs — the same number as the Vega on the Core i7-8809G but with higher clocks (1300 MHz against 1190 MHz of the 8809G). The 8 GB GDDR5 RAM shared between the CPU and the Vega GPU has a bandwidth of 256 GB/s. Due to the GDDR5 memory being shared between the CPU and the GPU, any task that runs concurrently while gaming will result in some dropped frames as the memory has to be re-allocated accordingly. Overall, the GPU compute power in the Subor Z+ is about 3.99 Teraflops — higher than the 3.65 Teraflops in the Core i7-8809G but lower than the 4.2 Teraflops in the PlayStation 4 Pro.

Source: Eurogamer / Digital Foundry
Subor Z+'Kaby Lake-G' Core i7-8809GRyzen 5 2400GPlayStation 4 Pro
CPU (Cores / Threads)Ryzen (4 / 8)7th Gen Kaby Lake (4 / 8)Ryzen (4 / 8)Jaguar (4 / 8)
Boost Clock (GHz)3.03.9 (All Core)3.82.13
GPU (CUs / Clock)Vega (24 / 1300 MHz)Vega (24 / 1190 MHz)Vega (11 / 1240 MHz)Polaris (36 / 911 MHz)
GPU Compute (Teraflops)3.993.651.754.2
Memory8 GB GDDR5System RAM + 4 GB HBM2System RAM (DDR4)8 GB GDDR5
Memory Bandwidth256 GBps (shared)205 GBps (GPU-only)Depends on System RAM (DDR4)218 GBps (shared)

Although the Subor Z+ ships with Windows 10 Enterprise IoT and is tailored exclusively for the Chinese market, Eurogamer was able to perfectly run the OS in English and install common x86 apps such as Classic Shell, Steam etc. While benchmark software installed and ran as expected, overclocking tools such as Ryzen Master or MSI Afterburner failed to recognize the custom SoC. The Vega GPU identified itself in the Windows Device Manager as 'AMD 15FF' while the Ryzen CPU was shown as 'DG02SRTBP4MFA'. Drivers were also found to be premature but basic benchmarks seemed to pose no major issues. 

Cinebench 

With boost speeds reaching only up to 3 GHz, the custom Ryzen SoC in the Subor Z+ managed to score just 115 points — below the 136 points Ryzen 3 2200G and certainly well below the 178 points scored by the Core i7-8809G. The Subor Z+ made it up with better multi-core performance with 586 points but was considerably behind the 800 points scored by the Ryzen 5 2400G and the 864 points put forth by the Core i7-8809G.

3DMark

The tables turned in favor of the Subor Z+ in the GPU benchmark 3DMark TimeSpy. The Vega GPU in the Subor Z+ managed to score 3295 points beating the 1285 points scored by the Ryzen 5 2400G and the 3050 points managed by the Core i7-8809G.

Therefore, while the Core i7-8809G is way ahead of the custom Ryzen CPU in terms of CPU prowess, its GPU component trails behind due to the higher memory clocks and the use of 8 GB GDDR5 RAM in the Subor Z+.

 

Values Source: Eurogamer / Digital Foundry
Subor Z+Ryzen 3 2200GRyzen 5 2400G'Kaby Lake-G' Core i7-8809G
Cinebench Single115136148178
Cinebench Multi586549800864
3DMark TimeSpy329596512853050

Game Performance

Eurogamer observed that although the Subor Z+ has comparatively lesser GPU compute power than the PS4 Pro, it could run Battlefield 1 and Destiny 2 at 60 fps in 1080p Ultra settings. Instead of the need to dynamically scale the resolution, the added CPU horsepower and higher memory bandwidth helps in turning up the quality much higher than the PS4 Pro in a fixed resolution. Power consumption and temperatures were also found to be lesser than the PS4 Pro making the Subor Z+ a very good PC cum console hardware.

The drivers are not yet final so we might see some performance improvements along the way. For now, the Subor Z+ is exclusive to the Chinese market where the focus is more on PC gaming than consoles but we feel that other markets would also be willing to lap up such hardware in significant numbers. 

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 09 > Zhongshan Subor Z+'s custom Ryzen+Vega SoC has more GPU compute power than the Intel 'Kaby Lake-G' Core i7-8809G
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2018-09-16 (Update: 2018-09-16)
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - News Editor
I am a cell and molecular biologist and computers have been an integral part of my life ever since I laid my hands on my first PC which was based on an Intel Celeron 266 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM and a modest 2 GB hard disk. Since then, I’ve seen my passion for technology evolve with the times. From traditional floppy based storage and running DOS commands for every other task, to the connected cloud and shared social experiences we take for granted today, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed a sea change in the technology landscape. I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, when things like AI and cloud computing mature further. When I am not out finding the next big cure for cancer, I read and write about a lot of technology related stuff or go about ripping and re-assembling PCs and laptops.