When AMD launched their Ryzen 5000 series of CPUs, it sent Intel reeling. Now, the battle between the two leading CPU manufacturers is more one-sided than ever. But perhaps this specific 1v1 battle will help tip the scales.
PCWorld just pitted the brand-new AMD Ryzen 7 5800U against the Intel Core i7 1185G7, both top-end processors for laptops these days. The AMD CPU comes in the ASUS ZenBook UM325, and the Intel comes in the MSI Prestige 14 Evo.
Tale Of The Tape
First of all, let's take a quick look at the specs of the CPUs being tested.
AMD's Ryzen 7 5800U is an 8-core 16-thread beast with a max boost clock of 4.4 GHz, featuring 8 GPU cores running at 2000 MHz effective, as stated on the AMD website.
Meanwhile, its competitor from Tiger Lake has half the cores and threads, but has a higher max boost of 4.8 GHz out of the box. It also has Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics, according to Intel Ark.
Both laptops had 16 GB of DDR4 memory and at least 512 GB of PCIe 3.0 SSD storage, which would help put the CPUs through their paces without any slowdowns.
AMD vs. Intel Laptop Battle: Who Wins?
First up, the CPUs were put through these productivity benchmarks: CineBench R20, VRay Next, Handbrake 1080p and 4K video encode, and Microsoft Office/Adobe Creative Suite performance.
For multi-threaded applications, AMD's offering would be the much-better choice due to its high core and thread count. But here's the thing: many laptop owners don't deal with heavily multi-threaded workloads anyway, which kind of takes away the Ryzen chip's advantage. And this was evident in the single core performance, where the Intel CPU won by a 28-point margin in the CineBench single core test.
As for the multi-core benchmark, it's obvious who won: the 5800U was 979 points better.
The next benchmarks further show, however, that modern high-core-count-requiring workloads need a beefier processor, and the mobile AMD Cezanne APU doesn't disappoint.
It beats out the i7 1185G7 in four out of the five remaining productivity tests, sometimes even blowing the Intel chip out of the water. The one time that AMD didn't win was with the Adobe Creative Suite benchmarks, where mostly Intel-specific optimizations sealed its fate.
But when it comes to gaming, the Intel CPU actually wins with its Iris Xe integrated graphics.
Most of the gaming tests showed that while desktop versions of the Cezanne APUs had pretty impressive iGPU performance, their mobile counterparts don't have the same graphical horsepower. The 5800U was no exception, as it got beat in every single graphics-intensive test.
The conclusion here is simple: AMD is winning the desktop market, while Intel still owns laptops. It seems that Tiger Lake is doing a good job at keeping up with the juggernaut that is Ryzen, as long as you use it on a laptop where stronger single-thread performance matters more than high core count.
Here's the thing though: Ryzen-based laptops are still pretty good, as long as you pair discreet graphics with them, like what happened with the likes of the Dell G15. All in all, what this means for users is simple: get something that fits your needs, and you'll be able to maximize its performance.
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Written by RJ Pierce