One picture is worth a thousand words, and the one I have today gives Intel a thousand reasons to worry. AMD launched the Ryzen 4000 mobile series at CES 2020, aiming to steal a share of Intel’s laptop market. Now, looking at the benchmarks that have surfaced, it seems like they’ll do more than steal a share. They might dislodge Intel from the comfy position they have gotten used to over the last decade, with literally zero competition in the mobile market. Have a look:
As you can see, these are the PassMark benchmark scores of some prominent mobile CPUs. Now, before you start complaining, yes, I know PassMark is known to favor AMD CPUs but even then these benchmarks aren’t any less impressive. The lowest-end Renoir APU, the Ryzen 3 4300U can be seen beating the previous Intel flagship, the Core i5-855U, as well as the fastest AMD mobile chip in existence, the Ryzen 7 3780U found in the MS Surface Ryzen Edition. It’s almost as fast as the Ryzen 5 3500H (note: H not U), and manages to approach the shadow of the 10th Gen Intel Core i5-10210U.
This is a Comet Lake quad-core hyperthreaded CPU based on the old 14nm node, so it’s not really surprising. Then again, the bulk of Intel’s products leverage the older 14nm Skylake core. Only a small fraction is based on the newer 10nm Ice Lake design.
Here you’ve got a comparison of the Ryzen 3 4300U and the Intel Core i7-1065G7. This is Intel’s fastest mobile chip, and it’s merely 20-25% faster than AMD’s lowest-end Renoir part. Considering that PM favors Ryzen, might as well increase it to 30-35%. Even then, this is pretty damning for Intel. If you are worried about the single-core score being higher for the 4300U, check the clock speed. The base clock is much higher for the Renoir part, and from what we know, both Ice Lake and Matisse don’t exactly reach the advertised clocks. The former even chokes on its power limits and throttles quite often (thanks to low production yields).
It’ll be interesting to see how Intel counteracts to AMD’s latest offensive. From what we’ve seen, Tiger Lake features a higher IPC as well as higher boost clocks. The 96 EU iGPU is also a much-needed step up from the Gen11 part featured on Ice Lake. The only question is when will they hit retail and whether the volume will be enough. Ice Lake laptops are very limited in quantity and still aren’t available in many Asian countries.