GPU Performance

We’ve tested Raven Ridge before, which is the platform name for Ryzen Mobile, but that was the Ryzen 7 2700U with Vega 10 in the Acer Swift 3. The Thinkpad A285 ships with the Ryzen 5 Pro 2500U, which features the Vega 8 GPU, meaning 8 Vega cores, which means if you do want the best GPU performance you can get in a 15-Watt PC APU, you will have to get the highest-tier Ryzen Mobile.

To test the ThinkPad A285, we ran it through our GPU suite for integrated GPU laptops. If you’d like to compare the A285 to any device not shown in the graphs, please check out our online bench.

3DMark

Futuremark 3DMark Fire Strike

Futuremark 3DMark Sky Diver

Futuremark 3DMark Cloud Gate

Futuremark 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited

Futuremark 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited - Graphics

Futuremark 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited - Physics

UL Benchmark’s 3DMark offers a set of tests with varying degrees of complexity, with Fire Strike being something made for dGPU devices, and Ice Storm Unlimited the same test they offer on smartphones and tablets.

The ThinkPad A285 with its less-powerful GPU definitely takes a step back from its faster brother in the Acer Swift 3, and coupled with the lower frequency CPU, finds itself more-or-less tied with the Intel iGPU. Which isn’t really praise by any measure. AMD also hasn’t really been updating performance with drivers as quickly as hoped on the Raven Ridge platform for DX11.

GFXBench

GFXBench Aztec Ruins - Normal DX12 Off-screen

GFXBench Aztec Ruins - High DX12 Off-screen

GFXBench has been updated to version 5 on the PC, and brings with it new DX12 tests with the Aztec Ruins scenes. As such, we’ll be transitioning to these new tests as our baseline for GFXBench going forward.

Aztec Ruins offers both a normal (1080p) and high (1440p) mode, and here the Vega 8 does quite a bit better than it did on DX11 with 3DMark. The results on both level are slightly behind the Vega 10 Acer Swift 3, but well ahead of the iGPU in the Surface Pro 6.

Dota 2

Dota 2 Reborn - Value

Dota 2 Reborn - Mainstream

Dota 2 Reborn - Enthusiast

For iGPU laptops, we use Dota 2 as our real-world gaming test, since it’s both a very popular game, and quite adaptable to low-end hardware. Unfortunately, there was no way to run 1366x768, on this device, so it was run at 1280x720 instead. Dota 2 is a DX11 title, and the performance of the ThinkPad is not great here compared to either the Ryzen 7 2700U, or the Intel laptops.

GPU Conclusion

There’s little doubt that Vega can offer a lot more performance than Intel’s iGPU offerings, and we’ve seen that before with the Vega 10, but Vega 8 in the ThinkPad A285 doesn’t offer quite the performance level, especially on DX11 titles, which is still the most popular API on the PC. As a result the iGPU portion of AMD's APU is still competitive with Intel offerings, but it won't offer the kind of class-leading performance that AMD is better known for.

System Performance Display Analysis
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  • Brett Howse - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    The Surface Book 2 was the device I had power draw numbers from for the idle power draw graph so I have no issues including it in the performance graphs as well. The CPU is a 15W i7. The GPU is of course more powerful but that's still a valid point since people may wonder how close Vega in an iGPU factor is coming to dGPUs.

    But the best part is that if you don't think it's important, you can just ignore that data point and compare against all the others. Or, click the links I provide to our Online Bench database and make any comparisons you prefer. We provide all the data.
    Reply
  • QChronoD - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    I think that many of the people who were complaining about that would accept the comparison if an estimated price of each machine was given at the beginning. If you knew before looking at the graphs that one of the laptops was 2x the price and it looks like being 2x as fast then everything is fine, but if you aren't aware of the price difference then it looks like this machine is a steaming pile. Reply
  • QChronoD - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    Just for reference if anyone actually reads the comments:
    Microsoft Surface Book 2 15 - $2600
    Dell Latitude 13" 2-in-1 7390 - $1800
    Asus Zenbook 3 - $1500
    Huawei Matebook X Pro - $1350
    Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga - $1500
    Lenovo ThinkPad A285 - $1200
    Microsoft Surface Pro 6 - $1000
    Acer Swift 3 R7-2700U - $700

    These are just quick prices off amazon trying to get similar specs.
    Reply
  • IGTrading - Thursday, December 20, 2018 - link

    I agree AnandTech provides "all the data" and that's of course laudable.

    But often times you can bury a good product in all that data. Comparing a 1200 USD notebook with 2600 USD notebooks is way beyond a stretch.

    The potential buyer reading the review for a 1200 USD model is reading it for a reason: because that's what he wants (a 12" portable) or that's his budget (1200 USD) .

    Ok ... you compare it with other similar sized notebooks that are also similarly priced ... such as 900 ~ 1400 USD ...

    But I honestly have the feeling the results of the Lenovo AMD Ryzen-based notebook are buried in "all the data" ...

    Like I've said ... this doesn't look like a review at all and also it doesn't look like a Round-Up (several notebook in a certain price range or with similar characteristics) ..

    Going from 700 USD to 2600 USD as a price range ... And from 12" to 15" as a size range ... makes this look like somebody wanted to make the AMD Ryzen portable look slower than a notebook which is much larger and more than 200% more expensive ....

    This is how a just comparison should look like in my view (Test Product vs. Similar Products in the Same Product Range vs. 1 product from the Upper Product Range as a comparison example) : https://hothardware.com/ContentImages/Article/2690...

    And Ryzen did not beat the CPU+dGPU either ... nor did it ace all the tests ... but I never had the feeling of its results being buried in "all the data" ... just IMHO
    Reply
  • kaidenshi - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    Yep, two thin netbooks/ultrabooks I've had in the past had pop-down Ethernet ports, which were the same height as a USB-A port when not in use. Reply
  • thesavvymage - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    honestly though, why do you need an ethernet port on the device? Its kinda just wasting space since its not like you plug that in separately, it should just be connected to whatever dock you have at someone's desk. If I had to plug in power, monitor, and ethernet separately every time I sat at my desk I'd go mad.

    Right now at work I'm using a macbook and its pretty simple to have all that plugged into a USB-C dock
    Reply
  • SaolDan - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    In my line of work i have to be able to connect to lightin controllers and switches thru ethernet out in the field so a Ethernet por would be required. Reply
  • The_Assimilator - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    Not to mention that you have to fork out extra for the dongle! Reply
  • darkich - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    .. a 768p TN entry level screen?
    Really? My goodness
    Reply
  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    12.5 inches. At 1080p on that size screen, scaling will be a thing and some software still sucks at scaling. Scaling will also mean that basically the same quantity of information can be displayed at the same time even if the resolution is higher. The GPU will work harder and consume more power while generating more heat to push pixels that do not benefit productivity. Reply

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