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.


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 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


View All Comments

  • MonkeyPaw - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    I agree. I have a hihg-DPI Lenovo that I dock, and when I undock, I get blurry fonts in Office because my desktop monitor is old-DPI. I’d have to log out and back in each time I docked and undocked, which is not a convenient thing to do going from my desk to a 1 hour meeting and back. We run Windows 10, but we stay a few versions back for testing/stability (I assume). Reply
  • GreenReaper - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    They've had the TN 1366x768 screens for years - I'm using one now (albeit with several other better ones plugged in). It works, but it's pretty bad colour-wise and the low resolution is why sites still need to be designed for such resolutions: they're still sold, new. Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    Why do OEMs keep putting capable processors in a chassis with terrible thermal management? If the CPU can't even hit its base frequency under load and yet is *below TDP* then something is very badly wrong with the design.

    That plus the terrible WiFi seems like unnecessary own-goals. It's a shame. AMD have a lot of work to do to catch up on idle power draw, but they're never going to get the investment necessary if their processors only ever get crammed into half-baked products.
  • johnny_boy - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    A shame about the idle power draw coupled with a small battery. The screen also sucks but at least it can be upgraded. I was surprised at the performance difference of the iGPUs in the 2500u and 2700u, especially since the CPU tests often ran worse on the 2700u. I wish there were more 2700u laptops available, because that is the sort of iGPU performance I am looking for. And with pretty darn good linux driver support, Ryzen is very enticing (for someone like me). Reply
  • mczak - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    There is just about zero GPU performance difference between a 2700U with Vega 10 and a 2500U with Vega 8 (ok not quite zero but it's tiny). Just about any significant difference between these two comes down to the actual implementation, that is configured TDP, thermal limits, cooling.
    And apparently Lenovo blew this completely on this notebook.
  • sfwineguy - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    Sorry to miss something obvious here, but why (per the graphs) did the 2700u underperform the 2500u in some of the CPU tests? Doesn't that confound expectations? Is the 2700u reviewed in another piece that explains how its little brother beats it up in some tests? Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    Probably better cooling in the Lenovo, allowing the CPU to stay boosted higher and more often. Reply
  • YukaKun - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    "It would be nice to see a 16 GB offering, but for office tasks, 8 GB should suffice."

    Oof... That couldn't be more wrong, my dear Brett. The amount of bloatware *cough*McAffee*cough* is just bonkers. 8GB is the *minimum* an enterprise laptop needs nowadays to run a bit less like a hog. For development, 16GB has been the minimum for years (~2013) and now it's moving to 32GB per developer laptop.

  • HStewart - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    As a developer unless you are using a lot of Virtual Machines, I don't see much of need to go more 16GB of RAM - However, if you a 3D Graphics Artist, I would believe it will be useful for large scene. most of my machines have 16G. My actual work machine for development has 12G but it older 3rd generation i7. Reply
  • A5 - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    Meh, it's not just VMs.

    GCC will use as much RAM as you'll let it if your project is of sufficient size, not to mention web browsers, Outlook, etc.

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