System Performance

The Lenovo ThinkPad A285 comes with the AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 2500U processor, which offers four cores, eight threads, and a base/boost frequency of 2.0 GHz / 3.6 GHz. It’s 200 MHz less than the 2700U model on both the base and boost frequency. AMD only supports DDR4 RAM – neither LPDDR3 or LPDDR4 are supported – and as such Lenovo offers 8 GB of DDR4 in a dual-channel configuration, but with no upgrade options available on the US website. It would be nice to see a 16 GB offering, but for office tasks, 8 GB should suffice. The storage offerings are 256 or 512 GB SSDs.

The big difference between the Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 APUs is in the GPU, where Ryzen 7 gets Vega 10, and Ryzen 5 loses two GPU cores and some clockspeed headroom, giving us Vega 8.

To compare performance, the ThinkPad A285 was run through our standard testing suite, and comparisons are of other similar devices. Of note, the Acer Swift 3 that we tested has the Ryzen 7 2700U, and just in case you’re wondering how the A285 stacks up against an older dual-core laptop, we’ve also included the ThinkPad X1 Yoga from a couple of years ago, with the Core i7-6500U. If you’d like to compare the Thinkpad A285 to any other device we’ve tested, please check out our online bench.

PCMark

PCMark 10 - Essentials

PCMark 10 - Productivity

PCMark 10 - Digital Content Creation

PCMark 10 - Overall

UL Benchmark’s PCMark 10 is the latest version of their industry standard set of tests, updated for Windows 10 with new workloads. It tests a wide range of tasks from productivity to digital media creation.

The ThinkPad A285 is middle of the pack, especially in the productivity results. The Ryzen 5 Pro holds its own here, and if compared to the only Core i5 device in the list, the Surface Pro 6, it is generally neck and neck with it.

Cinebench

Cinebench R15 - Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R15 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench is a purely CPU test, and it can be run as both a single-threaded or multi-threaded workload, which makes it a nice way to take a quick look at the single-threaded performance of a modern CPU, and how well that performance scales to multiple cores and threads. AMD’s single-threaded performance is not quite up to par with the fastest Core i7 models, and the Ryzen 5 Pro in the ThinkPad A285 is near the bottom in both results. With just a 200 Mhz deficit to the Ryzen 7 2700U in the Acer Swift 3, it is just barely behind it in the single-threaded test, but on the mult-threaded variant it falls farther behind.

x264

x264 HD 5.x

x264 HD 5.x

Another CPU test is x264, which converts a 1080p video using the x264 codec, and like Cinebench it loves lots of cores and high frequencies. The Thinkpad A285 is at the bottom of this result compared to other modern devices, but with the extra threads and cores, it is well above the Skylake powered ThinkPad X1 Yoga.

Web Tests

Web tests are important because clearly the web is a fundamental part of computing now, but it’s also difficult to compare devices due to the sizeable impact the browser’s scripting and rendering engines can have. Browsers continue to get updated as well, so our results are a snapshot in time.

For all of our testing, we leverage Microsoft Edge to keep that part of the equation normalized as much as possible, although Edge is updated with every feature update of Windows as well.

Mozilla Kraken 1.1

Google Octane 2.0

WebXPRT 2015

With just a 3.6 Ghz boost frequency, the Ryzen 5 Pro can’t quite match the Intel devices on any of our web tests, and Intel has worked hard to improve its frequency ramp-up speed as well which pays dividends here where workloads tend to be short. It’s very interesting to see just how far the performance has come since we tested the Ryzen 7 2700U in the Acer Swift 3 though, with the slower Ryzen 5 Pro in the ThinkPad A285 trouncing it.

Storage Performance

Lenovo offers both a 256 and 512 GB SSD in the A285, and the review unit ships with the larger one, which will have better performance than the smaller version.

The SSD in the laptop is Lenovo-branded LENSE30512GMSP34MEAT3TA, which appears to have been produced by fellow Chinese firm Ramaxel. Since SSDs tend to be mult-sourced these days, there’s no guarantee this will be in every unit shipped.

This is an NVMe drive though, and as such offers great read speeds capping out the x4 PCIe interface. Write speeds are much lower thanks to the NAND which is almost certainly TLC.

Overall, despite this SSD not being a well-known model, the performance is still more than adequate for office tasks.

Design GPU Performance
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  • DanNeely - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    Just multiple copies of visual studio combined with being a tab junky in my browsers is enough to make 16gb start to chug. Generally ~20GB used is where it's no longer possible to push only unneeded stuff to swap and performance starts to chug. Reply
  • HStewart - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    Maybe so - but in my development situation at home, I have entire lab with multiple machines - so Visual Studio is primary used for compiling code - I do occasionally use it for debugging like today - but I am old fashion and use a brief editor for writing code.

    It is funny how extra memory has made developers lazy with development - I remember the old days of even counting clock cycles.
    Reply
  • YukaKun - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    "At Home". The context is "Enterprise". If you develop at home, then you have zero clue what we're talking about here?

    And why blame the developers on management decisions on what they want to utilize inside their ENTERPRISE laptops?

    And in particular for how IDEs now work, that is a completely separate discussion. They have way more nanny features, but also better debugging and helpful things as well. When you're developing complex solutions that are far from the old monolithic stuff you might remember, you need to run different flavours of applications and full platforms for testing and developing.

    You're really barking at the wrong tree here.

    Cheers!
    Reply
  • Samus - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    Personally I've always felt 8GB is fine in a mobile device (unless we're talking a Zbook where heavy productivity will take place)

    The obvious advantages of 8GB in a laptop are faster suspend\sleep\resume times, and less wear on the SSD in doing so, in addition to longer battery life (assuming the tasks you are performing aren't paging to the SSD because you are out of memory) and a lower price.

    The base configuration for many PC's, even Microsoft's own Surface, is 4GB, and Windows 10 runs pretty good on 4GB with an SSD.

    Again, there are obvious scenarios where 16 and even 32GB will be desirable, but MOST people will not need 16GB with current software and usage trends. I have clients with 30GB OST files and 30 Chrome tabs open on machines with 8GB and they perform great.
    Reply
  • YukaKun - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    Do you work for a big Corporation with complex infrastructure and products?

    I'm not really trying to be an ass, although it might come off as that, but this is one of those where you really need to see it with your own eyes to understand it. I know others know exactly what I'm talking about, so my point is just for the Author of the article to realize some "new facts" about the Enterprise world.

    Cheers!
    Reply
  • RSAUser - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    That's why it should exist as an option. I no longer have a PC in my household with less than 16GB of RAM. (3 desktops, 4 laptops).
    For enterprise like e.g. software developers, that extra RAM is basically a requirement for most workloads. I'm currently using 9GB of RAM, 3GB of which is the IDE due to the index on it, and I haven't even started the test bench.
    Reply
  • YukaKun - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    Eclipse uses 4GB on it's own; then I have multiple JBoss'es running for different things; each sucking 2GB (sometimes doing 8GB tests) on their own and the rest of the bloatware crap our dear Company decides to pack into the machine. I'm currently with 16GB, but I'm about to ask for another evaluation of needs, because it's just not enough anymore.

    And this is just Java. Dot Net garbage uses even more, specially when you need to run local DBs and other stuff.

    Cheers!
    Reply
  • CurbedLarry - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    20 years ago 16 megabytes was enough for office suite and web browsing... Are the machines of today really giving us 1,000 times the performance and functionality?

    Even mobile apps are now bigger than 90s office suites!
    Reply
  • HStewart - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    That is because with extra memory, developers have gotten lazy - I am actually surprise with how small .net executables are - but then that does not count the runtime. Reply
  • Flunk - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    Sorta, you're also forgetting the never-ending requests for new (and quite often stupid) features that bloat codebases. Devs, users, management, everyone is to blame really. Reply

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