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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  • YukaKun - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    It's just the amount of bloatware enterprise companies decide to bundle with their laptops. Keep in mind the context where this laptop will be used.

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

    How true. Corporate software really bogs down requirements compared to how light vanilla Windows 10 would be on a consumer system. McAffee in particular. Reply
  • Brett Howse - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    So let's get this straight:
    1. I say 8 GB is enough for office tasks
    2. You say 8 GB is the minimum for an enterprise laptop

    So you agree.

    Second, you say it's not enough for development which needs 32 GB. Developing code is not an office task. Office tasks are email, spreadsheets, and some web browsing. This is not a laptop targeted at developers. Lenovo offers plenty of more powerful laptops for that task.

    You may not think about it from an enterprise perspective, but if they are going to order 5000 of these laptops, they are going to order the one that meets their needs for the lowest price. If they don't need 16 GB of RAM for every office worker, they aren't going to spend $100 more x 5000 laptops to cover the developers.
    Reply
  • gglaw - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    Agreed, this is a very small budget business/office machine. People wanting 16-32GB have a host of other things to worry about first and would not consider a laptop in this tier. Every part of it is budget conscious. The developer looking for a 32GB laptop that can handle workloads closer to a desktop would not even see this product on their radar. Reply
  • YukaKun - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    Depends on what you define as an office task.

    Having a bazillion spread sheets open and Outlook and other software (Corporate ones) that you cannot close or get rid of, those 8GB will come short sooner rather than later. My point is simple: you can indeed get away with 8GB, but it won't be ideal nor the best experience. That is where you're wrong IMO. Nowadays you NEED 16GB for the enterprise laptops. The amount of bloat is going up, and not down.

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

    There was plenty of thickness to put an RJ45 port on that chassis. Just pure laziness. Is this a business machine or not? I can tell you IT departments hate machines without Ethernet ports, because I work in one. Reply
  • Brett Howse - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    This has native Ethernet via the dongle, or you can dock it. If you are in IT you would have this dongle on your bench if needed. If the laptop is on the desk it would be docked. This is really a non-issue.

    If the laptop required a USB Ethernet that would be a different story but it does not.
    Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Sunday, December 23, 2018 - link

    So its a non issue because you say it is?

    Well, I work in IT, and I say it IS an issue! When I am configuring hundreds of these things, an extra step really adds up over time, and when the machine is thick enough to have the port natively, that is incredibly annoying.
    Reply
  • Rookierookie - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    I think the A485 uses SO-DIMMS, which is why they offer more RAM. The 14-15" AMD offerings from Lenovo are pretty good value; this one just makes too many compromises. Reply
  • Phynaz - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    Good going AMD. Another crap mobile platform. Reply

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