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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  • Gasaraki88 - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    I'm just not impressed. I thought an AMD iGPU would be very good and the 4 core/8 threads would be killer. But a Intel i5 with a MX150 is faster, better gaming, and better battery life.

    I was hoping for something from AMD but disappointed once again.
    Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Sunday, December 23, 2018 - link

    Agreed. I was really hoping this would be good. A SSD, A series APU, mobile 4G LTE service, all in a compact long battery life device is exactly what I want. But so many compromises, such low performance, for that high of a price? I'll have to pass. I guess the razer stealth will have to be my next laptop instead.

    Lenovo was able to fit a 45 watt dual core I7 and a 100Wh battery in the 12 inch X230, their inability to do that with more modern hardware is stunning.
    Reply
  • hanselltc - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    This thing is just sad. A laptop with not great components in a not great platform. Lets hope AMD really shake their mobile lineup up. If the idle powerdraw issue as well as the common thermal limitations are resolved, these are single chips that offer more GPU but less CPU, which on mobile could mean decent mobile light gaming. Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    As usual Lenovo appears to be being far too conservative on the CPU temperature limit. I get that these are business systems, but even in that workload I notice mine hitting those low clocks after getting warm too.

    I was going to suggest using Intel XTU to up that temperature limit, but...Not Intel. Any way to do that here?
    Reply
  • GreenReaper - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    Lenovo Vantage is... dubious - I'm not a fan of it auto-installing with admin privileges doing goodness-knows what. The worst part is that the lovely useful battery gauge also leaks handles, which means Explorer (and the system) gets slower over time and maybe even crashes. To turn it off: Right click the taskbar, Toolbars, Lenovo Vantage Toolbar.

    It's not the only Lenovo thing to do that - I've been in the forums a number of times.
    Reply
  • bananaforscale - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    That Cinebench multicore result is probably a driver/BIOS issue. I have an Acer Nitro 5 with the same APU and the result is 600+. It also rose by 30-ish points after a BIOS update (which also fixed what was probably a power state bug), and before that the original result was 530 that jumped to 570 after removing a "CPU driver". (530 to 604 just with software updates.)

    And it still leaves thermal headroom unused so it could be even better.
    Reply
  • pifaa - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    In UK, A285 is available with Ryzen7 and 16GB RAM. Several months ago there was a version with second - removable battery, but for some reasons they've cut it. AMD should put extra effort with drivers though. And some cheap SSD for that kind of money is not relevant. Reply
  • LindseyLopez - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    good laptop Reply
  • RoboJ1M - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    One thing that they don't really point out in this review is this:
    Finding a Raven Ridge APU with two RAM slots and a dual channel controller is HARD!
    You should point this out! All the other Raven Ridge laptops in that list are single channel but not stated in their specs, it's really hard to find this stuff out.
    My wife bought herself an HP Elitebook 745 with raven ridge after we got a guarantee that is dual channel.
    You need dual channel APUs, it's wants all the bandwidth you can find.
    And out had an Ethernet socket, a spring loaded collapsible one.
    Reply
  • Rookierookie - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    Basically any Lenovo Ryzen notebook has dual channel options. Reply

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