AMD and Intel have exchanged a quick round of fire over the mobile market, with AMD launching its first Ryzen Mobile 4000 laptops within the past week and Intel announcing 10th Gen-H parts just yesterday. There’s a certain amount of media jockeying going on here because supply chains are currently moving at the speed of glaciers and nobody is shipping tons of new laptops at the moment. But this is the first time AMD has made a serious play for mobile in many years, and Intel obviously needed to counter it.
NotebookCheck has the scoop on a pair of benchmark results that put the latest Core i9 CPUs up against their AMD counterparts, and while it’s just one test — Cinebench R20 — it shows us more than you might think, once you consider what kind of chips AMD and Intel have advertised and where the respective gains are supposed to come from. First, here’s the single-threaded scores for Cinebench R15 and R20 (NotebookCheck has more test results than CB, so check them for additional data). All images below are courtesy of NotebookCheck.
I asked their benchmark engine to spit out data on the AMD Ryzen Mobile 3750H (4C/8T, 2.3GHz base, 4GHz boost, 35W) CPU when available, so we could compare it against the 4900HS. First, we’ve got the Intel CPUs, decisively capturing the top scores. This is unsurprising — in fact, it’s probably why Intel drove boost clocks sharply higher with the 10th Generation family in the first place. The Core i9-10880H (two different laptops) is about 2.6 percent faster than the 4900 HS, which is just enough for Intel to claim victory. Performance improvements from generation to generation are quite different, however, with the 10880H offering roughly 11 percent uplift while the 4900 HS is 1.46x faster than the old Ryzen Mobile 3750H in CB20. CB15’s results largely mirror the younger application, though the gap is smaller, at about 1.34x for AMD and 1.08x for Intel.
Next, let’s look at multi-threading:
Multi-threading is an entirely different story. The Core i9-10880H is 21 percent slower than the Ryzen Mobile 4900HS in CB20, but just four percent slower in Cinebench R15. That’s an enormous difference for what’s supposed to be a straightforward application update. If we had to guess at the reason for the difference, we’d bet on the amount of time it takes to run the render.
One of the challenges with benchmarking mobile parts is that tests need to take long enough to stress the entire CPU and allow it to heat. Cinebench 15 completes in such a short amount of time, the Core i9-10880H can deliver top-notch performance and slide in right behind the 4900 HS. In the longer test run used by Cinebench 20, the CPUs hit their thermal trip points and throttle back.
The behavior of Intel CPUs relative to each other implies this read is accurate. If you look, the Core i9-9980HK is the fastest Intel CPU in CB20, and we know that the “HK” Intel chips tend to hold turbo clocks for longer and may have higher PL2s, allowing them to draw more power. In CB20, the 9980HK is about 5 percent faster than the 10880H.
In CB15, however, this changes. Here, the Core i9-10880H is 1.1x faster than the Core i9-9980HK. This implies that the 10th Generation CPUs burst to higher clocks for short periods of time, which reflects their higher boost frequencies. Unfortunately, they can’t hold those clocks for very long, which is why we see different performance spreads between CB15 and CB20.
As for AMD, the combination of more cores and higher clocks allows the 4900 HS to deliver 2.77x the performance of the 3750H in CB15. CB20 results were not available.
Overall, these results show each company doubling down on respective strengths — it’s just that at the moment, AMD has a few more reservoirs to pull them from. Intel’s high clocks and burst frequencies will help the company in latency-sensitive, lightly threaded applications, while Ryzen’s greatest strengths are in its ability to leverage multi-threading. At the same time, however, the single-threaded gap between the two companies has shrunk. Intel may still lead at the tip of the market, but AMD has continued to cut into its safety margin.
- Intel Launches New 10th Gen Comet Lake-H Mobile CPUs
- Crippled No Longer: Matlab Now Runs on AMD CPUs at Full Speed
- Leak: Intel’s Rocket Lake To Deliver New 14nm CPU Architecture, PCIe 4.0