Gaming Performance

Obviously a lot of you will be interested in whether the extra GPU power Ryzen Mobile provides is enough for actual gaming on these ultraportables. I'll have a full exploration of Ryzen Mobile gaming coming up a bit later, but I have tested a small handful of games on the Envy x360 to see what is playable.

Ultraportables tend to be fairly slow, so I usually start by testing some older games. For several years, these sorts of machines couldn't even hit 60 FPS in Tomb Raider, a game from 2013, at 720p with the lowest possible settings. These days, the Core i7-8550U hits 93 FPS at these settings, but the Ryzen 5 2500U pulls ahead by a decent 26 percent. You can quite easily play this game at 1080p though.

The other interesting title to mention here is Metro Last Light at 1080p Medium settings. This game is still utterly unplayable on the i7-8550U, pushing an average of just 17 FPS. On the Ryzen 5 2500U this improves significantly to a 33 FPS average. It's a pretty intensive title too, so that's impressive.

As for percentage gains, the Ryzen 5 2500U is a good 94 percent faster.

I was most excited to check out the performance of Civilization VI, not just because it's a more recent game, but also because it's very GPU and CPU intensive on laptops. As Ryzen has such a low TDP, there's a fine balancing act between giving power to the CPU and GPU when both are hit hard. As a result, neither part can run at its maximum power.

However with Civilization VI, we can see that although the Ryzen 5 2500U is limited by its 15W TDP, it manages to squeeze out a ton more performance than the Core i7-8550U. In fact the game goes from largely unplayable to completely playable with Ryzen Mobile, thanks to an 87 percent performance gain. At the same time, the game has a faster turn rate with Ryzen, so it's all round a better experience with this APU.

Is Civilization VI alone not intensive enough for you? Well how about running Metro Last Light and Cinebench multithreaded at the same time? In this test, which pushed the GPU and CPU at full 100% utilization, the Ryzen 5 2500U achieved a score of 304 in Cinebench while pushing 26.2 FPS in Metro Last Light. The Core i7-8550U hit 248 in Cinebench and 14.8 FPS in Metro Last Light.

That gives 2500U an advantage in both realms: 22.6 percent in CPU performance and 77 percent in GPU performance when both are being taxed simultaneously. Give each of these tasks equal weighting and the Ryzen 5 2500U squeezes 45 percent more juice from the same TDP.

The final game I took a brief look at is Grand Theft Auto V. With the Ryzen 5 2500U, you can actually play this game at 1080p with the lowest detail settings, complete with a 1% low of above 30 FPS. This isn't possible at all on the Core i7-8550U, where the game runs under 30 FPS on average.