Following up to our coverage of the Ryzen 9 4900HS, today we're going to be testing the AMD Ryzen 7 4800H laptop processor. While the 4900HS was definitely a very interesting part, it’s probably not going to be as widely available as the 4800H which targets a more mainstream market. So today’s review is going to cover what's likely going to be the most popular Ryzen H-series APU among buyers and laptop models across different brands.
The Ryzen 7 4800H comes configured with a default 45 W TDP rather than the lower 35 W AMD targets for their premium HS-series SKUs. However clock speeds between the 4800H and 4900HS are similar at a 3.0 GHz base and 4.3 GHz boost for the 4900HS compared to 2.9 GHz and 4.2 GHz for the 4800H. Cache size is the same at 8 MB L3, and of course, we're getting 8 cores and 16 threads. In essence, the 4900HS is set to provide similar performance to the 4800H at a lower level of power consumption, at least in theory.
The other key difference between the two CPUS is the integrated graphics. The Ryzen 9 comes with a fully unlocked Vega GPU with 8 compute units and a 1750 MHz max frequency. Meanwhile, the Ryzen 7 4800H has 7 compute units clocked at 1600 MHz. On paper there's a difference, but we don’t expect any H-series laptops to launch without a discrete GPU pairing, making the point moot.
For testing the Ryzen 7 4800H we bought an Asus TUF Gaming A15 laptop which is widely available in the US. It’s actually a nice value offering at just a $1,000, comes with the 4800H, 16GB of DDR4 memory and a discrete GTX 1660 Ti GPU at 80W. There’s also a RTX 2060 model available for a little extra. You also get a 15-inch 1080p display, a basic design with no obvious flaws, in what appears to be a suitable mid-range gaming laptop.
A few quick notes on the test setup. You’ll see across this review a number of different laptop CPUs in the charts and, at times, GPU configurations as well. The data in the charts is an average from the laptops we’ve tested with the given hardware. You can check out the full list of laptops tested here.
Testing laptop components can be more challenging than desktops as each configuration can vary in cooling and other hardware, so these averages are meant to illustrate how a ‘typical’ system will perform. The average score exclude models with single channel memory or other situations that heavily throttle the components at hand, we’ve tried our best to create apples-to-apples data as possible.
We’ve also run every laptop at stock settings and unless otherwise specified. For Intel CPUs this generally means a 45W long term PL1 limit, and for AMD processors it’s 45W on the 4800H and 35W on the 4900HS and 3750H.
Starting with Cinebench R20, we know Ryzen 4000 is a strong performer in this workload, however the 4800H does perform a little differently to the 4900HS. With a higher TDP and longer boost, the 4800H is ~2% faster in multi-thread, but 2% slower in single-core. The higher boost frequency of the 4900HS appears to make a difference here.
Against Intel CPUs it’s a non-contest. The 4800H is 47% faster than Intel’s Core i7-10875H and around 67% faster than the Core i7-9750H. The only way Intel’s H-series parts can get close is with power limits thrown out the window, but even at 90W with an 8-core Core i9-9880H it can’t match the 4800H; AMD’s option is still 15% faster.
Intel’s latest parts do hold a single-thread performance advantage, particularly over the 4800H. This APU is 3% behind the 10875H, although it does outperform the 9750H which doesn’t clock as high as the 10875H.
Results don't change much in the legacy Cinebench R15 test. The 4800H doesn’t dominate by quite as much as it does in Cinebench R20 and falls behind the 4900HS here, but it still holds a considerable lead over Intel’s Core i7 processors. Yes, we don’t have the Core i7-10750H in these charts yet, although we just received got one for testing this week and we expect it to perform similarly to the 9750H, but we’ll see that soon.
Handbrake is another workload that benefits from AMD’s faster multi-thread performance. The 4800H ends up 32% faster than the Core i7-10875H, as well as 56% ahead of the Core i7-9750H. If you plan on using your laptop for video encoding or transcoding on the go, there's no better option on the market right now than Ryzen. In a test that takes over 30 minutes to complete, the 4800H is ~5% ahead of the 4900HS: despite having a lower base clock, its higher TDP allows for higher clock speeds in practice.
The 4800H holds a significant advantage in decompression over Intel’s CPUs. We’re looking at a 32% performance advantage over the 10875H. However, compression isn’t this Ryzen APU’s strong suit, coming in 9% behind Intel’s 8-core part. In both circumstances, the 4800H is superior to Intel’s often similarly-priced Core i7-9750H.
Another workload where we see equivalent performance between the 4800H and 4900HS is Microsoft Excel in a data heavy spreadsheet. While the 4800H is 8% faster than the Core i7-9750H, it’s 8% slower than the 10875H, so depending on which two laptops you’re tossing up between, Intel might have an advantage.
Blender is another multi-thread workload that runs very well on Ryzen, coming in 44% ahead of the Core i7-10875H and 73% ahead of the Core i7-9750H. Like with video encoding, if you plan on doing CPU-based rendering tasks and are using an application that is heavily multi-threaded, there is no reason to choose Intel.
A new productivity test that we are introducing is code compiling, in this case compiling GCC. This workload is a mixture of multi-threaded and single-threaded sections, and takes quite a while to complete. Comparing Ryzen and Intel, like the previous results, the Ryzen 7 4800H is significantly quicker: 27% faster than the i7-10875H and 56% faster than the i7-9750H.
Testing using PCMark 10’s lighter productivity test we see that the 4800H is 14% faster than the 9750H, and 3% faster than the 10875H, while falling slightly behind the Ryzen 9 4900HS. The margins shrink a bit in the Essentials test, now placing the 10875H ahead, due to increased single-core usage.
MATLAB performance is even between the Ryzen 7 4800H and Core i7-10875H using R2020a and the built-in benchmark, while coming in nearly 10% ahead of the 9750H. This makes Ryzen a decent choice for engineers but it’s not the same overwhelming winner that it is in other heavily multi-threaded workloads.
Acrobat PDF exporting is one of the hardest tests for Ryzen to perform well in, as it’s fully single-threaded. The 4800H falls 16% behind the 10875H here, while matching the 9750H. We’ve seen a few times now that pure single-thread workloads are a weakness of the 4800H that only clocks up to 4.2 GHz.
AES encryption performance is still strongly in favor of AMD where you can see up to a 35% gain in this workload over Intel's competition.
In Photoshop Iris Blur we see equivalent performance between the Ryzen 7 4800H and Ryzen 9 4900HS. The CPUs are ~6% slower than the 10875H, but 7% faster than the 9750H. Ryzen also falls behind Intel in Puget’s Photoshop benchmark, although it’s important to note here that the GPU does have a minor influence in some tests.
Using DaVinci Resolve for benchmarking has been hotly requested, so we’re also adding it to this review for the first time, through Puget’s workload. DaVinci benefits hugely from GPU performance and often performance is dictated more by the GPU than CPU. So when comparing identical GPU configurations, the 4800H pulled a significant 21% ahead of the 9750H. This isn’t as large of a margin as we have seen between the two processors, but given how compute-heavy the app is, it’s a very promising sign for those that video edit in Resolve.
I think it’s also worth pointing out that while the 1660 Ti in our test system is usually about 20% slower than the RTX 2070 Super Max-Q in our 10875H test system, the Gigabyte Aorus 15G, our Ryzen configuration is only 12% slower. Given the Aorus system is over twice as expensive, the compute value for Resolve sides with these mid-range Ryzen systems so long as Intel are unable to offer 8 cores around this price point. Of course, those that want outright performance will need to opt for Intel while Ryzen systems lack powerful discrete graphics.
Let’s finish off the productivity tests with a look at Premiere. I’ve decided to pull the single-pass encode that we normally show, because recently with the Premiere 14.2.0 beta, Adobe has introduced hardware accelerated encoding on Nvidia and AMD GPUs. Previously this feature was restricted to just Intel QuickSync, which was one reason to buy an Intel laptop over AMD. Given this advantage will no longer be there in the next version of Premiere, it doesn’t make much sense to recommend Intel for QuickSync in Premiere anymore.
A brief look at Premiere 14.2.0 performance with hardware accelerated encoding on our Nvidia discrete GPU shows the Ryzen 7 4800H performing 13% better than the Core i7-9750H in laptops with the same GPU, at least in Puget’s export test, while matching the Core i7-10875H with a faster GPU.
Other tests show the Ryzen 7 4800H performing well in Premiere. For 2 pass encodes that don’t use hardware acceleration, Ryzen holds the performance crown which is no surprise after what we've seen in other multi-thread workloads. Ryzen is also faster for using features like the Warp Stabilizer, coming in 20% ahead of the 10875H and 23% ahead of the 9750H. And then for live playback of media in the timeline, the 4800H is equal to or faster than Intel’s Core i7 CPUs that we’ve tested in the beta version of Premiere.
Where Are the Gaming Results?
At this point in the review we were hoping to include some gaming performance numbers, however we ran into some anomalies with the test systems we were using. Instead of delaying this review further, we will revisit 4800H gaming in a follow up review soon.
We wanted to make sure the numbers are 100% accurate before publishing them and this involves the rather tedious process of checking with OEMs to make sure everything is working perfectly.
This review has gone to lengths to provide a full productivity performance outlook, but rest assured we'll be back with a proper investigation into Ryzen 4000 gaming when we can be sure the numbers are reflective of the real world, final experience.
Ryzen 7 4800H vs Core i7-9750H
Here are some overall comparisons between the Ryzen 7 4800H and other key CPUs it’ll be competing against. First we have the Core i7-9750H, which we expect to be close in performance to the newer Core i7-10750H. Paired with the same GPU, the 4800H was universally faster, often by huge margins. In long term multithreaded tasks like Handbrake, Blender or code compiling, the 4800H was over 60% faster, making it the obvious choice for anyone that does these sorts of things with their laptop.
But even in more GPU heavy workloads like Premiere (when properly accelerated), DaVinci Resolve or Photoshop, the 4800H still held a performance lead with the same 1660 Ti in the systems. And then in lighter productivity tasks we saw everything from marginal gains, to 10% better performance or higher. Comparing these two CPUs that sit in the same price bracket is a domination to AMD.
Ryzen 7 4800H vs Core i7-10875H
Comparing the 4800H to the 10875H is a slightly different story in that AMD’s 4800H does not hold the single thread performance crown, it’s usually around 10% slower in these sorts of workloads compared to Intel’s new 8-core offering. However, the 4800H is still by far the best choice for multithreaded workloads, providing 20 to 40 percent more performance. For encoding videos that could make a significant difference to how productive you are with your laptop.
Ryzen 7 4800H vs Core i9-9880H
Intel struggles to compete with AMD’s 45W offering, even in a best case scenario with the Core i9-9880H running at a 90W power limit. The 4800H is still 5 to 15 percent faster in longer term workloads, which highlights AMD’s superior efficiency.
Ryzen 7 4800H vs Ryzen 9 4900HS
And then finally we have a look between the Ryzen 7 4800H and Ryzen 9 4900HS, a battle of 45W versus 35W. The 4900HS is quite impressive here, especially in some shorter term and single threaded tests where it is marginally faster. However in longer term workloads, we are looking at the 4800H being around 5% faster. Still, given the 29% difference in power, it’s impressive that the 4900HS can offer nearly the same performance as the 4800H. And it’s not like the 4800H is inefficient or anything, it’s far and away better than Intel’s processors, it’s just the 4900HS is a step better again.
Our closing thoughts on the Ryzen 7 4800H are similar to what we said in the 4900HS review, given the two parts are very close in terms of performance. The 4800H is an extremely impressive APU for productivity, offering multi-thread performance that’s a class above what Intel can offer, while being more efficient at the same time. Intel’s 14nm process technology just isn’t up to scratch for these sorts of tasks compared to what TSMC is delivering on 7nm.
In our Ryzen 9 4900HS review we spent some time going through some of the drawbacks for AMD’s 8-core compared to Intel’s 8-core, including that top-end single-thread performance isn’t quite there and there are some cache and latency limitations. That’s still true when you pit the 4800H against the Core i7-10875H, but we think this comparison is almost irrelevant when you examine the market.
Right now the Ryzen 7 4800H is not competing with the Core i7-10875H. Laptops that use the i7-10875H start at $1,800. Meanwhile, the 4800H is squarely competing with more affordable laptops that are equipped with Intel’s six-core offerings in the i7-9750H and i7-10750H, and we’ve just seen the 4800H easily beat the 9750H across the board. Of course, at some point we could see the Ryzen 7 4800H become a premium option to take on the i7-10875H, that should be interesting.
There are still question marks over just how many Ryzen 4000 options there will be in the market and how easy it will be to buy one. Currently, Ryzen 7 4800H systems are in hot demand, with basically everything sold out, and in the three weeks since we first looked at the 4900HS, we haven’t heard about many other systems hitting the market.
Honestly, we can understand some apprehension on the OEM side. The Ryzen 7 3750H was not a good laptop APU, it was significantly slower than Intel’s Core i7s, so waiting to see how these new Zen 2 options perform and how they are received by the public seems reasonable. But now we know they are good, the 4800H is more than twice as fast as the 3750H and judging by comments everywhere, people want Ryzen laptops. It'll be up to OEMs to make this happen.