AnandTech benchmarks the two nearly identical Surface Laptop 3s from Microsoft – one with AMD’s latest mobile processor and GPU, and the other one with Intel’s. They conclude:
There aren’t too many ways to sugar coat the results of this showdown though. AMD’s Picasso platform, featuring its Zen+ cores and coupled with a Vega iGPU, has been a tremendous improvement for AMD. But Intel’s Ice Lake platform runs circles around it. Sunny Cove cores coupled with the larger Gen 11 graphics have proven to be too much to handle.
That being said, much like the first desktop Ryzen processors being a huge leap forward for AMD without closing the gap with Intel at the time, the Picasso platform seems to repeat the feat in laptops.
It was fantastic to see AMD get a design win in a premium laptop this year, and the Surface Laptop 3 is going to turn a lot of heads over the next year. AMD has long needed a top-tier partner to really help its mobile efforts shine, and they now have that strong partner in Microsoft, with the two of them in a great place to make things even better for future designs. Overall AMD has made tremendous gains in their laptop chips with the Ryzen launch, but the company has been focusing more on the desktop and server space, especially with the Zen 2 launch earlier this year. For AMD, the move to Zen 2 in the laptop space can’t come soon enough, and will hopefully bring much closer power parity to Intel’s offerings as well.
I can’t wait to see what AMD can offer consumers in the laptop space over the coming years. If it’s going to be a repeat of the desktop space, we’re going to be in for some seriously good times.
Yeah it’s kind of weird that Picasso exists like that… when Renoir is right around the corner (7nm Zen 2 + Vega 7nm)
You’ve repeated this sentiment a couple of times, but the benchmarks really don’t put AMD ahead for consumer desktop CPUs. Even in the last anandtech.com review you posted praising AMD had year old intel CPUs still besting the new Ryzen chips on singlethreaded benchmarks. AMD does have a clear lead with higher core count processors that are sufficiently loaded. But on singlethreaded applications, which is a bigger bottleneck for most desktops than core count, AMD is still lagging and honestly I was disappointed that the Ryzen CPUs didn’t do better than intel. I’m a bit perplexed at why AMD’s 7nm process isn’t able to easily beat out intel’s 14nm process on sheer speed, but obviously it’s a complex multifaceted topic.
I suspect that both intel and AMD CPUs hit a setback with the mitigations for the spectre and meltdown attacks, although it may have affected them differently.