AMD Ryzen 5 Mobile 3500U CPU Review

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Today’s review is unique, we are reviewing a mobile CPU, or as AMD calls it technically, an APU.  This is a CPU that combines AMD Vega graphics on the same die that is inside a laptop.  We are going to review this mobile CPU in two ways, first by looking at its performance from a CPU perspective, today’s review.  Then we will write a second review looking at the CPU from its integrated graphics performance. 

For the purpose of this article we will refer to it as a CPU for the CPU benchmarks, and APU/GPU when referencing it in terms of its graphics performance. The CPU in question is quite an interesting, new, and relevant CPU that is exciting for brand new shipping laptops today.

First, we will introduce the laptop itself and go over the specifications.  Though this isn’t a review of the laptop in question, it is worth knowing the whole picture.  Then we will dive into information all about the mobile CPU being reviewed.  We need to know what it is, what makes it tick, and why it is important.  Then we will show you benchmarks that test the performance of the CPU. 

This will be a single-CPU format, that is, we have no comparison CPUs to compare with direct laptop to laptop. However, we do have a full review of the AMD Ryzen 5 3400G desktop CPU. This CPU is based on the same architecture as the CPU we are reviewing today, and also has Vega graphics, but it is a desktop CPU, not a laptop and thus an entirely different TDP. 

Buying the Laptop

Before we dive in, let us share with you how this laptop and review came about.  This laptop is actually a personal purchase of mine that I made on Cyber Monday, 2019.  I was in the market for a very thin and light and portable 15” laptop at a good price that could also allow me to do light gaming on the go.  My options, of course, were Intel or AMD. 

On the Intel side, I knew the CPUs were good, but the only real graphics option for a low amount of money would be the Intel UHD 620 Integrated Graphics.  I wondered if I could actually find better Integrated Graphics with the latest AMD Ryzen Mobile APUs with Vega graphics

I researched and found that AMD released its 2nd generation Ryzen Mobile processors earlier in 2019.  The new AMD Radeon 5 Mobile 3000 series released in early 2019 have Vega graphics onboard.  These are also the absolute latest model of mobile CPUs AMD has at the moment, so this is the latest tech for mobile.

So my search began for a laptop based on an AMD Ryzen 5 3500U, I wouldn’t settle for the previous 2500U, I must have the newer 3500U.  It just so happened that on Cyber Monday I found a deal I could not resist, it had everything I was looking for.  At Office Depot/Office Max online there was a laptop for sale at $299.99, original price $519.99.  That’s a $220 savings. 

After looking over the specifications I realized it had the latest, most recent, AMD Ryzen 5 Mobile 3500U with Vega 8 graphics.  The other specs were nice as well, such as an NVME SSD.  This was the perfect opportunity to grab a laptop at a great price, and to be able to review the latest AMD Ryzen 5 Mobile 3500U with Vega 8 graphics onboard. 

It’s an exciting CPU and GPU combo for a very low price, and also AMD’s latest generation of this mobile processor.  I mean for crying out loud, a $300 laptop with Ryzen 5 3500U and Vega 8 GPU on board, what a deal.  It shows you can get a lot for a little these days if you do some searching.

Brent Justice
Former managing editor of GPUs at HardOCP for 18 years, Brent Justice has been reviewing computer components since the late 90s, educated in the art and method of the computer hardware review, he brings experience, knowledge, and hands-on testing with a gamer-oriented and hardware enthusiast perspective. You can follow him on Twitter - @Brent_Justice You can sub to his YouTube channel - Justice Gaming You can check out his computer builds on KIT - @BrentJustice

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