AMD Ryzen 5 Mobile 3500U Vega 8 iGPU Review

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Last month, right at the end of December, we published a unique review on the AMD Ryzen 5 Mobile 3500U APU in a thin and light laptop.  In that initial article we focused on the CPU performance of that APU.  Today we are going to focus on the iGPU performance of the APU, that is the Vega 8 graphics built into the APU package known as the Ryzen 5 Mobile 3500U. 

In our first article we went over the specifications of the laptop and talked about the specifications of the CPU itself.  We evaluated the CPU using many different applications based on real-world workloads.  We looked at overall application performance and system benchmarks, encoding performance, rendering performance and internet performance.  We also looked at the CPU frequency, power and temperature.    

Now it is time to take a look at the Vega 8 iGPU inside this APU package (CPU+iGPU) to see what kind of gaming experience it can provide.  We will test gaming performance as well as application synthetic benchmarks for specific workloads like encoding and rendering and its compute performance.

Vega 8

So what is Vega 8?  Vega 8 is based on the 5th generation GCN (GCN 5.0) architecture.  This is the same architecture you will find in the likes of the AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 and Vega 64.  The 8 in the Vega 8 represents the number of CU’s or Compute Units, of which there are 8.  Likewise, the 54 in RX Vega 54 and the 64 in RX Vega 64 indicate 54 and 64 CUs respectively.  GCN 5.0 supports DirectX 12.0 (12_1), OpenGL 4.6, OpenCL 2.2, Shader Model 6.4 and the latest Vulkan API. 

Vega 8 has 512 shading units (streaming processors, cores) and 32 Texture Mapping Units and 8 ROPs.  It should be noted that this iGPU has shading units that are disabled, the actual fully unlocked chip has up to 704 shading units, however, the shading units were disabled on this iGPU to hit the desired performance. 

The boost clock is 1200MHz for Vega 8 on the 3500U.  The configured TDP on our laptop is 15W.  Memory bandwidth is completely dependent on system memory configuration.  This is the main thing that’s going to hold this iGPU back.  Interestingly, Vega 8 in the 3500U uses the newer VCN 1.0 encoding/decoding engine, so it has really good video capabilities.

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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