AMD Ryzen Laptops For Gaming. Are They Worth It?
In recent times, laptop CPUs were reserved mainly for Intel. However; now the market has changed with AMD’s release of their powerful Ryzen CPUs that comes along with their integrated graphics.
The question is, are they worth getting for your laptop?
The main issue is that in the past, AMD CPUs have been reserved for budget variety laptops and did not provide much in the way of performance. You got what you paid for.
However, with AMD’s new line-up, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Whilst Intel still offers the most powerful CPUs (if you can afford it), AMD win in another category which is the price per performance.
For a cheaper cost than many Intel CPUs, you can get a quad-core processor with hyperthreading. In other words, if you need to do demanding tasks on your laptop, an AMD processor will do just fine.
When we look at the budget variety of laptops, AMD components for laptops are beginning to come out on top. They are certainly cheaper and offer more performance for a similarly priced intel component.
Apart from the CPU, the integrated graphics in the form of the Vega line-up are a great alternative to Intel’s integrated graphics. From the low-end, you get Vega 3 graphics which can be extended all the way up to Vega 11 and beyond.
The biggest bottleneck to gaming is the graphics card, and so the question is this. Can the Vega graphics options play the games you want to play?
Well, that depends.
If you are interested in playing graphically light titles, or older games, you’re in luck. You can push games like the borderlands series, Team Fortress 2, and even Overwatch to a decent frame rate. You’ll certainly have to lower the settings though. Indeed, we would argue that is where the Ryzen laptops truly stand out is the graphical performance. So much so, they’ve been featured on Your Best Picks’ lists for the best budget gaming laptops.
Let’s go through some of AMD’s integrated options to give you an idea of what they can play.
- Vega 3. You’ll be able to run lighter titles like the FIFA series albeit on reduced settings. Fortnite will also work.
- Vega 6. This is a decent step up and is equivalent to Intel’s UHD Graphics 630. More demanding games like Darksiders 3 will run. Fortnite will run at a higher frame rate. You’ll also get a decently high frame rate for something like Team Fortress 2. Overwatch will also run on low to medium settings.
- Vega 8. At this level, you’ll be able to run some newer and more graphically demanding games. Doom Eternal will likely run on low settings at 30 fps or more. League of Legends will run in most settings even on an HD resolution. Even Battlefield 5 will be playable though you’ll have to scale settings back considerably.
- Vega 10. At this level, the older games we’ve mentioned will run at a playable level with settings cranked up a bit. Of course, more demanding titles will still struggle but many will be playable. You might just get to play the Witcher 3 (although on the lowest settings).
Further information on these performance metrics can be found on NoteBookCheck. We’ve linked the Vega 10 metrics for your reading.
From this general guide, you get an idea of what types of games you’ll be able to play. If you want a budget gaming laptop, we’d recommend sticking with something that has Vega 8 integrated graphics or higher.
As long as you know what titles you want to play, there is no reason why an AMD Ryzen laptop should be off the cards. As mentioned before, the price per performance is superior to Intel’s and in many cases, they actually exceed an Intel CPU.
Techspot did a comparison of the same laptop with AMD and Intel components. The results were surprising. Across a variety of productivity applications, (like Adobe Photoshop and Cinebench) AMD came out 19% faster. These were for applications that required multithreading. Intel won in terms of single-thread performance.
When it came to thermals and CPU load, there was not a discernible difference. Even with battery life, the AMD model performance 25% better.
Whilst Intel CPUs are more powerful when we look at the top end of the market, the lower-end winner is certainly AMD. It also sucks up less power so is great for laptops with limited cooling.
Whilst AMD doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to laptop CPUs or integrated options, that has now changed. We’d implore you to at least consider laptops with AMD Ryzen CPUs. They indeed offer greater value for money.