AMD Ryzen 5 2500U Raven Ridge Benchmarks Revisited: HP Envy x360 15z SSD Update

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Envy x360 With Ryzen Mobile And NVMe SSD Battery Life Update And Conclusion

In the following battery test, we've configured a custom 1080p HD video loop to prove out battery life with our group of machines. In all tests, Windows 10 Quiet Hours have been enabled and the displays are calibrated with lux meters on pure white backgrounds to as close to 115 lux as possible. For the average laptop this is usually somewhere between a 40 - 60 percent brightness setting.

Since laptop displays significantly affect power consumption and battery life, it's important to ensure a level playing field with respect to brightness of the display for battery testing. However, since many laptop displays vary in brightness at each respective setting in an operating system like Windows, this calibration with the meter is critical to ensure all displays are set to as near identical brightness as possible before testing.

We also have to underscore, unfortunately, that the model of HP Envy x360 15z that we had to work with here has a woefully dim display. On battery power, even at a 100 percent brightness setting, the machine was only able to output ~100 lux on our meter. Since our test methodology has always been to calibrate all laptop displays tested to this modest light output level in order to achieve a level playing field, we had to set the HP machine at 100 percent brightness to run our tests. We will note for the record, however, that setting a Windows brightness level of 50 percent didn't deliver much additional up-time for the Envy x360 with Ryzen Mobile, only offering up another 25 minutes or so before giving up the ghost.

As a result, this may not be AMD Ryzen Mobile's best foot forward with respect to battery life. In any event, below are the results we achieved with this particular Ryzen Mobile-powered laptop. 

HD Video Battery Rundown Test AMD Ryzen Mobile2

You were probably expecting the NVMe SSD-powered Envy x360 Ryzen Mobile config to last longer than the hard drive-equipped setup, as did we, but in reality that was not the case. As it turns out, the HDD proved slightly more power friendly, likely due to its on board DRAM cache buffer mitigating the need for constant seek request when streaming video. We also suspect we were lighting up a few more PCIe lanes with the SSD as well, which does come at some sort of power budget expense. Frankly, we'd call this a virtual tie because the two configurations came in within a few minutes of each other, around the 4.5 hour mark. And again, dropping down panel brightness on the machine to the point where it's a lot less visible, didn't really bolster battery life any more than 25 minutes, tops. The reality may be that the 15-inch 1080p display HP employs in this build of the machine is holding Ryzen Mobile battery life back, but we can't say for sure until we get other AMD Ryzen Mobile laptops in for testing.

HP Envy x360 15z With Ryzen Mobile And NVMe SSD Update Conclusions

If you were looking for stark, contrasting differences here in high level performance and battery life metrics for the HP Envy x360 with Ryzen Mobile, between its configurations with a hard drive or NVMe SSD, we're sorry to disappoint you. There were definitely major gains with the SSD in disk sensitive applications, as expected in our PCMark 10 testing, and of course system responsiveness was off the hook compared to the build that was hamstrung with the hard drive. And by the way, boot times with the Samsung 960 EVO NVMe SSD, from dead cold off to the desktop were blistering-fast at about 6 seconds, no joke. 

HP Envy x360 m2 SSD installed

But no, the magic bullet for battery life and CPU throughput does not reside with an SSD upgrade for the first Ryzen Mobile-powered laptop we've tested, as some commenters on our original story may have thought. We pretty much knew this going in, but like many of you, wanted to see this for ourselves as well. That said, we'd highly recommend going with the SSD upgrade option if you're considering this particular HP machine. Though HP doesn't offer the Samsung drive we used, there are Intel SSD options available that should offer similar performance upside.

Regardless, we're still anxious to see other configurations of Ryzen Mobile in different model laptops, and will be keying in on machines that are built on the platform in the months ahead. For now, we're definitely impressed with the Ryzen 5 2500U and its CPU-competitive performance with Intel 8th Gen processors, coupled with far superior graphics and gaming performance. With a beefier GPU on board and a bit more clock speed, a Ryzen 7 2700U machine should be even more potent across the board. Time will tell, as we see more laptops with Ryzen hit the market, but for now AMD Ryzen Mobile is off to a bang-up start.
  • Strong CPU performance
  • Superior IGP for light-duty gaming
  • Great performance per dollar value
  • Battery life? (Still investigating)

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