Intel shows how AMD CPUs have a 10-second performance delay

Intel has substantiated its findiings with proofs but there's more to the story than what meets the eye.

In what seems to be an attempt at covering its dismal quarterly performances, Intel, in a recent embargoed presentation demonstrated that AMD’s flagship Zen 2 (Ryzen 4000) CPUs have a hidden 10 second performance delay to conserve power. Intel’s Chief Performance Strategist Ryan Shrout also highlighted on-battery versus off-battery discrepancies in AMD’s performance, this time with proper benchmarks. 

Intel’s engineering team uncovered the fact that the discrepancies between on-battery and off-battery performance isn’t visible in commonly used industry benchmarks, such as Cinebench, PassMark, or Geekbench. However, it clearly shows up in PCMark 10 Applications benchmark. 

Folks over at Ars Technica were also able to corroborate Intel’s findings with their own independent tests. 

“We were able to confirm Intel’s findings over the weekend, working with an Acer Swift 3 SF314-42 laptop (with a Ryzen 7 4700u CPU) and an MSI Prestige 14 Evo laptop (with a Core i7-1185G7).”

This resulted in Intel’s i7-1185G7 outperforming the 8-core/8-thread Ryzen 7 4700u in both single and quad-thread workloads. However, In the unlimited workload, where the Ryzen 7 is allowed to flex its full octa-core muscle, things are much closer. 

Intel clearly wants to lead people to conclude that AMD is gaming benchmarks and Intel’s Tiger Lake CPU is ahead of AMD’s flagship. However, that is not the whole picture. Intel’s report about the 10-second performance delay is obviously true, but it ignores the greater efficiency of the AMD systems, above and beyond the delayed shift to maximum performance (and battery consumption) states in the CPU. As Ars Technica states, 

“When we run Cinebench R23 for five full minutes, a Ryzen 7 Pro 4750u system renders more scenes than the Intel i7-1185G7, and it does so with less total power consumed. There’s no clever trick to explain that away.”

All said and done, the simple takeaway is this. If Intel’s Tiger Lake CPU doesn’t feel substantially faster than the Ryzen 4000, and it doesn’t, then there’s not much point in ramping up CPU power profiles that quickly. In fact, it is better to conserve battery, as AMD has done.   

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