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AMD Ryzen 7 6800H Review:Ryzen 6800H vs Core i7-12700H vs Ryzen 5800H

For testing and reviewing the Ryzen 7 6800H, we'll see how it performs up against a range of other laptop processors, but most importantly Intel's competing Core i7-12700H, and AMD's own predecessor, the Ryzen 7 5800H. We have a rough idea of how these parts will stack up after testing other chips in the Ryzen 6000 and mobile Alder Lake lineup, but in this review we'll be putting some numbers to it, which should be of use when you're buying your next laptop.The Ryzen 7 6800H is AMD's latest mainstream CPU for performance-oriented laptops. It has 8 cores and 16 threads using a Zen 3+ design, clocked at a 3.2 GHz base and 4.7 GHz boost, 16MB of L3 cache plus 4MB of L2, and a 12 compute unit RDNA2 integrated GPU -- though we expect most laptops featuring the 6800H to also pack a discrete GPU.

Compared to the Ryzen 9 parts above it, the 6800H is only slower in terms of clock speeds, and typically it has slightly lower efficiency as it's a less carefully binned CPU.



With previous Ryzen 5000 and 4000 releases, it was usually Ryzen 7 parts that offered the best bang for buck as we usually get almost the same performance as the Ryzen 9 CPUs, but at a lower cost. So hopefully that trend will continue with the 6800H.

On hand for testing today is the Asus ROG Strix G15 in its mid-range configuration. It packs the Ryzen 7 6800H alongside a GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU with a power limit of 115-140W, which is pretty decent for an RTX 3060, so you're not missing out on any performance.



The default configuration for this system uses 16GB of DDR5-4800 memory, but to match our other systems, we've bumped that up to 32GB of DDR5-4800 for benchmarking. There's also a nice, high-performance 1080p 300Hz display which is especially well suited to competitive gaming on the go.



We're fans of the ROG Strix G15 and it seems this year's model doesn't compromise on performance either. You can configure the Ryzen 7 6800H to run as high as 90W if you want to, in addition to that 115W GPU limit, though power balancing will occur if you try and run a heavy CPU and GPU task at the same time.

Nevertheless we're pleased to see that in the space of a couple of years we've gone from limited AMD CPU customization options in laptops, to the ability to choose your own power limits within Asus software, which puts the control over performance, heat, and power in the hands of users.



For this review, we've tested this laptop in two configurations to match our previous test results and allow us to make an apples-to-apples comparison as closely as possible.

The default spec for the 6800H runs at a 45W long term power limit, and that's how most of the benchmarks are run, with a boost power state in excess of 80W. We've also tested at a boosted 75W long term limit, which the Strix G15 is perfectly capable of, to see how that compares to other high performance 15-inch systems like this.
Benchmarks

In Cinebench R23 running at a 45W configuration, in the multithreaded test we can see where the 6800H ends up overall. Compared to the Core i7-12700H it's 9 percent slower, which isn't an amazing result given that AMD previously used to dominate Intel in multi-thread when comparing Ryzen 7 to Core i7. With that said, the margin is relatively small, and we can see performance equivalent to the Ryzen 9 5900HX from the previous generation.



As for the generational uplift, I recorded a 9 percent performance improvement over the 5800H, which appears to be about what this Zen 3+ generation is capable of – a less than 10 percent gain, unless memory bandwidth is a factor. Across two generations the 6800H is just 13 percent faster than the Ryzen 7 4800H, showing that AMD has only achieved minor gains in this workload across their three CPUs all built using TSMC's 7nm family of nodes.



At 75W the gap between the 6800H and 12700H grows: now the Intel processor is 24 percent faster, which is quite a sizable gap. This gives Intel a clear performance lead for multi-threaded tasks like Cinebench when integrated into a standard 15-inch design that can push power to 75W, which these days is a lot of the gaming-focused products.



For single-threading, I didn't see any performance gain for the 6800H vs 5800H in my testing, which is a bit unexpected given the small clock speed jump. In any case, the Zen3+ architecture isn't hugely different to Zen 3. Meanwhile Intel is much faster for these types of workloads, the 12700H is a huge 27 percent faster in what is typically a very favorable benchmark for Intel's new Alder Lake P-core design.



The Ryzen 7 6800H is a very good processor for CPU based HEVC video encoding. The results show the 6800H as 4 percent ahead of the Core i7-12700H, and 5 percent faster than the 5800H from last year. The top end of this chart is very cramped though, and lots of products released over the last two years show decent performance.



While the 6800H is the faster product at 45W, it's the slower product at 75W. Here the 12700H is 10 percent faster, so not a substantial lead, but enough to show that Intel's product scales better with higher power levels than AMD.



In Chromium code compilation it's an easy win for Intel and their 12700H. The Core i7 CPU is 24 percent faster than the 6800H, and while the 6800H is no slouch among AMD's line-up, for serious code compilers Intel's Alder Lake series is the way to go. Gen-on-gen the 6800H is providing a 9 percent performance increase, so that's in-line with what we saw in Cinebench.



The gap between Intel and AMD only widens when testing at 75W. Now the 12700H is 40 percent faster, so there is no doubting the credentials of Alder Lake for code compilation in this particular workload. The 6800H doesn't benefit a lot from the jump up to 75W from 45W, as it seems this generation of Zen3+ CPUs is designed with lower power levels and efficiency rather than brute force power.



For Microsoft Excel number crunching, Alder Lake is also superior to Ryzen by some margin. The 12700H is 36 percent faster in this test, though it's also one of the largest gen-on-gen gains for AMD: the 6800H is 33 percent faster than the 5800H. This is one of the workloads we test that does benefit from DDR5 memory, it just seems that Alder Lake benefits more from this than AMD relative to their prior generations.



For general Microsoft Office usage though, the gap between Intel and AMD isn't large, just 4 percent in favor of the 12700H vs 6800H. We also see one of the larger performance gains for the 6800H vs 5800H at 16 percent.



In 7-Zip Compression the 6800H does see a performance gain compared to its predecessor by 9 percent, so a typical number for a multi-threaded workload like this. Unfortunately for AMD it's not enough to close the gap to Intel, with the 12700H holding a 27 percent performance lead in this short burst test.



For decompression though, there's nothing separating AMD and Intel products. Ryzen has always been particularly good in this benchmark and it's that aspect to the chip that allows the 6800H to perform well despite usually coming in below the 12700H in other benchmarks.



For Acrobat PDF exporting to PNG images, the 6800H doesn't gain very much performance compared to the 5800H, and ends up quite behind the 12700H with its faster single-core speeds. The Core i7 model finished this test 9 seconds faster, which is a margin of 15 percent.



Intel also holds a performance lead in Adobe Photoshop by virtue of its fast P-cores and that Photoshop is a lightly threaded application. When both are using 32GB of DDR5 memory, the 12700H is 14 percent faster than the 6800H using the Puget workload and while Ryzen 6000 is able to close the gap somewhat, Alder Lake is still the way to go for Photoshop.







In combined CPU and GPU tasks like Premiere, in general Intel also has an advantage due to the way Premiere leverages Intel's media engine compared to the AMD equivalent. The 6800H and RTX 3060 configuration does see a large performance uplift vs Ryzen 5000 parts with more powerful GPUs, all Ryzen models lag behind Intel due to a large difference in live playback performance. For just general export performance, the new 6800H configuration is actually very decent and outperforms a lot of last-generation models by a decent margin.





For After Effects we also see the 6800H doing well compared to previous generation laptops, though the much faster Intel configurations that we've tested take the crown overall, as you would expect. This also applies to other workloads like Agisoft Metashape which are very heavy on the GPU and end up less influenced by CPU performance.
Power Scaling

When looking at power scaling, the Ryzen 7 6800H is essentially equivalent in performance per watt to the Ryzen 9 5900HX at all levels, scaling in the same manner as previous Ryzen processors. So effectively what we're getting across generations is the same performance at a lower bin, or better performance at the same bin. The Ryzen 9 6900HS we tested earlier still has superior efficiency across the power range and shows what near-best-case Zen 3+ silicon can do.



Meanwhile in comparison to Intel it's clear that the Ryzen 6000 generation is not as efficient for high-power devices as Alder Lake. In the lower power range like 35W and 45W it's very close as to which models are more efficient, though there is a small gap between 12700H and 6800H. Then in the higher power ranges Intel really takes a big stride to outperform AMD and around 75W and 85W you will see much higher multi-thread performance from Intel. The 6800H actually maxes out around 86W, which sees the CPU hit 4.1 GHz all-core, and increasing the power level further doesn't see any more gains to performance. It'll be up to a brand new architecture and node come Zen 4 to close this gap between AMD and Intel for high-power laptops.
Gaming Performance

Normally at this point in the review we'd dive into a look at gaming performance to see how the Ryzen 7 6800H stacks up against Intel's equivalents when CPU limited. Unfortunately, the RTX 3060 at 115W simply isn't fast enough to get the 6800H into a CPU bottlenecked scenario very often, even when playing at 1080p using medium or low settings.

We also wouldn't be able to look at apples-to-apples benchmarks up against Alder Lake processors as the 12th-gen systems we've tested so far have had much more powerful GPUs, so it's not worth showing data that would either be misleading or inaccurate.



What we'll say for people interested in gaming performance is that generally speaking Intel's Alder Lake platform is the faster platform for gaming with a discrete GPU. In our review of the Core i7-12700H we found that this chip was anywhere from similar in performance to Ryzen 5000 processors, and up to 25% faster in some situations. What we've seen with Ryzen 6000 so far, there's less than 10 percent performance gain over Ryzen 5000 for gaming, so it's very unlikely a 6800H would outperform a 12700H with high end GPUs. Hopefully we'll be getting a Ryzen 6000 laptop with an RTX 3080 Laptop GPU shortly, which will allow better comparisons with Intel.

As for integrated graphics gaming, there probably aren't too many situations where you'll be using the new RDNA2 integrated graphics with the Ryzen 7 6800H as most laptops will be paired with a discrete GPU. But if you are interested in how this GPU performs, we covered that in detail in our benchmark review of the Ryzen 9 6900HS, which uses the same GPU as the 6800H just clocked slightly higher. Needless to say, it's very fast and impressive for a laptop GPU, beating Intel's Alder Lake processors and their Xe integrated graphics.
Who Wins This Generation?

Most of our time testing Ryzen 6000 processors has focused on low power situations on slimmer and lighter laptops. Generally speaking, this new Ryzen generation is reasonably impressive for those sorts of systems, especially for 13-inch ultraportables, where the Ryzen 7 6800U sporting RDNA2 graphics is the best chip on the market right now.

However, for high performance systems, we haven't been particularly impressed. The Ryzen 7 6800H at 45W isn't that much faster than the Ryzen 7 5800H it's replacing – less than 10 percent better in most benchmarks – and it offers little in the way of a meaningful upgrade for performance-oriented productivity or gaming notebooks.

The Zen 3+ cores are more geared towards efficiency improvements, and the 6nm process node is only a small modification on the 7nm family that's been used for two years now.



The end result is that the Core i7-12700H beats the Ryzen 7 6800H in most workloads. The margin can be narrow in some multi-threaded benchmarks, but on the whole the 12700H is on average 15 to 20 percent faster. And that's just at 45W.

If you have a system capable of pushing CPU power up to 75W, Intel's Alder Lake parts are closer to 25 to 30 percent faster, which is significant for apps that are heavy on the CPU. Ryzen 6000 just doesn't have the oomph at high power to match Intel's impressive scaling.

We also found it quite interesting that over the last two generations, multi-thread performance – the key factor for high performance notebooks – hasn't improved that much moving from the Ryzen 7 4800H to the 6800H: a 15 percent gain is typical. Instead each generation has focused on a specific area of performance to improve. Last year it was single-thread and cache with the shift to Zen 3, which made a meaningful difference to gaming laptops and some productivity workloads.



This year it's mostly about efficiency and the new RDNA2 GPU, which are important for ultraportable notebooks, but aren't as relevant for high power gaming systems. Hopefully next year we see a more balanced overhaul that sees decent gains to all areas of performance.

When it comes to actually buying a laptop, all else being equal, we'd choose a Core i7-12700H laptop over a Ryzen 7 6800H laptop. There aren't that many 6800H laptops to talk about right now either, especially relative to the wealth of 12700H models, and those that do exist seem to be using mostly lower-tier GPUs.

Right now looking for RTX 3060 systems though, there doesn't seem to be a heap separating the price of AMD and Intel configurations; personally we think the AMD models will need to come in slightly cheaper to become the better value buy.

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