AMD Picasso vs. Intel Ice Lake vs. Comet Lake

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At the end of 2019, three CPU architectures vied for the favor of buyers in the Ultrabook: Intel Ice Lake and Comet Lake and AMD Picasso. Intel combines both in the 10th generation of the core series, AMD lets them operate as Ryzen 3000U. The comparison gives insights into the strengths and weaknesses of each platform.

Overview of Intel Ice Lake & Comet Lake

A lot has been written on BitcoinMinersHashrate about Ice Lake and Comet Lake, so there should only be a brief overview of the classification here.

Ice Lake is Intel’s first mass-produced 10 nm CPU and at the same time uses a completely new CPU and GPU architecture. Comet Lake continues to be manufactured in 14 nm and is based on the well-known architecture that celebrated its premiere with Skylake in 2015. Comet Lake are quasi current desktop CPUs of the Coffee Lake type in notebook trim, Ice Lake, on the other hand, a very special kind, of which there is no desktop counterpart.

Ice lake chips at the Intel plant in Israel

The second largest model is theoretically represented in the test. At Ice Lake this is the Core i7-1065G7 with 15 watts TDP at a maximum of 3.9 GHz, but with the largest new iGPU “G7”, at Comet Lake the i7-10510U with four cores and a maximum of 4.9 GHz clock and the well-known iGPU type (U) HD Graphics. The Comet Lake CPU has 1.0 GHz more clock available on paper, while the higher IPC, the much better new iGPU and the integration of Thunderbolt 3 and parts of Wi-Fi 6 speak for Ice Lake OEMs can implement both standards more cost-effectively.

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The tested CPUs are only in the second row because there is still a model above them. At Comet Lake, this is the Core i7-10710U with six cores in the 15-watt class for the first time, but is currently only used very rarely. Ice Lake is the Core i7-1068G7, which is said to break the 4.0 GHz mark in the Turbo clock with a TDP of 28 watts. To date, this CPU has not even arrived in Intel’s Ark database. That it really comes on the market can be doubted.

Except for the Core i3 with Ice Lake, all CPUs can be operated with up to 25 watts TDP. However, as the test will show, some OEMs go even further.

Overview of AMD Picasso

At the beginning of 2019, CPUs from the Picasso series were the first to be integrated into the new Ryzen 3000 series by AMD. At their core, however, they are still based on the Zen + architecture and are manufactured in 12 nm. The CPU part corresponds to that of the Ryzen 2000 for desktop PCs. The Vega graphics unit was even adopted 1: 1 by the mobile predecessor Raven Ridge, only the clock rates are slightly higher.

AMD Ryzen Mobile Picasso and predecessor Raven Ridge

The Ryzen 3000U can officially be operated with up to 35 watts TDP. Ryzen 5 3500U and Ryzen 7 3700U become Ryzen 5 3550H and Ryzen 7 3750H.

Overview of Lenovo’s notebooks

BitcoinMinersHashrate tested AMD Picasso, Intel Ice Lake and Intel Comet Lake in three Lenovo notebooks, all of which are from a different series. Tests on the battery life were therefore avoided, and a reliable statement about the influence of the CPU could not be derived from this anyway.

The Intel Core i7-1065G7 (“Ice Lake”) came to us in the Lenovo Yoga C940, the Windows installed by Intel was replaced by the editorial staff’s own installation. The configuration had 16 GB LPDDR4-3733 (dual-channel) and a 1 TB NVMe SSD. The price is just under 1,900 euros.


Lenovo Yoga C940 14 inch with Intel Ice Lake "class =" border-image
Lenovo Yoga C940 14 inch with Intel Ice Lake

Lenovo Yoga C940 14 inch with Intel Ice Lake "class =" border-image
Lenovo Yoga C940 14 inch with Intel Ice Lake

The Intel Core i7-10510U (“Comet Lake”) was provided by Lenovo in the Yoga C640. The configuration used also relies on 16 GB DDR4-2400 (dual-channel), but only offers 512 GB SSD storage space. The price is significantly lower at 1,099 euros. The class difference can be seen in the display and case, but the chassis is also stiff and the display is good. The input devices give themselves nothing.


Lenovo Yoga C640 14 inch with Intel Comet Lake "class =" border-image
Lenovo Yoga C640 14 inch with Intel Comet Lake

Lenovo Yoga C640 14 inch with Intel Comet Lake "class =" border-image
Lenovo Yoga C640 14 inch with Intel Comet Lake

Lenovo Yoga C640 14 inch with Intel Comet Lake "class =" border-image
Lenovo Yoga C640 14 inch with Intel Comet Lake

Lenovo has positioned the IdeaPad S540 with AMD Ryzen 7 3700U (“Picasso”) even lower. In the tested configuration, it offers 8 GB DDR4-2400 (dual-channel) and a 512 GB SSD. The price: 699 euros.


Lenovo IdeaPad S540 14 inch with AMD Ryzen "class =" border-image
Lenovo IdeaPad S540 14 inch with AMD Ryzen

Lenovo IdeaPad S540 14 inch with AMD Ryzen "class =" border-image
Lenovo IdeaPad S540 14 inch with AMD Ryzen

Lenovo IdeaPad S540 14 inch with AMD Ryzen "class =" border-image
Lenovo IdeaPad S540 14 inch with AMD Ryzen

Lenovo IdeaPad S540 14 inch with AMD Ryzen "class =" border-image
Lenovo IdeaPad S540 14 inch with AMD Ryzen

Two performance profiles ex works

All three Lenovo notebooks offer two performance profiles via the Lenovo Vantage software: “Quiet” and “Performance”. Interestingly, “Quiet” is always active at the factory. Which profile is selected has a significant impact on performance and volume, as the measured values ​​for CPU package power read out via HWiNFO already indicate.


Lenovo Vantage offers two performance profiles, the tool does not provide "class =" border-image for details
Lenovo Vantage offers two performance profiles, the tool does not provide details

They can only be reached via the "All settings" "class =" border-image detour
They can only be reached via the detour “All settings”

In the Yoga C940, Lenovo allows the Ice Lake CPU in “Power” mode with 25 watts of power consumption, as Razer, for example, configured in the Mercury Edition of the Razer Blade Stealth – the value corresponds to the official “config TDP up”. The 9 watts in the “Quiet” mode are also known from the Stealth, where they are in the “Power saving” mode. The C940 does not have an average value of 15 watts, the TDP officially provided by Intel for the CPU.

The situation is different with the Yoga C640 with Comet Lake. There is permanently 20 watts in the “Power” mode, whereby it would probably be 25 watts (the official “config TDP up”) if the CPU temperature would not play a role in addition to the TDP limit. And in the “quiet” mode it is 15 watts.

In the “Performance” profile, the Ice-Lake-C940 compares with the Comet-Lake-C640 with more electrical power.

With the IdeaPad S540, no reliable information on CPU consumption can be read out using tools, and Ryzen Master is still not compatible with the U series at the end of 2019.

On the next page: test results