The AMD Ryzen 5 5500U: A Hexa-Core APU for Laptops and Other Devices

Ryzen 5

The AMD Ryzen 5 5500U is a hexa-core APU of the Lucienne product family designed for use in ultra-thin, upper mid-range laptops. The processor was unveiled in H1 2021; its six CPU cores are based on the Zen 2 microarchitecture. The cores run at 2.1 GHz (base clock speed) to 4 GHz (highest Boost frequency possible) and feature the thread-doubling SMT technology for a total of 12 threads. The chip is manufactured on the modern 7 nm TSMC process.

One could be forgiven for thinking Ryzen 5 5500U is a renamed Ryzen 5 4500U - which is not the case. Ryzen 5 5500U is most similar to Ryzen 5 4600U, the most noteworthy difference between the two being the faster iGPU model of the former. In the meantime, Ryzen 5 5600U got a little more lucky; it is based on the newer Zen 3 architecture and it also has higher clock speeds than what a 5500U can boast of.

The Zen 2 architecture of the Ryzen 5 5500U supports dual-channel DDR4-3200 and quad-channel LPDDR4-4266 RAM and has 8 MB of Level 3 cache. Unlike desktop-grade Ryzen 5000-series processors, Ryzen 5 5500U is limited to PCI-Express 3.0 (not PCI-Express 4.0; no 7.9 GB/s NVMe SSDs here). The processor gets soldered permanently on to the motherboard (FP6 socket interface) and is thus not user-replaceable.

Multi-thread performance is most comparable to AMD Ryzen 7 4700U and Intel Core i7-10850H, which is nothing to sneeze at. The Ryzen will have no trouble chewing through pretty much any workload, as of late 2021. Your mileage may vary depending on how high the Power Limits are and how competent the cooling solution of your laptop is.

The Radeon RX Vega 7 iGPU has 7 CUs at its disposal (64 x 7 = 448 unified shaders) running at up to 1,800 MHz. Its real-life performance is close to what we've seen from GeForce MX250 and Iris Xe Graphics G7 (80 EUs); Mass Effect Legendary Edition (2021) runs well at 1080p resolution, low-to-medium settings, to give you an example. As the iGPU has no VRAM of its own, it is paramount that fast system RAM is used. The graphics adapter definitely supports UHD 2160p monitors at 60 Hz. It will have no trouble HW-decoding HEVC, AVC, VP9, MPEG-2 and other popular video codecs. There is no AV1 support; AV1-encoded videos will be software-decoded, which six Zen 2 cores will handle with ease.

The APU has a default TDP (also known as the long-term Power Limit) of 15 W. This can be set to anywhere between 10 W and 25 W by an OEM, and in most cases they do go for a value higher than 15 W. Still, the 7 nm chip is a good option for ultrathin laptops as well as actively cooled tablets tablets, tiny mini-PCs and gaming handhelds of various shapes and sizes alike.

In conclusion, the AMD Ryzen 5 5500U is a powerful processor that offers high performance-per-Watt and performance-per-MHz figures. Its six cores and 12 threads make it capable of handling any workload, while the Radeon RX Vega 7 iGPU offers solid graphics performance. The chip's 7 nm manufacturing process also makes it a good option for ultrathin laptops and other devices with limited space for cooling solutions. While it is based on the older Zen 2 architecture, it still offers comparable performance to its newer Zen 3-based counterparts. The power consumption of 15 W (with the ability to be set higher by OEMs) also makes it a good option for devices that prioritize energy efficiency. Overall, the Ryzen 5 5500U is a solid choice for users looking for a powerful APU for their ultrathin laptops or other devices.

If you've had the opportunity to use the AMD Ryzen 5 5500U in your device, we'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Please leave a comment below and let us know how it has performed for you. Share your thoughts on its performance, power consumption, and overall capabilities. We're also curious to know if you've noticed any notable differences between the Ryzen 5 5500U and other processors you've used. Don't forget to use the hashtags #AMD Ryzen5500U #APU #Zen2architecture when you post your comments on social media. Your feedback will help others make more informed decisions about the processor for their own devices.

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