Battery life vs performance, AMD Ryzen 5 vs Ryzen 7

Hello, I am thinking about trying out Framework for a hackable hacking type laptop. No gaming, but I am into AMD for better power/performance. I am curious about what the differences are between Ryzen 5 vs Ryzen 7 for battery life.

I am not gaming, but I may record video (screencasts) from time to time (1080p, nothing too crazy or obscene - very similar to video conferencing). Even in that case, I am highly likely to use HDMI/DVI out (I have another computer for video editing and production purposes). I am programming, and into virtualization, and Linux. Or BSD, for that matter. Mostly web development, full stack Python tomfoolery, etc. The mission revolves around a portable dev setup that can come with me to conferences and meetups, while occasionally hosting a VM or two.

Left to my own devices, I would pick Ryzen 5 for better battery life. I notice that Ryzen 7 has higher power draw, and a slightly larger battery. Am I really giving up that much if I stick to Ryzen 5? How much battery life do I lose if I go for Ryzen 7?

That the Ryzen 7 can draw more does not mean it is going to consume more power to do a specific tasks.

You need to check someone who has tested it to know which one is more efficient.

Even if a CPU can draw a higher wattage, it does not mean it will for a specific task. Or even if it does, it could finish the task quicker, consuming less power overall. It could also consume more. The only way to know is to test both CPUs against each other.


Unconstrained the 7 definitely CAN draw more power since it has more cores and more gpu units but power limited it will be able to do the same work for less power or more for the same because of how the efficiency curves work (more cores doing the same work at lower frequency will consume less power than less cores doing it at more frequency). Then there is the point that the 7 likely has at least somewhat better binned silicon.

Depending on workload you probably don’t loose all that much battery life. If your on battery workload involves heavily multi-core task the difference may be quite big, if you just have a few tabs open it may be pretty much the same.

The good old “i5 better for battery than i7” thing comes from back when all you got was hyper threaded dual or quad-cores from intel and the i5’s weren’t even able to reach the configured power limit, which makes the i5 look like it uses less battery even if the i7 would have done better with the same power limit. These days both the 5 and 7 classes from both manufacturers are able to reach the full power limit in most cases, so that phenomenon isn’t that big anymore outside of people running unconstrained on battery.

Ultimately that is the only way but you can make educated predictions.

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This may not be exactly the type of response you were looking for, but here is my $0.02

I went with the Ryzen 7 because I figure I can always choose a battery saving power profile or maybe limit the max power of the chip (assuming that’s an option) if I need a bit more battery life once in a while. But if I want a bit more performance, I can’t add more CPU and GPU cores to the Ryzen 5.


This is all very insightful! I think you all mentioned some very good points. I had not considered the extra performance balancing out spikes in the load, or that I could more actively manage the power profile. Thanks for the replies!

Would be curious to see if anyone has managed to test it out though. I suppose we will see more once these launch and get into the hands of more people.