Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14" Review: Intel Core i5-1035G1 vs AMD Ryzen 5 4500U. Which one is better?

Intel or AMD? Its an age old question! Should you go with the 10th generation Intel Core-i5 processor or should you pick Ryzen 5 4500u for your next laptop? 

So one of my favorite 2-in-1 convertible thin and light laptop is the Lenovo Flex 5 also known as 14 inch IdeaPad Flex 5. This laptop comes in both Intel and AMD configuration. Both these laptops are in high demand, so please checkout the links at the bottom of the page to find their current price and availability. In today's video I will pit Intel and AMD version of Lenovo Flex 5 against each other in a knockout cage match. By the end of this video you will know which CPU gives the best bang for bucks. So without further ado, let's get started!

1 Build-Quality

Before we get into the differences between Intel and AMD versions of Lenovo Flex 5, let's talk about what they share in common. Both these laptops share the same chassis, which means they have identical build quality. The keyboard, the trackpad, the 1080p IPS display panel and the port selection is identical. They both come in Graphite Grey color and sport a clean minimalist look.

There are no gaudy flourishes or distractions except for a small silver colored “Lenovo” logo on the top right corner. The exterior body is identical sporting a grainy metallic finish which feels very grippy and secure while holding the laptop. Both laptops share the same sturdy metallic hinge which provides ample resistance when pressing the touchscreen with either your fingers or Lenovo active pen. You can tap the screen and scroll pages with your fingers without experiencing any screen wobbling.

I really love Lenovo’s Active Pen. It offers great palm rejection, high accuracy and low latency which makes it perfect for taking notes, making sketches and diagrams. This is something both students and working professionals will appreciate. I have already reviewed the Lenovo Active Pen in my previous video which you can find below. 

BTW, Lenovo includes an active stylus pen with AMD configuration of Flex 5 but unfortunately the intel configuration doesnt come with this pen, which sucks. Lenovo’s Active Pen is available for purchase as a separate accessory item


OK, now let's get into the meat of this video. The Intel version of Lenovo Flex 5 is powered by Core i5-1035G1 processor while AMD version is powered by Ryzen 5 4500U processor. This Intel chip was released in the 3rd quarter of 2019 and it comes from the Ice Lake family of CPUs. AMD chip on the other hand was released in the 1st quarter of 2020, so it's relatively new. Here is a chart showing the key differences between these CPUs. The biggest difference is in the core count. Core-i5 is a quadcore CPU while Ryzen 5 is a hexacore CPU. So that means AMD is offering 2 extra cores which is awesome. But unfortunately AMD has disabled Hyperthreading because of thermal constraints. So you only get 6 execution threads in Ryzen 5 as opposed to 8 threads in Intel. Intel cores are clocked at 1 GHz but they can reach speeds up to 3.6 GHz if needed. Ryzen 5 cores on the other hand are clocked at a higher 2.3 GHz and they can reach upto 4 GHz. So how does all this translate to real world performance? Let's first take a look at the Geekbench 5 Single-Core score. Both Intel and AMD are essentially tied in this benchmark, scoring around 1080 points. So when it comes to single-core raw horsepower, the 10th gen Intel core i5-1035G1 matches AMD Ryzen 5 4500u.

But what about the overall performance when we include all the cores and all the threads? Let's take a look at the Geekbench 5 Multi-Core score which measures performance of all available cores and threads.This will be interesting because while AMD Ryzen 5 offers 2 extra cores, Intel Core-i5 offers 2 extra threads, thanks to hyperthreading. In Geekbench 5 Multi-Core benchmark, AMD scored 4097 points completely trouncing Intel which managed to get only 2065 points. So when it comes to raw performance, there is really a no contest. AMD absolutely demolishes Intel in overall CPU performance. Historically intel chips have offered better thermal efficiency resulting in longer battery life. But with Ryzen 5, AMD has caught up with the battery life as well. Both Core i5-1035G1 and Ryzen 5 4500U deliver the same battery life. Lenovo claims that both these laptops are rated for about 10 hours of battery life, but in real world use, expect around 8 hours of battery life doing day to day tasks. Now in my experience I have noticed that Ryzen does run little hotter than intel, especially during gaming and other CPU intensive tasks. So I think Intel still has an edge when it comes to thermals


OK, now let's talk about the integrated GPU performance. Ryzen 5 4500U version of Lenovo Flex 5 is using Radeon 6 integrated Graphics while Core i5-1035G1 is running on Intel UHD gen 11 graphics. To measure the graphics performance of these laptops, let's take a look at the FP32 Performance benchmark. This benchmark measures the computing performance of GPUs in GFLOPS. AMD GPU comes ahead scoring 1152 points while intel is slightly behind scoring a respectable 1075. The performance of both these GPUs is fairly close which means Lenovo Flex 5 laptop powered by either of these two chips will have no trouble playing 4k streaming videos, casual gaming and editing pictures and videos. So if you are wondering about fortinite, yes you will be able to play it at HD resolution and get at around 30 to 45 fps on both Intel and AMD configuration

4 System RAM & SSD

Your laptop's performance does not rely solely on CPU and GPU. System RAM and on board storage also play an important role. And surprisingly Lenovo is offering a far better RAM and SSD configuration with AMD than with Intel. AMD configuration has twice the amount of system RAM and doubles the SSD storage. So that's 16 GB RAM and 256 GB of PCIe NVMe SSD in AMD model, as opposed to 8 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD storage in Intel model. So that means the AMD version of Lenovo Flex 5 not only comes with a faster CPU and GPU, it also offers double the RAM and SSD storage making it a far better value for your money.

5 Bottomline

So here is the bottomline. I think the Ryzen 5 4500u model of Lenovo Flex 5 is the best 14” thin and light 2-in-1 convertible laptop in the market. It has class leading CPU performance which wipes the floor with other laptops running on intel chips. The keyboard, the trackpad and the overall build quality is excellent. I love using this laptop in tablet mode, especially for taking notes with the included lenovo active pen. I think this pen is a great accessory for students and working professionals, because Lenovo Flex 5’s screen digitizer works really well with this active Pen. It’s low latency coupled with great palm rejection results in a very natural writing experience. Overall, if you are in the market for a 14” 2-in-1 laptop, I would highly recommend Lenovo Flex 5. Links to quad-core Intel configuration as well as the 6 & 8 core Ryzen configuration of this laptop can be found in the video description below.

Purchase Links

👉 Buy Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14

👉 Buy recommended PCIe NVMe SSD upgrades
👉 Buy 1080p webcam
👉 Buy Active Stylus Pen
👉 Buy M.2 NVME SSD Enclosure Adapter
👉 Macrium reflect free for SSD cloning

Disclosure: Some links may be affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases