AMD is looking to take the laptop processor crown back from Intel’s latest Tiger Lake chips with its new Ryzen 5000 mobile lineup, which CEO Lisa Su called the “most powerful PC processors ever built for ultrathin and gaming notebooks.”
The company announced the new Ryzen 5000 mobile processors during Su’s CES 2021 keynote Tuesday, with Su claiming that the new Zen 3 architecture powering most of the chips increases its lead in overall performance and energy efficiency while also delivering the best single-threaded performance, an area where Intel has traditionally held the lead.
More than 150 ultrathin, professional and gaming laptops are expected to use the new Ryzen 5000 mobile processors this year, with the first designs expected to start shipping in February. That marks a 50 percent increase over the 100 laptop designers that supported last year’s Ryzen 4000 series.
Su said the 7-nanometer chips, which follow the launch of the Ryzen 5000 desktop CPUs last fall, offer “both tremendous performance and long battery life” and highlighted that, unlike Intel, AMD is the only x86 chipmaker to provide eight-core processors for ultrathin laptops.
Compared to Intel’s 11th-generation Core i7-1185G7, AMD said its flagship Ryzen 7 5800U processor for ultrathin laptops provides 18 percent better content creation performance, 44 percent better video encoding performance, 7 percent better office application performance and 39 percent better design and visualization performance.
With Zen 3’s major improvement in single-threaded performance, AMD showed that the flagship Ryzen 7 5800U narrowed or closed the gap with Intel’s Core i7-1165G7 or even exceeded its competitor for office productivity. The largest gains were seen with a 23 percent improvement in the PCMark10 benchmark, a 22 percent improvement in Microsoft Excel performance, a 9 percent improvement in the PCMark Apps benchmark and a 7 percent improvement in Microsoft Edge performance.
“The AMD Ryzen 5000 series are the best processors in the world for thin and light notebooks, whether you‘re running general office productivity applications or more CPU-intensive tasks like video rendering, photo editing or 3D design,” Su said. “The Ryzen 5000 series actually sets the new bar for leadership performance.”
Su said the Ryzen 7 5800U will enable up to 17.5 hours of general usage and up to 21 hours of video playback for ultrathin laptops, which she called a “major jump” from the previous generation.
“This is where the energy efficiency of the Zen 3 core truly shines,” she said.
At launch, the Ryzen 5000 mobile lineup will consist of five U-Series processors for ultrathin laptops that operate at a 15-watt thermal design power and eight H-Series processors for gaming and content creation laptops that range from 35-45 watts in TDP. The company did not disclose a new Ryzen Pro lineup, but it did tease upcoming business laptops using Ryzen 5000 processors.
The flagship U-Series processor, the Ryzen 7 5800U consists of eight cores, 16 threads, a 1.9 GHz base frequency, a 4.4 turbo frequency and a 20 MB cache.
Only the Ryzen 7 5800U and Ryzen 5 5600U in the U-Series will be based on AMD’s new 7-nanometer Zen 3 architecture while the other three processors — the Ryzen 7 5700U, Ryzen 5 5500U and Ryzen 3 5300U — are based on the last-generation Zen 2. One of the consequences is that the Zen 3 processors have a cache that is nearly double over the Zen 2 processors.
However, AMD showed that the Zen 2-based Ryzen 5000U processors improve multi-threaded performance over the Zen 2-based Ryzen 4000U processors by 20-30 percent.
For single-threaded performance, the Zen 3-based Ryzen 5000U processors showed improvements of 16-18 percent over the Zen 2-based Ryzen 4000U processors while the Zen 2-based Ryzen 5000U processors only improved by a few percentage points.
Robert Hallock, AMD’s director of technical marketing, said the chipmaker decided to bifurcate architectures for the Ryzen 5000 U-Series because it “really meets our customers’ demand.”
“It‘s essential for AMD’s business to enhance relationships, nail the right performance at the right price, have a more competitive portfolio, have more offerings so our partners, our OEM partners can really nail the strategy that they’re looking for with their design wins,” he said in a pre-briefing with journalists.
The flagship H-Series processor, the Ryzen 9 5980HX, consist of eight cores, 16 threads, a 3.3 GHz base frequency, a 4.8 GHz boost frequency, a 20MB cache and a 45-watt TDP. All eight of the Ryzen 5000 H-Series processors are based on the new Zen 3 architecture. For select OEM systems, the HX processor variants will be unlocked for overclocking.
All of the U-Series and H-Series processors have simultaneous multithreading enabled, and, for the first time, the mobile processors will also support AMD’s collaborative power performance control technology, which was previously only available on the chipmaker’s desktop processors.
“It will let the CPU be much more precise about how it targets frequency and battery usage,” Hallock said. “So because frequency is quadratic scaling of power consumption, this will really help with battery life when you are no longer connected to a wall outlet.”