Ryzen 3000 Series EXPLAINED! Time For Great AMD Notebooks?
Hello good people, Eber here once again. By now you’ve probably realized that in our Explained series of articles we try to put new and interesting technology into perspective in simple and easy to understand articles. We’ve actually covered everything from Intel’s latest Command Center utility to AMD’s driver updates to new things like processors and graphics technology as well. This time I wanted to tackle something that isn’t really new per se, but that you’ll see a lot in the upcoming months. And that something in the new Ryzen 3000 series processors on mobile rather than desktop. The difference between mobile and desktop may cause a bit of confusion this year since they the internals are going completely different, but hopefully this article will give me a chance to straighten things up for you.
AMD Ryzen Mobile 3000 Series
Okay, so let’s get the obvious part out of the way, AMD officially launched their Ryzen 3000 series processors back at CES this year and they targeted the notebook and Chromebook market. Now there’s not a lot to talk about with regard to the desktop processors right now, but we could still discuss the key differences between desktop and mobile. Starting at the top, the Ryzen 3000 series mobile parts are still based off these Zen+ architecture and the 12nm manufacturing process used in the Ryzen 2000 series desktop parts like the 2700X. Those two details – the architecture and manufacturing process – makes them second generation Zen CPU’s.
The upcoming desktop Ryzen 3000 series will use a new 7nm manufacturing process, and the hugely updated third generation Ryzen 2 architecture. Finally, while Ryzen Mobile 3000 series processors are available now, don’t expect next generation desktop CPUs to be announced before Computex this year. So anything I talk about from this point onwards will be based on the Zen architecture that’s currently available on the notebook platform. What AMD is trying to do with this new generation of mobile processors is cover every possible market that includes Chromebooks as well. Basically, the Ryzen 7 mobile processors with H at the end of their model name will cover mid-to-high level gaming and productivity notebooks, while those with U will be lower wattage and targeted at the slim and light markets. The Ryzen 3 and Ryzen 5 will take on the premium to mainstream Window segments, while the new Athlon will likely hit the value market in laptops that costs less than $750. Another thing to take note of is that every processor here is actually an APU with integrated Vega graphics, which is awesome. The last models are the A4 and A6 processors which I won’t really talk about here since they’re really for entry-level Chromebooks rather than PCs.
Targeting Notebooks – Top to Bottom
Another interesting thing that AMD brought up is that an average consumer has a notebook that’s almost five years old. Actually, come to think of it, that sounds like Mike from our team who’s been rocking the Sony VAIO Z back from 2010, and he just recently got the chance to upgrade it to the X1 Carbon from Lenovo. However, coming back to my point, according to AMD there’s an expectation of upwards of 60% improvement from back then till now, which may or may not seem like a huge bump but if you guys are interested in us testing out those claims, definitely let us know. I’m sure we can find out where that old VAIO Z laptop is since it must be lying somewhere in his household. So we’ll make that happen if you guys are interested.
So here are the specs of all the AMD 3000 series mobile processors, and instead of boring you by talking about a bunch of specs you can go over the table at your own leisure. However, I also did want to highlight some important points. Like I said before, take note that the Ryzen 7 3750H and the Ryzen 5 3550H are quad-core/eight-thread 35W CPUs that target gaming notebooks. Meanwhile, all the other processors with a U designation are meant to maximize battery life and lower heat output thanks to a low 15W TDP.
As for graphics, nothing has really changed since the Ryzen 2000 series notebook processors other than the newer 12nm manufacturing process allows for a bit higher GPU clock speeds. All of these processors feature Vega graphics with between 10 and 3 compute units, which means that the Vega 10 has 640 shaders, which translates into a bit less performance than the Radeon RX550. So what does that mean for gaming performance before a discrete GPU is factored into things? In AMD’s own tests they achieved better gaming performance on the Ryzen 7 3700U than the Intel ‘Whiskey Lake’ Core i7-8565U with a UHD 620 integrated GPU. But honestly guys this is splitting hairs since these results were achieved at just 720p, whereas almost every notebook these days has a 1080p display. So the AMD Ryzen 3700U can provide more performance, but honestly I still think they should be a bit worried. Remember that Intel’s new Gen11 graphics core is on its way with Ice Lake, and it should offer almost 50% more performance. With Intel’s GPU division now being run by a bunch of ex-AMD employees that could cause AMD some issues in the not too distant future.
Now in our briefing with AMD, they said that they were supposed to have 33% more design wins this year, and I really hope that becomes a reality because right now it is really and I mean really hard to find an all AMD notebook that doesn’t fit the cheap category. Let’s actually take a look at the ASUS website for example. So even though they have over 50 notebooks, there are four with AMD processors, and of those two of those are TUF models that aren’t available yet. One of the VivoBooks is from 2016, while the only one available to actually buy has an older Ryzen 2000 series CPU. Luckily, companies like HP, Lenovo, and even Dell are starting to include more AMD offerings, but it’s been a really slow process.
As a matter of fact, we actually looked at the ASUS TUF FX505DY during CES and unfortunately back then a lot of you commented that for the specs of a Ryzen 3550H and an RX560 GPU, it was really overpriced. Not only that, but the bill quality was pretty terrible. And you know what? I think a ASUS agreed with all of us since now it’s available for about $700 and if rumors are right, it will be relaunched soon in a more powerful version with an NVIDIA GPU.
Lots of Promise, Now we wait for Delivery
So that’s it guys, and honestly even though these new CPUs look good on paper, I feel like I see the same thing every year with AMD’s mobile platform. Because while they look promising, actually being able to buy them is just nearly impossible, which is just really unfortunate. Honestly, things could change this year because of we’ve seen that Zen+ is able to deliver great performance and good efficiency in a relatively affordable package.
I guess it’s just a matter of time for notebook manufacturers to implement them and add them as an alternative option to what Intel is offering. I really can’t wait for that to happen. I want to know your thoughts about these new Ryzen 3000 series mobile CPUs from AMD. Would you consider upgrading to an all AMD notebook in the future because of what they’re offering right now?