This year at CES, we receive a series of announcements from AMD before the company's main presentation. Addressing the company's mobile offerings, AMD launches the first components of the Ryzen 3000 series of processors, focused on the Ryzen Mobile 2nd Gen family, for both the general 15W market and the high-performance market. . On top of that, AMD is also making an announcement about how it will handle graphics drivers for these platforms, and the icing on the cake is that AMD has gone into Chromebooks.
Ryzen 3000 series, from the 2nd generation of Ryzen Mobile
Everyone wants AMD to announce its next-generation 7nm Zen 2 processors, which will carry the 3000 mark. However, we will still have to wait for these announcements; Instead, AMD today announces its 12 nm Zen + Mobile processors, which pass under the 3000 mark.
These parts are improved versions of the first generation of Ryzen Mobile parts, the Ryzen 3 2300U and Ryzen 5 2500U (code name: Raven Ridge), which have found themselves in many high-end models. These new second-generation parts will benefit from the improved microarchitecture from Zen to Zen +, as well as the additional safety margin and reduced power offered by GlobalFoundries' 12 nm process. The new processors will also expand the range of power enclosures under which Ryzen Mobile is available, from the highest 35W Ryzen 7 3750H processor to the 15W Athlon 300W for entry-level devices.
The reason why AMD has expanded its offerings, explains the company, is partly due to the shape of the notebook market. According to data from IDC analysts, the notebook market is selling between 87 and 90 million units a year, but the distribution of sales between different segments of the market has changed from 2017 to 2018: there are fewer consumer products, more Chromebooks, more device bonuses, and more gaming devices. By increasing the number of processors offered, as well as the power / performance, both in the A high-end segment in terms of budget and value, AMD hopes to be able to adapt to most of the market in order to get a bigger share of the pie. Usually, the discussion here is about the TAM, or "total addressable market," expressed in billions of dollars – the higher the market you can approach, the higher the TAM.
The rationale for some performance comparisons for new processors was also on AMD's lips. Just like Intel, AMD quotes a research report from MIcrosoft that the average time between laptop upgrades for a typical user is about five years. As a result, AMD sometimes compares the performance of new 2nd generation Ryzen Mobile parts to a Broadwell notebook (2014/2015). Other comparisons were made with the latest Intel Coffee Lake-Refresh and Whiskey Lake processors.
The new 2nd generation Ryzen Mobile processor stack looks like this:
AMD 2nd generation Ryzen Mobile
Ryzen 7 3750H
Ryzen 7 3700U
Ryzen 5 3550H
Ryzen 5 3500U
Ryzen 3 3300U
Ryzen 3 3200U
At the top is the new AMD mobile king, the Ryzen 7 3750H, a 35W quad-core processor with multiple simultaneous threads, a 2.3GHz base clock, a 4.0GHz turbo frequency, 10 Vega calculation (640 SP), a GPU frequency of 1400 MHz and support for four screens. This will target the market for high-end laptops and gaming, typically with devices with separate graphics processors.
The Ryzen 7 3700U is the update of the Ryzen 7 2700U, offering more frequency thanks to the improved process in 12 nm and Zen + microarchitecture. The problem is that in addition to being rated at 15W instead of 35W as the 3750H, the specifications of this processor are exactly the same as those of the 3750H. So we are looking for a much better voltage / voltage chip, or the TDP means something different on the system: either the peak power, or the 35W part can keep its turbo frequency longer. These processors have Precison Boost 2, allowing the frequency to adjust according to the load and thermal capacities of the system in which they are located.
Further down the stack, the Ryzen 5 3550H and 3500U are also identical, with the exception of the TDP. The two processors are quad-core with eight threads, a base frequency of 2.1 GHz, a 3.7 GHz turbo frequency, eight Vega computing units (512 SP), a maximum frequency of 1200 MHz graphics processor and support four screens again.
The last three processors are more for the consumer and budget markets. The Ryzen 3 3300U is a 15W 2.1 / 3.5GHz quad-core part with six CPUs, so expect it to be a common processor for mid-range notebooks. The Ryzen 3 3200U cuts cores (two with multiple simultaneous threads) and Vega calculators (three = 192 SP), and has slightly less L3 cache. The Athlon 300U is the first Ryzen Mobile Athlon processor, but actually uses Zen cores at 14 nm. It will probably be the same die as the Ryzen APU, but reduced to 15W.
AMD said it expects systems based on these processors to be announced during CES and launched in the first quarter (January to March) of this year.
One of the first systems with new 35W processors was revealed directly by AMD. The ASUS FX505DY will be part of the ASUS TUF Gaming lineup and will be a 15.6-inch gaming laptop with a Ryzen 7 3750H or a Ryzen 5 3550H, paired with an AMD Radeon RX 560X graphics card. The camera will come with the option of a standard 1080p60 screen or 1080p compatible FreeSync display. The memory will use up to 32GB of DDR4-2400, and various storage options exist. Being part of the TUF Gaming range and a gaming laptop means that we should expect to see an RGB keyboard also through the images.
For optimal performance, AMD provided interesting numbers for the new 15W processors. These come directly from AMD, not from us, so they must, as always, be taken with a grain of salt.
Compared to a system that a typical user could upgrade, as a Broadwell 15 W system, AMD said to have seen its new 15 W parts display an average score of + 60% over the older system because additional processor and hearts (four AMD vs. two Broadwell). For multimedia applications, especially now that many of them can use Vega's integrated graphics, AMD reports an acceleration of 10-22% of Web workloads (as measured by the PCMark10 Web subtest), 50% faster on general workloads (measured by PCMark10 Standard) and a 15- to 16-fold increase in performance when using Adobe Photoshop CC image filters.
For the new second-generation parts, AMD said the laptops with which they were placed should aim for a set of modern standards that include 12-hour or longer battery life, 10 hours of video playback (called "LA to Tokyo Test") , have, supports 4K streaming video, games and modern day watch. That said, we are all very curious to see how the claims relating to the life of the battery are played out in particular; All of the first-generation Ryzen mobile laptops we reviewed demonstrated low idle energy consumption. It is therefore the opportunity for AMD to repair the Ryzen mobile platform for the next generation of devices.
As for comparisons with modern systems, still at 15W, AMD has promoted that a Ryzen 5 3500U against a Core i5-8250U accounted for + 14% on Web workloads (PCMark 10 Web), + 27 % on Photoshop filters and links on desktop scripts. For games, setting a Ryzen 7 3700U against a Whiskey Lake-U Core i7-8565U gave AMD a 20-40% advantage over the average frame rates of popular games (Rocket League, DOTA2, Fortnite) at 720p.
Radeon Drivers and Software
Part of the announcement of AMD also evoked a policy change in the range of Windows drivers. Starting at Q1, any laptop with a Ryzen Mobile processor using built-in graphics will be supported directly by AMD with a single driver package to cover all devices. According to AMD, this will allow them to support Day 0 drivers for the latest titles and game updates, as well as streamline the process between AMD, OEMs and end users. This has proven to be a particularly rough point of friction with players and other seasoned users of first-generation components. It is therefore a significant improvement in the way that AMD supports driver support.
The updated driver stack and driver package will cover all Ryzen Mobile, first generation, and second generation processors (and Athlons), which will also make it easier for users who already have an APU to upgrade. Ryzen. AMD promises that this set of drivers will receive frequent updates, much like its set of drivers for discrete desktop graphics cards,
Too much for Chromebooks
AMD has not played in the Chromebook market yet. The processors typically used in Chromebooks are lower quality Celerons and Pentiums, against which AMD does not really compete. In 2019, AMD will continue this market, considering that it is an "underserved but growing market". AMD said the Chromebook market is currently growing with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8% and an increase in average selling prices. It is time to start. To this end, AMD is launching two A-Series shovel-based processors with a 6W TDP.
These processors use the Excavator microarchitecture, the last remnant of AMD bulldozers' hearts, but the best example of the family. (We reviewed the predecessor Carrizo in detail, and it was not so bad). These small CPUs built on 28 nm will have a core / module, two threads and a power of 6W TDP. The graphics inside belong to AMD's GCN 1.2 family, which, according to AMD, will beat the Atom parts currently in these devices.
The A6-9220C is the best processor in the pair, with a base frequency of 1.8 GHz and a 2.7 GHz turbo frequency, with 192 SP running at 720 MHz and supporting VP9 / H.264 decoding / H.265. According to AMD, this processor beats Intel's Celeron N3350 and Pentium N4200 with the following parameters:
Since Chromebooks are often used in this way (mostly desktop work, perhaps some Internet games), AMD believes they have a part that suits them. The other processor in the list is the A4-9120C, which is slightly slower on the processor and graphics processor. All AMD-based Chromebooks should have a battery life of more than 10 hours, which, according to AMD, is a basic requirement for Chromebooks. AMD also states that they can easily do this. These two processors can also be found on entry-level Windows laptops.
Some of the first AMD Chromebooks will come from HP and Acer.
The HP Chromebook 14 is based on the AMD A4-9120 SoC and features a 14-inch display with a resolution of 1366×768. With 4GB of DDR4 RAM, 32GB of local eMMC storage and a basic minimum of I / O functionality, the Chromebook 14 should not be too expensive. It comes in the form of a beautiful frame with a textured finish and a height of 1.8 cm (0.92 inch). Interestingly, HP says its Chromebook 14 runs for 9 hours and 15 minutes on a single charge with a 47.36 Wh battery.
Keep an eye on AMD's speech
AMD's main presentation, led by Executive Director Dr. Lisa Su, will take place on Wednesday morning. In addition to these announcements, which are published before the presentation, we are certain to hear something more than AMD is preparing. Stay tuned as we will also post live blogs.