HP will bring FreeSync to all of its AMD-powered laptops this year

AMD has announced that HP will be offering consumers FreeSync-enabled HP Envy 15z laptops sometime during the first half of this year. Those machines will be powered by AMD's latest Carrizo A-Series processors. By the end of the year, HP plans to go a step further and enable FreeSync on all of its AMD-powered consumer laptops.

FreeSync is AMD's variable-refresh-rate technology that can reduce image tearing and choppiness.  HP's move to add the technology to mid-range laptops like the Envy 15z may expose Freesync to a much wider audience. We don't expect earth-shattering performance from integrated graphics, so FreeSync could benefit these lower-powered machines so long as their screens can handle lower refresh rates.

We don't have the specifications for the FreeSync-equipped Envy 15z yet, but we created a version of the current model for $559.99 that includes a Carrizo FX-8800P APU. That part includes four Excavator cores and eight Radeon R7 compute units with a 35W TDP. Reviews have indicated that Carrizo performs best with dual-channel memory, and the current Envy 15z comes with two DIMMs standard.

AMD also announced design wins with HP for its AMD Pro A-Series mobile processors. Those chips have found their way into two new ProBooks: the ProBook  645 and ProBook 655.

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    • Chrispy_
    • 4 years ago

    Sort of off topic I guess, but why are thin+light laptops shipping with optical bays still?

    Seriously, it’s practically the single most obsolete/non-essential thing in any computing device these days yet manufacturers continue to include it in devices that sell primarily on portability, low weight, compactness and battery life.

    How much smaller, more portable, lighter, longer-lasting would these laptops be if [i<]one quarter of their entire internal area[/i<] wasn't wasted on an optical drive that for many users will never, ever, EVER be used?

      • EndlessWaves
      • 4 years ago

      They’re not?

      I suppose one or two may do but by and large it does seem to have been dropped by lightweight laptops. Which ones are you thinking of that have it?

        • Chrispy_
        • 4 years ago

        Uh, the one in the article image and most of AMD’s cheap laptops.

        The only area where optical bays are dropped are the netbook/chromebook end and tablet/convertibles. Most (and for some vendors, *all*) of the cheap laptops, business workhorses, entertainment laptops and gaming laptops come with DVD or Blu-ray.

          • EndlessWaves
          • 4 years ago

          The one pictured in the article is an Envy 15z, at 2.3kg it can hardly be called light. A quick look at HP’s website shows their thin and light models like the Spectre X360 and Elitebook 820 and 1020 models are all optical drive free.

            • Chrispy_
            • 4 years ago

            FYI thin and light is a category that most manufacturers adhere to:

            Desktop Replacement
            Thin and light
            Ultraportable/Ultramobile

    • USAFTW
    • 4 years ago

    Hopefully Intel is also serious about variable refresh displays and encourages the OEMs to adobt it as well. That would bring some much needed sales in the PC OEM market and make Nvidia reconsider their stand, not to mention push monitor prices even lower.

    • Unknown-Error
    • 4 years ago

    and let me guess, single channel memory?

    *** FROWN ***

      • mesyn191
      • 4 years ago

      Yea that is frustrating.

      Supposedly the Zen mobile APU’s are likely to have dual channel instead due to the socket and platform change.

    • slaimus
    • 4 years ago

    ViewSonic recently released a series of affordable FreeSync monitors:

    [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824116778[/url<] I think we are due for a FreeSync roundup review.

      • EndlessWaves
      • 4 years ago

      “Fv = 47 ~ 75Hz”

      Another screen with a stupidly high minimum refresh rate equivalent that misses most of the benefit (and LFC!). It would have to be a lot higher quality generally to even consider it over the similarly priced AOC G2460VQ6 that does 30-75hz.

        • Chrispy_
        • 4 years ago

        Yeah, adaptive sync is seriously hampered when the max refresh is less than double the min refresh.

    • DragonDaddyBear
    • 4 years ago

    This might be the most exciting development in on-the-go gaming since Optimus and for a much lower price to boot. Well done, HP

    • brucethemoose
    • 4 years ago

    Didn’t Intel jump on the Freesync boat as well? Are we just waiting for them to produce a Freesync-compatible IGP now?

      • Airmantharp
      • 4 years ago

      They did, and that’s essentially correct. At some point in the near future, every display that uses a packetized connection protocol (DisplayPort, and future HDMI) should support variable refresh rates.

        • ImSpartacus
        • 4 years ago

        When is all of this going to happen and why hasn’t it already happened? We’ve had this on our radar for what feels like years.

          • Airmantharp
          • 4 years ago

          Mostly, this feature is being worked into regular production; thus we’ll see more of it as product cycles progress. I don’t think anyone is rushing it and outside of enthusiast circles, few people are likely aware of it. When we get it into more mainstream products and more ‘average’ consumers gain an understanding of the technology and it’s benefits, I think we’ll see a ‘critical mass’ of demand that really gets things rolling.

          That said, having Intel supporting it in all shipping graphics-enabled CPUs will be a big step in that regard, particularly for laptop manufacturers who will have no excuse.

    • dragontamer5788
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<]We don't have the specifications for the FreeSync-equipped Envy 15z yet, but we created a version of the current model for $559.99 that includes a Carrizo FX-8800P APU.[/quote<] 35w TDP? The [b<]NOT[/b<] gimped version? (35W TDP should be a sign that double-memory channel exists... but I'd like to see testing to be sure) That's a good price point actually, and FreeSync would make it far more likely as a budget gaming solution.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 4 years ago

      Might still be gimped.

      Anandtech did a fantastic write up where they articulate why chorizo’s dual solution kinda murders the performance of the “non-L” parts.

      [url<]http://anandtech.com/show/10000/who-controls-user-experience-amd-carrizo-thoroughly-tested[/url<] If the machines are built to only use the features of -L parts, then they simply aren't prepared to properly utilize the non-L parts. So even if this has a non-L chorizo, then it might still suck. It's a supremely lame situation for amd.

        • dragontamer5788
        • 4 years ago

        The HP Pavilion ships in single-channel configuration, but is dual-channel compatible.

        [url=http://anandtech.com/show/10000/who-controls-user-experience-amd-carrizo-thoroughly-tested/5<]HP Pavilion 17z-g100 (Carrizo) Specifications[/url<] So I'm hoping that the HPs are actually properly done, especially at the 35W design point. The 768p screen in 2016 is wtf however.

    • anotherengineer
    • 4 years ago

    That’s good, they might need it with single channel motherboards, hindering performance of dual channel APU’s 😉

    • ImSpartacus
    • 4 years ago

    THIS is what gets me excited about freesync. It’s one thing when it’s an option. It’s another ballpark entirely when it’s on every laptop in a provider’s amd-based lineup.

    I can’t wait until this is just a “boring” standard feature that all laptops have.

    • VincentHanna
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<]HP will bring FreeSync to all of its AMD-powered laptops this year[/quote<] [b<]All,[/b<] all? Or all currently available for purchase? The first paragraph is unclear.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 4 years ago

      I think the context suggests that it’s all new amd-powered laptops in their lineup. In other words, I doubt it’s some kind of retroactive feature engagement.

        • VincentHanna
        • 4 years ago

        After reading the linked announcement I agree…

        Too bad because, so far as I’m aware, free-sync is supposedly compatible with basically any laptop with no hardware mods.

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 4 years ago

          The APUs/GPUs should be compatible, but not the screens.

            • DPete27
            • 4 years ago

            I was reading a review article about a lesser known brand desktop monitor that the company simply issued a firmware update for it and enable free-sync retroactively. I wish I could remember what one that was.

          • ImSpartacus
          • 4 years ago

          I’m always a little suspicious about those claims. It’s just too good to be true.

          If it’s true, why wouldn’t every laptop have freesync? I believe pretty much every modern laptop uses eDP now and I think freesync was compatible with that, so I’m not sure what the weak link is that’s preventing laptops from utilizing freesync.

            • DreadCthulhu
            • 4 years ago

            The weak link would be the ridiculous market segmentation that PC makers are doing right now with laptops. They will probably reserve freesync for higher end models, much like they do with say SSD & 1080p (and higher) screens – in terms of parts cost, there is no reason why they couldn’t offer cheaper models with a SSD & IPS 1080p at only a modest price bump, but the OEMs make them only available on high end models.

            A 120 GB SSD is the about same price as the 500 GB HD you see in budget laptops, and would be better for most people, and if you look at laptop screen replacement sites, it turns out that a nice IPS 1080p screen is only like $15-$20 more than a crappy TN 768p panel. So instead of selling dreadful to use $300 laptops, the OEMs could be selling much nicer to use $330 laptops and make the same per unit profit. Since even low-end processors are pretty darn fast these days, I/O speed & screen quality end up controlling the user experience for anyone not doing heavy gaming or media editing.

            • dragontamer5788
            • 4 years ago

            [quote<]A 120 GB SSD is the about same price as the 500 GB HD you see in budget laptops[/quote<] Unfair comparison. Hard Drives are mass produced at insane rates and insane yields. Another note: SSDs keep dropping in price and have absolutely no price stability. Any OEM who orders a million SSDs over a year will be [b<]utterly screwed[/b<] by the inevitable falling prices. Its healthier if OEMs just sold hard drives (which have a stable price), and then users just replaced it post-hoc.

            • ImSpartacus
            • 4 years ago

            Remember, when you think about market segmentation, you have to think about profit & revenue across the entire market, not just at the unit level.

            The kind of market segmentation that you described essentially allows those shitty budget laptops to be sold at even tighter margins because of the extra revenue from people that were forced to unnecessarily “buy up”.

            It might feel unethical and shady as hell, but it has potentially “good” implications for at least part of the market served. There are winners and losers.

    • chuckula
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<]so FreeSync could benefit these lower-powered machines so long as their screens can handle lower refresh rates.[/quote<] Time for a TR review!

      • UnfriendlyFire
      • 4 years ago

      And then laptop manufacturers decide to further slim down their laptops… by reducing the battery capacity or giving the batteries even more odd shapes to conform to the tight space (which may also reduce battery life expectancy).

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