AMD Ryzen Pro APUs swoop into business-friendly desktops and notebooks

AMD dipped a toe back into the world of corporate PCs last year with its Ryzen Pro family of desktop processors. On top of the Zen architecture’s competitive processing performance, those chips exposed business-friendly features from the AMD Secure Processor that’s baked into every Ryzen chip to protect data, empower administrators with open-source DASH remote manageability features, and provide PC makers with hardware roots of trust for secure boot and trusted computing applications.

There was one problem with Ryzen Pro desktop systems, though. Integrated graphics processors of some kind are mandatory for the vast majority of business computing tasks, and first-generation Ryzen Pro desktops needed a discrete graphics card to light up cubicle dwellers’ monitors. AMD also didn’t have a mobile chip ready to go against Intel’s vPro-ready Core i5s and Core i7s. Today’s on-the-go workforce simply couldn’t choose a notebook with Ryzen inside.

AMD is plugging the holes in its business-friendly desktop and laptop offerings today with its first Ryzen Pro APUs, all powered by the same Raven Ridge silicon we know from Ryzen Mobile and Ryzen G-series processors. Those chips are ready for the boardroom inside a wide range of business-friendly desktops and notebooks from Dell, HP, and Lenovo. I took a short trip to AMD’s new headquarters in Santa Clara, California last week to hear from AMD and its partners about the systems they’re building with Raven Ridge.

  Cores/

threads

Base

clock

(GHz)

Boost

clock

(GHz)

Vega

IGP

Peak

graphics

clock

(MHz)

TDP
Ryzen 7 Pro 2700U 4/8 2.2 3.8 10 CUs 1300 12–25 W
Ryzen 5 Pro 2500U 2.0 3.6 8 CUs 1100
Ryzen 3 Pro 2300U 4/4 2.5 3.5 6 CUs

Seven Raven Ridge Ryzen Pro parts are launching today. For notebooks, the Ryzen 7 Pro 2700U offers four Zen cores and eight threads with a 3.8-GHz peak clock speed and a 2.2-GHz base clock alongside 10 Vega compute units operating around 1300 MHz. The Ryzen 5 Pro 2500U has the same four cores and eight threads, but it dials peak clock speeds back to 3.6 GHz and base speeds back to 2 GHz. Its eight Vega compute units will run around 1100 MHz.

The Ryzen 3 Pro 2300U forms the foundation of the trio with four cores and four threads running at 3.4-GHz peak speeds and 2.5-GHz base speeds. It has six Vega compute units running around 1100 MHz. All of these parts will have 15-W default TDPs, and they can be configured to run at anywhere from 12 W to 25 W depending on a system integrator’s design parameters.

  Cores/

threads

Base

clock

(GHz)

Boost

clock

(GHz)

Vega

IGP

Peak

graphics

clock

(MHz)

TDP
Ryzen 5 Pro 2400G 4/8 3.6 3.9 11 CUs 1250 65 W
Ryzen 5 Pro 2400GE 3.2 3.8 35 W
Ryzen 3 Pro 2200G 4/4 3.5 3.7 8 CUs 1100 65 W
Ryzen 3 Pro 2200GE 3.2 3.6 35 W

On the desktop, system integrators will have four parts to choose from. The Ryzen 5 Pro 2400G runs at the same 3.9-GHz peak clock and 3.6-GHz base clock as its plebeian counterpart, and its 11 Vega CUs ought to run in the same 1250-MHz range as the non-Pro chip’s. In turn, the Ryzen 3 Pro 2200G will have a 3.5-GHz base clock and 3.7-GHz peak clock, and its Vega 8 graphics processor should run in the 1100-MHz range. AMD will also offer Pro versions of its 35-W Ryzen GE parts.

AMD released internal performance numbers for the range of Raven Ridge Pro parts, but we’re past the point where it’s necessary to rely on internal benchmarks to understand the performance picture for this silicon. We’ve reviewed Ryzen Mobile in the form of the Ryzen 5 2500U and desktop Raven Ridge in the form of the Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 3 2200G. If you’re interested in how those chips stack up against the competition, our numbers provide a thorough picture.

Most importantly for businesses (and prosumers) looking to purchase Ryzen Pro systems, AMD has scored several design wins in premium business-ready systems from the big three PC makers: HP, Dell, and Lenovo. Those designs aren’t mere second-string concessions to choice. At the top end, they’ll carry familiar EliteBook, Latitude, and ThinkPad branding for mobile systems, and EliteDesk, Optiplex, and ThinkCentre brands on the desktop. We had an opportunity to see and handle all of these systems at AMD’s event last week. Let’s look at the various twists the big three put on Ryzen Pro for mobile and desktop systems now.

 

HP gives Ryzen Pro APUs Elite homes

HP’s EliteBook and ProBook models with Ryzen Pro APUs inside broke cover last week, but they aren’t the only systems with those chips inside. HP will also offer a couple of EliteDesk desktop systems with Ryzen Pro APUs, as well.

The EliteBook family will make up the top end of HP’s mobile Ryzen Pro offerings. Buyers will be able to get just the slice of mobile power they want in the 13.3″ EliteBook 735, the 14″ EliteBook 745, and the 15.6″ EliteBook 755. As the highest-end HP business notebooks available, these PCs will get privacy features like webcam shutters and HP’s Sure View integrated privacy screens to prevent shoulder-surfing of passwords and other valuable information. The EliteBook series cements its high-end status with narrow-border IPS screens covered with Corning Gorilla Glass.

HP will also offer a ProBook series of Ryzen Pro systems for businesses that want a more affordable stepping stone to AMD-powered mobile PCs. These machines will have slightly thicker chassis and wider bezels than their EliteBook cousins, and they won’t have the optional Sure View privacy screen.

HP also showed off the Elitedesk 700 Mini. This system crams a full-fat 65-W Ryzen APU and an optional Radeon RX 560 discrete graphics chip into a box that displaces one liter—even smaller than the Hades Canyon NUC we recently reviewed. Even though it can easily hide behind a display, this Elitedesk PC can drive up to seven monitors between its discrete and integrated outputs.

 

Dell puts familiar brands behind Ryzen Pro

Of the big three PC makers who showcased their wares last week, Dell had perhaps the most conservative set of systems on display.

For mobile work, Dell put Ryzen Pro chips inside the Latitude 5495. This is a rather chunky all-composite machine that Dell calls ideal for “corridor warriors” who are often moving their computers from place to place.

Despite its relatively thick chassis, the 5495 is hardly back-breakingly heavy, and Dell puts the space to use with a decent port selection. The 5495 has three USB Type-A ports, a USB Type-C port, a Gigabit Ethernet jack, an HDMI output, and readers for SD cards and smart cards.

I got a fair amount of hands-on time with the 5495, and it’s a solid-feeling machine with lots of ports and a keyboard with plenty of key travel. As mainstream business laptops go, I would have no complaints about using the 5495 day-to-day, and its integrated pointing stick is a welcome throwback to the days when I primarily used one as my pointing device of choice.

The Optiplex 5055 Tower

Like HP, Dell will also offer a couple of desktop systems with Ryzen Pro APUs inside. The Optiplex 5055 will come in traditional mid-tower and small-form-factor sizes, and it’s completely indistinguishable from any other Optiplex of recent vintage save the Ryzen Pro stickers on its front panel.

The Optiplex 5055 SFF

While that may sound like it’s a dig, it’s really not: companies don’t seem to be cutting corners or developing “value” product lines to put Ryzen Pro APUs inside their PCs, and that’s a welcome development for AMD and end users alike.

 

Lenovo Thinks different with Ryzen Pro notebooks and desktops

Arguably no business laptop is as iconic as the ThinkPad, and Lenovo is hopping on board the Ryzen Pro APU train with a pair of ’em.

The ThinkPad A285 is a 12″ machine that Lenovo says is 20% thinner and 15% lighter than its past AMD notebooks in this size class. It’ll have a “rapid charge battery” inside that can juice up to a claimed 80% of its capacity in 30 minutes of charging. The A285 will also incorporate a “ThinkShutter” camera cover for those paranoid about their privacy, too.

Lenovo says the A285 will ship with one channel of RAM permanently installed on the motherboard, while the other can be populated by the end user with up to 16 GB more. Performance-conscious users will want to populate that second channel ASAP so that Raven Ridge can fully feed its Vega IGP. This tiny slice of Ryzen Pro power will be available in August.

The Thinkpad A485 is a larger 14″ machine that appears better suited for Raven Ridge power users. This machine has two USB Type-C ports (one of which can output DisplayPort 1.4 signals in an alternate mode), a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A port, a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port, Gigabit Ethernet, and an HDMI port. A 4-in-1 card reader and a smart-card reader round out this package. An optional Fibocom LTE modem will let this machine stay connected wherever compatible cellular service is available. Lenovo says the A485 will be available in July.

Lenovo also has a pair of ThinkCentre desktops ready to roll with Raven Ridge inside. The M715q Tiny lives up to its name with a chassis that displaces just over a liter. The single SO-DIMM slot in this system will ultimately harm performance from this box in graphics-heavy applications, though.

Power users who want a Lenovo desktop can still get it with the ThinkCentre M725s. This larger desktop system will offer processors ranging up to an eight-core Ryzen Pro CPU.

All told, AMD’s Raven Ridge-powered Ryzen Pro lineup fills important gaps in the company’s business-friendly lineup, and the blend of Zen and Vega should prove much more appealing than first-generation Ryzen Pro systems to businesses that require integrated graphics processors in their corporate desktops and laptops. The fact that AMD has secured design wins for those products in no-compromises premium notebooks and desktops from the big three PC makers is another important step on its return to competitiveness. Those companies’ partnerships suggest a strong vote of confidence in AMD chips that has long been absent in the business and government sales sections of their websites.

That said, AMD still faces a tough challenge in overcoming the considerable inertia that Intel enjoys in corporate IT shops when it comes time to refresh business PC fleets. As much as AMD protests the conventional wisdom, nobody ever got fired for buying Intel, and changing that line of thought may be the hardest work yet ahead for the company. With its strongest range of partner products yet for corporate buyers, however, AMD is certainly better-equipped to make its case than ever. Time will tell whether IT managers bite.

Comments closed
    • Pancake
    • 2 years ago

    I very much doubt if any of these will be seen in the first world (at least here is Oz) but these will find homes in SE Asia, China, South America and Eastern Europe.

    • ronch
    • 2 years ago

    The real news here is AMD opening its new HQ in Santa Clara. Heh. Of all places.

    Edit – Looks like [url=https://m.hexus.net/business/news/corporate/115118-amd-opens-new-hq-santa-clara-california/<] AMD moved back in February[/url<]. Did TR report about this? And Was(son) Scott moved there too?

      • SlappedSilly
      • 2 years ago

      I opened that link and the first thing that struck me was “That building looks familiar.”

      Santa Clara Square. Yup, the company I work for will be moving there later this year. Heh.

    • uni-mitation
    • 2 years ago

    [quote<] Lenovo says the A285 will ship with one channel of RAM permanently installed on the motherboard, while the other can be populated by the end user with up to 16 GB more. [/quote<] Will the real Thinkpad please stand up, please stand up, please stand up? Will the real dreamy & tactile keyboard please stand up, please stand up? Will the real beefy & strapping chassis please stand up, please stand up? Will the real utilitarian trackpoint please stand up, please stand up? You, Apple-wannabe pretender, sit your a%$ down, you are a shame to the legacy of your ancestors. DIE DIE DIE! uni-mitation P.S- Lenovo, bring us the true Thinkpads, and we will forgive you. Just one with that beautiful keyboard & track-point? Pretty please? Not all of your fan-base are Apple-wannabes, some actually appreciate a hard working laptop that can take abuse.

    • uni-mitation
    • 2 years ago

    DUPLICATE >>>> AN APPLE MOUSE

    • Shobai
    • 2 years ago

    On the first page, the boost clock text for the Ryzen 3 Pro 2300U doesn’t match the table.

    • dpaus
    • 2 years ago

    Man, I’m tired of HP, Dell and Lenovo gimping AMD systems, whether it’s with memory channels, screen resolution or processor choice. Damnit, let me buy a full-bore AMD system!!

      • kvndoom
      • 2 years ago

      No kidding! The public perception is always gonna be “cheap” if it isn’t offered in a premium system.

      • Goty
      • 2 years ago

      At least the situation is better than the Bulldozer days. The new Ryzen SKUs that HP just introduced look to be an improvement on the first iteration (the 13″ model has nearly the same size battery as the existing 15″ model), and even the first crop of laptops weren’t horrible.

      • ronch
      • 2 years ago

      Hmm. Incentives from another company perhaps?

        • GreenReaper
        • 1 year ago

        It’s far more likely that using one memory module means the resulting system is smaller, cheaper, takes less power, and requires the dissipation of less heat. It doesn’t always make sense to use all the features of your CPU for a particular build.

      • DPete27
      • 2 years ago

      And yet, with all that gimping, I can’t find a Ryzen laptop that’s price-competitive.

      • LostCat
      • 2 years ago

      *looks at Intel i7-7700HQ in front of him with 8gb of 2667 and 4gb of 2400 in it*

    • bitcat70
    • 2 years ago

    While it’s nice to see Ryzen movement from the big three, why is the Lenovo M715q Tiny single channel? Is the time-honored hampering of AMD performance by them still a thing? I bought a number of the Tiny’s with Intel CPU’s in them and all of them were dual channel. That’s just disappointing.

      • thecoldanddarkone
      • 2 years ago

      Honestly the amount of ram available is a bigger issue for me. My p320 came with a single 16 gig stick.

      I see this for the m715q tiny. I don’t remember that being an option but I was never interested in the non Ryzen AMD cpu’s.

      16GB ( 8+8 ) DDR4 2400 SODIMM

      The sff model is special. Lets power a Ryzen 1700 with a single 8 gig stick.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 2 years ago

    Nice to see Dell doesn’t change much. That nasty black plastic is just like what I’ve had on each of my last three Dell systems: Latitude D620, Latitude E5250, and Latitude E5570. Nobody’s going to mistake them for high-end ultrabooks, that’s for sure. LOL

      • Goty
      • 2 years ago

      I was issued a new-ish Latitude at my current position and I actually like it. It has a decent screen, seems to have pretty good thermals, and the touch surfaces are all soft-touch. It’s definitely better than most of the other corporate issue laptops I’ve been given, including some of the more recent Thinkpads.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 2 years ago

        The soft-touch surface shows off streaks where my wrists/palms rest. I guess the display on the E5570 (1920×1080 IPS) is OK but my particular one has a lot of backlight bleed in the lower-left. I guess the thermals are OK but we’re talking about an i7-6600U, which is a 25W part. If you can hear the fans in a 15.6″ notebook cooling a 25W processor, they’re cooling it wrong.

        Performance is fine, and I have it sitting on a Dell dock most of the time so the plastic is something I can work around. Definitely an improvement over the Sandy Bridge and spinning rust in the E5250 but far from awesome.

        And it doesn’t need to be awesome. If I want awesome, I can buy my own.

          • Goty
          • 2 years ago

          The soft-touch material can get dirty, but that just tells you to wash your nasty hands. 😉

          They may have changed the cooling solution at some point, because my 5580 running a 7820HQ barely makes a peep unless I’m docked and whatever is wrong with Dell’s dock causes the fans to stick at 100% for five or ten minutes for no reason (now THAT is an issue worth some criticism.)

      • ultima_trev
      • 2 years ago

      Our department was upgraded to Latitude 7480’s last year… Right before they decided all new roll outs would include Windows 10 going forward. ><

      Asides the fact that Windows 7 isn’t quite the spring chicken when compared to Windows 10, these Latitudes have a Core i7 6600U (2C/4T) which turbo to 3.2 if all threads are used and 3.4 on a single thread and 8GB of DDR4-2133… Doesn’t give me much to complain speed wise, not much slower when opening web browsers or MS Office compared to my Ryzen 7 1800X system with 32GB DDR4-2666, and most of the difference can probably be attributed to Windows 7 versus Windows 10.

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