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AMD announces its second-generation Ryzen Mobile processors

Once more, with 12-nm

AMD's minimal presence in the laptop market during the dark days of Bulldozer and its progeny is no secret to anyone who follows this stuff. The company made big step toward reversing its fortunes with the release of its Ryzen Mobile APUs at the end of 2017, though. In our test of the Ryzen 5 2500U, we called it "AMD's best and most competitive mobile APU" ever. Now, AMD looks set to continue that trend onward and upward with its second-generation Ryzen Mobile APUs.

Source: AMD

The Ryzen 5 2500U and Ryzen 7 2700U were well-situated to handle the mainstream Windows laptop market, but this time around, AMD intends to offer something for users at almost every price point. Down at the bottom of the market, AMD is introducing a couple of chips for Chromebooks, which we'll peek at in another article. On the higher end, AMD has some processors headed for gaming notebooks. The majority of the Ryzen Mobile chips are aimed at the general laptop-buying populace, though.

Ryzen Mobile APUs
TDP Cores /
CPU clock
(Base / Boost)
GPU core
GPU peak
Ryzen 7 3750H 35W 4C / 8T 2.3 / 4.0 GHz 10 CUs (640 SP) 1.4 GHz 12nm
Ryzen 7 3700U 15W 4C / 8T 2.3 / 4.0 GHz 10 CUs (640 SP) 1.4 GHz 12nm
Ryzen 5 3550H 35W 4C / 8T 2.1 / 3.7 GHz 8 CUs (512 SP) 1.2 GHz 12nm
Ryzen 5 3500U 15W 4C / 8T 2.1 / 3.7 GHz 8 CUs (512 SP) 1.2 GHz 12nm
Ryzen 3 3300U 15W 4C / 4T 2.1 / 3.5 GHz 6 CUs (384 SP) 1.2 GHz 12nm
Ryzen 3 3200U 15W 2C / 4T 2.6 / 3.5 GHz 3 CUs (192 SP) 1.2 GHz 14nm
Athlon 300U 15W 2C / 4T 2.4 / 3.3 GHz 3 CUs (192 SP) 1 GHz 14nm

Eagle-eyed gerbils will no doubt have already noticed a number of interesting qualities in this chart, but let's get the bad news out of the way first: No, these aren't based on wonderfully revised Zen 2 processor cores, and they're not fabbed on a 7-nm process. Indeed, to our experienced eyes, these chips appear to be very closely related to AMD's extant Raven Ridge silicon, with CPU cores based on Zen+ and GPU power provided by Vega compute units.

Still, let's examine the new chips a bit. The most obvious descendants from the first-generation Ryzen Mobile processors are the Ryzen 7 3700U and Ryzen 5 3500U. They gain 100 MHz over their predecessors (the Ryzen 7 2700U and Ryzen 5 2500U, respectively) in base clock, boost clock, and GPU peak clock rate, but otherwise appear to be identical. That allows the Ryzen 7 3700U to top out at 4.0 GHz on one of its four CPU cores, although we suspect the 15W TDP won't allow them to sustain such speeds for long.

On that note, you may notice the addition of two models ending in a new "H" designation.  On paper, the Ryzen 7 3750H and Ryzen 5 3550H appear to be identical to their "U"-designated siblings, save for an additional 20W tacked onto their TDP ratings. The extra power could allow these chips to keep their clocks much closer to those lofty peak speeds. AMD says that while the Ryzen Mobile "H" APUs have the same graphics capabilities as their siblings, they're really intended to be paired with discrete graphics cards in gaming notebooks.

A die shot of one of the new chips, with Zen cores and Vega GPU helpfully indicated. Source: AMD

All of the processors we've talked about so far have four physical cores with SMT enabled, endowing them with eight logical cores. By contrast, the Ryzen 3 3300U is a pared-down version of its Ryzen 5 cousins that loses SMT, a bit of clock rate, and another two GPU compute units. It's still a quad-core Zen+ processor that starts at 2.1 GHz and tops out at 3.5 GHz, which means this chip could be the one to look for in low-cost laptops.

Meanwhile, the Ryzen 3 3200U and Athlon 300U keep SMT but instead lose a pair of CPU cores, leaving them with two physical and four logical cores. These two chips are a significant step down from the rest of the new Ryzen Mobile family, although there's not much separating them from each other besides some clock rate. Both of these processors also lose half their GPU compute units compared to the Ryzen 3 3300U, leaving them with just 192 shader cores.

Notably, AMD indicates that the two dual-core APUs are fabbed on GlobalFoundries' 14nm process rather than the 12nm process of their cousins. We asked AMD about this, and the company confirmed that these chips have all the same refinements and improvements—whatever those may be—despite being fabricated on the older process. That is to say, they're new silicon, not harvested older chips.