AMD announces its second-generation Ryzen Mobile processors

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.

2nd-generation

Ryzen Mobile APUs

TDP Cores /

Threads

CPU clock

(Base / Boost)

GPU core

configuration

GPU peak

clock

Process

Node

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.

 

The proof is in the processing

AMD offered the smallest sneak peek of the performance of its new processors, although given their apparent close relationship with previous-generation Ryzen Mobile chips, we feel like we know the story already. The company made direct comparisons, pitting its Ryzen 5 3500U against Intel’s Core i5-8250U and its Ryzen 7 3700U against Intel’s Core i7-8550U, and in both cases it claims its latest Ryzens beat out the competition.

Source: AMD

Specifically, AMD claims that its second-generation Ryzen Mobile processors are 14% faster in PCMark 10 Essentials, 27% faster in Photoshop, and equally as fast in Office. Those results are a little surprising, as our own testing put the Core i5-8250U well ahead of the Ryzen 5 2500U in PCMark 10’s Essentials and Productivity tests. Both chips do very well, though, and certainly the Ryzen 5 2500U’s performance was more than “good enough.” There’s no reason to expect the Ryzen 5 3500U to be anything but faster than its predecessor.

Source: AMD

In gaming tests, AMD pitted the Vega GPU inside its Ryzen 7 3700U against the Intel UHD Graphics 620 built into the Core i7-8565U. To the surprise of absolutely no one reading this text, the Ryzen 7’s integrated Vega graphics enjoy a significant lead over the competition, although the gap isn’t as wide as you might expect—especially given that our own testing showed the Ryzen 5 2500U’s integrated graphics wiping the floor with Intel’s solution. Of course, as AMD itself notes, results will vary with testing environment.

Source: AMD

Speaking of these processors’ graphics parts, AMD announced that starting in the first quarter of this year—that is to say, real soon now—all Ryzen Mobile processors will use the same graphics driver as every other Radeon. That means you won’t have to suffer on an ancient driver because your system vendor didn’t approve the latest one. That’s good news for long-suffering laptop gamers who have had to use unofficial hacks and workarounds to make games play nice due to the negligence of their system’s OEM.

Coming soon to a laptop near you

AMD says that the first notebooks to use these CPUs will be available in Q1 this year, and that more systems will continue to arrive throughout 2019. The chip vendor specifically names Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Huawei, Lenovo, and Samsung as companies preparing Ryzen-based laptops, but we’d be surprised if those are the only folks working on AMD portables.

All in all, our greatest complaint about the first-generation Ryzen Mobile processors was simply how difficult it was to get our hands on one. AMD says those Ryzen Mobile APUs were a “great success” in 2018, but also tacitly acknowledges the limited selection of laptops so-equipped by noting that the company expects to have 33% more design wins with its second-generation chips. That can only be seen as a good thing for not just AMD, but also laptop buyers who should get to enjoy the benefits of renewed competition in 2019.

Comments closed
    • tygrus
    • 10 months ago

    Minor real improvements. The carrot of 7nm around the corner is not helping sell these 12nm.

    Mobile APU with 7nm, ZEN2 can’t come soon enough.

    A full range of 7nm would be great: 10w, 15w, 25w, 35w, 45w (more GPU) could be a very interesting line up. You don’t need all 3,5,7 families in each, 2 each for 10w, 35w, 45w; more than 3 for 15w and 25w.

    • xrror
    • 10 months ago

    The part that makes me the most angry, is through no direct fault of AMD’s own, when Global Foundries <made themselves irrelevant> … decided to kill their 7nm process, we see now that apparently it pretty much killed AMD’s credibility in the mobile APU market when they were JUST starting to get credibility again with OEM’s.

    Of any and all chips AMD needed to be on a new more power efficient process, it was to get mobile APU power usage down.

    So much for that. =(

      • thx1138r
      • 10 months ago

      At first I thought, you’re right, this is the end for AMD, but then I remembered that TSMC is making their 7nm chips now, phew.

    • danwat1234
    • 10 months ago

    Hope AMD releases a 45w TDP laptop CPU to really compete with Intel in the workstation/gaming laptop segment.
    Either that or i’ll wait for 10nm Ice Lake with nVidia 3xxx 10nm class silicon.

    • DPete27
    • 10 months ago

    Whoever left their coffee mug sitting on the CPU cores is gonna get fired.

    • Chrispy_
    • 10 months ago

    The announcement that standard Radeon Software will be compatible with all 3000-series mobile processors is a welcome one, but it does nothing to help the poor victims who are shafted with 2500U and 2700U laptops.

    Also, this is just a re-brand for the most part. Same old Raven Ridge, same CPU and GPU configs, same old process node. Mobile parts really need 7nm for power and efficiency savings. The 35W TDP will finally un-cripple the performance of these things, but it would have been nice to see 7nm silicon that would allow non-throttling performance at 15W, most likely.

      • RAGEPRO
      • 10 months ago

      The 2000-series chips are included in that announcement.

        • Chrispy_
        • 10 months ago

        Ah excellent. I don’t know where I read that they were 3000-series only, but that pleases me. The 2700U is an excellent 15W product (in dual-channel memory configuration) and I’d have bought one for myself had it not been crippled by a lack of driver updates until now.

        I wish they’d let the 2700U run at 25W. Plenty of dual-fan ultraportables have the cooling to handle 25W and that would really let the Vega10 IGP stretch its legs.

        Edit:
        Zak, do you know what process the 2700U and 2500U are on? I’m wondering if the 3000-series are benefitting in terms of efficiencty from a shift from 14nm to 12nm or whether those models have always been 12nm.

          • RAGEPRO
          • 10 months ago

          As far as I know those parts are 14nm.

          • Spunjji
          • 10 months ago

          I could have sworn there was at least one device out there that allows it to run at 25W, but I can’t for the life of me find that info out there now.

          Most of them are hobbled by some combination of terrible display, bad power management and feeble cooling, though. :/

        • Chrispy_
        • 10 months ago

        I just bought a 2700U ultrabook in the new-year sales.

        (don’t worry, it’s dual-channel)

    • Hattig
    • 10 months ago

    Well, the 35W mobile SKUs are welcome.

    But these really are just a process refinement bump. They should be 2720U (+20) rather than 3700W (+1000).

    But I understand that 2019 is all about the 3000 series for AMD.

    The bigger news is AMD is going to force driver updates for mobile Zen APUs soon, regardless of OEM lock-down.

      • RAGEPRO
      • 10 months ago

      Indeed! I did mention that in the article. 🙂 [quote<]The bigger news is AMD is going to force driver updates for mobile Zen APUs soon, regardless of OEM lock-down.[/quote<]

      • ET3D
      • 10 months ago

      [quote<]But these really are just a process refinement bump. They should be 2720U (+20) rather than 3700W (+1000).[/quote<] Ryzen 2000 was "just a process refinement bump" so it's not unprecedented. Besides, the point of Picasso wasn't to raise clocks but to make the APUs more power efficient. If AMD managed to nail that, the +1000 bump would certainly be warranted.

    • Chz
    • 10 months ago

    I still get the sense that, for whatever reason, AMD still doesn’t take the mobile market seriously.

    The Ryzen 5s trade blows with Intel on the GPU front, but they are cheaper. Which would be great if it weren’t for that bug (why isn’t it fixed if it’s a minor bug?) that has them draw too much power at idle, giving far worse battery life.

    The Ryzen 7s trounce Intel on the GPU front. But they cost more, and still have the battery draining bug.

    I can’t see either as a recommended solution at this point in time. A Ryzen 5 is maybe a good buy for someone who’s going to use it as a portable desktop (plugged in 99% of the time), but for anyone else paying extra for more battery is an easy choice. Ryzen 7 is still a hair too expensive for what it is, because the power bug means that it draws more power at idle than even the discrete-GPU equipped machines it’s priced against. Admittedly less at load, but gaming is normally done plugged in.

      • psuedonymous
      • 10 months ago

      It’s not a bug, it’s just high idle power draw.

      While those who only follow the enthusiast desktop market may view Intel has having ‘rested on its laurels’ since Skylake/Haswell/Sandy Bridge (take your pick), they’ve spent all that time smashing down power consumption after bumping their heads onto the same gate oxide thickness limit (limiting frequency scaling) that everyone else is starting to hit.
      Thinking “Bah, Intel’s attempts at Atom-based phones were rubbish so Intels are just bad at low power!” is to ignore the last decade of power optimisations for Core in ULP laptops.

      • ET3D
      • 10 months ago

      [quote<]I still get the sense that, for whatever reason, AMD still doesn't take the mobile market seriously.[/quote<] I'm not sure why you have this impression, especially since AMD worked precisely on the problem that you feel is most important, i.e., battery life.

    • Unknown-Error
    • 10 months ago

    Prices?

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 10 months ago

    Never before has a change in process tech been so unremarkable in the end product.

      • Spunjji
      • 10 months ago

      RX 590 faded from memory already? 😉

    • maroon1
    • 10 months ago

    Meh. It looks barely better than current Ryzen APU

    So, it sound like 7nm APU won’t be out until maybe early 2020 cause there are usually 1 year gap between generations

      • Fursdon
      • 10 months ago

      In marketing units though, these are 1000 better.

      • NTMBK
      • 10 months ago

      Yeah, I suspect that they are waiting for 7nm EUV before they release their mass market chips- it should in theory provide lower costs than DUV.

    • chuckula
    • 10 months ago

    But the 7nm 16 core 5GHz RyZen 2 that’s hard launching in 2 days is confirmed to be the 3850X!

    These model numbers are too close together. Don’t pull an Intel AMD!!

    [Downthumbed by pro-Intel shills I see! Since when has AMD ever shown off a processor before its hard launch date?!?!? On Tuesday when TR releases its full review of the miraculous 16-Coar RyZen 2 that doesn’t need to be overclocked to run all cores at 5 GHz you’ll see!
    YOU’LL ALL SEE!!!]

      • DrCR
      • 10 months ago

      YES! Unfortunately not earth days though.

      • techguy
      • 10 months ago

      It is absolutely hilarious that there is a rather significant segment of the readership of this site that doesn’t see the humor in your remarks. Personally, I don’t see how anyone could look at a post like that and not realize it’s a joke, but some people just want to be triggered, I guess.

        • drfish
        • 10 months ago

        chuckie’s posts regularly leave me wanting to see the total votes they get instead of just the net total.

          • chuckula
          • 10 months ago

          It is prophesied that the chosen gerbil will restore balance to the thumbs!

        • jensend
        • 10 months ago

        Or people just don’t think the same joke is funny four times a day 365 days a year??

          • thx1138r
          • 10 months ago

          If only it were as few as 4 times a day, he goes into overdrive around the major hardware announcements.

      • Krogoth
      • 10 months ago

      Your post needs more glue. 😉

      I honestly don’t think AMD is going to be announcing desktop-based Zen 2 yet. The refresh of their mobile Zens is their CES piece.

      Zen2-based Ryzen will more likely be a single chipset (4c/6c/8c) + I/O-iGPU chip due to limitations of AM4 socket. Not the rumored 12/16c SKUs. They just need to increase the clockspeed to match Coffee Lake R and at a lower loaded power consumption. Making iGPU ubiquitous on their desktop/laptop platforms would finally address a key strategical weakness in the OEM market. Threadrippers have already addressed the needs of users who need more cores.

      Of course the fanboys would think that’s too sensible and harp on “WE NEED MORE CORES TO BEAT THOSE INTARDS AND COVEEF LAKE!”

    • yokem55
    • 10 months ago

    I’m curious what thermal limits the Intel chip had in AMD’s testing, and in laptop form factor, those limits are a little more stringent.

    • willmore
    • 10 months ago

    [quote<]they're new silicon, not harvested older chips.[/quote<] Is sounds like they're part of a contingency plan on 12nm either not working as well as hoped or not having enough capacity. And I'm not really sure what it tells us happened. Did they intend the whole line to be 12nm but they didn't have the capacity, so some of it had to stay at 14nm or were these processors more "Well, we weren't going to do much down there, but we *have* the 14nm contingency design and fab capacity, why not make some chips and sell them at the low end, after all, 14nm performs well undervolted and at lower clocks/temps."

      • Voldenuit
      • 10 months ago

      Or AMD’s contractual obligations to throw GF a bone. Might as well use them for their bottom-end stuff that enthusiasts don’t care about.

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 10 months ago

      Also, I wonder if they will really be disabling so much of every single 14nm APU they manufacture from this point. That seems terribly wasteful.

      • ET3D
      • 10 months ago

      It’s been rumoured for a while now that AMD will release a native 2 core variant of Raven Ridge (kind of like what Stoney Ridge is for Bristol Ridge). 14nm is probably used simply because it’s cheaper.

    • NTMBK
    • 10 months ago

    Any information on what memory speeds these support? Hopefully they’re not choking that big IGP.

      • DancinJack
      • 10 months ago

      “Up to 32GB Dual Channel DDR4-2400” according to AMD’s slide

      [url<]https://images.anandtech.com/doci/13771/CES19_AMD_Mobility_Update_Final-page-010.jpg[/url<]

        • NTMBK
        • 10 months ago

        Thanks!

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