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AMD Reveals Ryzen 4000, 'The Best' Processors For Ultrathin Laptops

'We wanted to be above that historical curve. We wanted to push the envelope,' AMD CEO Lisa Su says of the new high-performance laptop processors, which the chipmaker claims are faster than Intel's latest Ice Lake chips.

AMD revealed its third-generation Ryzen processors for laptops at CES 2020 on Monday, taking aim at Intel by calling Ryzen 4000 series "the best" processors for ultrathin laptops.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said the new processors will start appearing in new laptops starting this quarter, with more than 100 designs promised for 2020 in consumer, commercial and content creation models. Among the first laptops revealed running the new mobile processors is Lenovo's new Yoga Slim 7, which is due out in April.

[Related: AMD's Xbox, PlayStation Work Led To A Big Security Feature In EPYC]

The chipmaker also revealed that its previously teased 64-core Ryzen Threadripper 3990X processor for the high-end desktop market will cost $3,990 and land Feb. 7. In addition, the company announced new SmartShift technology that will provide performance improvements when systems are running on AMD's client processors and discrete GPUs.

At a news conference at CES on Monday, AMD CEO Lisa Su said the laptop industry has largely been experiencing incremental improvements in performance and power efficiency, but that will change with the company's new Ryzen 4000 processors.

"We wanted to be above that historical curve. We wanted to push the envelope," she said.

Based on the same 7-nanometer Zen 2 architecture used for AMD's third-generation Ryzen desktop and second-generation EPYC server processors, AMD described the Ryzen 4000 series as a cross between "ultra high-performance" and "ultrathin portability."

This means eight cores and 16 threads in the top Ryzen 4000 SKUs, which will be split between three types: the U-series for ultrathin consumer laptops, the H-series for gaming and creator laptops and the Pro series for ultrathin commercial laptops.

At the top of the stack of the U-series is the AMD Ryzen 4800U, which comes with eight cores, 16 threads, up to 4.2GHz in boost frequency, a 1.7 GHz base frequency and eight Radeon GPU cores, all within a 15-watt thermal envelope that is needed for ultrathin laptops.

Compared to Intel's 10th-generation Core i7-1065G7 Ice Lake processor, Su said benchmark data shows that the Ryzen 4800U provides 4 percent better performance in single-threaded performance, 90 percent better multi-threaded performance and 28 percent better graphics performance.

AMD also showed that the Ryzen 4800U provides double-digit performance improvements over Intel's Core i7-1065G7 across a variety of content creation benchmarks and applications, with gains reaching as high as 49 percent.

"When I say it's simply the best laptop processor that's been built, I think we've show it in these numbers," she said.

For the H-series, the top processor is the Ryzen 7 4800U, which comes with eight cores, 16 threads, up to 4.2 GHz in boost frequency and a 2.9GHz base frequency within a 45-watt envelope.

Frank Azor, the Alienware co-founder who is now AMD's chief architect of gaming solutions, said the new H-series processors bring "desktop caliber performance" in a mobile form factor.

AMD's new reveals come after the chipmaker launched its first 7nm processors for client computers and servers last year with the third-generation Ryzen and second-generation EPYC Rome.

As the only chipmaker with both x86 processors and discrete GPUs on the market, AMD is making an increasingly bigger deal about the benefits of its components together, which the company made clear with its new SmartShift technology. In November, AMD data center executive Scott Aylor told CRN that the company is planning to create tighter integration between EPYC and its Radeon server CPUs in the future, release-wise and architecturally.

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