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AMD’s New Ryzen 6000 Laptop CPUs Reach 5GHz, 24-Hour Battery Life

Revealed at CES 2022, the chipmaker says the new Ryzen 6000 mobile CPUs come with big performance and efficiency gains thanks to the new Zen 3+ architecture, which is complemented by the graphical horsepower of AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture.

AMD said its new Ryzen 6000 mobile CPUs will reach a boost frequency of 5GHz, a first for the chipmaker, while also enabling up to 24 hours of battery life for video playback.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company revealed the new laptop CPUs at its virtual CES 2022 press conference Tuesday and said the chips up the competition against Intel and Nvidia, thanks in part to AMD’s RDNA 2 graphics technology that is integrated into most of the processors. The processors are also among the first to incorporate Microsoft’s Pluton security processor.

[Related: For AMD’s Commercial PC Head, Patience Begets Ryzen Pro Growth]

The Ryzen 6000 mobile CPUs are based on TSMC’s 6-nanometer manufacturing process, and they mostly use AMD’s new Zen 3+ architecture, which provides performance and efficiency gains over the Zen 3 architecture that was introduced in 2020. The “high-performance, ultra-efficient” architecture sports 50 new and enhanced power management features and an adaptive power management framework, which allows the new chips to support up to 24 hours of battery life, according to AMD.

“With that incredible performance, we’re still able to deliver up to 24 hours of battery life for video playback, which is an enormous step over where we were last year and where the rest of the industry is,” said David McAfee, corporate vice president and general manager of AMD’s client business unit, in a presentation provided to journalists.

AMD expects the new Ryzen 6000 mobile processors, combined with previous-generation Ryzen 5000 chips, to power more than 200 premium laptops this year, with availability starting in February. The new AMD-powered laptops include Lenovo’s ThinkPad Z and Legion 5 Pro, Acer’s Nitro 5, Asus’ ROG Zephyrus G14, Dell’s Alienware m17 R5, HP’s EliteBook 845 and 865 G9 and Razer’s Blade 14.

The new processors support DDR5 memory as well as PCIe 4.0 and USB4 connectivity. They’re also the first x86 processors to “fully support advanced Windows 11 security features” with Microsoft’s Pluton security processor that is integrated on the chip’s die. Those features are complemented by Wi-Fi 6E solutions from Qualcomm and MediaTek on a platform level.

Like previous generations, the Ryzen 6000 mobile CPUs are split into multiple segments: the U-series for ultrathin laptops, the H-series for gaming and content creation laptops, and the Pro series, which provides enterprise-grade security, reliability and management features for commercial systems. But AMD mostly provided details for the new U-series and H-series processors in its CES 2022 press conference and said the Pro series will arrive in early 2022.

While all eight of the H-series processors are 6nm and use AMD’s Zen 3+ and RDNA 2 architectures for CPU and graphics, respectively, only two of the five U-series processors—the Ryzen 7 6800U and Ryzen 5 6600U —use the same process and architectures. The three other U-series processors are based on a 7nm process and rely on AMD’s Zen 3 and Vega architectures that are found in older models.

The U-series is headlined by the Ryzen 7 6800U, which comes with eight cores, 16 threads, a maximum boost of 4.7GHz, a base frequency of 2.7GHz, a combined L2 and L3 cache of 20 MB, 12 GPU cores, a maximum graphics frequency of 2.2GHz and a TDP range of 15 to 28 watts. There are two Ryzen 7 and two Ryzen 5 processors in the lineup, with one of each using Zen 3+, RDNA 2 and 6nm while the other two use Zen 3, Vega and 7nm, resulting in lower clock speeds and less graphical power. The four-core Ryzen 3 5425U, on the other hand, is the only Ryzen 3 in the lineup and uses the older technologies.

Compared with the previous-generation Ryzen 7 5800U, the new Ryzen 7 6800U is 10 percent faster for single-threaded performance, 30 percent faster for multi-threaded performance and 30 percent faster for productivity performance, the latter of which is based on the PCMark 10 Extended benchmark that measures performance for a variety of tasks used in work settings.

When it comes to content creation, the Ryzen 7 6800U is even faster, according to AMD, providing 70 percent faster performance for video encoding and 2.3 times faster performance for 3-D rendering. As for power consumption, the gains are also meaningful, with the Ryzen 7 6800U using up to 30 percent less power for videoconferencing, 15 percent less power for web browsing and 40 percent less power for video streaming, the chipmaker said.

The H-series is headlined by the Ryzen 9 6980HX, which comes with eight cores, 16 threads, a maximum boost frequency of 5GHz, a base frequency of 3.3GHz, a combined L2 and L3 cache of 20 MB, 12 GPU cores, a maximum graphics frequency of 2.4GHz and a thermal design power of 45 or more watts. The rest of the H-series lineup includes Ryzen 9, Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5 processors that go down to six cores, a 4.5 maximum boost frequency and a TDP of 35 watts.

With the Ryzen 9 6980HX hitting 5GHz for gaming laptops, the new processors feature AMD’s “fastest clock frequencies” yet, according to McAfee. While previous Ryzen chips have been overclocked to 5GHz on desktops, the company has never before sold a CPU advertised with such a frequency.

While AMD has led the pack on multi-threaded performance for the past few years, Intel has mostly been ahead when it comes with single-threaded applications, first hitting 5GHz in a desktop CPU in 2018 and then hitting past the 5GHz threshold with multiple chips for gaming laptops in 2020. Intel then hit 5GHz for ultrathin laptops last year with its Core i7-1195G7.

AMD did not provide any competitive comparisons between its fastest Ryzen 6000 CPU, the Ryzen 9 6980HX, and Intel’s comparable processor for gaming laptops, the Core i9-11980HK, which also sports eight cores and a 5GHz boost frequency. Nor did it make any comparisons to Intel’s most powerful CPU for ultrathin laptops, the Core i7-1195G7, which was introduced last year.

However, AMD did compare its new top CPU for ultrathin laptops, the eight-core, 4.7GHz Ryzen 7 6800U, to Intel’s Core i7-1165G7, which sports four cores and the same maximum frequency. For “Doom Eternal,” AMD said its new U-series flagship can provide up to three times more frames per second. For “Counter-Strike: Global Operations,” AMD said its chip is up to 2.5 times faster. It’s also up to 80 percent faster for “Fortnite”, 60 percent faster for “Watch Dogs: Legion,” 40 percent faster for “The Witcher 3” and 20 percent faster for “DOTA 2,” according to AMD.

What helped AMD lead the way across multiple games was the RDNA 2 architecture, which powers only two of the five new U-series processors and all eight of the H-series processors. In the competitive comparisons, AMD showed that the integrated graphics of the Ryzen 7 6800U could outperform Nvidia’s GeForce MX450 GPU that is suited for thin and light laptops.

McAfee said with the inclusion of RDNA 2, the Ryzen 6000 series is the first family of APUs to feature hardware ray tracing. He was keen to point out that RDNA 2 is used in AMD’s latest discrete graphics cards for gaming desktops as well as the backseat entertainment system for Tesla’s new Model S and Model X cars. RDNA 2 also powers Microsoft’s Xbox Series X console.

“This is really built to deliver a disruptive level of performance in ultrathin notebooks, and we think we’ve done that by bringing the best graphics IP that’s used across the industry into our next-generation mobile processors,” he said.

When it comes to generational comparisons, AMD said RDNA 2 helps the Ryzen 7 6800U outperform the previous-generation Ryzen 7 5800U by up to two times across multiple games, including “Cyberpunk 2077,” “Back 4 Blood” and “Overwatch.”

The graphical capabilities of the Ryzen 6000 processors are even better when using AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution software, which upscales images to boost frames per second, according to the company. For the Ryzen 7 5800U with Super Resolution turned on, AMD boasted gains of 51 percent to 59 frames per second for “Far Cry 6,” 56 percent to 114 frames for “Call of Duty: Vanguard,” 35 percent to 73 frames for “Deathloop” and 29 percent to 61 frames for “Godfall.”

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