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AMD Starts 2019 Laptop Offensive With Ryzen 3000 Mobile CPUs

AMD’s reveal of the Ryzen 3000 Series mobile processors, combined with new CPUs for entry-level laptops and Chromebooks, at CES 2019 marks the company’s largest offensive yet on the notebook market.

AMD has revealed new laptop CPUs from its much-anticipated Ryzen 3000 Series and a new lineup of A-Series processors for Chromebooks ahead of the company's keynote at CES 2019 this week — moves that will put AMD CPUs in laptops of all kinds, from gaming to entry-level.

The AMD Ryzen 3000 Series mobile processors, revealed Sunday, mark the second generation of Ryzen processors to come to laptops following the brand's notebook debut in 2017. Combined with a new AMD Athlon 300U for entry-level laptops and two new A-Series CPUs for Chromebooks, this marks the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company’s largest offensive yet in a laptop market that remains dominated by Intel.

"This is the most comprehensive coverage we've ever had of the notebook market going into 2019," Robert Hallock, a senior technical marketing manager at AMD, said in a presentation.

[Related: 30 Hot Products And Technologies At CES 2019]

The Ryzen 3000 Series mobile lineup, which is based on the company's current 12-nanometer Zen+ architecture, is headlined by the gaming-focused AMD Ryzen 7 3750H and Ryzen 5 3550H processors, both of which feature four cores and eight threads in a 35-watt power envelope. The Ryzen 7 3750H runs at a base clock frequency of 2.3 GHz and turbo frequency of 4 GHz while the Ryzen 5 3550H runs at 2.1 GHz and 3.7 GHz, respectively. The two processors, along with the rest of the Ryzen 3000 Series products, come with Vega-based Radeon graphics.

The announcement follows rumors that AMD will reveal its Ryzen 3000 Series desktop processors at CES during CEO Lisa Su’s keynote on Wednesday. The Ryzen 3000 desktop CPUs will reportedly use the company’s next-generation 7nm Zen 2 architecture, unlike their mobile counterparts. In his presentation, Hallock acknowledged that the new laptop CPUs are only the beginning for the Ryzen 3000 Series.

"The Ryzen 3000 Series starts today," he said. "It starts with the second-gen Ryzen mobile CPU but will eventually expand to other parts as well."

ASUS will be among the first OEMs to sell a new AMD-based gaming laptop that includes the AMD Ryzen 7 3750H or Ryzen 5 3550H. Hallock said more AMD-based laptops will be introduced throughout the year, with the company claiming a 33 percent increase in design wins for 2019 over the previous year.

The Ryzen 3000 Series also includes a lineup of processors for low-power, 15-watt systems, starting with the AMD Ryzen 7 3700U, which comes with four cores and eight threads at a 4 GHz base clock frequency, and rounding out with the AMD Ryzen 3 3200U, which comes with two cores and four threads at a 3.5 GHZ base clock frequency.

The AMD Athlon 300U, on the other hand, shares many of the same features as the Ryzen 3 3200U, except for a slightly lower GPU frequency, while using AMD's last-generation 14nm manufacturing process.

As for Chromebooks, AMD is releasing two new processors: the AMD A6-9220C and A4-9120C, both of which features two cores and two threads. The A6 features slightly higher base clock and turbo frequencies at 2.7 GHz and 1.8 GHz, respectively, with a higher GPU frequency at 720 MHz.

"We have some really nice designs coming down the pipe from our partners, and it's just proof that we have the performance and battery life and the power efficiency to really get into these beautiful, sleek, sexy form factors," Hallock said.

AMD is pitching the new mobile CPUs as an opportunity for consumers to upgrade old laptops. In comparisons provided by the company, the new Ryzen mobile processors can provide up to a 60 percent performance boost for productivity applications, such as Microsoft Office, over 2015 laptops running Intel's Broadwell processors. In comparing the AMD Ryzen 7 laptop to a 2015 Intel Core i7, the company said the former can provide a 16x boost for media editing, a 10 percent performance increase for web browsing and a 48 percent increase in PC snappiness.

"These are things that just make the laptop feel easier, nicer, smoother to use, so there's a quality of life element there too," Hallock said. "It's not just performance when you're upgrading a notebook that's five years old. It's that feeling of immediacy and speed that a new notebook can give you."

AMD said the Ryzen 3000 Series for laptops can also provide double-digit performance boosts in web browsing and media editing over Intel's eighth-generation Core processors. The new Ryzen processors not designed for gaming can also provide decent performance, with the Ryzen 7 3700U demonstrating frame rates of 57 frames per second for Fortnite on low settings.

The company also announced that starting this quarter, AMD will begin releasing new Radeon graphics driver updates for all Ryzen-based laptops.

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