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Ryzen Marches Into Laptops

November 7, 2017

Author: Linley Gwennap

AMD’s first mobile Zen processors show that the new CPU can fit into the power budget of ultrathin laptops. Code-named Raven Ridge, the new Ryzen Mobile products offer a 15W TDP, taking on Intel’s Kaby Lake R products (e.g., Core i7-8550U). They also include an AMD Vega GPU, marking the first time the company has combined its leading-edge CPU and GPU architectures in a mobile processor. Ryzen Mobile is scheduled to appear in notebooks by the end of this year.

The processor features four Zen CPUs with a total of eight threads—half of the core count of the Ryzen desktop-PC processors. Intel only recently moved from two to four cores for its U-series chips, so Ryzen Mobile affirms this core count as the new standard for ultrathin notebooks. As in the desktop parts, which use the Zeppelin die, each Zen CPU has 512KB of private level-two cache. But the shared L3 cache is only 4MB, half the amount per core compared with Zeppelin (which appears in server products, too).

The integrated GPU contains 10 compute units (CUs) based on AMD’s new Vega architecture. This configuration is much smaller than the Radeon RX Vega card, which features 64 CUs, but it should still greatly outperform the Gen9.5 GPU in Intel’s U-series. For example, AMD reports a score of 915 on the 3DMark Time Spy benchmark, versus only 411 for a Core i7-8550U system (per TechSpot).

The company offers Raven Ridge in two models: the Ryzen 7-2700U and the Ryzen 5-2500U. The high-end part has a base CPU speed of 2.2GHz and a maximum speed of 1.3GHz for its 10-core GPU. The 2500U restricts the GPU to eight cores and 1.1GHz while trimming the base CPU speed to 2.0GHz. Both have a TDP rating of 15W. 

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