AMD’s new generation of processors for laptops is here. At least in part. The company led by Lisa Su has just presented the advance party of chips with which it is beginning to shape the family of solutions for laptops that will be definitively consolidated in 2023.
The Ryzen and Athlon 7020 microprocessors are the proposals with which AMD will compete in the affordable laptops that will hit the stores in the coming months. As we are about to discover, they propose several very interesting features, and, in a way, they prepare us for what will arrive in 2023 when this brand launches the 7030, 7035, 7040, and 7045 series. This is what these new CPUs promise us.
AMD Ryzen and Athlon 7020: technical specifications
|RYZEN 5 7520U||RYZEN 3 7320U||ATHLON GOLD 7220U|
|Lithography||6nm TSMC||6nm TSMC||6nm TSMC|
|Microarchitecture||Enhanced Zen 2||Enhanced Zen 2||Enhanced Zen 2|
|Base Clock Frequency||2.8GHz||2.4GHz||2.4GHz|
|Maximum Clock Rate||4.3GHz||4.1GHz||3.7GHz|
|Integrated Graphics||Radeon 610M||Radeon 610M||Radeon 610M|
|TDP||8-15 watts||8-15 watts||8-15 watts|
Up to 8 threads and 12 hours of battery life to power affordable laptops
The Ryzen 5 7520U, Ryzen 3 7320U, and Athlon Gold 7220U processors, identified by AMD with the code name ‘Mendocino’, have been tuned by AMD engineers to deliver competitive performance in entry and mid-range laptops. On paper, the most ambitious of these chips is the Ryzen 5 7520U, and the most modest is the Athlon Gold 7220U. The Ryzen 3 7320U is only slightly slower than the Ryzen 5, but it offers us the same balance of cores and threads, so its performance should only be slightly lower.
In the next illustration, AMD anticipates the arrival of the other series of microprocessors for laptops in 2021 that will shape its portfolio for the 2022-2023 timeframe. The chips in the 7030 families will be aimed at lightweight and affordable laptops; those in the 7035 series, at mid-range equipment; those in the 7040 range, at the high-end ultralight; and, finally, those in the 7045 series at gaming and content-creation laptops.
The microarchitecture on which AMD engineers have tuned the Ryzen and Athlon 7020 processors is an improved version of Zen 2, although this does not mean that the series arriving in 2023 will also use it. We are sure that at least some of them will be implemented on Zen 4. On the other hand, these chips are being manufactured by TSMC using its 6 nm photolithography, have been designed to coexist with LPDDR5 memory chips, and incorporate a maximum of 4 cores and their TDP ranges between 8 and 15 watts.
This brings us to what is undoubtedly the great promise of these processors: they offer up to 12 hours of autonomy. Not bad, especially if we take into account that the laptops that will incorporate them will have an affordable price. In any case, this is something that we will check as soon as we have the opportunity to analyze in depth one of the first computers that will use a Ryzen or an Athlon 7020.
When talking about the performance of their processors both AMD and Intel ‘sweep for home’, so we prefer to pick up their promises in this area with great caution. In any case, according to AMD its Ryzen 3 7320U is up to 31% faster than an Intel Core i3-1115G4 in PCMark 10, up to 58% faster in Cinebench R23, and performs up to 80% better in 7-Zip. There’s that. Again, we quarantine this performance until we have a chance to check it out on our benchmark.
In the next slide, we can see some of the technologies introduced by AMD in these microprocessors to increase their competitiveness against last year’s offerings. Some of the most relevant ones are a dedicated USB channel that is involved in the security layer implemented by Microsoft in Windows 11, the possibility to perform fast battery charging, or the native support of initialization through WoV (Wake-on-Voice) technology using Alexa or Cortana voice assistants.
On the other hand, the integrated graphics in these CPUs are the Radeon 610M with RDNA 2 architecture. According to AMD this graphics logic is enough to deliver us a sustained frame rate of 60 FPS at 720p in games such as ‘League of Legends’, ‘DOTA2’ or ‘Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’. For gaming enthusiasts, this performance will not be enough, so it will only suit those users with modest demands who play occasionally.
First laptops equipped with these CPUs will arrive in October
AMD has confirmed that the first laptops to feature Ryzen and Athlon 7020 processors will be Lenovo’s Ideapad 1, HP’s 17″ Laptop PC, and Acer’s Aspire 3. They will be available during the last quarter of this year, and presumably, more similar offerings from these and other brands will follow.