Technology NewsAMD unveils Ryzen 7000 mobile APUs, V-Cache chips, and...

AMD unveils Ryzen 7000 mobile APUs, V-Cache chips, and RX 7000 laptop GPUs

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2022, although not a great year for AMD, saw the launch of Ryzen 7000 CPUs and RX 7000 GPUs, laying the foundation for the next generation of AMD chips. AMD is building on its product lineup with the announcement of Ryzen 7000 mobile, RX 7000 mobile, Ryzen 7000 V-Cache desktop CPUs, and budget-oriented Ryzen 7000 processors at CES 2023. It’s a powerful way for AMD to start off the year and to adjust to the problems it faced in 2022, and we’ll see all these new products launch almost immediately in February.


Ryzen 7000 finally comes to laptops

AMD unveils Ryzen 7000 mobile APUs, V-Cache chips, and RX 7000 laptop GPUs

AMD had always made it clear Ryzen 7000 mobile would be debuting in the first quarter of 2023, so it’s not surprising we finally get the (mostly) full announcement at CES. Ryzen 7000 mobile, aside from offering new APUs using the Zen 4 architecture, also introduces a reorganization of AMD’s mobile processors. What you need to know is that Ryzen 7000 mobile doesn’t mean Zen 4; there are Zen 2, Zen 3, and Zen 3+ Ryzen APUs in the Ryzen 7000 lineup, denoted by the second to last digit in the CPU name (7020 series is Zen 2, 7030 Zen 3, and so on).

As for the truly new Ryzen 7000 mobile APUs using the Zen 4 architecture, AMD is doing something interesting. All previous generations of Ryzen mobile essentially used the same chip for every single segment, but Ryzen 7000 mobile introduces two separate CPUs for different segments: the 7040 series laptops focused on efficiency and size, and the 7045 series for laptops focused on raw performance.

The 7040 U and HS series, codenamed Phoenix, is pretty much in line with prior generations of Ryzen 7000 mobile: fewer cores than desktop CPUs (up to eight cores in this case) and limited TDP to 45 watts. One notable upgrade is the amount of cache, which is finally on par with desktop CPUs. These Phoenix APUs also AMD’s first chips to incorporate AI technology (a benefit of the company’s acquisition of Xilinx). AMD claims its new AI engine is up to 20% faster than the one in Apple’s M2 CPU, but we’ll have to see for ourselves. AMD has announced three Ryzen 7040 models, all of which are HS class, with U class versions coming later.

Ryzen 9 7940HS

Ryzen 7 7840HS

Ryzen 5 7640HS

Cores/Threads

8/16

8/16

6/12

Boost/Base Frequency

5.2/4.0GHz

5.1/3.8GHz

5.0/4.3GHz

Cache (L2+L3)

40MB

40MB

38MB

TDP

35-45W

35-45W

35-45W

The top-end 7045 HX series, codenamed Dragon Range, is actually just Ryzen 7000 desktop CPUs but tweaked for laptops. This means the fastest Ryzen mobile APUs now come with desktop levels of cores, cache, and clock speed. Of course, since power is limited on mobile devices, the top-end Ryzen 9 7945HX will be slower than the Ryzen 9 7950X despite the fact that they’re more or less the same chip. AMD is launching four 7045 series APUs:

Ryzen 9 7945HX

Ryzen 9 7845HX

Ryzen 7 7745HX

Ryzen 5 7645HX

Cores/Threads

16/32

12/24

8/16

6/12

Boost/Base Frequency

5.4/2.5GHz

5.2/3.0GHz

5.1/3.6GHz

5.0/4.0GHz

Cache (L2+L3)

80MB

76MB

40MB

38MB

TDP

55-75W+

45-75W+

45-75W+

45-75W+

By using both traditional laptop-grade silicon and high-end desktop silicon for Ryzen 7000 mobile, AMD is basically doing what Intel started doing with its 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs. Intel has its mobile oriented -P series processors as well as -H/HX CPUs which are essentially identical to desktop chips. AMD has long struggled to beat Intel in raw performance, but with Dragon Range AMD finally has Intel on the ropes. The usage of Zen 4 chips exclusively for high-end laptops is also an indication that AMD is continuing to focus on the high-end part of the market.

Meanwhile, Zen 2 and Zen 3 are picking up the slack for the low-end to midrange segment of the market. The 7020 and 7030 series will only exist as U class processors while the 7035 series will have both U and HS class models. Fundamentally, these are mostly refreshed versions of old CPUs from the past couple of years. While they aren’t as cutting-edge as the 7040 or 7045 series, hopefully they’ll be more affordable and accessible than they were originally.

Ryzen 7 7735HS

Ryzen 7 7735U

Ryzen 7 7730U

Ryzen 5 7535HS

Ryzen 5 7535U

Ryzen 5 7530U

Ryzen 3 7335U

Ryzen 3 7330U

Cores/Threads

8/16

8/16

8/16

6/12

6/12

6/12

4/8

4/8

Boost/Base Frequency

4.75/3.2GHz

4.75/2.7GHz

4.5/2.0GHz

4.55/3.3GHz

4.55/2.9GHz

4.5/2.0GHz

4.3/3.0GHz

4.3/2.3GHz

Cache (L2+L3)

20MB

20MB

20MB

19MB

19MB

19MB

10MB

10MB

TDP

35W

15-28W

15W

35W

15-28W

15W

15-28W

15W

RX 7000 also goes mobile, but only for the midrange

A render of an RX 7000 mobile GPU.

Alongside Ryzen 7000 mobile, AMD is launching new laptop GPUs from the RX 7000 series, but the company is only launching four new models rather than a full replacement for the RX 6000 mobile series. These new GPUs target Nvidia’s RTX 3060, the company’s most popular GPU for laptops and will come in two flavors: -M for performance and -S for efficiency, the same nomenclature RX 6000 used. AMD claims the RX 7600M XT (which appears to be the fastest of the four) will beat the 3060 by about 10-30%, but take that with a grain of salt.

Unfortunately, we don’t really have any useful specifications for these GPUs beyond the fact that they all have 8GB of memory and a 128-bit memory bus, but there are a few interesting tidbits. All four of these new mobile GPUs use the same chip, which has the RDNA3 architecture like the RX 7900 XTX and XT, but uses TSMC’s 6nm process instead of the newer 5nm process. This new GPU is also monolithic, which makes it something of a hybrid between last-gen RX 6000 GPUs and the brand-new RX 7000 series.

The existence of this 6nm RDNA3 chip also raises the possibility that we’ll see a desktop version at some point, and it’s not without precedent. The RX 6400 and RX 6500 XT were both designed for laptops (hence why they only came with four PCIe lanes) and launched as desktop graphics cards in early 2022. Perhaps we might see this 6nm RDNA3 GPU replace some of AMD’s midrange RX 6000 cards, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Ryzen 7000 V-Cache launches for the desktop

A render of a Ryzen 7000 V-Cache CPU.

The desktop also got some attention as AMD announced Ryzen 7000 CPUs with V-Cache. If you’re not familiar with V-Cache, it’s basically a chip that has a ton of L3 cache, and AMD can add it to a desktop CPU thanks to the power of chiplets and die stacking. Having more cache can improve performance in all applications, but it primarily benefits gaming. AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X3D was the company’s first V-Cache CPU for the desktop and although it has much lower clock speeds and fewer cores than higher-end AMD and Intel chips, it’s tied for the world’s fastest gaming CPU.

One of the biggest complaints people had about V-Cache last generation was that the 5800X3D was the only model available. AMD has now addressed that by launching V-Cache variants of the Ryzen 9 7950X and 7900X, the 7950X3D and 7900X3D. These CPUs will launch alongside the Ryzen 7 7800X3D; unfortunately, AMD did not announce a 6-core CPU with V-Cache.

Ryzen 9 7950X3D

Ryzen 9 7900X3D

Ryzen 7 7800X3D

Cores/Threads

16/32

12/24

8/16

Boost/Base Frequency

5.7/4.2GHz

5.6/4.4GHz

5.0/?GHz

Cache (L2+L3)

144MB

140MB

104MB

TDP

120W

120W

120W

The 7950X3D has 128MB of L3 cache, double that of the regular 7950X, and when you add in the 16MB of L2 cache, that’s 144MB. It’s hard to overstate how massive this amount of cache is. For reference, Intel also focused on increasing cache with its new 13th Gen CPUs, but the Core i9-13900K has just 36MB of combined L2 and L3 cache. Of course, having tons more cache doesn’t always mean better performance, in the same way having more RAM doesn’t mean better performance. Still, these CPUs have a definite advantage in gaming and other cache or memory sensitive workloads.

Mainstream Ryzen 7000 desktop CPUs finally debut

Last but not least, AMD has gotten around to launching the mainstream non-X Ryzen 7000 desktop processors. The company has seemingly learned from the mistake it made with Ryzen 5000, which didn’t see budget models for over a year, and those models only launched because Intel lit a fire under AMD with cheap 12th Gen CPUs. These cheaper Ryzen 7000 chips also aren’t rejected APUs or recycled CPUs from previous generations (which most Ryzen 5000 budget chips were); these are simply lower power versions of existing Ryzen 7000 CPUs for a lower price.

Ryzen 9 7900

Ryzen 7 7700

Ryzen 5 7600

Cores/Threads

12/24

8/16

6/12

Boost/Base Frequency

5.4/3.7GHz

5.3/3.8GHz

5.1/3.8GHz

Cache (L2+L3)

76MB

40MB

38MB

TDP

65W

65W

65W

MSRP

$429

$329

$229

Perhaps the most promising aspect of these CPUs are the price tags. These prices are significantly lower than what the X versions of these CPUs launched at. However, those X models are also selling for much less than MSRP right now; for example, the Ryzen 5 7600X is on sale for $240 at the time of writing, a reaction to competitive pricing on 13th Gen processors. In practice, perhaps we’ll see these new non-X CPUs go on sale for less than MSRP, but we can’t know for certain.

It’s clear AMD’s focus is still mostly on the high-end as it launches premium laptop APUs and V-Cache-equipped desktop CPUs, but the company seems to be rethinking its strategy for the mainstream segment with the introduction of these 65 watt chips. It’s a step in the right direction if the company wants to reclaim its status as the go-to option for budget builders.

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