AMD presented its latest Ryzen 5000 laptop processors at a virtual keynote at CES 2021 and introduced the upcoming Radeon GPUs for desktops and laptops as well as next-generation Epyc data center CPUs. AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su started her presentation with an overview of the technology adapted to the needs of a pandemic-hit world, stating that over 300 million computers were sold in 2020, the highest number since 2014, and that she expects to see that number in Year 2021 will increase. AMD has also donated over 12 petaflops to computer resources to scientists and researchers who worked on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments over the past year.
Su called the 7nm Zen 3 architecture AMD’s biggest performance boost since the original Ryzen family started, and introduced the Ryzen 5000 laptop processors on the same basis. AMD promises leading-edge energy efficiency and performance. The Ryzen 5000 series includes the Ryzen 5800U, which Su says is the most powerful PC processor of all time and the only 8-core x86 processor for ultra-thin laptops with a 15 W thermal sleeve. In terms of energy efficiency, the Ryzen 7 5800U is designed for a battery life of up to 17.5 hours for general use and up to 21 hours of video playback.
Compared to the Intel Core i7-1185G7, the Ryzen 7 5800U is said to offer 18 percent better performance in PCMark 10 and up to 44 percent faster media encoding in Adobe Premiere and up to 39 percent faster performance in Blender 3D. Five Ryzen 5000 U-series CPUs have been announced. However, some models will still be based on the Zen 2 architecture, including the base quad-core Ryzen 3 5300U and even the Ryzen 7 5700U
For higher performance gaming laptops, AMD emphasizes Ryzen HX as the differentiating brand that represents the “ultimate performance” for desktop-class gaming laptops. Ryzen HX processors have higher thermal envelope values of up to 45 W and are unlocked for overclocking. The top-class Ryzen 9 5900HX was demonstrated that Horizon Zero Dawn runs at 1080p with high detail settings and delivers more than 100 fps, but with an undisclosed GPU and other hardware.
The Ryzen 9 5900HX has 8 cores and 16 threads, 20 MB L2 + L3 cache and a 45 W TDP. It has a maximum boost speed of 4.6 GHz. The Ryzen 9 5980HX has the same specs with a top speed of 4.8 GHz. A total of eight CPUs of the Ryzen 5000 H series with 35 W and 45 W TDPs were announced.
Compared to the Intel Core i9-10980HK, AMD achieves 13 percent better results in the single-threaded test of Cinebench R20 and up to 35 percent better results in the Passmark CPU test. AMD also promises that Ryzen HX 5000 series laptops can play smoothly at 4K and provide leading performance in both single-threaded and multi-threaded workloads.
Laptops based on these new CPUs from Asus, Acer, HP, Lenovo and Dell will be available from the first quarter of 2021. Su said at least 150 different models will hit the market during 2021, a 50 percent growth over the previous generation.
In addition to the presentation, AMD is also announcing new desktop Ryzen 5000 CPUs, the 12-core Ryzen 9 5900 and the 8-core Ryzen 7 5800, both with 65W TDPs. Ryzen Threadripper Pro CPUs with up to 64 cores will also be available in retail stores rather than just on OEM workstations.
Su also briefly mentioned new laptop GPUs based on the RDNA2 architecture for laptops and mid-range desktops. Though unnamed, the desktop models are likely the rumored Radeon RX 6700 series. These are expected in the first half of 2021, but no further details have been mentioned. RDNA2 is the same architecture that underlies the AMD Radeon RX 6800 and Radeon RX 6900 GPUs and the semi-custom chips for the Sony PlayStation 5 and Microsoft Xbox Series X and Series S.
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