Want an affordable laptop that can run Overwatch decently while letting you stream your sick D.Va skills at the same time? That’s the promise of Ryzen Mobile, the laptop-friendly version of AMD’s new high-end processors. We’ll soon find out if they can keep that promise — the first Ryzen Mobile laptops are coming later this year.
The AMD press conference today was light on details, mostly serving to recap what they had already announced earlier in the month during a conference call with investors. But, there was enough information about these Ryzen Mobile chips to possibly create some interest for gamers.
The Ryzen Mobile chips will have up to four cores and eight threads, meaning that they’ll be able to run many processes efficiently. While that used to be considered marketing fluff not too long ago, the explosion of interest in simultaneous gaming and streaming has made multi-core, multi-thread processors practical.
But, where AMD could seriously challenge Intel in the laptop space is in graphics. AMD is proficient in making both CPUs and GPUs, and they’re planning to use the good stuff in their Ryzen Mobile integrated graphics. They’ll be adapting their Radeon Vega graphics, their next generation GPUs being designed for heavy-duty business use, for those integrated graphics. That’ll give AMD a huge leg up on Intel, which still struggles with creating integrated graphics that can run games at high settings.
That could lead quickly to cheaper quality gaming laptops. OEMs like HP, Dell, Asus, Acer, and Lenovo won’t have to put discrete GPUs in their laptops to provide a good gaming and streaming experience, which combined with AMD’s efficiency and value should bring down the price considerably. It’ll also allow them to create much thinner laptops and even 2-in-1s, with AMD indicating that they could be 15 mm thick or less. It’s not too surprising — the Ryzen Mobile chip itself was shown during the press conference, and it’s very small.
There’s no doubt AMD will be able to compete on price. Performance is another thing. AMD’s press conference featured a lot of favorable comparisons to Intel’s 7th generation Core i processors, but with Intel’s 8th generation and their new performance line of Core X processors coming later this year, AMD still might find itself behind. They’ll also feel the heat from Nvidia, which just announced their Max-Q design for their mobile GeForce GPUs. That design will allow OEMs to create similarly thin laptops running on Intel’s CPUs and Nvidia’s GPUs.
We’re not sure how the performance comparisons will shake out, but we’re OK with that for now. The one thing we know for sure is that with AMD once again a player in high-performance chipsets, the playing field just got a lot more competitive — no matter who wins in the corporate world, gamers should score lower prices and better performance as a result.
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Disclosure: Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), an organizer of COMPUTEX, covered our travel expenses to attend COMPUTEX 2017. All thoughts and opinions are 100% our own.