I used to write bi-weekly blog posts in a series called Glenn’s Tech Insights. Since I’m not doing that any longer, I will continue to write about HW news on a regular basis here. This week, there is big news about the release of the new AMD Renoir Mobile CPUs.
AMD Renoir Mobile CPUs
While AMD has had great success with their Zen 2 Ryzen 3000 desktop CPUs and Zen 2 EPYC 7002 server CPUs, their previous mobile CPUs have been second class citizens. Now, with the release of the new AMD Renoir Mobile CPUs, that situation is going to change.
In the past, laptops with AMD CPUs were typically low-end to mid-range models that skimped on components and quality. Since AMD mobile CPUs really could not compete with the best offerings from Intel, the laptop vendors did not bother with high-end AMD laptop models. Now, this has changed.
One new model laptop that is an example of this is the 3.5 lb ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14. This 14″ gaming laptop is featured in many of the initial reviews. This model will have several different configurations, but the review samples mostly seem to have one configuration. It includes a 35 watt Ryzen 9 4900HS, a GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q, 16GB of RAM, a 1080P 120 Hz display, and 1TB of NVMe SSD storage.
Just to be clear, even though these AMD Renoir Mobile CPUs are called Ryzen 4xxx models, they are still 7nm Zen 2 architecture parts (just like the desktop Ryzen 3000 series). The naming scheme that AMD is using is confusing, for no good reason.
This laptop has two SODIMM slots. One has a soldered in 8GB DDR4-3200 SODIMM, but the other is a 8GB DDR4-3200 SODIMM that you can swap out for a 16GB SODIMM. This would take you to 24 GB of RAM. You can also replace the stock PCIe 3.0 NVMe storage card with something larger like a 2 TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus.
Honestly, I think a very fast 8C/16T laptop with 24GB of RAM and 2TB of NVMe storage that weighs 3.5 lbs and has good battery life is going to be sufficient for most use cases. Intel now has some real competition in the mobile space.
Overall, the reviews that I have read and watched have been overwhelmingly very positive. Here are a few that you might want to read or watch:
- Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Review: AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS Tested
- Ryzen 4000 Review: AMD’s 7nm Ryzen 9 offers game-changing performance for laptops
- Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review: AMD makes this 14-inch gaming laptop fly
- ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review: Ryzen 4000 Mobile Unleashed
- AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS Review, Move Aside Intel, Your Days of Laptop Domination Are Over
- AMD DID IT! This Ryzen 9 Notebook Is AMAZING – Zephyrus G14 Review
- Now Intel is in (even more) Trouble – AMD RYZEN 4000 Mobile Review (ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14)
AMD has put a lot of pressure on Intel in the desktop CPU space, and is a huge favorite among people who like to build their own machines from parts. This is interesting, but has not been a huge blow to Intel, because the desktop CPU market is relatively small. In the server market, AMD has a very viable competitor in the EPYC 7002 series. Despite this, Intel still controls roughly 90% of the server CPU market (for a number of reasons). AMD has been successful in certain market segments, but Intel has completely dominated the very important mobile market segment.
Now, with the release of the mobile AMD Ryzen 4000 series, Intel is going to be under actual pressure in the mobile CPU market. There will be many very high quality laptop models that will use AMD Ryzen 4000 series CPUs. This will give people more choices, and will force Intel to respond or face losing market share. The initial response will probably be price cuts, while long-term, Intel will have to release better products. This is good news for anyone who is looking for a new laptop.
If you find this sort of content interesting, please let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading!