Back at Computex, AMD announced its “Mendocino” APUs, meant to increase the company’s presence in mid-to-low-end laptops. Today, the company has provided plenty more details of the chips, now dubbed the AMD 7020 series, which includes two Ryzen processors and an Athlon Gold chip. All will use AMD’s Zen 2 architecture on a six-nanometer platform.
The first laptops with the new chips will be released in Q4 of this year.
The chips come with a slew of new features that AMD claims will boost performance on what it calls the “everyday laptop” — the type of notebook you go into a brick and mortar store to get on a tight budget, particularly when you’re largely focused on web browsing. AMD is promising longer battery life and faster performance than the notebooks on the market today.
|Athlon Gold 7220U||Ryzen 3 7320U||Ryzen 5 7520U|
|Cores / Threads||2 / 4||4 / 8||4 / 8|
|Base Clock||2.4 GHz||2.4 GHz||2.8 GHz|
|Boost Clock||3.7 GHz||4.1 GHz||4.3 GHz|
|TDP||8 – 15 W||8 – 15 W||8 – 15 W|
|Graphics||Radeon 610M (integrated)||Radeon 610M (integrated)||Radeon 610M (integrated)|
The new chips, the Ryzen 3 7320U, Ryzen 5 7520U and Athlon Gold 7220U, will use the Zen 2 architecture with up to 4 cores and 8 threads, LPDDR5 memory and AMD Radeon 610M graphics based on RDNA 2.
AMD is estimating up to 12 hours of battery life on 7020 series systems, partially thanks to “Dedicated video and audio playback hardware for low-power optimization.” That number is based on estimates using engineering samples with a video playback test. 12 hours on a budget notebook would indeed be impressive, and mean far less charging. Of course, only time and testing will tell how close reality comes to AMD’s estimations.
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The company also claims the 7020 series will make budget notebooks boost faster, with support for ball grid array (BGA) NVMe SSDs. AMD compared the Ryzen 3 7320U to an Intel Core i3 1115G4, an 11th Gen “Tiger Lake” processor running on Intel’s 10nm SuperFin process, which AMD claims is a strong representation of what you can find in “everyday laptops” in stores today. The company claims its Ryzen 3 is up to 31% faster in PCMark 10 productivity, up to 58% faster in Cinebench R23’s multi-threaded test and up to 80% faster in 7-Zip. AMD also suggests that its chip allows for software to launch 31% faster, per the PCMark 10 “App Start” test. AMD tested its Ryzen 3 with 4GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD to the Intel chip with 8GB of RAM but a paltrier 256GB SSD.
That performance differential with 4GB of RAM is impressive, and AMD says the chips support LPDDR5. In this case, we don’t know what kind of RAM the Intel laptop was using.
The graphics on board the 7020 series chips are AMD’s integrated Radeon 610M graphics. These use RDNA 2 tech and have AV1 decode support, and will allow for up to four displays to be powered at once. In fact, AMD claims you could use these graphics for gaming at 60 frames per setting at 720p.
AMD didn’t list the exact settings for its testing, but in some footnotes, it said it tested on a reference board using the Athlon 7220U CPU, Radeon 610M, 4GB of RAM and a 1TB NVMe SSD. The company claims “League of Legends” ran at 84.34 fps, “CounterStrike: Go” ran at 97.28 fps and “DOTA 2” played at 61.23 fps. No further details on the Radeon 610M were provided.
The company is also touting that the 7020 series will feature a Bio USB channel, alongside support for Microsoft’s Pluton processor for more security.
Earlier this month, AMD shook up the model numbers for its mobile Ryzen processors. It clarified there that the first digit, in this case a seven, stands for the model year of 2023. (Since these 7000 series chips are coming out in 2022, we must presume AMD is taking notes from car manufacturers). The other notable number is the third digit. That “two” is for Zen 2. Many will criticize AMD for using the 7000 series with an old architecture, but we’ve yet to see how AMD will market this in big box stores.
AMD says the first three laptops to include the 7020 series processors will be the Lenovo Ideapad 1, HP 17-inch Laptop PC and Acer Aspire 3. No pricing was given, but these devices should launch in Q4 2022. The company also showed an Asus logo, but didn’t name a machine.
In the past few years, AMD has become a significantly more popular name in laptops, with more designs than ever. Will that translate to the low end, where older Intel (and some AMD) platforms have dominated? We’ll find out later this year.