Back to Computex, AMD announced his “Mendocino” APUs, intended to increase the company’s presence in mid- to low-end laptops. Today the company provided much more detail on the chips, now called 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 the fourth quarter of this year.
The chips come with a host of new features that AMD says will improve the performance of what it calls “the everyday laptop” – the kind of laptop you go to a physical store to get. a tight budget, especially when you’re largely focused on web browsing. AMD promises longer battery life and faster performance than laptops currently on the market.
|Athlon Gold 7220U||Ryzen 3 7320U||Ryzen5 7520U|
|Cores / Threads||4-Feb||8-april||8-april|
|Hidden||5 MB||6 MB||6 MB|
|PDT||8 – 15W||8 – 15W||8 – 15W|
|Chart||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 RDNA 2-based AMD Radeon 610M graphics.
AMD estimates up to 12 hours of battery life on 7020-series systems, thanks in part to “dedicated video and audio playback hardware for low-power optimization.” This number is based on estimates using engineering samples with video playback testing. 12 hours on a budget laptop would indeed be impressive and would mean a lot less charging. Of course, only time and testing will tell how close reality is to AMD’s estimates.
Image 1 of 2
The company also claims the 7020 series will speed up budget laptops, with support for NVMe Ball Grid Array (BGA) 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 says 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 makes software launch 31% faster, according to the PCMark 10 “App Start” test. AMD tested its Ryzen 3 with 4 GB of RAM and a 1 TB SSD on the Intel chip with 8 GB of RAM but a paltry 256 GB SSD.
That performance differential with 4GB of RAM is impressive, and AMD claims the chips support LPDDR5. In this case, we don’t know what kind of RAM the Intel laptop was using.
The onboard graphics of the 7020 series chips are AMD’s integrated Radeon 610M graphics. These use RDNA 2 technology and support AV1 decoding, and will power up to four displays at once. In fact, AMD claims you can use these graphics to play at 60 frames per setting at 720p.
AMD didn’t list the exact parameters for its testing, but in some footnotes it said it tested on a reference card using the Athlon 7220U processor, Radeon 610M, 4GB of RAM and an NVMe SSD of 1 TB. The company says “League of Legends” ran at 84.34 fps, “CounterStrike: Go” ran at 97.28 fps, and “DOTA 2” ran at 61.23 fps. No other details about the Radeon 610M were provided.
The company also announces that the 7020 series will feature a Bio USB channel, as well as support for Microsoft’s Pluto processor for added security.
Earlier this month, AMD shook up the model numbers of its Ryzen mobile processors. It specified there that the first digit, in this case a seven, represents the 2023 model year. (Since these 7000-series chips are coming out in 2022, we have to assume AMD is taking notes from the automakers). The other notable number is the third digit. This “two” is for Zen 2. Many will criticize AMD for using the 7000 series with an older architecture, but we have yet to see how AMD will bring this to the big box stores.
AMD says the first three laptops to include the 7020-series processors will be the Lenovo Ideapad 1, the HP 17-inch Laptop, and the Acer Aspire 3. No pricing was given, but those devices are expected to launch in fourth quarter 2022. The company also showed an Asus logo, but did not name a machine.
Over the past few years, AMD has become a much more popular name in laptops, with more designs than ever. Will this translate to the low end, where older Intel (and some AMD) platforms have dominated? We will find out later this year.