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AMD Radeon finally has something to fight against GeForce RTX 3080 laptops. Now the trick is just getting it out there

AMD Radeon finally has something to fight against GeForce RTX 3080 laptops. Now the trick is just getting it out there (Source: AMD)
AMD Radeon finally has something to fight against GeForce RTX 3080 laptops. Now the trick is just getting it out there (Source: AMD)
AMD just announced its newest and most powerful mobile GPUs ever — too bad only two laptops are actually going to use them when they launch later this month. We can only hope that manufacturer support for mobile Radeon graphics will grow quickly over time to better compete against the ocean of GeForce-powered gaming laptops.

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After years of falling behind in laptop graphics, AMD will soon be launching the new mobile Radeon 6000M series utilizing the same RDNA2 architecture that powers the current generation of consoles and the desktop Radeon RX 6000 series. Benchmarks provided by the chipmaker promise up to 50 percent faster performance and 43 percent lower power consumption on average when compared to gaming laptops running on first generation RDNA GPUs. AMD is even claiming slightly faster frame rates than a GeForce RTX 3080 laptop on a small handful of games like Borderlands 3 and Resident Evil Village.

In reality, it really doesn't matter how powerful the new mobile RDNA2 GPUs will be if manufacturer support will be limited. All gaming laptops sporting the last generation Radeon RX 5000M series could be counted in the single digits compared to the dozens (if not hundreds) of different models and SKUs running on GeForce GTX or RTX graphics. The biggest supporters of Radeon-powered laptops at the moment are MSI and Asus as these are the two largest gaming laptop manufacturers by market share. Even so, only a tiny fraction of their product lineups have Radeon options at all. Well-known laptops like the MSI GS65/66, Razer Blade, or Asus Zephyrus S are all Nvidia only with no Radeon alternative despite the fact that the new mobile RDNA2 GPUs will supposedly be comparable to the mobile RTX 3080.

To make matters worse, AMD SmartShift will only be compatible on gaming laptops powered by both an AMD CPU and Radeon RDNA2 GPU. On paper, this will encourage manufacturers to make all-AMD gaming laptops, but this will also discourage manufacturers from pairing Intel CPUs with Radeon GPUs or else the extra performance boost will be lost. It's a double-edged sword as the vast majority of gaming laptops were designed around Intel CPUs and chipsets.

For mobile RDNA2 to really succeed, AMD will have to convince laptop makers to integrate Radeon GPUs onto more popular models and then market them to be on par with Nvidia options. AMD did announce a couple of laptops launching with Radeon RX6000M GPUs like the Asus ROG Strix G15 and HP Omen 16, but they are definitely going to need more than that to make a big splash.

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Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - Lead Editor U.S. - 4640 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2011
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.
contact me via: @AllenNgoNBC
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 05 > AMD Radeon finally has something to fight against GeForce RTX 3080 laptops. Now the trick is just getting it out there
Allen Ngo, 2021-06- 1 (Update: 2021-06- 1)