AMD Ryzen 5 3580U and Ryzen 7 3780U with an extra CU constitute the semi-custom AMD Ryzen Microsoft Surface Edition series
So far, we have seen AMD partnering with Microsoft to offer semi-custom solutions across Azure, Project xCloud, and Xbox One (including the upcoming Project Scarlett). Now, AMD has created an exclusive Ryzen APU for the Surface Laptop 3 called the AMD Ryzen Microsoft Surface Edition (MSE). Made in collaboration with Microsoft, AMD Ryzen MSE aims to offer enhanced CPU and GPU power for most common productivity tasks and gaming in an ultra-thin form factor.
The Surface Laptop 3 15-inch version comes with a choice of a custom AMD Ryzen 3 3580U with Vega 9 graphics or an AMD Ryzen 7 3780U with Vega 11 graphics. These choices are only for the consumer version as the commercial SKUs of the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 will feature Intel Core i5-1035G7 and Core i7-1065G7 processors. Microsoft and AMD have not detailed the exact specifications of the Ryzen MSE processors, but AMD did confirm that the turbo boost can go up to 4 GHz and the GPU has an extra compute unit (CU) than the mainstream Zen+ variant and also supports AMD FreeSync.
The new collaboration also brings in improvements to Windows 10 to take better advantage of the custom Zen+ APU. Windows 10 now includes an optimized Bluetooth stack, better scheduling priority, and foreground application boost that enables responsive pen input. A new power and thermal management framework is also in place that talks directly with the CPU. AMD Zen+ processors do not yet feature support for Wi-Fi 6, but the company says it has worked with Microsoft to optimize the existing Wi-Fi stack for better power efficiency and performance.
The inclusion of AMD Mobile Ryzen processors in a premium laptop lineup such as the Surface Laptop 3 could be the shot in the arm the company needs for increased penetrance into the broader laptop market, a segment that Intel continues to rule the roost. We look forward to putting this CPU to the test in the days to come so, stay tuned.