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AMD Ryzen Pro 6000 series launched: Custom Ryzen 7 6860Z in Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 shown to be 17% faster than Core i7-1260P

AMD Ryzen Pro 6000 series APUs based on Zen 3+ and RDNA 2 are now official. (Image Source: AMD)
AMD Ryzen Pro 6000 series APUs based on Zen 3+ and RDNA 2 are now official. (Image Source: AMD)
AMD officially launched Ryzen Pro 6000 series today. The Ryzen Pro 6000 series is targeted at commercial users and is based on the 6 nm Zen 3+ architecture with RDNA 2 integrated graphics. AMD claims significant performance and battery life numbers, particularly with the Ryzen 7 Pro 6860Z in comparison with the Alder Lake Core i7-1260P.

Recently, AMD launched the Ryzen 6000 series Rembrandt mobile processors based on the Zen 3+ architecture. Now, the company has unveiled the commercial variants of the Ryzen 6000 series that also includes a few Ryzen 5000 Cezanne parts. With this launch, AMD claims that its solutions are even more power-efficient than the Alder Lake competition while also promising decent uplifts in performance and battery life over the Ryzen 5000 series. 

Ryzen Pro 6000 Zen 3+ platform: APUs with integrated RDNA 2

Like their non-commercial counterparts, the Ryzen Pro 6000 series is also based on the 6 nm Zen 3+ architecture, which is essentially a refreshed Cezanne Zen 3 with improvements in power efficiency. You also get integrated RDNA 2 graphics with support for HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 2.0.

Also included is support for LPDDR5/DDR5 RAM, PCIe Gen 4, USB4, and Wi-Fi 6E. AMD told us that Wi-Fi 6E support will depend on the OEM and the Wi-Fi chip vendor. 

Ryzen Pro 6000 security: First x86 APUs with Microsoft Pluton

The Ryzen Pro 6000 series also puts a lot of emphasis on security features starting from the silicon all the way to the cloud. AMD said that it uses a layered approach to security that spans from memory to chip and ultimately to the cloud. All Ryzen Pro APUs come with the Microsoft Pluton security processor built-in.

A good number of these security features are geared towards enterprise Windows 11 users. When asked, AMD said that all in-silicon security features also work well with Linux. However, it was not clear how well Pluton can be managed from within Linux since Pluton's firmware updates are likely to be seeded only via Windows Update. 

AMD also said that the Ryzen Pro 6000 APUs feature a dedicated processor for manageability tasks. This works with Windows Autopilot and Microsoft Endpoint Manager to allow enterprises to seamlessly deploy and manage all PCs on premises and remote.

Ryzen Pro 6000 and 5000 SKUs: Custom silicon for the Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 and Z16

The Ryzen Pro series is available in three tiers: Ryzen Pro 6000 H-series, Ryzen Pro 6000 U-series, and Ryzen Pro 5000 U-series.

The Ryzen Pro 6000 H-series includes 35 W HS and 45 W H APUs. It starts from the 6C/12T Ryzen 5 Pro 6650HS/6650H and goes up to the 8C/16T Ryzen 6950HS/6590H. Unlike the consumer variants, there are no unlocked HX variants in the Pro lineup. The base and boost clocks are identical to their consumer counterparts.

The Ryzen Pro 6000 U-series is comprised of only two SKUs — the 6C/12T Ryzen 5 Pro 6650U and the 8C/16T Ryzen 7 Pro 6850U. These are 28 W processors with the TDP being configurable between 15 W and 30 W. 

AMD also has a custom processor designed exclusively for the Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 and ThinkPad Z16 that were announced at CES 2022 — the Ryzen Pro 6860Z APU. AMD did not divulge any specifications at this point and insisted that we hear them directly from Lenovo once the ThinkPad Z13 becomes available. However, the company did confirm that the Ryzen Pro 6860Z is a U-series chip.

We assume that AMD may have collaborated with Lenovo to work on fine tuning aspects such as performance, fan noise, and battery life, which implies some differences in clocks and TDP. We expect Lenovo to disclose official specifications of the Ryzen Pro 6860Z in the coming weeks.

AMD is also salvaging some of the Zen 3 parts for this generation. The company said during the brief that Zen 3 is still quite a capable platform for ultra-light business laptops and is thus offering the 4C/8T Ryzen 3 Pro 5475U, 6C/12T Ryzen 5 Pro 5675U, and the 8C/16T Ryzen 7 Pro 5875U under the Barcelo codename. All these APUs are rated at a 15 W TDP but can be configured by OEMs between 10 W and 25 W.

Performance: Lenovo's Ryzen 7 6860Z is 17% faster than Alder Lake Core i7-1260P

AMD showed several slides depicting the purported performance advantages with the Ryzen Pro 6000 series. For the most part, AMD chose to compare the Ryzen 7 6860Z in the Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 against the competition, primarily the Alder Lake-P Core i7-1260P in the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon.

For the Ryzen 7 U-series, AMD claims a 1.1x uplift in CPU performance for the Ryzen 7 Pro 6850U over the Ryzen 7 Pro 5850U at 15 W and up to 1.3x gains at 28 W. The GPU gains are more significant here at up to 2.1x at 28 W. 

Compared to the Core i7-1260P, the Ryzen 7 Pro 6860Z seems to have taken a hit in single-core, but the multi-core gains seem to be upwards of 25% while overall Passmark 10 scores seem to be nearly 50% higher. The Radeon 680M in the 6860Z seems to be providing a decent advantage over integrated Xe graphics in 3DMark Time Spy. Further on, AMD shows good benefits in productivity applications such as MS Office. 

The Ryzen 7 Pro 6860Z was also shown to do well in collaboration tasks such as MS Teams as evaluated with UL Benchmark's Procyon benchmark. AMD claims a 17% lead over the Core i7-1260P in the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon.

Needless to say, these are AMD's claims and will need to be verified in independent testing.


Battery life: 45% longer than Core i7-1260P, 29 hours of video playback

AMD also claimed some pretty significant battery life gains with the Ryzen Pro 6000 series. The company claimed a whopping 29 hours of video playback time on battery with the Ryzen 7 Pro 6850U. Overall power usage seems to be significantly lower compared to the Ryzen 5000 series is key areas such as video conferencing, web browsing, and streaming. AMD said that this can be attributed to the refined 6 nm Zen 3+ cores, new power states, and firmware improvements. 

Apart from MobileMark results, AMD also said that the Ryzen 6000 series is 2.6x more power-efficient than the Core i9-12900HK, and the company has managed to achieve a 50% power reduction in the last four years. 


Availability: Lenovo and HP for now

AMD said that it expects about 20% higher commercial shipments in 2022. However, on the laptop side, we will get to see mostly HP and Lenovo offerings with the Ryzen Pro 6000 and Ryzen Pro 5000 APUs. Information about other OEMs is not yet clear.

Systems powered by AMD Ryzen Pro 6000 processors should be available from Q2 2022 with most of them already having had an official launch at CES 2022.


AMD Press Brief

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 04 > AMD Ryzen Pro 6000 series launched: Custom Ryzen 7 6860Z in Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 shown to be 17% faster than Core i7-1260P
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2022-04-19 (Update: 2022-04-21)