AMD announces new Ryzen Pro Mobile APUs
AMD announced its new Ryzen Pro processors at an Event in Santa Clare. Besides the general introduction, we also heard from all three big OEMs (Dell, HP, Lenovo), which announced and showed corresponding products. We have an overview about the new systems in a dedicated article. We will have a look at the new processors in the following article with a focus on the mobile processors.
AMD focuses on three major aspects for the new Ryzen Pro APUs. One aspect, similar to the consumer space, is obviously the performance, but the enterprise sector also requires reliability and security. AMD announced our desktop and three mobile APUs, which consist of the Ryzen processor as well as a Radeon Vega GPU. The basic structure is identical, but there are obviously differences in terms of clocks, number of GPU cores, and the TDP. All three models are equipped with four cores, and the two faster models Ryzen 5 Pro 2500U & Ryzen 7 Pro 2700U can execute eight threads simultaneously. The smaller Ryzen 3 Pro 2300U on the other hand can only execute four threads. The TDP range is between 12 - 25 Watts, so it will depend on the cooling capabilities of the notebook, similar to the current Intel Kaby Lake-R chips. The two desktop models Ryzen Pro 2400G & 2200G (both 65W each) are also available with a lower 35W TDP (2400GE & 2200GE), which will mainly be used in small form-factor PCs.
The mobile Ryzen Pro processors are the fastest CPUs for "Ultrathin Commercial Notebooks" according to AMD and the manufacturer shows multiple performance comparisons with modern ULV models from Intel. There are advantages in terms of CPU performance, but we can see a bigger lead once the integrated GPU is in play.
Besides synthetic benchmarks, AMD also testes daily office workloads with a productivity script consisting of the Office suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, IE11), 7Zip, and Photoshop. Intel is still slightly ahead in the comparison between the Ryzen 7 Pro 2700U and the Core i7-8550U, but the two mainstream models Ryzen 5 Pro 2500U and Core i5-8250U are basically on par. AMD can take the lead as soon as the GPU is involved, sometimes by a significant margin.
AMD Sense MI Technology
The term Sense MI technology includes several technologies that help to improve the performance depending on the conditions. These technologies are working together and are supposed to enable higher clocks. Similar to the competition, the base frequency can be increased significantly (by up to 1.6 GHz) thanks to Precision Boost 2 in fine steps of 25 MHz. The data is provided by integrated sensors and everything works automatically. We will obviously check how effective the technology works during our reviews.
Security and Reliability
IT departments are not only interested in the performance, but also things like availability and the security. AMD uses specially selected chips for the Ryzen Pro models and extends the warranty from 12 to 36 months. There are also commitments for the software and hardware availability.
Security is obviously another important topic, and AMD follows a different philosophy compared to its big rival Intel. While only some (usually more expensive) Intel CPUs are available with the vPro technology, all AMD Ryzen Pro models are equipped with all security features by default. It was also important for AMD reps to make sure that the security is not an additional feature when you choose AMD.
Similar to the performance features, AMD sums up all the security features under the term GuardMI. This includes things like memory encryption, secure boot, and the support for fTPM/TPM 2.0 (also see following slides).
Gaming with Ryzen Pro
Gaming is not a key feature for business devices, but the topic was mentioned as well. More and more employees only use one single device for home and work, so it might be used for some gaming as well. The Ryzen Pro chips have a significant advantage over the competition thanks to the Radeon Vega GPU. The slides included comparisons with the Intel Core i7-8550U, either alone, in combination with a discrete Nvidia GeForce 950M or Nvidia GeForce 940MX. The setups with the dGPU are also beaten by the mobile APU and many popular titles like DOTA 2, League of Legends, or Rocket League can be played smoothly at 1080p.
The slides clearly show the competitors for the individual mobile APUs. The allocation is pretty simple for customers and IT departments, because the Ryzen 7 Pro competes with the Core i7, the Ryzen 5 Pro with the Core i5, and the Ryzen 3 Pro with the Core i3. All major OEMs will ship the new processors and we already saw some new business laptops at the event. AMD's chips will probably have a price advantage, so the systems can either be less expensive or better equipped at the same price, for example more memory or storage capacity.
We are eager to test the new chips in upcoming business laptops and find out whether they are a real alternative to the domination Intel CPUs. Test models should be ready soon, so stay tuned.
AMD Enterprise Computing Event