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Asus Zephyrus G14 timed exclusivity deal for the AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS might have hurt the processor more than it helped

Asus Zephyrus G14 timed exclusivity deal for the AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS might have hurt the processor more than it helped (Image source: Asus)
Asus Zephyrus G14 timed exclusivity deal for the AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS might have hurt the processor more than it helped (Image source: Asus)
Timed exclusivity may work in the world of consoles games, but limiting a great processor to just one laptop and one screen size isn't such a great idea. The limited press coverage and availability of both the Ryzen 7 4800HS and Ryzen 9 4900HS may be attributed to the fact that only just a handful of Asus laptops carry such options.
Views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author.

When AMD announced its Ryzen 9 4900HS, we learned that the processor would make its debut on the Asus Zephyrus G14 gaming laptop. Later, Asus would reveal that the company had signed a 6-month exclusivity deal with AMD for the Ryzen 9 4900HS meaning that no other OEM can use the processor during that period. Though we don't know what may have happened behind the scenes, we can't say it was a good move especially from the perspective of a consumer.

One of the biggest problems with mobile Ryzen is the blatant lack of laptops to choose from. For every one AMD laptop we find in the wild, there are probably 10 Intel alternatives surrounding it. If AMD wants to convert more laptop users to Ryzen, and we're pretty sure they do, then exclusivity deals with one or two manufacturers are not going to be the right approach. If anything, they probably hurt the chances for mobile Ryzen to proliferate as they are essentially giving Intel laptops breathing room in the market and signaling other OEMs to stick comfortably with the tried-and-true Core H-series.

The AMD-Asus deal is made even more frustrating by the fact that the Ryzen 9 4900HS is actually an impressive CPU capable of standing toe-to-toe with the best mobile Core i9 options in Intel's current portfolio. To see such a fast CPU limited to a single 14-inch laptop with no other options and with very little press coverage is disappointing when it deserves to be on as many laptop models as possible. 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch gaming laptops running on the Ryzen 9 4900HS would be amazing, but Asus' exclusive use of the processor have likely delayed such models from competing OEMs.

The bright side is that the Zephyrus G14 launched back in March meaning that the six-month deal should be over very soon. We're hoping that this will lead to more Ryzen 9 4900HS announcements from other OEMs, but it may be too little too late with the huge head start that 10th gen Comet Lake-H laptops have been enjoying.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 09 > Asus Zephyrus G14 timed exclusivity deal for the AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS might have hurt the processor more than it helped
Allen Ngo, 2020-09-13 (Update: 2020-09-16)
Comment by Allen Ngo
Views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author.
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
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.