New Surface Laptop 4 leak points to Microsoft using custom Renoir APUs with more powerful GPUs
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Another Surface Laptop 4 configuration has appeared on Geekbench, two months ahead of the device's expected release. Last year, a photo published by the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards (KATS) effectively confirmed that the next Surface Laptop would retain the current model's design. However, these latest Geekbench listings add to evidence that Microsoft will upgrade the Surface Laptop series to newer AMD Ryzen APUs.
According to the new listing, Microsoft has based the Surface Laptop 4 on the Renoir platform, although the Ryzen 5 3580U Microsoft Surface Edition is listed as the processor name. Inevitably, the latter is a placeholder, as the Ryzen 5 3580U does not have six cores and twelve threads, as shown in both Geekbench listings. Additionally, the 'AMD Family 23 Model 96 Stepping 1' identifier belongs to AMD's Renoir family.
On that basis, it would seem that Microsoft has sourced Ryzen 5 4600U APUs for the Surface Laptop 4, albeit ones with a 100 MHz higher boost clock. Cache volumes match with those of the Ryzen 5 4600U too. However, the APU shown on Geekbench has seven Compute Units (CUs) instead of the six that the Ryzen 5 4600U has. Incidentally, the Ryzen 5 3580U contains an additional CU over the eight that the Ryzen 5 3500U has. Hence, it seems that Microsoft may have equipped the Surface Laptop 4 with a custom Renoir APU.
Alternatively, Microsoft may have sourced the Ryzen 5 5500U for the Surface Laptop 4. The Ryzen 5 5500U uses Lucienne cores and is a Zen 2 APU, but Geekbench refers to it as a Renoir processor. The Ryzen 5 5500U also possesses six cores, supports Simultaneous Multithreading (SMT) and has a GPU with seven CUs. Conversely, Geekbench identifies the Ryzen 5 5500U as the 'AMD Family 23 Model 104 Stepping 1', not the 'AMD Family 23 Model 96 Stepping 1'. So, there is a chance that Microsoft has chosen Lucienne APUs for the Surface Laptop 4, but that would have to mean that the identifier in these Surface Laptop 4 listings is also wrong.
In reality, a Ryzen 5 4600U with an additional CU may perform like a Ryzen 5 5500U, albeit without the optimisations that AMD included in the Lucienne architecture. Last month, the Surface Laptop 4 passed through the Bluetooth SIG under model numbers 1952, 1953, 1958 and 1959. Windows Central expects Microsoft to unveil the next Surface Laptop in April. The device should be available in 13.5-inch and 15-inch sizes, along with choices between AMD and Intel processors. There is no word on what Intel processors Microsoft has gone for this time, but we imagine that they will be from Intel's Tiger Lake platform.