Rumored Ryzen Mobile 4000 APUs could double your laptop’s battery life, performance
While no release or details have been confirmed by AMD, numerous leaks and rumors are suggesting an announcement of next-generation Ryzen chips at CES 2020. AMD’s release cycle for mobile suggests this third generation will get last-generation’s Zen 2 micro-architecture. AMD has typically announced mobile and desktop chips at the same event, but is this something to be excited about?
On the desktop hardware side, raw performance is a big point. There’s a good chance AMD’s going to announce Zen 3 processors at CES, which will supposedly bring substantial performance gains over Zen 2 with a refined 7nm process. On the laptop side, there’s a lot of things to be excited about. Mainly, the added efficiency of the processors. At this point, nothing is known for certain about AMD's plans at CES, if they have any at all. A number of leaks are suggesting an announcement of some kind. Whether that includes new Ryzen Mobile chips is yet to be seen, but signs are pointing to an announcement at CES.
Based on what we’ve seen from AMD’s desktop Zen 2 processors, power efficiency could be upwards of double what we’re seeing right now. Assuming these Zen 2 mobile APUs are limited to the performance level of previous generation chips, it wouldn’t be improbable to see almost double the runtime on laptops when under load.
Idle runtimes will depend on how good AMD’s power management turns out to be, but runtime while web browsing or productivity tasks could increase substantially. Regardless, it’s likely that idle runtimes will improve given the efficiency boost Zen 2 brings. If these power efficient APUs get paired with equally efficient displays, a sharp increase in battery life is very possible.
Additional power efficiency reduces the amount of heat generated when the CPU is under load. Since laptops are largely restricted by thermal design, a cooler-running processor allows for more performance at the same wattage. Assuming power efficiency could double, performance of these Zen 2 laptops could double as well.
Not only did Zen 2 bring additional power efficiency to desktops, it also brought boosts in performance. Assuming these performance gains carry over to AMD’s rumored mobile chips, we could see a significant jump in performance with Ryzen 4000 laptops. A recent leak of the Ryzen 7 4800H showed performance nearing the level of the Intel i9-9980HK.
We don’t have any information on the lower power Ryzen 4000 offerings (the ones that will compete against Intel’s 10nm ULV processors), but it’s likely that AMD’s going to outperform these processors. Again, we don’t have any numbers or details on these processors, so this is largely speculation, but there’s a good chance AMD’s going to blow Intel out of the water with these Ryzen 4000 APUs.
No laptops with Ryzen 4000 APUs have been announced at this time, so details about the prices of these potential AMD laptops are not known. However, historically Ryzen-based laptops have tended to be cheaper than their Intel counterparts. An example of this are Lenovo’s ThinkPads. Lenovo sells the ThinkPad T495 right now for roughly 200 USD less than the Intel-based ThinkPad T490, and historically their AMD variants have been cheaper than the Intel variant. Dell does something very similar with their AMD Inspirons.
If this pattern holds true for Ryzen 4000, these new AMD laptops could end up being an amazing value. It’s unclear why exactly manufacturers have traditionally priced their Ryzen-powered laptops lower than their Intel laptops. Even if AMD announces their new Ryzen Mobile APUs at CES, it would still be wise to wait for reviews to come out on the new hardware before settling on a purchase, especially if you’re looking for a value buy.
With the additional power efficiency, temperatures could overall go down on these potential Zen 2 APUs without a hit on performance. While internal temperatures are important for maintaining performance, external temperatures are very important for comfort. Keeping temperatures down on something like a laptop isn’t exactly a feat, but when it comes to tablet PCs, Zen 2 APUs could make the form factor much more appealing to professionals.
Current performance-focused tablet PCs can get quite hot when under load. Even with advanced cooling systems (like in Microsoft’s latest Surface Pro), the tablet can get a bit uncomfortable to hold when you’re pushing the limits of the hardware. With a cooler running processor, these high-performance tablets start to look a lot more practical.
Overall, it’s worth watching the news tomorrow for any information we might get about the next generation of Ryzen CPUs. Rumors are suggesting an announcement from AMD tomorrow, and it could be quite a big one for them mobile market. If you’re looking at getting a new laptop soon, or even some kind of tablet PC, stay tuned for more information. If anything is announced, we’ll certainly be reporting on it here at Notebookcheck.