AMD HAS RELEASED its latest Ryzen parts, this time the accelerated processing units (APUs), featuring Zen microprocessor cores integrated with the latest Vega GPUs.
Officially, the "Ryzen processor with Radeon Vega graphics", to quote AMD's marketing fluff, the company claims its 15W Ryzen 7 2700U leaves a 91W Intel Kaby Lake Core i5-7600K desktop CPU in the dust in its favourite Cinebench benchmark.
However, the company has released just two parts, the Ryzen 5 2500U and the Ryzen 7 2700U, whose availability will be focused on less than a handful of high-end laptops (well, high-end laptops from HP and Lenovo and some tat from Acer) that should be coming out in the next few weeks.
The two parts are fairly similar, and pretty much as specified in leaks earlier this month. Both offer four cores and eight threads: the Ryzen 5 2500U runs at a standard 2GHz, but can boost up to wind-in-the-hair 3.6GHz; the Ryzen 7 2700U, meanwhile, runs at a standard 2.2GHz and can boost to 3.8GHz, as the mood takes it.
The devices, AMD claims, are 24 per cent thinner than its seventh-gen offerings. Both APUs come with integrated Radeon Vega M graphics, a modified version of the Vega core that should ensure the slim-and-sleek laptop doesn't meltdown when put through its paces (provided the laptop has AMD-approved cooling).
The one thing lacking from the AMD announcement? Price.
The company claims that its Ryzen 7 2700U APU will offer 200 per cent more CPU performance and 128 per cent more GPU performance compared to its own wheezy 7th generation offerings, while consuming 58 per cent less power. Those figures, though, say as much about AMD's seventh-gen offerings as they do about Ryzen.
The APUs, of course, come with all the usual Ryzen SenseMI performance features, including Precision Boost 2, Mobile XFR cooling, Neural Net Prediction and Smart Prefetch, as well as Pure Power ‘smart sensors' to optimise power consumption.
Precision Boost 2 is governed by CPU temperature, current and load, and offers an all-core boost at 25MHz increments.
Mobile XFR, meanwhile, promises "sustained clock speeds in premium notebooks with great cooling solutions". AMD claims that it can improve Ryzen performance by 23 per cent in its favourite Cinebench benchmark.
The various cautions over cooling indicate, perhaps, that the APU carries with it heat dissipation issues, which shouldn't really be a surprise given the water-cooled Vega graphics card AMD felt compelled to release just months ago.
However, properly implemented, the Ryzen APUs should provide AMD with a compelling argument for makers of laptops, 2-in-1s and other similar devices. While Ryzen is now competitive with the best that Intel has to offer, the integrated Vega graphics provides it with an edge that Intel's HD Graphics can't compete with.
A combination of Intel and Nvidia under the same shell, meanwhile, would be a challenge for laptop makers in terms of making a thin and light device with good heat dissipation. µ
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