AMD's Ryzen 7040U chips promise speedier graphics for thin-and-light laptops
AMD claims it can outperform both Apple and Intel.
Now that AMD has rounded out its high-performance mobile CPUs, it's turning its attention to chips for thin laptops. The company has introduced Ryzen 7040U processors that it claims can outrun the competition, particularly for gamers who may need to be content with integrated graphics. They all tout RDNA 3-based Radeon 700M GPUs that tout the enhancements seen on desktop video cards. A Ryzen 7 with the Radeon 780M runs between 30 percent to 139 percent faster than an equivalent Intel 13th-gen Core i7 P-series chip, AMD claims. That's at 1080p with low graphics settings, but it could make some games playable that weren't an option before.
AMD also believes the Ryzen 7040U line offers better raw computing power than rivals. The Zen 4 architecture is said to deliver between 29 percent to 128 percent better app performance than not just the Core i7, but 5 percent to 75 percent over the M2 found in Apple's 13-inch MacBook Pro. AMD is relying on synthetic benchmarks to make the claim and is testing its highest-end Ryzen 7 part, but that may be worth considering if you plan to edit videos or juggle multiple productivity apps.
The new hardware also brings Ryzen AI acceleration to offload some work from the chip's main compute units. AMD also boasts of improved efficiency to provide the "longest possible time" on battery power, although it doesn't provide estimates. That's likely to vary based on the CPU model and exact laptop.
The initial lineup includes four processors. The Ryzen 3 7440U is aimed at the entry level with four cores, eight processing threads, a base 3GHz clock speed (up to 4.7GHz) and 12MB of cache. At the mid-range, the Ryzen 5 7540U uses six cores, 12 threads, a baseline 3.2GHz speed (up to 4.9GHz) and 22MB of cache. The Ryzen 5 7640U is slightly faster with Ryzen AI support, a 3.5GHz clock (up to 4.9GHz). The top-end Ryzen 7 7840U includes eight cores, 16 threads, Ryzen AI, a 3.3GHz starting clock (up to 5.1GHz) and 24MB of cache. All four models have a thermal design power between 15W and 30W.
We'd expect laptop manufacturers to begin using the Ryzen 7040U relatively quickly. It's too early to say if the advertised performance gains manifest in real life, but AMD is clearly confident it has some major advantages over rivals.