AMD gives battle to Intel in the laptops: more power, efficiency and security for the Ryzen PRO and Athlon PRO 2nd generation

The competition between Intel and AMD is not limited exclusively to desktop computers. At the beginning of last January, AMD unveiled its first second-generation Ryzen 3000 microprocessors for laptops , a family of solutions designed to compete in two of the segments with the most pull among users: gaming and ultralight equipment.

The recent Ryzen 7, Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 3 of second generation promise us a higher performance than the chips of the previous iteration, and also a higher efficiency, a very important feature in the field of laptops. And the new Ryzen PRO and Athlon PRO second generation , which are the microprocessors that AMD has just presented, offer us, in addition to an increase in performance and significant efficiency, a remarkable improvement in terms of safety. As you can see, on paper they do not look bad. Let’s see what are their strengths to compete with Intel.

AMD Ryzen PRO and 2nd generation Athlon PRO: technical specifications

GlobalFoundries, the semiconductor company that makes these microprocessors for AMD, uses their 12 nm lithography . In addition, these new chips implement, like second-generation Ryzen processors that do not carry the “last name” PRO, the latest revision of the Zen + microarchitecture, which, in theory, is responsible for the increase in performance and efficiency that It allows to outdo the previous generation.

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In the table of specifications that you have below these lines you can see that all the versions of the new Ryzen PRO have four cores , although only the Ryzen 7 and 5 models have the SMT ( Simultaneous Multi-Threading ) technology, which is what It allows each physical core is capable of simultaneously processing two threads ( threads ). The simplest Athlon PRO has only two cores, but, unlike the Ryzen 3 PRO, it does implement the SMT technology.

An interesting fact in which it is worthwhile to notice, especially if we consider that these microprocessors are designed to be integrated into laptops, is its TDP ( Thermal Design Power ). This parameter reflects how much energy dissipates in the form of heat the encapsulation of a processor when all its cores are active and work at the base clock frequency. The interesting thing about these new chips is that they all have a TDP of 15 watts , a rather small value that should have a positive impact on the autonomy of laptops.

On the other hand, the graphic logic of these chips is derived from the Radeon Vega microarchitecture used by AMD in their GPUs for graphics cards , although, of course, these chips have implemented a less ambitious version. The main difference existing in what concerns the graphics between the three processors Ryzen PRO and the model Athlon PRO presented by AMD lies in the number of cores in the logic. The Ryzen 7 PRO CPU, which is the most powerful, has 10 graphics cores, while the slightly less ambitious Ryzen 5 PRO, Ryzen 3 PRO and Athlon PRO have 8, 6 and 3 graphics cores respectively.

Performance: they promise us an important step forward compared to the previous generation

While we do not have the opportunity to analyze in depth in our own facilities one of the first laptops equipped with one of the new AMD microprocessors, we will not be able to describe its performance objectively and rigorously . Until that moment arrives we will have to settle for what AMD tells us so that, at least, we can get an idea of ​​what these chips propose to us.

According to the Sunnyvale brand, the new Ryzen 7 PRO 3700U has a 23% lead over the equivalent chip of the previous generation in Cinebench; in another 23% in PCMark 10, and finally, in 16% if we stick to the performance of its graphic logic in 3DMark 11. But not only have they compared it with their own microprocessors. AMD has also pitted its new Ryzen 7 PRO to Intel’s Core i7-8650U .

AMD is an interested party, and therefore, it is reasonable that we accept these results with reluctance , but according to their numbers the Ryzen 7 PRO chip is 36% faster than the Core i7 in Photoshop, 64% faster in 3ds max and 258% faster in SPECviewperf. We will check it as soon as we have the opportunity.

More secure and efficient

The vocation of the laptops to which these microprocessors of AMD will go will be, above all, professional, and in this context security is very important. The following image reflects some of the technologies introduced by AMD in these chips to improve their security performance. These techniques are encompassed in a technology called GuardMI , which, roughly, uses a coprocessor designed to increase security from the moment we turn on the laptop until the moment we turn it off. To achieve this, it encrypts the contents of the main memory and checks if the BIOS used to start the computer is really trustworthy, among other strategies.

Regarding the efficiency of these chips, which is also another delicate feature due to its importance in the field of use of professional laptops, according to AMD they offer up to 12 hours of autonomy in a typical office use scenario and up to 10 hours of video playback. In principle these figures do not look bad, but we will have to check them when we analyze one of these laptops because brands are usually overly optimistic when they talk about the autonomy of their solutions.

Some of the brands that, according to AMD, will place in the stores during the next weeks laptops governed by the new Ryzen PRO and Athlon PRO are Lenovo, HP and Acer . We will follow the trail and tell you more as soon as one of these teams falls into our hands.