AMD’s laptop resurgence continues with Ryzen 5000 Mobile processors

AMD officially launched its Ryzen 5000 Mobile processors at CES 2021 on Tuesday, hoping to continue what it’s accomplished on the desktop: bring its powerful Zen 3 architecture to bear and oust Intel’s Core i9 as the best gaming CPU. The unexpected bonus AMD adds is a renewed focus on battery life, potentially solving a noted weakness in Ryzen-powered laptops.

AMD’s chief executive Dr. Lisa Su ushered in the new lineup of mobile chips as part of her keynote address at CES 2021, now held virtually rather than in Las Vegas. Su didn’t announce any new GPUs, but did say that the AMD RDNA 2 GPU architecture found within the RX6800 and similar chips will arrive in mobile GPUs in the first half of 2021, along with “mainstream” desktop graphics cards. She showed off a reference notebook running Dirt 5 at 1440p resolution and Ultra High settings at more than 50fps.

Processors, though, took center stage. AMD launched thirteen new chips in the AMD Ryzen 5000 Mobile series of processors, adding updated 5900HS and 5980HS flagship processors as well as the 5900HX, which AMD brags will be the “world’s best processor for gamers.” These high-end 7nm processors will top out at 8 cores and 16 threads, with turbo clock speeds maxing out at 4.8 GHz and many of them doubling cache sizes to between 19MB to 20MB for even more overall performance. While most of these new Ryzen processors are designed for 15, 35, and 45 watts, these new HX chips afford laptop makers the option for more than 45-watt designs.

If there’s a kicker, well, it’s that the rumors were (mostly) true: AMD mixed in some processors that use the older Zen 2 architecture inside the Ryzen 5000 series, without specifically distinguishing one from the other. You’ll want to pay close attention to which Ryzen laptop you buy beginning in February, when the new Ryzen Mobile 5000 family goes on sale. AMD didn’t publish the graphics capabilities of the new chips, either.

“Now, [many] good things have been written about the Ryzen 4000 series—various experts have called them game-changing, or rewriting the rules, and we really appreciate that,” said Robert Hallock, director of technical marketing for AMD. “But the 5000 series is even better. It’s really a remarkable product.”

Ryzen 5000 Mobile: AMD’s Zen 3 for mobile

AMD’s new processors include five processors within its U-series for thin-and-light notebooks, as well as eight more H-series chips for gaming notebooks. Both AMD and Intel have prioritized gaming at CES, as much to encourage sales of higher-end chips as well as to tap the groundswell of gaming that’s grown during the pandemic.

Here are AMD’s Ryzen 5000 series mobile processors. All of the new processors are manufactured on AMD’s 7nm manufacturing line, and all include simultaneous multithreading, too.

ryzen mobile 5000 speeds and feeds AMD

AMD’s Ryzen Mobile 5000 family.

Recall that AMD’s Ryzen 4000 Mobile series introduced the Ryzen 4900HS, AMD’s power processor for slim systems. AMD’s Ryzen 5000 Mobile processor lineup is deeper than its predecessor, and the three Ryzen 4000 HS chips have given way to four Ryzen 5000 HS chips, too.

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