AMD today announced additional details on its new Ryzen 7040U laptop chip series, which brings the latest Zen 4 processor architecture and RDNA 3 integrated graphics to thin and light laptops. While the 7040U processors are only part of the (often confusing) AMD Ryzen 7000 laptop lineup, they will be the ones to look into if you want to maximize performance without upgrading to a larger laptop with a dedicated GPU.
AMD has delayed the announcement of these chips twice. AMD announced mid March that the systems will start shipping in April, and now the beginning of May. Frameworkwon’t actually ship its pre-orders sometime in the third quarter, although larger PC makers will apparently be able to bring their products to market a little earlier.
For most applications and games, the most important feature of the Ryzen 7040 chips is the improved CPU and GPU performance. The top Ryzen 7 7840U combines 8 CPU cores up to 5.1GHz with a Radeon 780M GPU with 12 RDNA 3 cores. The Ryzen 5 7640U has 6 CPU cores up to 4.9GHz and a Radeon GPU 760M with 8 cores. The Ryzen 5 7540U has the same 6 CPU cores but with a lower 4 core Radeon 740M GPU, while the Ryzen 3 7440U combines the same Radeon 740M GPU with 4 CPU cores.
All four processors have TDPs ranging from 15W to 30W. Manufacturers can decide what TDP they want to use based on how fast they want their computers to run and how much heat their fans and heatsinks can dissipate.
The 7840U and 7540U are very similar to the Ryzen Z1 Extreme and Z1 processors that AMD announced for portable gaming PCs last week, and we know from that announcement that going from 4 to 12 GPU cores won’t necessarily triple or even double performance. performance. Memory bandwidth is still a major constraint for integrated GPUs, so even the entry-level Radeon 740M should be a step up from the 3rd generation Intel Iris Xe GPU that Intel still uses for its ultrabook processors.
In terms of performance, AMD says the 7840U can outperform both the Core i7-1360P and the Apple M2 in several broad performance categories. Curiously, the company didn’t compare the 7840U to the Core i7-1370P, which is Intel’s fastest processor in this product category and has two extra P-cores compared to the i7-1360P. Ryzen performance should still be competitive, but comparing AMD performance with a grain of salt.
The 7840U and 7640U also include a new feature called “Ryzen AI” which, as the name suggests, is dedicated hardware for accelerating AI and machine learning workloads (Apple’s Neural Engine performs a similar role in the M1 and M2 chips). Ryzen AI is based on the AMD XDNA architecture, an AMD product. Acquisition of Xilinx. AMD says Ryzen AI is “the first dedicated AI hardware in an x86 processor.” Intel’s next-generation chips, codenamed Meteor Lake, are also say they include AI boostbut they will not appear here before the end of this year.
Ryzen AI should improve the performance of things like AI-based language models, image creation, and audio transcription when you run those workloads locally rather than relying on a server. Windows 11 has several built-in AI-accelerated features, including “studio effectsfor webcams that can replace your background and apply other effects. For now, they are mostly exclusive to Arm-based Windows hardware like Surface Pro 9 with LTE or Windows Dev Kit 2023 because their Qualcomm Snapdragon based processors include “Neural Processing Units” (NPUs), which are not found in most modern x86 processors.
Windows and other operating systems are likely to start adding more AI-based features as more computers get the hardware needed to use them.
Image listing from AMD