AMD Ups Its Game With Eight Core Commercial Notebook Processors

AMD Ryzen Pro
 AMD

Last month AMD fired off its latest round in the perpetual battle for PC processor dominance—the launch of its new Ryzen PRO 4000 Series Mobile family of processors. With workforces everywhere being forced to go mobile and work from home, we’ve seen a rush on devices and setups to get workers adjusted to the new reality. One of the crucial considerations for an on-the-go device that you can tote along to the coffee shop, or wherever, is weight and size, and in some cases, do what a desktop processor does.

As the first business processors built on its new 7nm process and Zen 2 architecture, the Ryzen Pro 4000 series stands to unlock the next generation of unique, ultra-thin designs. Let’s take a closer look at AMD’s new family of processors and what they could mean for the industry.

Specs

The Ryzen PRO 4000 Series Mobile family’s big selling point is the fact that its core and thread capacity is the highest available in the ultrathin business notebook category. The flagship of the new family is the Ryzen 7 PRO 4750U, also unveiled at the launch, which AMD touts as the fastest business chip for the ultra-thin category.

It comes with 8 cores and 16 threads, a frequency up to 4.1/1.7 GHz, a 12MB cache and a 15W TDP. Additionally, AMD says the chip brings a 33% improvement in multi-threaded performance over the preceding generation which was already compelling. The Ryzen 7 PRO 475OU also claims a 37% increase in overall performance for Microsoft Office apps over its predecessor.

I think this performance message will resonate best with content creators across all businesses and in all small business workloads. Raw performance messages aren’t as impactful on enterprises as they rank security, battery life and reliability higher.

Not only is it more powerful than its predecessor, it’s also more power efficient.  AMD says the Ryzen 7 PRO 475OU is capable of 2 times the performance per watt of the 2nd generation Ryzen family. AMD also says the chip can power a laptop battery for over 20 hours on a premium platform—truly an impressive feat, if it bears out. I am looking forward to experiencing it myself.

The Ryzen PRO 4000 series’ mid-tier chip is the Ryzen 5 PRO 4650U, which features 6 cores and 12 threads, a frequency up to 4.0 / 2.1 GHz, an 11MB cache, and a 15W TDP. Meanwhile, the lower-tier Ryzen 3 Pro 4450U features 4 cores, 8 threads, up to 3.7/2.5 GHz frequency, a 6MB cache, and a 15W TDP.

AMD Pro features

The AMD PRO line also is benefiting from several new features not available anywhere else today. Security is such a bigger concern right now, with the new, gigantic attack vector opened up by the widespread migration to telework and nation-state budgets. Security has to be present down to the chip level. AMD PRO security seeks to do just that, promising to offer protection at every possible level—from the system level, to the operating system, to the silicon.

The company’s Memory Guard technology is also included in the platform, which the company says will aid in the protection of identity and data, and is independent of operating system. I believe this message will resonate with military and financial customers.

The 4000 U-Series Mobile Processors feature AMD PRO manageability capabilities, which should make it easier to deploy, image and manage in a way that is simpatico with today’s IT infrastructure. Additionally, the family was built for longevity, with 18-months of planned software stability as well as 24-months of planned availability.

Who is interested?

AMD already has OEMs lined up for the new chip—HP Inc. and Lenovo both say they are going to be launching new ultra-thin laptops containing AMD’s new chip in the first half of this year. HP’s offerings include the new HP ProBook 445 and 455 G7 laptops, and the new HP ProBook x360 convertible laptop for business. Meanwhile, Lenovo says it is utilizing the new 4000 series in its ThinkPad laptop portfolio geared towards business users. Microsoft, another partner, says it is developing a class of devices called “Secure-core PCs,” which it says will be powered by Ryzen PRO 4000 processors. No doubt Ryzen was chosen in large part for its chip-level security features and performance.

AMD did not cite names of enterprises who are interested in the new line, but I am hoping it will in the future.

Level of success

I believe AMD will do well in small business with the Ryzen Pro 4000 as long as it can get designs and OEMs offer them in the channels of distribution. Performance and value mean more for these markets.  

It should also do well with all businesses with IT with content creators end users as long as AMD, OEMs, and channels market this capability. If AMD can get performance into government bids as a variable it should do well here, too, although it takes time and resources.

I believe non content-creating enterprise IT will be AMD’s biggest challenge. These customers care less about performance, do not like change, and have likely had the competitor’s salesforce calling on them for 25 years. I can see that some OEMs will use AMD in bids to get business from other OEMs, but this will be the exception, not the rule.

Every year AMD fields a competitive pro lineup, its degree of success in this market go up.

Wrapping up

If you’re interested in hearing more about the new 4000 series, I encourage you to check out this podcast I did with analyst Daniel Newman and Rick Bergman, Executive VP of AMD’s Computing and Graphics Business Group.

These new chips look like they mean business, and I can’t wait to see how laptop OEMs implement them into their latest and greatest designs. Microsoft, HP and Lenovo are good wins for AMD’s new release, and I’m sure we’ll see more follow. Marketing and end user sales mean a lot in these markets and we’ll see how AMD addresses this. I think we’re going to be seeing some very powerful ultra-thin notebooks in the coming year. I’ll be following with interest.

Note: Moor Insights & Strategy writers and editors may have contributed to this article.