Image: Kotaku/Alex Walker
It's been a good year for PC tech, and an especially good year for AMD's desktop CPUs. But while Ryzen has picked up plenty of steam, we're yet to see any competition from AMD in gaming laptops as of yet. Fortunately, they're coming.
At a private media session ahead of PAX Australia, AMD unveiled their specifications for their Ryzen 5 2500U and Ryzen 7 2700U CPUs. They're both 4 core/8 thread CPUs, although the 2700U will be clocked at 2.2GHz/3.8GHz and 10 compute units (CUs), while the 2500U will be slightly slower at 2.0GHz/3.6 GHz with 8 CUs.
The 2500U/2700U specifications. Image: AMD
AMD's gaming offerings will only be paired with AMD hardware, so don't expect to see Ryzen mobile CPUs paired with NVIDIA GPUs. You'll probably see a much lower range of AMD available laptops as a result.
Over the next few months, three laptops will be available in Australia. The first is a HP Envy X360, running a Ryzen 5 2500U and a minimum of 512GB storage with up to 8GB DDR4-2400 RAM. It'll hit retailers from December:
The other two come from Lenovo and Acer. Lenovo's Ideapad 720S comes in two variants (either the Ryzen 2500U or 2700U) and is a ultrathin model, with a 13.3" screen and a quoted weight of just under 1.14kg.
Acer's, on the other hand, clocks in at 2.1kg and will have up to 8GB of DDR4-2400 RAM. It's also got an offset touch pad, if you're into that.
So, why care?
The Ryzen chips have been fun since release, but there's been a lack of competition in the mobile space for a while. And so, AMD has targeted gaming laptops, particularly the ultrathin market, as an area of growth in Australia for next year.
Of course, ultrathin gaming might still have a way to go on that front. As part of the same slide deck that the above specs came from, AMD produced this curious image of benchmarks from the HP ENVY X360, running a Ryzen 2700U with the 8GB of RAM spec.
It's a bit weird, at first glance. Why is League and CS:GO running at medium, at 1080p, but Quake Champions is running at 720p on the high preset?
You'd think, by default, most people would intuitively run on the lowest possible presets (especially in something like CS:GO, where many players play on the lowest, or very low graphics settings by choice).
Still, they're better results than you would expect from integrated graphics. And that's kind of the whole point. What's going to matter most is how much the HP, Acer and Lenovo offerings are priced at. Because if you can get Overwatch going smoothly at 720p even at reduced quality for the same price as a laptop with an integrated GPU, that's a solid selling point.