AMD's new Ryzen PRO 4000 processors show that the company means business

AMD continues to build on its success, and keeps piling the pressure on Intel.

AMD makes another big push against rival Intel
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Today sees AMD unveil its Ryzen PRO 4000 chips, the world's first x86 7-nanometer commercial notebook processors aimed at business users who demand security-centric features and enterprise-grade reliability.

AMD is pitching its new Ryzen PRO 4000 processors as "the new standard for modern business PCs" offering what is claimed to be the best performing processor, the most advanced technology, and, perhaps more significant for business, the most modern security.

AMD's story is an interesting one, a story of an underdog that undertook a heroic David vs. Goliath battle with chip giant Intel, won considerable ground before entering a long period characterized by abysmal profits and lackluster silicon on both PCs and servers. 

A real turnaround point for AMD was its EPYC server platform. After years of allowing its server silicon to die on the vine, EPYC was a sign that AMD was not only back in business, but it has the ability once again to compete with, and even outmaneuver,  a behemoth like Intel.

But AMD was also making headway on desktops and mobile. Ryzen and Threadripper have both not only been huge successes, but also put silicon into the ecosystem that Intel is scrabbling to0 keep up with. AMD's Zen architecture, which was launched in 2017, pave the way for AMD to pack more cores while at the same time boosting efficiency across the board. And now that Zen has grown into Zen 2 which uses 7-nanometer architecture, AMD is still pushing the envelope.

A key part of AMD's strategy is that the company doesn't leave any bit of the ecosystem behind, and thi latest refresh of its Ryzen PRO line is testament to that. In many ways AMD could have sidelined this market and focused on more mainstream products, but its continued support for this, alomg with the mainstream Ryzen lines ranging from the Ryzek 3 to Ryzen 9, the Threadripper line, the EPYC line, and Radeon graphics is testament to a company that sees value in keeping all the plates spinning.

Three U-series mobile chips have been announced, and there are some interesting takeaways here.

AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 4750U

  • 8 cores/16 threads
  • Up to 4.1GHz/1.7GHz
  • 12MB cache
  • 7 graphics cores
  • 1600MHz graphics frequency
  • 15W TDP.

AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 4650U

  • 6 cores/12 threads
  • Up to 4.0GHz/2.1GHz
  • 11MB cache
  • 6 graphics cores
  • 1500MHz graphics frequency
  • 15W TDP.

AMD Ryzen 3 PRO 4550U

  • 4 cores/8 threads
  • Up to 3.7GHz/2.5GHz
  • 6MB cache
  • 5 graphics cores
  • 1400MHz graphics frequency
  • 15W TDP.

These chips offer a significant upgrade over the AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 3000 line, which topped out at 4 cores/8 threads and 6MB cache. This isn't a cursory upgrade, but a huge push. Enterprise can now choose high-performance 8 core/16 thread chips for hardware that needs the horsepower, of mainstream performance from 4 core/8 thread silicon.

And that translates into measurable performance boosts. Pitching the Ryzen 7 Pro 4750U against its predecessor, the Ryzen 7 PRO 3700U, single thread, multi thread, and graphics performance is up 29 percent, 132 percent, and 13 percent respectively.

In real-world benchmarks using the likes of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Edge, and Excel, performance compared to the previous-generation silicon is up 19 percent, 27 percent, 39 percent, and 77 percent respectively.

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But AMD isn't jsut competing against itself. 

Compared to Intel's i7-10710U, the Ryzen 7 Pro 4750U outperforms it in most benchmark tests, making it the fastest processor for ultra-thin business notebooks.

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Similarly, the Ryzen 5 Pro 4650U outperforms Intel's i5-10210U and the i7-10510U.

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Having access to power-efficient 7-nanometer architecture also allows AMD to offer twice the performance-per-Watt compared to its second-generation 12-nanometer offering, again giving it an enormous lead over Intel.

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And this isn't just a game of abstract numbers. AMD claims that on a premium platform the Ryzen 7 PRO 4750U can offer up to 20+ hours of battery life on a premium platform.

That's very impressive.

On the security front, the new Ryzen line offer Memory Guard offering optional full memory encryption, along with support for Secured-Core PC features on Windows 10.

Being a pro chip, AMD is also offering features for enterprises that are looking to the future. With the PRO line, buyers get 18 months of planned software stability, 24 months of planned availability, enterprise-grade QA process, and long-term reliability and performance.

While in terms of market share Intel is still the clear leader, in terms of pushing the envelope of what processors can do, AMD is the clear king of the chipmakers.