AMD unveils high-performance Athlon and Ryzen 3000 C-series chips for Chromebooks

AMD wants to offer users "a great Chromebook experience"

AMD's A-series APUs have been a great platform to build entry-level Chromebooks around. But now the chipmaker is eyeing the high-performance market.

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Chromebooks and high-performance aren't two things you'd expect to go together, but AMD hopes that by adding Athlon and Ryzen 3000 C-series processors to the lineup, AMD wants to move Chromebooks out of the realm of everyday tasks such as web browsing and casual gaming, and offer silicon capable of handling heavy multitasking and smooth gaming.

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The bottom line of what's driving this release is the changing Chromebook landscape. It used to be that Chromebooks were seen as a cheap, low-end laptop. But nowadays they are becoming a go-to device not just for consumers, but in education where they offer a safe, managed learning environment, and enterprise markets where there's a lot of remote and cloud working going on.

To cater for this, AMD is unveiling Athlon and Ryzen 3000 C-series processors.

First, let's look at the Ryzen 3000 C-series.

There are three chips in this lineup.

Name

Cores/Threads

Freq

Cache

Graphics

TDP

Process

Architecture

Ryzen 7 3700C

4/8

Up to 4.0/2.3GHz

6MB

10 Radeon Cores @ 1400MHz

15W

12nm

Zen+

Ryzen 5 3500C

4/8

Up to 3.7/2.1GHz

6MB

8 Radeon Cores @ 1200MHz

15W

12nm

Zen+

Ryzen 3 3250C

2/4

Up to 3.5/2.6GHz

5MB

3 Radeon Cores @ 1200MHz

15W

14nm

Zen

On a performance front, AMD's internal testing shows these chips offering up to 178% lead over the A6-9220C APU on graphics, performance, and photo editing.

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2020-09-22-12-14-02-1.jpg

Then there are the Athlon 3000 C-series processors. These are a little more modest than the Ryzen chips, these are aimed at more mainstream, everyday Chromebooks.

Name

Cores/Threads

Freq

Cache

Graphics

TDP

Process

Architecture

Ryzen 7 3700C

4/8

Up to 4.0/2.3GHz

6MB

10 Radeon Cores @ 1400MHz

15W

12nm

Zen+

Ryzen 5 3500C

4/8

Up to 3.7/2.1GHz

6MB

8 Radeon Cores @ 1200MHz

15W

12nm

Zen+

Ryzen 3 3250C

2/4

Up to 3.5/2.6GHz

5MB

3 Radeon Cores @ 1200MHz

15W

14nm

Zen

These power-efficient 3000 C-Series chips allow makers to design thinner and lighter Chromebooks that deliver long battery life, as well as mode3r features such as Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.

"Whether users are online, offline, on-the-go or at home, AMD Ryzen processor-based and Athlon processor-based Chromebooks deliver the combined CPU, graphics and overall performance needed to stay productive and breeze through the high demands of distance learning and remote working," said Saeid Moshkelani, senior vice president and general manager, Client Compute, AMD. "We are pleased to be working with Acer, ASUS, Google, HP, and Lenovo to significantly expand the number of AMD-powered Chromebooks and deliver more powerful options with the first of many AMD Ryzen-based Chromebook systems."

What more interesting than the new hardware is seeing AMD go after another market, and go after it aggressively in a way that we've seen the company go after the desktop, mobile, and server markets. It's been clear from AMD's movements over the past few years with Ryzen, Threadripper, EPYC, and Radeon in particular that the company has no intention of leaving an unchallenged space for Intel to get a foothold in.

And it's a move that's paying off on both desktop and the server platforms.

While COVID-29 has been bad for most things (to put in mildly), in terms of pushing forward working from home, it's been a major catalyst for change, and Chromebooks too have benefitted from that change.

And it seems that AMD is positioning itself to benefit from that.