Asus VivoBook M515UA brings AMD Ryzen 7 5700U processor to $649 laptop

This midrange notebook could pack a surprising punch with the Ryzen 7 eight-core chip, even if it relies on AMD's older Zen 2 architecture.
Written by Sean Portnoy, Contributor

Asus VivoBook M515UA

When AMD rolled out the Ryzen 7 5000 series of mobile processors at this year's CES, the big story was the adoption of the high-performance chips in some gaming laptops, a market that Intel has long dominated. Less heralded were the lower-power chips that were also part of the launch, including a few that still rely on Zen 2 architecture instead of the latest and greatest Zen 3.

One of those is the 5700U, which compensates for the older technology with eight cores and resultingly manages to beat the latest Intel Tiger Lake Core i7 CPUs on multi-threaded benchmarks, according to Notebookcheck testing. If that has piqued your interest, then you may be intrigued by the VivoBook M515UA, a mainstream laptop Asus is about to release that's built around the Ryzen 7 5700U at an attractive price point.

Online sleuthers have spotted the M515UA-NS77 configuration on Newegg (in "backordered" status) with a May 14 estimated arrival date and a $649.99 price tag. (That's $70 more than a version using the six-core Ryzen 5500U processor.) It also includes AMD's Radeon RX Vega 8 integrated graphics, which compares to Nvidia's GeForce MX330 GPU and is only suited for casual gaming. You also get a respectable 16GB of RAM, 512GB solid-state drive, and a 15.6-inch full HD (1,920x1,080) display.

While Tiger Lake Core i7 performance in a laptop with a midrange price tag sounds quite appealing, there are a couple of caveats to keep in mind with this VivoBook. The 5700U's multi-threaded prowess doesn't quite carry over to single-threaded applications, where Intel's CPUs take the lead. In addition, there's no support for the increasingly popular Thunderbolt standard, though the M515UA-NS77 does include a USB-C port.

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