AMD’s Ryzen chips have slowly begun eroding Intel’s dominance in the Windows laptop market, and now the company is coming for Chromebooks too, with five new Athlon and Ryzen processors launching specific for Chrome devices.
Two Athlon chips – the Silver 3050C and Gold 3150C – and three Ryzen versions – the Ryzen 3 3250C, Ryzen 5 3500C, and Ryzen 7 3700C – will arrive in Chromebooks this year and next, to join the two existing AMD A-series chipsets already available.
While the current A4 and A6 chips are best-suited to budget notebooks, the new Athlon and Ryzen 3000 chips will cover the mid-range and premium end of the Chromebook space – once niche, but growing fast as remote working builds and compatibility with Android apps improves.
All five new chips run at 15W – so will be best-suited to laptops with fans, not fanless ultrabooks – and at the top end you’re getting four CPU cores and ten graphics cores. It’s worth noting that even that top spec Ryzen is made on the company’s 12nm Zen+ architecture, and the lower-end chips are on the 14nm Zen setup, despite the fact that Zen 2 chips are widespread in Windows and Zen 3 is on the way.
Note that these aren’t the same as the more powerful Ryzen 4000 chips rolling out across Windows devices now, but they should offer enough oomph for Chrome OS. AMD claims that the Ryzen 7 3700C offers the most powerful graphics available in a Chromebook right now, beating an Acer Chromebook Spin 13 equipped with an Intel i7-8550U in the 3DMark Sling Shot benchmark.
AMD only entered the Chromebook chipset market last year, and says by Q2 2020 it had already hit 21% market share, so it’s no surprise to see that the company is aggressively pushing for more. There are already eight Chromebooks out or on the way using the A-series chips, and AMD says at least another six are on the way using the Athlon and Ryzen cores, from HP, Asus, and Lenovo.
Of course, the company has bigger announcements than this on the way. Both the Zen 3 processor architecture and Big Navi graphics cards are due to be unveiled in October, which should shake up the desktop component market in a big way.