As the two big hitters in laptop processor space, Intel and AMD regularly trade blows. The former released its 11th-gen 'Rocket Lake' desktop chips on the first day of CES 2021, but AMD has already responded with laptop processors of its own at the all-digital event.
The Ryzen 5000 series was widely expected to be announced in January, and it turned out to be the big news from AMD's press conference. Here's everything you need to know.
When will Ryzen 5000 laptop chips be released?
The Ryzen 5000 series chips were officially unveiled at AMD's CES 2021 press conference on 12 January, as was confirmed a month earlier:
While it took a few months for devices powered by 2020's Ryzen 4000 series to make their way into devices, AMD has been much more ambitious this time around. The first laptops powered by the Ryzen 5000 series will go on sale before the end of January 2021.
Check out how to watch the AMD CES 2021 keynote if you'd like to watch the event back.
How much will Ryzen 5000 Series laptops cost?
The Ryzen 5000 series won't be available to buy as standalone chips, as they're designed to provide an integrated solution for thin and light laptops and convertibles.
How much you'll pay for one of these devices will depend on individual manufacturers, but also which tier of processor it's using. Here's a rough guide to the level of performance each offers:
- Ryzen 3 - basic browsing, streaming and content creation
- Ryzen 5 - solid for productivity and entertainment
- Ryzen 7 - high-end performance, including demanding tasks
- Ryzen 9 - elite performance across gaming and content creation
You can often pick up a Ryzen 3 laptop for as little as £200, while a Ryzen 9 device can cost upwards of £2000. We'd expect these four tiers to go head-to-head with Intel's equivalents (i3, i5, i7, i9) once again.
AMD Ryzen 5000 series devices
With built-in laptop processors, the release of the chips themselves is far less exciting than the devices they will run on.
No specific devices were confirmed at the official announcement, but some companies have already announced laptops running Ryzen 5000 series processors. These include Acer's Aspire 5, Aspire 7 and Nitro 5, as well as the XMG Neo.
Expect plenty more to be announced in the coming weeks and months, though. AMD indicated a total of 150 Ryzen 5000 (Mobile) devices would be released before the end of 2020, including hardware from the likes of HP, Asus, MSI and Dell. AMD CEO Lisa Su also spoke to representatives from both Microsoft and Lenovo during the reveal event, so they're likely candidates.
See more in our guide to every confirmed Ryzen 5000 laptop.
AMD Ryzen 5000 series spec news
At the official announcement on 12 January 2021, AMD CEO Lisa Su said the Ryzen 5000 series will allow you to "do more, be more productive and have more immersive gaming experiences".
It is expected to offer plenty of performance in everyday office productivity apps, but high-end chips will also be capable of demanding tasks like video rendering, photo editing and 3D modeling.
There are an incredible 13 processors in total, offering a maximum of 8 cores, 16 threads and a boost speed of up to 4.4GHz. These are across Ryzen 3, 5, 7 and 9 tiers, with a full summary available on the AMD website.
In particular, the middling Ryzen 7 5800U is expected to offer 'all-day battery life'. This means up to 17.5 hours of general usage, or up to 21 hours of movie playback. Of course, this is dependent on the battery capacity of the device in question, but the signs are encouraging.
There are also new high-end processors that have specifically been designed for gaming in the form of the Ryzen 9 5900HX and Ryzen 9 5980HX. The latter has been described as 'the best processor for gaming notebooks', with both chips unlocked to enable overclocking and offering a higher thermal design power for sustained performance.
The 5900HX can be overclocked up to a 4.6GHz boost, meaning it's capable of running graphic-intensive games like Horizon: Zero Dawn at over 100fps at 1080p.
Almost all chips in the Ryzen 5000 series also use the latest Zen 3 architecture, which was announced alongside the equivalent desktop processors in October 2020. The 4.8GHz boost on the 5900HX should mean performance is even better.
In synthetic benchmarks, AMD says this offers 13% more single core performance, 35% more overall cpu performance and 19% more game physics performance than the equivalent Intel Rocket Lake chip (Core i9-10980HK).
In the future, AMD may also release a new low-power CPU (or APU, as AMD calls them) codenamed 'Van Gogh'. Phoronix found the information from a recent Linux update, which also revealed it would come with DDR5 memory and AMD's new Navi 2 integrated graphics.
The latter would replace the Radeon graphics currently found alongside the 400 series, and confirmed what leaker Patrick Schur had already tweeted:
Van Gogh (VN)— Patrick Schur (@patrickschur_) August 21, 2020
FF3 \ BGA \ 7.5 - 18 watt
Zen 2 \ Navi \ LPDDR5
We also have our first concrete look at the new Ryzen 5000 Pro CPUs, courtesy of a leak by Lenovo. A new listing on the company's ThinkPad P14 spec page mentions the Ryzen 5 Pro 5650U and Ryzen 7 Pro 5850U, two chips that are yet to be revealed by AMD. The page also reveals some key specs about both:
- Ryzen 7 Pro 5850U - 8 cores, 16 threads, base clock speed 2GHz, boost clock speed 4.4GHz, 12Mb cache
- Ryzen 5 Pro 5650U - 6 cores, 12 threads, base clock speed 2.2GHz, boost clock speed 4.2GHz, 11Mb cache
We'll update this article if any more information is revealed about the Ryzen 5000 series. In the meantime, check out its main competitor in Intel's Tiger Lake. AMD may also be gearing up to release ARM-based CPUs.
At the same CES press conference, AMD also teased an upgraded mobile GPU range based on the RDNA 2.