AMD Unwraps High Performance Ryzen Chips for Desktops, Notebooks

UPDATED: AMD has won the support of the big three makers of commercial PCs and notebooks for its Ryzen line of processors that feature leading edge performance and high-end graphics capabilities.

Laatest AMD Ryzen Processors

SANTA CLARA, CALIF. —Advanced Micro Devices got the strongest support from enterprise PC makers ever for its new line of Ryzen processors with officials from Dell, HP and Lenovo all on hand for the product launch at the chipmaker’s headquarters here. 

Introduced a year ago, Ryzen has already been adopted in a range of consumer systems and received high marks for both its raw computing performance and graphics features. 

“The core of our message is all around high performance computing, it’s in our DNA,” said Jim Anderson, vice president and general manager of AMD’s computing and graphics business group. 

Anderson said AMD now gives computer makers the ability to offer the fastest ultrathin notebooks in the commercial market. “When you combine our CPU and graphics no one else can match us,” he said. “After ten years of dual-core, everyone gets quad-core performance with AMD.” 

Analyst Rob Enderle was impressed with the latest AMD processors. “Ryzen with its discrete graphics offers a better value than Intel,” Enderle told eWEEK

The new Ryzen chips have given AMD a strong new product line to challenge its longtime rival Intel that has long held the lion’s share of the PC market. Analysts said they have never seen the leading PC makers come out so strongly for a new line of AMD chips.   

“This is the most support for AMD from major commercial OEMs that I’ve ever seen,” chip analyst Nathan Brookwood told eWEEK. “This would have been impossible a decade ago, but companies like HP always wanted an alternative to Intel.” 

AMD said the new line of Ryzen PRO processors power ultrathin notebooks with “all day” battery life of as much as 16 hours, high computing performance and the ability to handle the most power-hungry graphics and video applications thanks to the Radeon graphics engine included with Ryzen. 

HP had the broadest announcement noting that it’s shipping eight different systems powered by Ryzen. HP introduced new HP EliteBook 700 series notebooks, the HP ProBook 645 G4 notebook, the HP mt44 Mobile Thin Client, and the EliteDesk 705 G4 series, which includes the mini tower, small form factor (SFF) and desktop mini.

Lorena Kubera, vice president of HP Commercial PC Product management said functionality and performance aren’t enough to win over new customers. “People want something that’s great looking, not a stodgy looking commercial device,” said Kubera. 

The presentation of David Rabin, vice president of commercial marketing at Lenovo, made the biggest impact—quite literally—of all the presenters. Before describing several portable systems on stage he tossed them to floor to underscore their durability. 

Lenovo is rolling out several Ryzen-powered product lines in the next few weeks including new ThinkPad A series notebooks. Rabin noted AMD has had competitive issues in the past related to performance and battery life, but its newer processors equal or surpass Intel’s. Lenovo surveyed enterprise customers and found 10 hours of battery life and the new performance levels exceeded what they were getting from Intel and other chip makers’ products.   

“For the new A285 ThinkPad we took the weight out of it so it’s less than two-and-a-half pounds with a vibrant 12.5-inch screen,” said Rabin. “And we think we’ve addressed all the trends around security and workplace transformation.” 

A new Thinkcentre m725, offers workstation performance in a small form factor. “It also has the graphical processing and security you expect from Lenovo,” said Rabin.  

Dell was on hand to announce its first Latitude notebook powered by AMD, in this case the Ryzen Pro Mobile with Radeon Vega Graphics. The 14-inch, Dell Latitude 5495 is designed for “the corridor warrior,” said Andy Rhodes, vice president of commercial mobility solutions at Dell. 

Work is no longer a destination, it’s an activity. It happens at home, at Starbucks, in the car and after traditional work hours,” he said. “People are now coming into the workforce demanding the best technology. Half the people we’ve surveyed said they would quit if they’re not able to use the best technology.” 

Editor's Note: This story was updated with corrected details about notebook and desktop computers HP introduced at AMD's media briefing on new Ryzen processors.

David Needle

David Needle

Based in Silicon Valley, veteran technology reporter David Needle covers mobile, bi g data, and social media among other topics. He was formerly News Editor at Infoworld, Editor of Computer Currents...