AMD’s new 12nm Ryzen laptop chips look to put the pressure on Intel

AMD has been pushing its Ryzen lineup of processors for a few years now, with the company looking to put pressure on Intel’s seemingly unbeatable hold on the chip landscape. At CES 2019, AMD unveiled its second generation of Ryzen laptop chips, which look to jump ahead of Intel’s 14nm roadblock to offer some of the first 12nm processors on the market.

To that end, AMD is launching a new lineup of Ryzen 3, Ryzen 5, and Ryzen 7 chips across both the 15W U-series and 35W H-series lineups, almost all of which are built off of the company’s new 12nm Zen+ architecture.

For the more powerful H-series, there are a pair of new chips: the Ryzen 7 3750H, offering four cores / eight threads, a base clock speed of 2.3 GHz (which can boost to 4.0 GHz), and the Ryzen 5 3550H, also a four core / eight thread processor, but with a 2.1 GHz base speed (which can boost to 3.7 GHz), and only eight GPU cores to the Ryzen 7 3750H’s ten.

The 15W U-series lineup is getting four chips: the Ryzen 7 3700U and Ryzen 5 3500U, which are nearly identical to their H-series counterparts, aside from the name and lower power. There are also a pair of Ryzen 3 chips, the Ryzen 3 3300U (four cores, four threads, and a base clock of 2.1 GHz that can boost to 3.5GHz) and the Ryzen 3 3200U, the only 14nm architecture processor of the new line (two cores, four threads, and a base clock of 2.6 GHz that can boost to 3.5GHz).

Along with the new Ryzen chips, AMD is also announcing a pair of A-series processors specifically designed for Chromebooks. There’s the A6-9220C, a two core / two thread processor with a base clock speed of 1.8GHz (that can boost to 2.7GHz), and the A4-9120C, also a two core / two thread processor with slightly slower base clock speed of 1.6GHz (boost to 2.7GHz). Neither is quite on par with their Ryzen counterparts (much in the same way that Intel’s Pentium chips don’t compare to its Core lineup), but they should serve for the less demanding tasks of a Chromebook.

The new chips should start to appear in laptops over the coming months, and if AMD can keep this sort of momentum going across its product lineup as 2019 continues, it may shape up to be a very interesting year in the processor space.

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