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The first AMD Ryzen 7000 CPUs are here, but they’re not what you’re expecting

AMD is introducing a new range of mobile processors — the Ryzen 7020 series. Although they’re technically the first Ryzen 7000 CPUs, they don’t share much in common with the upcoming desktop range that AMD is releasing on September 27.

Instead, they use the Zen 2 architecture — the same design AMD used with its Ryzen 3000 desktop processors. That’s because they’re built for portability and battery life, topping out at only 15 watts for the most powerful chip in the lineup. There are three new processors, allow of which come with Radeon 610M graphics built in:

Ryzen 5 7520U Ryzen 3 7320U Athlon Gold 7220U
Cores / Threads 4 / 8 4 / 8 2 / 4
Architecture Enhanced Zen 2 Enhanced Zen 2 Enhanced Zen 2
Base clock 2.8GHz 2.4GHz 2.4GHz
Boost clock 4.3GHz 4.1GHz 3.7GHz
Cache 6MB 6MB 5MB
Graphics Radeon 610M Radeon 610M Radeon 610M
Power draw 8-15W 8-15W 8-15W

Although these processors don’t share the same DNA as the desktop Ryzen 7000 CPUs, they’re still technically part of AMD’s Ryzen 7000 range. Code-named Mendocino, they kick off AMD’s mobile offerings, which it will continue to build into 2023. These processors are built for function, offering up to 12 hours of battery life on a typical system, modern platform technologies, and built-in Radeon 610M graphics that can drive up to four displays.

You may not get a new architecture with the Ryzen 7020 range, but you are getting new platform features. The chips support LPDDR5 memory, fast charging, and the Microsoft Pluton processor. That last feature gives Ryzen 7020 processors full support for Windows 11, with all the security features the operating system offers.

AMD Ryzen 7020 processor on a black background.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The integrated graphics don’t hold a candle to the best graphics cards, but they still offer some key features. For starters, they use the same RDNA 2 architecture that AMD does with its RX 6000 graphics cards, and they support AV1 decoding if you’re integrated in streaming. You don’t want to game on integrated graphics normally, but AMD still claims Radeon 610M graphics can drive esports titles like League of Legends and Counter Strike: Global Offensive at 720p and over 60 frames per second.

For raw performance, AMD says the new processors are up to 58% faster than Intel’s Core i3-1115G4, and that they provide up to 31% faster application launching. That may seem impressive, but AMD’s numbers are compared to the previous generation of Intel processors. With modern options, you should expect similar performance out of Intel and AMD offerings at this price.

AMD says the first laptops with these processors will arrive in the last few months of 2022. The company says they’ll show up in machines like the Lenovo IdeaPad 1 and Acer Aspire 3, which firmly puts them in the mainstream categories for buyers on a budget.

Looking forward, AMD says it will offer more Ryzen 7000 laptop CPUs throughout 2023. Here’s what to expect next year:

  • Ryzen 7030 — Mainstream thin and light, launching 2022
  • Ryzen 7035 — Premium thin and light, launching 2023
  • Ryzen 7040 — Elite ultrathin, launching 2023
  • Ryzen 7045 — Gaming and creators, launching 2023

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Jacob Roach
Senior Staff Writer, Computing
Jacob Roach is a writer covering computing and gaming at Digital Trends. After realizing Crysis wouldn't run on a laptop, he…
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