The folks over at WCCFtech got a scoop earlier on AMD’s plans for mobility hardware built around 7nm Ryzen. The gist of the earlier report was that the next wave of mobility parts wouldn’t available til towards the end of Q4. Now, though, AMD’s reportedly targeting CES 2020 as a timeframe for release. While this might seem far off, the news they have is evidently worth the wait. Especially so if you’re in the market for a budget gaming laptop.
Per new information, AMD’s next-gen mobility parts will include a 6-core Ryzen processor alongside a Navi discrete GPU. This will be available at price-points as low as $699. This is tremendous news. It means that we’ll soon have laptops on the market with hardware that’s at least on par with the Xbox One X, available at nearly the same cost as that console. In terms of battery life, the move to 7nm on both the GPU and CPU means that we can expect 12+ hours of battery life, unusually long for gaming laptops.
How much power are we looking at, exactly? A 6-core third-gen Ryzen 5 part, even if clocked lower, would offer nearly as much CPU grunt as the upcoming 9th gen consoles. Meanwhile, in the GPU space, we’re looking at the Radeon RX 5300M or 5500M. The RX 5500M was made official just a few days ago. We have official confirmation of the 5300M, but the rumor mill indicates that it’ll arrive on the market sooner rather than later. In any case, we’re looking at parts that are in the general vicinity of the RX 580/570.
This is a big deal because, right up til now, NVIDIA’s GTX 1050 was the discrete GPU of choice in budget laptops. It’s a frankly terribly GPU that can just about handle 900p AAA gaming in today’s titles. The RX 580 (and 5300M) are nearly twice as fast. Personally, this reminds me a lot of early 2013. I purchased a Lenovo gaming laptop with a GT750M at the time. This was a resolutely entry-level part, but we’d gotten so far into the console cycle that it handled 7th gen games with ease. It didn’t do so great once the eighth-gen consoles came out, though. And that’s a big concern with these upcoming AMD parts, too. Sure, RX 580 levels of performance might be fine for today’s late eight-gen games. But what happens when the 9th gen consoles arrive in a year and you find yourself just on the wrong side of 30 FPS?
While hexacore Ryzen-Navi laptops at $699 look like great value today, we’d advise waiting and watching to see where the next consoles are at before jumping on a laptop purchase.