AMD’s 5nm Dragon Range high-performance “Zen 4” CPUs will deliver massive performance and higher efficiency than Zen 3

AMD’s recently unveiled Zen 4 CPU will fundamentally change the entire laptop segment when it debuts in Dragon Range and Phoenix Point Mobility CPUs in early 2023.

AMD 5nm Zen 4 cores will be game-changers for mobile CPUs when they debut within the Dragon Range and Phoenix Point next year

One of the most interesting chipsets that AMD published yesterday was the performance and efficiency improvement between 5nm Zen 4 and 7nm Zen 3 cores. AMD used a 16-core Ryzen 9 7950X CPU and compared it to the latest generation Ryzen 9 5950X 16-core CPU. In the three results published by AMD, the Zen 4 chip presented:

  • Up to 35% faster performance at 170W
  • Up to 37% faster performance at 105W
  • Up to 74% faster performance at 65W

Those are some respectable gains but it’s the 65W difference that we’re going to talk about. We know these numbers are taken as a best-case scenario for a 5nm Zen 4 core, but +74% is massive and that’s where we have to bring mobile CPUs into the discussion. We know that AMD is working on two sets of Mobility CPUs for 2023, one called the Dragon Range and the other called the Phoenix Point.

AMD Dragon Range CPUs will target the high-performance segment with more cores, threads and cache than AMD previously offered us while Phoenix Point will target the thin and light laptop segment. Dragon Range CPUs will have a TDP rating of around 55W+ while the Phoenix Point will have TDPs around 35-45W. The 55W TDP is for a basic configuration and we can expect the chip to be configurable up to 65W for laptop designs with high-end cooling and larger form factors.

Given that AMD’s current laptop lineup is peaking at 8 cores and 16 threads, AMD will target up to 16 cores and 32 threads with the Dragon Range family of Ryzen 7000 CPUs. The CPUs will also feature more Cache is up to 80MB versus just 20MB on AMD’s current fastest laptop chip, the Ryzen 9 6980HX. Given an improvement of up to 74% against Zen 3 in multi-threaded applications at the 65W TDP threshold, we can see massive performance gains that will also surpass Intel’s current Alder Lake-HX suite of up to 16 cores and 24 threads.

AMD has already stated that the 5nm Zen 4 core is about 47% more efficient than the Alder Lake P-Core (Golden Cove) and also provides 49% higher average performance than the Zen 3 at the same power and 62% less power at the same performance. With 16 cores on hand and the power of Zen 4, AMD will take mobility performance to new heights.

We’ve already seen in Alder Lake-HX reviews that while performance is certainly there, in some cases, there’s a dent due to insufficient cooling and the fact that the chip draws anywhere from 70 to over 200 watts of power as shown in PCWorld’s review . AMD with its 5nm Zen 4 cores may not only provide a performance advantage over the Alder Lake-HX, but it may also provide a power efficiency advantage and a CPU thermal advantage on laptops.

With that said, Zen 4 will also be powered by Phoenix Point CPUs that come in a monolithic chipset package. They will keep 8 and 16 thread cores and feature a small cache increase from 20MB to 24MB. These chips will be particularly interesting for the low-power sector as the same energy efficiency advantage will come down to them and we could also see a significant 50% performance increase against the current Zen 3 and Zen 3+ offerings. The main advantage that the Phoenix Point will have is that the array uses an improved 4nm version of Zen 4 cores compared to the 5nm version used by Dragon Range, Raphael and EPYC Genoa.

One of the main features of Phoenix Point’s impressive efficiency will be in the gaming sector. Recently we have seen a huge range of gaming laptops enter the market from various brands. AMD’s Ryzen 5000 and Ryzen 6000 Mobility CPUs are the main options for those, and Valve’s Steam Deck uses AMD’s Zen cores as part of a custom Aerith SOC (Van Gogh APU). Valve recently talked about improvements to the Steam Deck design for future iterations, and we can hope to see some Zen 4 action in a dedicated SOC within the next generation of mobile devices.

Another key part where Zen 4 can show its true power is the server platform with EPYC Genoa and Bergamo chips. Given that server chips always run in a TDP-restricted environment, 5nm Zen 4 cores can be used to deliver the highest efficiency and blast anything Intel offers in the form of Xeon chips.

All that said, we can’t wait to see AMD’s Dragon Range and Phoenix Point Mobility in action with 5nm Zen 4 cores. We’ll also cover a few of the poor performance numbers from Zen 4 CPUs that are nearing launch. The AMD Dragon Range family will compete with the Intel Raptor Lake-HX range which is expected to debut near CES 2023.

AMD Ryzen H-Series Mobility CPUs:

CPU family name AMD Strix Point H-Series AMD Dragon Range H-Series AMD Phoenix H-Series AMD Rembrandt H Series. AMD Cezanne-H . Series AMD Renoir H Series. AMD Picasso H series AMD Raven Ridge H-Series
family brand AMD Ryzen 8000 (H Series) AMD Ryzen 7000 (H Series) AMD Ryzen 7000 (H Series) AMD Ryzen 6000 (H Series) AMD Ryzen 5000 (H Series) AMD Ryzen 4000 (H Series) AMD Ryzen 3000 (H Series) AMD Ryzen 2000 (H Series)
Operation knot to be announced later on 5nm 4 nm 6 nm 7nm 7nm 12 nm 14 nm
CPU Infrastructure Zain 5 Zain 4 Zain 4 Zen 3+ Zain 3 Zain 2 Zen + Zain 1
CPU cores/threads (maximum) to be announced later on 16/32 8/16 8/16 8/16 8/16 4/8 4/8
L2 cache (maximum) to be announced later on 16 MB 4 MB 4 MB 4 MB 4 MB 2MB 2MB
L3 Cache (maximum) to be announced later on 32 MB 16 MB 16 MB 16 MB 8 MB 4 MB 4 MB
Maximum CPU hours to be announced later on To be announced To be announced 5.0 GHz (Ryzen 9 6980HX) 4.80 GHz (Ryzen 9 5980HX) 4.3 GHz (Ryzen 9 4900HS) 4.0 GHz (Ryzen 7 3750H) 3.8 GHz (Ryzen 7 2800H)
GPU Infrastructure RDNA 3+ iGPU RDNA 2 6nm iGPU RDNA 3 5nm iGPU RDNA 2 6nm iGPU Enhanced Vega 7nm Enhanced Vega 7nm Vega 14 nm Vega 14 nm
Max GPU Cores to be announced later on To be announced To be announced 12 currency units (786 cores) 8 coin units (512 cores) 8 coin units (512 cores) 10 coin units (640 cores) 11 CU (704 cores)
Max GPU watches to be announced later on To be announced To be announced 2400 MHz 2100 MHz 1750 MHz 1400 MHz 1300 MHz
TDP (cTDP down/up) to be announced later on 55W + (65W cTDP) 35 W – 45 W (65 W cTDP) 35 W – 45 W (65 W cTDP) 35 W – 54 W (54 W cTDP) 35 W – 45 W (65 W cTDP) 12-35 W (35 W cTDP) 35 W – 45 W (65 W cTDP)
release 2024 First Quarter 2023 First Quarter 2023 First Quarter 2022 First Quarter 2021 Q2 2020 First Quarter 2019 Fourth Quarter 2018

Which next-generation AMD Notebook processors do you look forward to the most?

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