AMD’s HS Design Standard is Project Athena for Gaming Laptops

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

AMD today unveiled a ton of news about its Ryzen 4000 series mobile processors, but is also announcing a new standard for gaming laptops. The company calls it the HS Design Standard, and it’s made to allow for portable, powerful gaming laptops. Think of it like Intel’s Project Athena for portability, but for gaming machines.

Of course, this is just for laptops with AMD’s new Ryzen 4000 CPUs. Specifically, the laptops will use special, more efficient versions of the H-series processors, which will be labeled HS. These are 35W versions of the 4000-series CPUs. AMD’s Renato Fragale said OEMs will have to meet its standards to meet this label. He said the H is the designation for H series parts, while the S stands for “slim.” 

These devices will have Z-heights of less than 20 millimeters and will be “lightweight,” though AMD didn’t list a specific poundage. The company is also promising more than 10 hours of battery life (measured by continuous video playback).

(Image credit: AMD)

Additionally, HS laptops will be paired with “power efficient, high performance discrete graphics,” which AMD said can be either its own Radeon cards or competing cards from Nvidia.” The company says they also need “no- thermal solutions” and that they will only allow carefully selected components into these laptops.

The first of these machines is the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, which that company first showed us at CES 2020 earlier this year. At the time, Asus said it had a six-month exclusive on the 35W HS chips, so it’s unclear when we’ll see more laptops that hit the HS standards. AMD said other companies have engaged, and that it’s possible there will be more systems later this year.

Specifically, Asus listed the 4800HS at CES, though AMD today announced the 4900HS, so we’ll see if that makes its way into Asus’ notebook. The laptop also uses an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 (it’s unclear if this is a Max-Q solution, though neither Asus nor AMD suggested that is the case).

Swipe to scroll horizontally
CPUCores/ThreadsFrequency (Up to) Boost / BaseCacheGraphics CoresGraphics FrequencyTDP
Ryzen 9 4900H8/16
4.4 / 3.3 GHz12 MB81750 MHz45W
Ryzen 9 4900HS8/16
4.3 / 3.0 GHz12 MB81750 MHz35W
Ryzen 7 4800H8/16
4.2 / 2.9 GHz12 MB71600 MHz45W
Ryzen 7 4800HS8/164.2 / 2.9 GHz12 MB71600 MHz35W
Ryzen 5 4600H6/124.0 / 3.0 GHz11 MB61500 MHz45W
Ryzen 5 4600HS6/124.0 / 3.0 GHz11 MB61500 MHz35W

Regale didn’t say there’s any decibel requirement just yet. He said that every year specs and other factors will “tightened” to make better portable, slim gaming laptops.

The Ryzen 5 4600HS and the Ryzen 7 4800HS have the same frequency specifications as the 45W H-series and are not binned out differently. The Ryzen 9 4900HS has slightly lower frequencies than the 45W part.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

At a press briefing we attended, AMD displayed a slide showing esports games like DOTA2 and League of Legends running above 120 fps, Rocket League and CS:GO running above 220 fps and many AA titles running above 60 fps with the Ryzen 9 4900HS and RTX 2060 Max-Q at 1080p on high settings, which is what we may see in that Zephyrus. We look forward to getting it in our labs to test.

“There’s a lot we can do from an ecosystem perspective to really tune that system. So it’s not just clocking it down to 35W… let’s go play with the STT settings. Let’s go play with the other components[,]” Regale said.

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Threads @FreedmanAE and Mastodon

  • jimmysmitty
    Marketing slides are marketing slides.

    I am however surprised that they are using an nVidia GPU to show off performance instead of a Radeon.