AMD has just announced a new lineup of Ryzen PRO models for commercial desktops and laptops, and it has several major OEMs, such as Dell, HP, and Lenovo, lined up to bring new designs to market. AMD also announced that it is sampling its second-generation Threadripper products based on its 12nm process to customers.
AMD's Zen microarchitecture propelled the company back into contention with Intel across a broad swath of the desktop PC market. The company recently announced that it had captured up to 50% of CPU sales to DIYers on sites like Newegg and Amazon, but while that is an impressive achievement, AMD is still working to snatch a larger portion of the OEM and commercial laptop and desktop market.
That effort began last year with the release of the inaugural Ryzen PRO 7, 5, and 3 series for commercial desktops, which the company will also update soon. But much like the company's early successes in the mainstream desktop realm, Ryzen's lack of integrated graphics confined the PRO series to designs that come with a discrete GPU, which limited the appeal to the broader OEM market.
AMD has the advantage of being the only company that produces both x86 processors and discrete GPUs, which it leverages with its APUs (Accelerated Processing Units). These processors come wielding the power of the Zen compute cores paired with integrated graphics based on the Radeon Vega architecture. AMD extended the powerful combo to laptops with the first Ryzen Mobile processors and announced at CES that the chips would come in the commercial Ryzen Mobile PRO flavors that debut today.
Meanwhile, AMD tackled the desktop with Vega-based APUs for enthusiasts. These APUs pack a surprising amount of performance into a small package, winning nearly universal acclaim. The commercial Ryzen PRO desktop models also arrive today for commercial workstations and mini-PCs.
AMD carves its Ryzen Mobile PRO models into three different families based on CPU cores and Vega CU (Compute Units). The 4C/8T Ryzen 7 models come with 10 Vega CU, the 4C/8T Ryzen 5 chips feature eight CUs, and the 4C/4T Ryzen 3 models are armed with six CU.
These 14nm processors all feature 6MB of L3 cache and feature varying base/boost frequencies that stretch up to 3.8/2.2-GHz with the Ryzen 7 model. All three models have a configurable TDP, much like other mobile processors, that spans from 12 to 25W based upon the devices' cooling and power delivery capabilities. These chips grapple with Intel's eight-generation mobile chips that span the high-end Core i7-8650U down to the Core i3-7100U.
AMD's desktop PRO 2400G and 2200G APUs come with the same basic specifications as the desktop models. The flagship Ryzen 5 2400G boasts four Zen cores with simultaneous multi-threading and 11 CUs, yielding 704 Stream processors, and the Ryzen 3 2200G comes with four physical cores (without SMT) and eight CUs (512 Stream processors). The processors tackle the Core i5-8400 and Core i3-8100, respectively.
Both "G" APUs come with a 65W TDP, but AMD also offers the 35W PRO 2400GE and 2200GE for slimmer PCs.
AMD also provided several performance benchmarks comparing the PRO models with Intel's competing chips, but as with all vendor-provided benchmarks, be aware that caveats may apply.
AMD's new APUs are based on existing silicon that we see in the consumer market, but the company tailored the feature set for commercial customers. Unlike Intel's vPro, AMD's commercial-class management capabilities aren't relegated to the pricier models.
Like their desktop counterparts, the PRO series features integrated cryptographic accelerators, such as the AES 128-bit encryption engine. The processors also support the full range of AMD's secure technologies, including Windows 10 enterprise security support and fTPM/TPM 2 (Trusted Platform Module). Ryzen PRO models include a sandboxed Secure Processor (co-processor) that manages security features. It provides a secure root of trust for the secure boot process and manages the Transparent Secure Memory Encryption (TSME) feature, among others.
The commercial market has unique requirements. Long-term availability assures that organizations can continue to procure processors for large deployments. This is important because these deployments leverage universal images. Image stability is also important because it guarantees drivers will remain unchanged for a period of time. This enables companies to use images over the long term. AMD guarantees 24 months of processor availability and 18 months of image stability.
Lenovo unveiled its ThinkCentre M7253 small form factor PCs with eight-core Ryzen Desktop PRO models and the 1-liter M715q Tiny PC. Both of these systems come powered by the Ryzen PRO, but the company hasn't provided details about the specific models.
Lenovo also has its 2.5-pound ThinkPad A285, which it claims can charge up to 80% of its battery life in one hour. The 12.5-inch FHD display also sports touch capability. The larger, sub-3.5-pound ThinkPad A485 also has a touch-capable FHD display. It comes with Global LTE-A for mobile connectivity.
HP released the broadest range of Ryzen PRO offerings. The new models include the EliteDesk 700 Mini and the EliteDesk 700 in small form factor and tower designs. The EliteDesk models start at $499.
HP's mt44 Thin Client comes to market in May with prices starting at $849. This model comes with the AMD Ryzen PRO 2300U APU, Windows 10 Enterprise for Thin Clients, a 128GB M.2 SSD, and 8GB of DDR4-2400 SDRAM. The Thin Client sports a 14" LED-backlit anti-glare FHD IPS panel and an integrated webcam.
The EliteBook 700 series comes in 755, 745, and 735 G5 models that feature 15.6-, 14-, and 13.3-inch models, respectively. You can equip any of these models with the Ryzen Mobile Pro 7, 5, or 3 processors. The EliteBook series will be available in May starting at $999.
HP's ProBook 645 G4 will also debut in May, but prices start at $759. The 645 G4 comes with a 14" panel and your choice of Ryzen 7, 5, or 3 processors.
Dell is introducing its 14" Latitude 5495 laptops powered by Ryzen Mobile PRO. The 3.6-pound laptop comes in "F" and "B" models, but the company hasn't shared specifics yet.
The combination of the Zen microarchitecture and integrated Radeon Vega graphics has proven to be a fierce competitor in the low-end desktop gaming market. The same class-leading integrated graphics we've seen in our testing will also serve AMD's customers well in the commercial segment, which opens further opportunities.
It's also encouraging to hear that the second-gen Threadripper is already sampling to leading customers, but given the company's ongoing transition to the 12nm process, that isn't surprising. We hope to hear more in the coming weeks.