AMD is changing up the model numbers for its mobile processors, with a new naming system designed to better explain the chip's release year, architecture, TDP and more.
It will begin in 2023 and move forward. AMD's new naming system consists of four digits and at least one letter, which isn't a change from the existing system. But Robert Hallock, director of technical marketing at AMD, wrote in a blog post that "[o]ur current naming system for Ryzen Mobile Processors was at an end. It simply could not accommodate the influx of new SOCs in new categories we're developing."
The short answer here is that bigger numbers means more powerful processors. But each digit has a meaning, should you want to dig in.
In this system, the first digit stands for the year the chip was released. Next gen's 7000-series processors will be the 2023 system, followed by 8000-series in 2024 and so on. The second number details which product line it falls in, ranging from Athlo Silver (1) to Ryzen 9 (9). There is some doubling up in there. An x8xx processor, for instance, could be a Ryzen 7 or a 9, while x7xx is also a Ryzen 7, and x9xx is a Ryzen 9.
The third numeral is the architecture. The number "5," for instance, will use Zen 5, "4" is Zen 4, and so on. The last number is either a 0 or 5 — a lesser or greater model. This will be important in cases where the architecture number doesn't specify different versions of an architecture, like Zen 3 vs. Zen 3+. The letter (or letters) refer to the TDP, ranging from the fanless "e" series at 9W up to HX at 55W or more. We've included AMD's full graphic above.
That third digit, to many, may be most important. You can have two 7000-series chips, but one could use Zen 1 and the other could use Zen 4. That's a key number to look for when buying a laptop.
In this case, a hypothetical Ryzen 9 7955HX would be the most powerful 2023 mobile processor, with Zen 5 and a 55W or higher TDP, while you could still have a slightly lower power Ryzen 9 7955HS. It's easy to see how this could build forward.
This also makes it, to some degree, ways to tell which of the new series of CPUs a processor will fall in. AMD is making these changes ahead of its "Mendocino" launch, which it says is for "everyday computing." That will use the Zen 2 process, which you can tell from the name. This tops out at 7045 with "Dragon Range."
Hallock wrote that this new naming scheme has been "smoke-tested… against a 5-year time horizon." Desktop processors, however, will have no changes, and will continue as they have since Ryzen was launched with the 1000 series.