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Tesla’s Potent AMD Ryzen Upgrade Arrives Stateside for Model 3, Model Y

Tesla Model 3 Performance
(Image credit: Tesla)

We first reported about a month ago that Tesla initiated running changes for 2022 on Model 3 and Model Y vehicles produced in China. One of the most significant updates was switching from a pokey Intel Atom chip to an AMD Ryzen CPU. We are now learning that the first Ryzen-equipped Teslas are rolling out of Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California. 

The information comes to us via Teslascope, which posted an image of the vehicle system information screen confirming the inclusion of a Ryzen CPU. For those not in the know, the Ryzen (formerly Atom) is responsible for handling infotainment duties on Tesla EVs. It’s directly responsible for the screen's responsiveness when activating menus, playing games, loading apps like YouTube or Netflix, and swiping around the navigational map.

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We previously reported the massive performance boost with the new Ryzen chip, which loaded the Chinese app Youkou (similar to YouTube) in just 4.18 seconds compared to 17.12 seconds for its Atom-based counterpart. Likewise, opening Bilibili took just 7.04 seconds on the former and 24.16 seconds on the latter. Of course, the central screen is the primary point of interaction with secondary controls, so owners will appreciate any performance improvement.

If the reports are accurate, Tesla uses the same CPU found in the latest Tesla Model S and Model X: a custom Ryzen YE180FC3T4MFG. The chip features a quad-core 12nm 3.8 GHz Zen+ CPU with 4MB of L3 cache.

Tesla Model 3 Performance

(Image credit: Tesla)

The chip will come in handy with Tesla’s Holiday 2021 software update that dropped for Model 3 and Model Y owners last week. Not only did it bring a controversial new v11.0 user interface update, but it also added Sonic the Hedgehog to its Arcade game service. However, you’ll need to plug a USB gamepad into the vehicle’s center console to play Sonic (the touch screen is not supported for input). 

One other notable change coming alongside the Ryzen chip is the inclusion of a new, smaller Li-ion battery to power the vehicle’s 12-volt system. This replaces the antiquated 12-volt lead-acid batteries found in almost every other internal combustion engine vehicle and previous Teslas. The Li-ion battery, which is shared with newer Model S and Model X vehicles, weighs just 4 pounds compared to 27 pounds for its lead-acid predecessor and should last the life of the car (instead of 2 to 4 years).

Brandon Hill is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware. He has written about PC and Mac tech since the late 1990s with bylines at AnandTech, DailyTech, and Hot Hardware. When he is not consuming copious amounts of tech news, he can be found enjoying the NC mountains or the beach with his wife and two sons.