AMD's 'new' Ryzen 7 8840U will power GPD's 2024 handheld lineup

A render of the GPD Win Max 2 taken from GPD's website.
(Image credit: GPD.HK)

Handheld gaming PC and laptop designer GPD plans to take its Ryzen 7 7840U-powered devices and refresh them with the new Ryzen 7 8840U (via ITHome). GPD will launch these refreshed handhelds quite early and will reportedly be the first company to release a handheld using the 8840U.

The specific models that jump from the 7840U to the 8840U are the Win Mini, the Win 4, and the Win Max 2. ITHome also reports that this upgrade will happen simultaneously for all three models and that a "major hardware update," aside from the change to the 8840U, is in store for the Win Mini.

Although this is technically a generational upgrade, in reality, the Ryzen 8040 series is more or less identical to the 7040 series. For starters, AMD uses the 7040 series' Phoenix chip for the 8040 series, meaning no new architectural features or improvements. Frequencies between respective 7040 and 8040 models are also identical, meaning the 8840U won't be any better for gaming than the 7840U.

The only actual thing that has changed between Ryzen 8040 and Ryzen 7040 is the neural processing unit (NPU), which has been sped up by 60% thanks to a higher clock speed. That's a big deal for AI workloads, but it's questionable how useful the NPU will be on a device intended for gaming. Today's games don't take advantage of AI hardware except in the case of Nvidia's DLSS technology, and it doesn't seem likely that many GPD users will be running AI-powered apps on their gaming handhelds.

Given that there's no performance benefit to switching to the 8840U, it might seem strange that GPD is doing it anyway. However, since the 8840U is practically identical to the 7840U, it would be a quick and easy upgrade, and it would look good on the spec sheets. Plus, GPD might have concerns about 7840U availability, especially after AMD failed to deliver a batch of APUs to the company earlier this year. As AMD's newest flagship, the 8840U may have a greater supply than the now last-gen 7840U.

ITHome also notes that GPU will launch new handhelds next year, though it's unclear if they will all use Ryzen 8040 chips. GPD could easily be planning to use Intel's brand-new Meteor Lake CPUs, which boast great graphics performance and robust AI hardware but somewhat worse efficiency than Ryzen 7040 and 8040 APUs at lower TDPs typical for handhelds.

Matthew Connatser

Matthew Connatser is a freelancing writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes articles about CPUs, GPUs, SSDs, and computers in general.

  • Sleepy_Hollowed
    Huh, that's an interesting concept.

    If I had kids I would get them one for sure, the AMD chipset update is just a plus.

    Then again, I know some kids like smaller things.
  • thestryker
    Just speaks to how quickly AMD was able to shift over as these are the same CPUs but with better NPU (maybe just faster).