AMD is bringing out some big guns to take on Intel's powerful HX laptop CPUs, and once again, they're also called "HX." The company's new Ryzen 9 7945HX processor is its most premium mobile offering, with 16 cores and 32 threads, as well as speeds between 2.5GHz and 5.4GHz. It's joined by an array of other Ryzen 7000 CPUs unveiled at CES (AMD also announced low-end chipsin September), which will power everything from budget laptops to extreme gaming and creator machines. The big takeaway this year? There will be a Ryzen laptop chip for practically every need.
It makes sense for AMD to focus even more on its HX chips this year. Intel unveiled its high-powered lineup last year, and this week it revealed that there will be even more HX processors in 2023, led by the 24-core i9-13980HX. Like its previous chips, Intel is using a hybrid design which combines Performance and Efficient cores. So while Intel's core count is higher, its chips may end up performing similarly to AMD's, which utilize full-speed cores across the board.
The Ryzen HX CPUs will run at 55-watts and above (also like Intel's), meaning they'll focus more on raw power than battery life. AMD claims the 7945HX is 78 percent faster than the previous top-end Ryzen 6900HX in Cinebench's multithreaded benchmark, and 18 percent faster in the single threaded test. Compared to Intel's 12900HX, its high-end chip from last year, the 7945HX is 169 percent faster in Handbrake encoding and 75 percent faster with Blender rendering. You can expect to see the 7945HX in some of the premiere gaming laptops this year, like the Alienware m16 and m18, as well as the latest ASUS ROG Strix.
For a better balance between size and power, there's also the new Ryzen 7040 HS series chips, running between 35W and 45W. AMD says these chips are aimed at thin enthusiasts, and you can expect to see them in laptops this March. The Ryzen 9 7940HS is the pinnacle of this lineup, featuring 8 cores, 16 threads and up to 5.2 GHz boost speeds.
The 7040 chips will also feature Ryzen AI, an integrated AI engine that can handle tasks like making background blurs during video calls, or sorting through your photo library. AMD says Ryzen AI can multitask up to 4 different AI workloads (or combine those capabilities on one task), and it's reportedly 50 percent more power efficient than Apple's M2. Intel is also planning to introduce a VPU AI accelerator in some of its 13th-gen chips — previously, we've only seen these accelerators on ARM chips, like the Microsoft SQ3 on the Surface Pro 9.
When it comes to true ultraportables, AMD has the U-series Ryzen 7030 and 7035 lineups, which range from 15W to 35W chips. Those include the Ryzen 3 7330U at the low end, featuring 6 cores and 12 threads, to the 8 core/16 thread Ryzen 7 7730U. (Curiously, Ryzen 3 7335U is just a quad-core chip, but it can use almost twice as much power as the 7330U.)