AMD Ryzen 7000 Pro CPU takes aim at Apple’s M2 Pro but fails to impress

AMD has unveiled a new family of processors based on its Zen 4 cores to target business owners.

The new Ryzen Pro 7000 series with integrated Radeon graphics were the highlight of the launch, featuring up to eight cores and a base frequency of 4GHz on its flagship model, the Ryzen 9 Pro 7940HS. 

Our sister publications Anandtech and Toms Hardware have also commented extensively on the launch, one that comes just hours before a big data center keynote where more CPUs (for servers) are expected to be announced.

Ryzen AI

Other than the new architecture, which brings in higher IPC, new graphics architecture (RDNA 3 from 2) and DDR5 memory, AMD has ringfenced a chunk of transistors that it called Ryzen AI and is optimized for AI-based workloads.  The example AMD used is Windows Studio effects which allows the user to blur background, track eye movements and auto frame the user when using a laptop’s integrated camera. AMD hasn’t confirmed whether all the new Ryzen Pro models will include the Ryzen AI block.

What’s also interesting is the fact that the inclusion of a dedicated AI block allows AMD to offer top-to-bottom hardware solution from the datacenter to the edge: Xilinx for FPGA accelerators, Instinct for GPU, EPYC (CPU) and now Ryzen Pro series for client. That paves the way for a near future scenario where AI tasks move seamlessly between an AMD-powered cloud and edge.

AMD better than Apple? Not so fast

AMD mentioned both Intel and Apple in its battery test using everyone’s favorite video conferencing platform – Microsoft Teams; a device using the Ryzen 7 Pro 7840U, which is AMD’s top thin-and-light Pro CPU, ran 70% longer than an Intel Core i7-1370P-based laptop and about 10% longer than a MacBook Pro sporting an Apple M2 Pro and 10 cores. What’s even more impressive is the fact AMD had the smallest battery size (51.3Wh) of the four test laptops with the MacBook Pro having the biggest (69.6Wh) which means that the gap is likely to be even wider with the same battery size.

AMD also claims to be faster than the M2 Pro across industry benchmarks such as Cinebench, (single and multi thread) and Passmark 11. What is perhaps, cause for concern, at least for the x86 camp is that the M2 Pro has been out for a while and AMD is not even its flagship CPU against Apple’s fastest mobile CPU. In fact AMD used a 14-inch MacBook Pro that runs on a 10-core M2 Pro. A more powerful 12-core M2 Pro CPU is also available with an even more capable version, the M2 Max readily available.

If AMD is huffing and puffing to stay ahead of Apple by cherry-picking the second slowest M2 processor, then that doesn’t bode well for when Apple unleashes its M3 CPU next year. Expect these processors to grace business laptops from the big guns (Lenovo, Dell, HP) and the challenger brands (Asus, Acer, MSI, Gigabyte etc). We also believe that a growing number of mobile workstation specialists will adopt the new Ryzen 7000 Pro range because of its AI capabilities which many ISVs (independent software vendors) may embrace.

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