ASUS Zenbook Laptop Shows AMD Ryzen 6000U Mobile Processors Are The Real Deal
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) unveiled its line of Ryzen 6000 Series mobile processors back in January of this year, in concert with the Consumer Electronics Show. Based on the company’s Zen 3+ CPU architecture with on board RDNA 2 graphics, the family of laptop CPUs covers the gamut of notebook offerings in the market, from beefy gaming machines with 45 Watt+ power envelopes, to ultralight mobile workhorses in the 15 Watt range. Gaming and creator-focused, high performance notebooks based on the Ryzen 6000 Mobile platform have been available in market for months. However, today the company lifted the embargo on performance results for its 15 Watt ultralight Ryzen 6000U series CPUs, and one of the first machines to arrive is a stunner 13-inch ASUS machine called the Zenbook S 13 OLED.
As you might expect from the model name, this 2.2 pound sliver of technology sports a gorgeous, inky and bright 13.3-inch HDR OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) display, but beauty is well beyond skin-deep with this machine.
Ryzen 6000U Brings Cutting-Edge Platform Tech And Memory Support
One area that AMD has trailed its chief rival Intel on its previous gen Ryzen 5000 mobile platform was with the latest PCI Express and USB or Thunderbolt IO connectivity. However, AMD’s Ryzen 6000 family, and by association the Ryzen 6000U platform powering this new ASUS Zenbook, closes that gap with support for PCIe Gen 4 SSD storage connectivity, as well as USB4 with full 40Gbps link rate that also supports Thunderbolt 4 interoperability (certification pending). AMD’s Ryzen 6000 USB4 design also supports tunneled DisplayPort 1.4a connectivity with a full 34.56Gb/s of bandwidth. For system memory, Ryzen 6000U supports up to 6400MHz LPDDR5 RAM for gobs of memory bandwidth, and in fact this machine was configured with 32GB of LPDDR5-6400MHz RAM. Tack on the latest Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity, and AMD is at feature parity here with Intel. However, AMD’s Radeon 680M integrated graphics is a notch above.
AMD has a family of even lower power Ryzen 6000U processors, with 4, 6 and 8 CPU core designs that also have more modest graphics configs. However, the flagship Ryzen 7 6800U on-board the ASUS Zenbook my colleague Marco tested at HotHardware, is infused with a top-end 12 core RNDA 2 Radeon 680M integrated GPU that actually offers a bit more firepower (think about a 20% lift) for gaming and some content creation tasks, versus Intel’s Iris Xe Graphics on-board its 12th Gen Core Alder Lake-P offering.
Ryzen 6000U Is All About Power-Efficient Performance
The final refinement that AMD brought to the table, for the Ryzen 6000U Series especially, is its Zen 3+ CPU architecture that has been heavily optimized for power efficiency and a bit more performance in multi-threaded workloads. Here’s a quick taste from HotHardware’s review…
Here we see that AMD’s new Ryzen 7 6800U on board the 13-inch ASUS Zenbook is able to outpace Intel’s Core i7-1260P on-board the Samsung Galaxy Book2 360 by about 9%, even though the Samsung system is a larger, but still thin and light 16-inch machine. Single-threaded responsiveness is still a win for Intel, however, where the Core i7-1260P leads by about 13% or so.
On the battery life front, the results show the new ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED delivers some of the best numbers we’ve seen from a sub-3 lb machine, and in fact it topped the database with over 12 hours of untethered uptime in a HD video playback battery rundown test, with its punchy display always on and connected to a Wi-Fi network.
What Ryzen 600oU Means For AMD And Thin-And-Light Laptops
My key take-away from this availability launch of sorts for AMD, is that Ryzen 6000U is probably the company’s best chance in many years, perhaps ever, to take share from Intel in a popular product segment its chief rival has had a stranglehold on for what seems like forever.
Though these competing laptop platforms (Ryzen 6000U and Intel Alder Lake-P) trade blows with respect to CPU performance, depending on workload, AMD has a clear advantage with its integrated graphics and what appears to be power-efficiency and battery life as well. We’re still working on comparison and evaluation testing with respect to power consumption, but so far Ryzen 6000U is looking really good. And when it comes to ultralight laptops, battery life, along with competent performance, is king.
AMD has lined up plenty of other design wins from the likes of Lenovo, HP and others, beyond just the new ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED we tested. However, this is probably one of the nicest, most well-balanced laptops we’ve seen in a long time.
I’m looking forward to watching this play out in the months ahead, as this new breed of Ryzen 600oU-powered ultralight machines is ushered in. AMD’s 15-Watt, low power Ryzen 600oU laptop platform looks like a win from virtually any perspective, and it should make a notable material impact in the market versus Intel.