AMD's Ryzen 6000 Series Laptop Chips Are Here With Some Big Performance Promises

This year is looking promising for laptop buyers if AMD's CPUs live up to the hype.

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AMD Ryzen 6000 Series Mobile chips
Image: AMD

AMD is looking to start the year off with a bang, and there’s no better way to do it than with the launch of its new Ryzen 6000 CPUs at CES 2022.

Let’s cut straight to the details: The Ryzen 6000 laptop chips are build on AMD’s updated Zen3+ architecture made using TSMC’s 6nm process, along with new some mobile RDNA 2-based graphics. The new Ryzen lineup promises some noteworthy performance gains—AMD claims its top-of-the-line Ryzen 9 6980HX and 6980HS chips can hit clock speeds of 5GHz, in addition to a 1.3x boost in overall CPU processing and an even bigger 2x gain in graphics performance.

AMD Zen 3+
Image: AMD
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AMD also claims the Ryzen 6000 chips are significantly more power-efficient than their predecessors. New power management and adaptive power control features could deliver up to 24 hours of battery life in certain configs. But it should be noted that AMD’s battery life figures are derived based on local video playback times (no wifi), so real-world numbers will almost certainly be a bit shorter.

The Zen3+ platform supports up to 8 processor cores, along with 50 new or improved power management features, new deep sleep states, and more. Compared to a previous-gen Ryzen 7 5800U CPU, the new Ryzen 7 6800U CPU promises up to 1.28x better multi-threaded performance, or up to 1.11x better single-threaded performance, while consuming between 15% to 40% less power when handling tasks like video calls, streaming video, or general web browsing.

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AMD Ryzen 6000 lineup
Here’s AMD’s upcoming Ryzen 6000 lineup for 2022.
Image: Sam Rutherford

Combined with AMD’s RNDA 2-based graphics, the company says it has created the industry’s first APU to support hardware-accelerated ray tracing, and the new Ryzen 6000 APUs should get up to 1.5x more memory bandwidth and double the amount of L2 cache.

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For gaming, this added performance translates into much higher frame rates across a wide range of games, including as much as 2x better performance in Cyberpunk 2077 (at 1080p low) and CS:GO (at 1080p ultra) using the new Ryzen 7 6800U CPU compared to a previous-gen Ryzen 7 5800U chip.

AMD Ryzen 6000 benchmarks
Image: AMD
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These aren’t earth-shattering figures compared to systems with discrete GPUs, but AMD is aiming for its Ryzen 6000 chips to make laptop gaming better and more accessible, especially for folks who might not be able to afford a laptop with discrete graphics.

The new chips also come with support for a number of next-gen standards including USB 4, DDR5 RAM, Wi-Fi 6E, HDMI 2.1, and more.

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AMD RDNA 2 graphics benchmarks
Image: AMD

Systems based on AMD’s new Ryzen 6000 CPU are expected to go on sale starting as soon as February, but we’re waiting to see which laptops are on the horizon.

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Aside from its Ryzen 6000 launch, AMD also announced its first gaming CPU to feature its 3D stacking architecture. Slated to go on sale sometime later this spring (with the AM4 socket), the Ryzen 7 5800X3D offers 8 cores, 16 threads, 64MB of AMD 3D V-Cache, and a clock speed that can boost up to 4.5 GHz (with a 3.4Ghz base clock).

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D CPU
Image: AMD
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AMD says its new tech means the 5800X3D can deliver 1.24x better performance in Far Cry 6 (at 1080p high) compared to the Ryzen 9 5900X, though gains may vary quite a bit based on the title, as some games don’t benefit as much from AMD’s 3D V-Cache as others.

Then there’s perhaps the most interesting announcement: AMD said its new 5nm Zen 4 CPUs are arriving sometime in 2022. While it’s a bit too early to talk specific benchmarks or performance figures, during its keynote presentation at CES 2022, AMD showed a new Zen 4 CPU playing Halo Infinite, so that’s something to look forward to. Looking even further out, AMD announced its new AM5 socket, which will offer support for both PCIe Gen 5 and DDR5.

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AMD Zen 4
Image: AMD

If AMD’s new chips and its upcoming Zen 4 architecture can live up to expectations, AMD is going to continue to put up a good fight against Intel. Intel is rumored to be launching its 12th-gen laptop chips at CES, so competition is pretty fierce for anyone looking to buy a new laptop later this year.