2020 might be a terrible year for a lot of brands because of the pandemic, but it’s turning out to be a massive one for chipmaker AMD. After years of trying to catch up with its main competitor Intel, the company has finally hit their stride this year with the release of their new Ryzen Mobile 4000 series of chips for laptops. And from what we’ve seen in the performance numbers of laptops like Huawei’s MateBook 14, it’s clear that AMD’s new crop of mobile processors is going to be a problem for Intel and a huge win for consumers.
As we said in our full review, the Huawei MateBook 14 is one of the most powerful laptops you can get for the price. Our internal testing has shown it to be more powerful than comparable notebooks powered by Intel’s offerings (discounting discrete graphics), which means you’re able to accomplish more than what you’d traditionally expect from a traditional thin-and-light notebook. It’s good enough for productivity tasks and has the number-crunching prowess to tackle editing, rendering tasks as well as light gaming as well. That’s all possible thanks to AMD’s new Ryzen Mobile 4000 processors that power it.
AMD’s new Ryzen Mobile 4000 series of processors combine up to eight Zen 2 cores and upgraded Vega graphics. Right now there are two distinct categories for AMD’s 4000 series of processors: low-power chips under the U-series (processors like the Ryzen 7 4800U, for example) have a thermal design power (TDP) of around 15W, which makes them a great choice for ultraportables and thin-and-light designs that have limited space for battery and heat dissipation. Chips under the “H” prefix on the other hand (like the Ryzen 5 4600H on the newly refreshed Huawei MateBook 14) have a higher TDP of 45W, which gives it plenty of oomph for more general-purpose use.
AMD’s new Ryzen Mobile 4000 processors are all made under TSMC’s new 7nm process, which is a stark contrast to competitor Intel who is still stuck using a 10nm process for their latest 11th Gen Core products. Because of AMD’s improvements in its production process and design, the new chips come with drastic improvements across the board over the previous generation.
This makes for interesting performance graphs when the new chips are put up against Intel processors. Again we’re using Huawei’s MateBook 14 (2020) as our baseline here, putting its supposedly mid-range chip against two of Intel’s heavy-hitting processors: their performance-focused 10th generation Core i7-10750H found in ASUS’ gaming-oriented ROG G15, as well as the company’s newer 10nm-based Core i7-1065G7 found in the Lenovo Yoga C940.
While Intel is still the winner in single-thread performance here, AMD’s Ryzen 5 4600H beats both processors in multi-core performance metrics. And while the Ryzen 5 4600H is beaten by the Core i7-10750H in ASUS’ gaming notebook in PCMark’s Work benchmark, the gap isn’t substantial. You also have to take note that PCMark Work also takes a laptop’s discrete graphics in formulating the final score as well.
AMD’s new processors have integrated graphics courtesy of their Vega architecture. Here improvements have also made, with the company claiming 59% more performance per graphic computing unit. It now also has 25% higher graphics clock, as well as 77% higher peak memory bandwidth. It is also on its 2nd generation multimedia engine with 31% encoder speedups.
Better integrated graphics is useful for a lot of things aside from the obvious one which is increased gaming performance. Better integrated graphics allows for faster rendering times when you’re editing videos, which means less waiting around for stuff to get done.
AMD’s new batch of processors is also much more capable of mainstream gaming than ever before. A laptop like the MateBook 14 (2020) isn’t something you’d think of as a laptop that’s capable of gaming, but our benchmarks suggest it can handle more mainstream (read, not AAA) games at lower resolutions with healthy frame rates.
We’re also seeing better battery life overall, thanks to the improved efficiency of the new chipset. This means you’ll be able to get more use out of your MateBook 14 (2020) VS the MateBook D14, saving you time in-between charges.
AMD’s new crop of processors is truly changing the game, challenging Intel’s long-established dominance in the market. This has allowed companies like Huawei to put together laptops like the MateBook 14 (2020) that blends class-leading performance, battery life as well as design into a package that packs plenty of value.