The first laptops powered by AMD Mendocino chips should arrive by the end of the year with prices starting at around $399. As expected, the processors are designed for budget devices and pair a low-end GPU based on AMD’s current-gen graphics technology with a CPU based on older AMD architecture.
AMD says the result is a processor that can power laptops that get up to 12 hours of battery life, while providing acceptable performance. Just don’t expect these new chips to show up in gaming laptops or mobile workstations anytime soon.
That’s because while the new chips feature Radeon 610M graphics processors based on AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture, there are only two RDNA 2 cores. By comparison AMD’s Ryzen 7 6600U chip has 6 RDNA 2 cores, and the Ryzen 7 6800U has 12.
As for the CPU, AMD is reusing the Zen 2 architecture that first debuted in 2019 rather than the newer Zen 3, Zen 3+ or Zen 4 architectures found in other current-gen AMD processors.
But while the new chips certainly aren’t AMD’s most powerful, the company is making some strong claims that they’ll be competitive in the budget laptop space with features including:
- Up to 12 hours of battery life in a laptop with a 40 to 45 Wh battery
- Support for up to 4 displays
- LPDDR5 memory support
AMD has unveiled four Mendocino processors which will be available at launch:
|Cores / Threads||Base / Boost freq||Total Cache||TDP||GPU|
|Ryzen 5 7520U||4 / 8||2.8 GHz / 4.3 GHz||6MB||15W||1.9 GHz Radeon 610M|
|Ryzen 3 7320U||4 / 8||2.4 GHz / 4.1 GHz||6MB||15W||1.9 GHz Radeon 610M|
|Athlon Gold 7220U||2 / 4||2.4 GHz / 3.7 GHz||5MB||15W||1.9 GHz Radeon 610M|
|Athlon Silver 7120U||2 / 2||2.4 GHz / 3.5 GHz||3MB||15W||1.9 GHz Radeon 610M|
According to the company, the Ryzen 3 7320U offers “58% faster multitasking and 31% faster application launch speed” than a similarly-configured notebook with an Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor.
The company hasn’t shared performance expectations for the higher-spec Ryzen 5 7520U or the lower-spec Mendocino chips branded with the AMD Athlon name.
All of the Mendocino chips are manufacturing using TSMC’s 6nm FinFET process, support up to 16GB of LPDDR5-5500 dual-channel memory, PCIe 3.0, and DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.1, and AMD FreeSync.
The chips all feature support for Windows 11 and include Microsoft Pluton security processor (for better or worse).
Some of the first notebooks powered by the new chips are expected to include new Acer Aspire 3 laptops with 14 and 15 inch displays, a new HP 17 inch laptop, and an unspecified next-gen Lenovo IdeaPad notebook. But we may also see the chips used in some other low-cost devices. Handheld gaming PC makers including AYA and AYN have both announced Mendocino-powered models expected to feature starting prices below $300.
It looks like these are all the defective chipsets from the Valve SteamDeck. Instead of throwing them in the bin, AMD is selling them to partners at very cheap prices.
Honestly, don’t see this as any good. They should just go to Chromebooks at best, the AYN or AYA handhelds with these chipsets are going to suck.
This is going to be very confusing. “7x2x” (7th generation, with Zen 2 cores) seems a really odd combination. According to AMD’s numbering scheme (https://www.theverge.com/2022/9/7/23340934/amd-ryzen-model-numbers-naming-announcement), a more attractive option would be a “7542”, which would be an Athlon 5, 7th generation, Zen 4 cores. But no! That’s a 2nd-generation EPYC (https://www.amd.com/en/products/cpu/amd-epyc-7542).
Also, “Mendicono” in the headline looks weird.
The “[s]imilarly-configured notebook” isn’t really so similar, going by the footnotes of the press release the Tiger Lake notebook is equipped with 8GB of unspecified RAM and 256GB NVMe SSD (unknown PCIe Gen), whilst the Mendocino is equipped with 4GB of unspecified RAM and a 1TB NMVe SSD (unknown PCIe Gen). Anything from the RAM configuration to the specific SSD model might influence the performance results quoted by AMD. I’d wait for independent tests, as usual.
” AYA and AYN have both announced Mendocino-powered models expected to feature starting prices below $300″
I wonder what will Ayn offer ryzen or athlon? for 3000 probably athlon
I really hope these make it into the 11.6 inch space. I have a small Lenovo laptop with an Athlon Silver 3050e and it has been excellent. I wish it had 8 GB RAM and a USB-C port but otherwise it works great for web browsing, media consumption, and office work or light graphic design. These new APUs seem like very modernized Zen2 which should be just right in smaller low power laptops. I already get 8 to 12 hours of runtime with the 3050e, so more performance with the same battery life would be a win.
Why th are these CPUs limited to 16GB RAM? 5600U and 6600U both support up to 64GB afaik. /me thinking of a next generation Asus PN54 or so…
Let’s hope they come up with more 15W CPUs.
In theory it should support up to 32GB, which is what was quoted in the slides leaked some time ago. The limitation should come from the dual channel arrangement, LPDDR5 supports up to 4 channels. I have no idea if they’re saying that it supports up to 16GB because of a commercial agreement with OEMs or whatnot.