May 15, 2020
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Ryzen 9 4900H: the AMD Renoir family welcomes a new processor

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The AMD teams had surely planned another context for the launch of the most powerful processor of their new mobile range. And while the competition has decided to put its ads on hold due to a rampant coronavirus crisis, the Ryzen 9 4900H was unveiled yesterday, as expected for a few weeks. Recall that until now, the Ryzen H-series mobile range brought together two chips: the Ryzen 7 4800H (8 cores / 16 threads / 2.9 GHz base frequency) and Ryzen 5 4600H (6 cores / 12 threads / 3 GHz basic frequency).

The Ryzen 9 4900H is therefore added to this list by offering higher frequencies (3.3 GHz) based on an 8-core / 16-thread configuration. This reference is also given a more muscular graphic part: 8 NCU blocks (Next-generation Compute Units), which corresponds in the nomenclature of Vega architecture to 512 Stream Processors. For comparison, it is seven times less than the chip of the Radeon RX Vega 56. Not enough to support a demanding gaming activity , therefore, but practical for those who want to prioritize “CPU” needs while retaining some graphic possibilities of based.

The formalization of this new reference has also allowed AMD to return a little more in detail to the technical integration of the Zen 2 architecture within processors dedicated to mobile use. In broad terms, we remain on a modular manufacturing concept: a mobile Zen 2 chip is first structured around CCD blocks engraved in 7 nm. These contain the cores of calculations and different levels of cache. The communication within this set is then ensured by an interface engraved in 12 nm, the Infinity Fabric, which will also manage the connection with the inputs / outputs part, or the graphic part.

In fact, the whole difficulty of transferring the Zen 2 architecture from a desktop context to a laptop context consisted in finding a new point of equilibrium in its operation, which no longer highlights performance, but efficiency energetic. The integration of two memory controllers with LPDDR4X 4266 support is, for example, a good lever for increasing performance at lower energy costs. This also requires different management of the power allocated to each module, or of the operating frequencies, in order to reduce the general consumption of the SoC. To do this, AMD has developed a new command engine which uses data from the OS (expressing the needs), the BIOS and the drivers (which define the current state of the constraints), and the activity of the components (physical state) to find the best operating regime. All this allows the manufacturer to claim energy efficiency doubled between Zen + and Zen 2. This gain was “only” 75% for the desktop world.

The arrival of Zen 2 on our laptops, especially on gaming laptops , is therefore good news. However, it remains to be seen when the products incorporating these new chips will be released. Given the current context, the probability of launching in the coming weeks is extremely low.

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