Just as I was feeling all smug about picking up the best gaming CPU in the world — dear lord, do I love the Ryzen 7 7800X3D — AMD goes and announces a stack of advanced new processors that will power a whole host of new laptops starting at the beginning of next year.
Headlined by the flagship Ryzen 9 8945HS (an eight-core/16-thread monster), Team Red is beginning to ship out nine new CPUs that will all be powered by the company “Zen 4” architecture. Lower down the stack, the likes of the six-core Ryzen 5 8540U should be far kinder on your bank balance and we’d expect this silicon to appear in reasonably priced laptops as we head into 2024.
Revealed in a recent press release, the new line is codenamed “Hawk Point”, which sounds like a bad ‘80s military action movie. But hey-ho. These babies will appear in select new Windows 11-powered laptops from such major manufacturers as Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo and Razer. And AMD isn’t hanging about, either. These fresh chipsets should appear in a range of new portable PCs in the first financial quarter of 2024.
AMD claims its latest range of Ryzen processors “provide the most performance available for ultra-thin PC laptops and long battery life through innovative power management features”. The company also states that thanks to the Ryzen 8040 Series supporting advanced LPDDR5 memory support, these new chips will be able “to take full advantage of virtual experiences, gaming and streaming”.
Bringing sexy stack
New forms of AI are also a big part of the equation when it comes to the latest stack of Ryzen silicon.
Select 8040 Series laptops will benefit from “out-of-the-box AI with Windows Studio Effects Pack”. What this all means in real-world speak? Boosted privacy features, eye gaze tracking and noise cancellation; all handled by the chips themselves thanks to “local AI”. Essentially, laptops with Ryzen AI software can offload AI models to the neural processing unit (NPU) in these new chipsets, a feature first seen in the Ryzen 7040 Series.
The consumer benefit to all this techie talk? Local AI features that help reduce CPU power consumption, with the added benefit of boosting battery life performance. Seeing as we’ve witnessed some shocking battery life tests in a number of gaming laptops of late here at Tom’s Guide, we’re all for any advanced features that help boost juice.
This is clearly an exciting time for AMD, as a newfound Team Red convert — a sentence I never expected to type after 20 years of using Intel processors in some of the best gaming PCs — it’s refreshing to see the company seemingly back to its pioneering best.
And let’s be honest, AMD needs to take that attack to Intel. Because with the stranglehold Nvidia has on the GPU market, a processing war with Intel is the only battle the company is likely to win.
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Dave is a computing editor at Tom’s Guide and covers everything from cutting edge laptops to ultrawide monitors. When he’s not worrying about dead pixels, Dave enjoys regularly rebuilding his PC for absolutely no reason at all. In a previous life, he worked as a video game journalist for 15 years, with bylines across GamesRadar+, PC Gamer and TechRadar. Despite owning a graphics card that costs roughly the same as your average used car, he still enjoys gaming on the go and is regularly glued to his Switch. Away from tech, most of Dave’s time is taken up by walking his husky, buying new TVs at an embarrassing rate and obsessing over his beloved Arsenal.