AMD has unveiled a new naming scheme for its laptop processors starting in 2023 as it’s time for a new Team Red family of mobile chip families to arrive next year.
The new system is explained in a blog post (opens in a new tab)wherein the exemplary system cited is a Ryzen 5 7640U. All five characters of “7640U” mean something here, starting with the first, which represents the model year, which is the Ryzen 7 family, which will arrive in 2023 (along with the Ryzen 7000 stationary systems). AMD notes that Ryzen 8 will arrive in 2024 and Ryzen 9 in 2025.
The second number is basically a 1 to 9 rating for the market segment, so in this case 6 means it’s a Ryzen 5 model. Confused? Well, we’ll come back to that, but both 5 and 6 are used in the Ryzen 5 chips, with the 6 being a slightly more powerful model (upper mid-range).
The third character represents the architecture, which in this case is Zen 4, and the last 0 indicates “function isolation” – basically whether it’s a polished architecture. The U shows that it is a less powerful mobile processor, as it is now, and the HX and HS are the fastest, more energy-consuming models.
Let’s add a few more examples to that – for example, the 7530U is from the 2023 family and is a Ryzen 5 model in terms of performance, built on Zen 3, where 0 indicates that it is the original Zen 3 architecture. If it were 7535U it would be the same, except the last 5 means that it is Zen 3+ (a refined take on Zen 3 architecture).
The mobile processor families coming next year include the Mendocino, the most entry-level 7020 series for everyday use – with 2 referring to it still based on the older Zen 2 architecture. Then there’s the Barcelo-R, which is designed for the popular thin and lightweight notebooks, the 7030 series (Zen 3 based) and Rembrandt-R for premium thin and light notebooks, the 7035 series (Zen 3+).
At the top end you’ll find the Phoenix, the 7040 series (Zen 4), and the Dragon Range, which is the 7045 series. The latter is expected to focus on more cores and processor roughness, while Phoenix will have fewer processor cores but will be more integrated. graphics (since the type of high-end gaming laptops that Dragon Range will be deployed in will likely have its own separate GPU, so there’s no need for an integrated solution).
Analysis: What’s in the Name? Different things for different people
Okay, let’s face it. A lot of people don’t really care about names, they’re all just a string of numbers with a letter or two pressed down. While you can tell at first glance the unclear power of any mobile processor, this is not the case. For most people, it matters whether the processor is built on Zen 3, Zen 3+ or Zen 4; they obviously cared no less.
Enthusiasts, however will be worries, and it was for them that this naming system was introduced with additional nuances. And it will undoubtedly come in handy for these people when it comes to situations like the new mobile processor with old architecture, a trick AMD likes – and especially from next year, when so many different varieties of laptop processors will be introduced as we saw above.
We are a bit concerned about this second digit of the model name, as noted above – Ryzen 5 processors are labeled 5 or 6 and Ryzen 3 processors are labeled 3 or 4. And this may seem a bit strange, but all average consumers need to think about the fact that their the higher the second number, the better the processor. In other words, the Ryzen 3 74xx is only slightly more powerful than the Ryzen 3 73xx. Simple enough. (By the way, mobile 71xx and 72xx processors refer to Athlon Silver and Gold respectively.)
This should all come out in the wash when people start getting used to the new naming scheme, and it seems reasonable enough, and also definitely a good thing to help those more technical types to be able to tell not just a generation and level of performance, but the architecture ( and its refinement).
It’s worth noting that, as we’ve seen, next-gen desktop processors – coming later this month – won’t change in terms of naming, sticking to the conventional Ryzen 9 7950X, 7900X, and so on, as we saw when AMD recently unveiled the first batch of models.