The AMD Ryzen 6000 is a mobile-only generation for now, but even without a desktop counterpart, it could be the most exciting line of new processors in the first half of 2022. Combining a new Zen 3+ architecture with TSMC’s new 6nm process node, higher clock speeds, and RDNA2 onboard graphics, these powerful and efficient mobile processors should be fantastic for general productivity and entry-level gaming, all while offering excellent battery life.
Here’s everything we know about AMD Ryzen 6000 CPUs so far.
Pricing and availability
Ryzen 6000 CPUs will start showing up inside partner laptops as early as February 2022 and will proliferate out through a wide range of devices throughout the year. Some of the first to launch include the Lenovo ThinkPad Z range, new Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, Lenovo Legion 5 Pro, and a new-generation Razer Blade 14.
Pricing will be dependent on the type of device you buy and there is a myriad of factors that go into the eventual cost of your potential Ryzen 6000 laptop. That said, the average price of Ryzen 6000 laptops may be higher than previous generations, as currently, AMD hasn’t announced any Ryzen 3 6000-series CPUs. The lowest-end model will be the Ryzen 6600U, which may mean the cheapest Ryzen 6000 laptop you can find is in the $700-800 range.
At the top end, anything goes, with the most-powerful 6900HX/HS and 6980HX/HS powering the most capable gaming and productivity laptops you can imagine — for which you’ll likely need to spend anywhere from $1,500 – $2,500.
Ryzen 6000 CPUs are based on AMD’s new-ish Zen3+ architecture, which doesn’t change much from the Zen 3 design used in its Ryzen 5000 desktop and mobile processors, but it does build it on TSMC’s 6nm, rather than 7nm, process.
That leaner process node is what’s helped unlock higher clock speeds of up to 5GHz on some designs, and freed up some space for the additional GPU cores on the higher-end models. Previously AMD mobile CPUs have been limited to just eight GPU cores, but with 12 onboard using the new RDNA 2 design, there’s massive potential for very capable mobile graphics on these new CPUs.
All we have to go on so far are AMD’s claims about Ryzen 6000 performance, but those claims are bold. The combination of new process nodes and enhanced clock speeds reportedly give the Ryzen 6800U a huge performance uplift over the last-generation favorite, the 5800U. In video encoding, it’s said to perform as much as 70% faster, and more than 130% faster in 3D rendering.
Some of this will come from the higher clock speeds, but it’s possible that the added support for DDR5 and LPDDR5 with Ryzen 6000 mobile CPUs has removed some of the memory bottlenecking that we’ve seen with previous Ryzen designs — something that AMD is fixing on desktop with its refreshed line of Ryzen 5000 3D VCache CPUs, and its upcoming Zen 4 chips, with their own DDR5 support.
The RDNA 2 GPU cores and the greater number of them could be the real selling point of these chips, however. With the vastly improved RDNA 2 architecture, AMD claims that its 6800U can deliver up to 100% the gaming performance of its Ryzen 5000-series counterpart. That helps it outstrip not only some of Intel’s best onboard graphics solutions but even entry-level GPUs like Nvidia’s MX450 — a popular choice in stealth gaming machines.
AMD also showed a demo of a Ryzen 6000 CPU playing Far Cry 6 at medium settings, 1080p resolution, and holding an average frame rate of 59 FPS. That’s impressive, but it’s important to remember that it did use FidelityFX Super Resolution to achieve it, and was likely running under ideal circumstances.
As with any first-party results — especially those given in such rounded numbers — we’ll need to wait for third-party results, and our own testing, to confirm just how capable these new CPUs and GPUs are.
Even with a dose of skepticism, however, Ryzen 6000 looks to be shaking up to be incredibly impressive. Ryzen 5000 mobile CPUs are already some of the best you can find in any laptop, so boosted performance, especially on the graphical front, is a real treat and could lead to some very exciting designs in 2022.
USB 4, Wi-Fi 6e, Microsoft Pluton
Alongside the improvements in raw performance, Ryzen 6000 also brings with it some much-needed quality of life improvements from added feature support. Intel’s recent generations have held a notable advantage there, partly thanks to its monopoly on Thunderbolt technology. Ryzen 6000 helps to level that playing field a little with support for USB 4, which while not mandating the same high bandwidth as Thunderbolt 4, can support everything up to and including it.
Ryzen 6000 also adds support for Wi-Fi 6e for the fastest networking and is the first CPU line to integrate Microsoft’s Pluton technology for much-improved security against hardware attacks on encryption keys and login credentials.