AMD has announced four new (well, sort of) processors released for Chromebooks: the Ryzen and Athlon 7020C series.
The launch includes two Ryzen processors (a Ryzen 5 7520C and a Ryzen 3 7320C) with four cores, eight threads and 15W TDP, with AMD Radeon 610M graphics. The Ryzen 3 has a base 2.4GHz with a boost frequency of up to 4.1GHz, while the Ryzen 5 has a slightly higher frequency of 2.8GHz and 4.3GHz respectively.
The Athlon Silver 7120C and Athlon Gold 7220C have two cores and two and four threads respectively. Both have a base frequency of 2.4 GHz; the Silver boosts up to 3.5 GHz, the Gold up to 3.7.
As is often the case with these specific CPU versions of AMD’s Chromebook, “new” is a bit of a misleading term. The 7020C series is based on the company’s Zen 2 architecture, which has been around since the good old days of 2019. (We’re now on Zen 4, for those who haven’t been obsessively following at home.)
If you compare the specs, these are basically the same chips that AMD released last September for budget Windows laptops. In the past, the justification AMD has given for making these types of rebrands is that Chromebook-branded processors better help people find Chromebooks that fit their computing needs. Regardless, prospective buyers should note that there’s nothing particularly new about these chips.
However, AMD is making big promises for the C-series. For example, the company claims that the 7320C “delivers 1.6 times higher average performance in tested workloads” than previous generations of Ryzen-powered Chromebooks, as well as “up to 3.5 hours more battery life” than competing MediaTek (Kompanio 1380) and Intel. (Core i3-N305) systems. Users, according to AMD, can expect up to 19.5 hours of battery life on the Athlon Silver and up to 17 hours on the Ryzen 3. AMD appears to have tested these using the Synthetic CrXPRT benchmark, which may or may not reflect your own real-world usage. (It’s safe to say that 19 hours would be an incredibly long lifetime in the real world.)
“We are impressed with the combination of raw power and efficiency that AMD has brought to a variety of Chromebooks,” said John Solomon, vice president and general manager of ChromeOS, in a statement. “We are excited that AMD’s 7020 C-Series processors continue that excellent track record.”