AMD is making prominent gains in the desktop CPU market but they haven’t been able to touch Intel or give them any meaningful competition in the mobile space. Desktop sales have remained stagnant for a while now with users going for more compact platforms like laptops. This leaves AMD out of a very lucrative space where Intel largely dominates due to its connections with manufacturers and brand integrations.
Now that AMD has a meaning x86 platform, we have seen some laptops with Zen processors but they have been few and far between. According to a report from Winfuture.mobi Microsoft is seemingly betting on AMD with their new surface laptops. Most of the very few laptops using AMD processors have been gaming-oriented, but now we will see these chips in 15-inch laptops aimed for office and productivity work.
There’s this long-running stigma with AMD being a compromise offering for people on a budget, which is also a reason why companies refrain from using AMD on laptops aimed at the high-end market. The surface laptops are on the higher end of the ultrabook spectrum and these can help change the perception around AMD hardware.
With AMD chipsets, Microsoft can bring the new Surface 3 line-up at a more lucrative price. The surface laptops can use the Ryzen 3 3300U on the lower end and even that comes with 4C/4T and a Vega 6 GPU. On the costlier variants, you might see the Ryzen 5 3550U and the Ryzen 7 3700U, both of which come with Vega 8 and Vega 10 GPUs respectively. The Vega GPUs are actually decent for integrated graphics running off a 15W processor. Although they will perform better on the H variant Ryzen mobile processors which are rated at a 35W base TDP. We don’t really know about the specific Ryzen chips powering the surface laptops, but I would bet on the Ryzen U series as we have seen Surface 2 Laptops with 15W processors.